This article was published on June 18th, 2017
In a mystical, far away land, where the locals drink more beer than water, and more beer than any other country in the world, adventure awaits. Today, the Czech Republic’s capital is a stunning example of medieval architecture and romantic Cinderella-esque avenues. Prague’s pristinely preserved streets and buildings make any visitor fall in love with its beauty and elegant detail. Perhaps the most beautiful city ever, Prague awaits with open arms to show off its shine and romanticism.
Unlike other European capitals, like Berlin, Prague was spared from most of the destruction of World War II and saw little damage to the city as a result. This means much of the city still has its original architecture dating as far back as 880 AD. Prague, bisected by the Vltava River, has played an important role as the seat of government for many eastern European dynasties, and saw its heyday as the capital seat of Bohemia for several hundreds of years. Prague has survived multiple occupations throughout history, including the Nazis and Soviets, but the Czech people have managed to maintain much of its original grandeur.
Meanwhile, Prague is also a thriving, modern metropolis as the Czech capital. And there is no better time to visit than in the summer. A picturesque city wrapped around the Vltava, one of the best way to see Praha on foot. There is a metro that is very reliable, but no one should spend their time underground when there is so much to see in such a stunning city.
A great place to start exploring is in the heart of the city. The Old Town Square is the medieval center of Prague and there, on the Old Town Hall you’ll find one of Prague’s most famous residents: the Orloj. The third oldest astronomical clock and oldest operational astronomical clock in the world, the Orloj is a picture perfect place to begin a Prague adventure. Turn to your right and you’ll think you’re briefly at Aurora’s Sleeping Beauty castle. Church of Our Lady before Týn is the most dominant feature in Prague’s skyline due to its massive spired towers standing guard over the city. This stunning gothic cathedral is one of Prague’s gems and tours are available to climb to the top. Or you can just stare at it for a while in awe from the town square.
Next, go from Old Town to the Charles Bridge. This pedestrian-only connection between old Prague and new, and it is a must-do for visitors. Originally constructed in 1357 by King Charles IV, this medieval bridge has 30 baroque statues that line the entire length. This used to be a road that connected the King with Old Town and is now at the footsteps of Prague Castle. Offering excellent views of the city, the Charles Bridge is a scenic spot for selfies and listening to street musicians while picnicking over the river. Walk across history as you visit this 800-year-old bridge.
The Charles Bridge leads you directly to the entrance of Prague’s crowning glory and the original settlement site of the city. Prague Castle is a massive complex of wall-connected buildings that join to form the seat of government of Czech Republic and the largest ancient castle in the world. Construction began in 870 AD and only finished in 1929. Now the official residence of the President, Prague Castle is where you can see the changing of the guard, museums, churches, a mini-village, Mathias’ gate, Kohl’s fountain, the World War I memorial obelisk, and the magnificent St. Vitus cathedral–another stunning gothic church.
Adjacent to Prague Castle is Petrin Tower, Prague’s version of the Eiffel Tower, offering stuffing views of the red-roofed city.
For less than a Euro, it is essential that every visitor to Prague try a traditional Trdelnik while sipping a traditional Pilsner beer. Czechs do drink more beer than any other European country and they are on their own currency. This translates to Czech beer often being cheaper than a bottle of water. Fortunately, Czech beer is known for being of excellent quality and Prague has several of its own local breweries. If eating local is on your priority list, schnitzel is an absolute must, and pairs well with wine or Czech beer. It’s an oh so Bohemian and a perfect way to spend an evening.
Visit history-rich sites like the old Jewish quarter, St. Nicolas Church, the Czech National Theatre, the National Memorial to the heroes of the Heydrich, and the Dancing House: a modern feat of architecture designed to resemble Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers dancing. There are so many restaurants and pubs throughout the entire city that it is hard to not find some type life and people gathered at all times of day.
There’s so much more to see and experience in this historic capital. A thriving gay scene, complete with bars, clubs, and cafes, alongside over one thousand years of history, awaits you, like the rest of Prague, with open arms.