Prague definitely is Europe’s golden girl… I just don’t know anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with this city: A place that always comes out in magazines appearing within the most touristic and must-go destinations since years. As it’s said, seeing is believing!
I must confess that I firmly agree with most of the opinions, Prague is really a city of fairy tales that enchants anyone who passes by. Unfortunately, as everything in life it has some downsides, right?
One of the first things I’ve heard before going is that it’s a super cheap city *1 EUR pints woohoo!* (Not), however, it may have been in a distant time but nowadays it has prices similar to other “main” European capitals! Comparing with actually cheap destinations like Budapest, Slovakia or Ljubljana, I’ve found Prague somewhat more expensive than I thought.
Not to mention that it can (and it will) get super crowed of tourists! Just pass by the astronomical clock tower at showtime to get an impression of the amount of people there!
In my case I had the good or… Hmm bad? …idea of visiting Prague for the first time during Christmas, making the flow of people even greater than usual… On the other hand, the beauty of the Christmas markets, those lovely decorations, music and the enviroment in general make it unmissable! Add all of these to the city’s charm and it’s a definitely a homerun!
Getting to Prague is super simple and even simplier if you are already in the área! I recommend using the czech bus Company Regiojet that connects countries like Hungary, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and so on. I never had a problem, the buses were super comfortable and punctual, in fact, they always arrived a few minutes earlier! Buses have onboard wifi and complimentary hot drinks like coffee, chocolate or tea.
Keep this in mind! Even Czech Republic is part of the European Union, has its own currency: the Czech Crown. So maybe it’s a good idea to exchange in your home bank before traveling in order not to lose much with rates in the city centre.
Foodie Tip! Don’t miss the opportunity to try the typical “Trdelník”, a sweet & delicious snack rolled in a wooden skewer, roasted over a barbecue alike fire. It gets better: They are usually stuffed with your favourite topping like Nutella or whipped cream.
They are available all over the city’s markets and pretty cheap. Enjoy!
And now the most important … what can we do in 3 days? Although Prague is a small city there are many things to do which deserve a decent amount time to spend on! I believe that with three days at a good pace you will be able to all the highlights.
MUST! This castle… well, more than castle it would be better to say fortress, is one of the largest in Europe! It even has a small neighborhood inside! As you reach it, enjoy the climbing up the hill as at the top you will find beautiful views of the city. For those who would prefer not to exercise there’s the tram option, so don’t worry!
Although it’s always best to go early and avoid the crowds, this complex has the peculiarity of having a super wide Schedule: the enclosure opens from April to October, from 05 to 24hs and in the winter from 6 to 23hs, however, the rest of the monuments have a more narrow schedule, from 09 to 17hs in summer and until 16hs in winter.
As always my advise is to go an hour before the sunset, so you have plenty of time to enjoy it.
Another tip that I can give you is to first find out the places within the fortress that you want to visit as there are several types of entrances which include Access to different monuments.
Tickets are divided into different circuits, for example, the most complete is Circuit A which costs 13.50 EUR including:
- Access to the treasure of St Vitus Cathedral (the temple itself is free of charge)
- The Royal Palace.
- The permanent exhibition.
- The basilica and the monastery of St. George.
- The golden alley.
- The Powder tower.
- The Dalivor tower.
And finally the Rosenberg Palace.
The good thing about this ticket is that it’s valid for two days, so if on the first day you couldn’t see everything you can go back the day after and continue your tour.
Remember that entering the fortress itself is free, as is access to the Cathedral… without doubt the star of the place! Take advantage also to visit the surroundings of the castle, the neighborhood is mesmerizing as well.
Old Town Square
The best way to enojy this área is simplt to get carried away and lost in its beautiful little streets without a fixed course as most of Prague’s top sights are in this part of the city. While wandering around you will be easily discovering each of them.
During Christmas the main square becomes the scenery of the biggest Christmas Market in the city, as well as housing a massive and shiny Christmas Tree with light shows and music every day!
Remember that it can be a little chaotic to cross the square from one end to the other, go with patience you are on holidays!
Find below some of the most important sights of the neighborhood you should definitely see:
Astronomical Clock: Prague’s top sight without doubt! Every hour dozens of people gather to see the show of this unique clock. Psst! As everywhere with crowds there are also those who take advantage of the situation! Take care of your belongings and (try) not get distracted, pickpockets love distracted tourists!
Old Town Hall Tower: Built around the year 1410, this tower dominated the city for more than 6 centuries! From the top not only can you see all the Old Town Square but even, you can get to see the Castle and suburbs. Entrance fee is about 250 CZK, which would be 10 euros, but I can assure you it is well worth of every penny… the 360 view of the city is truly amazing and if you manage to go at sunset even better.
The Churches: A walk through the beautiful churches of Tyn and St Nicholas is definitely a must! Keep in mind that Tyn only opens in the morning and evening, while St. Nicholas is open all day!
The Powder Tower: Originally one of the 13 entrances to the city, this medieval tower, as it well says the name, was used to store gunpowder. Access to it costs 4 EUR, pay extra attenting while climbing the stairs, steps are quite steep and narrow!The view from above is lovely and you will be able to appreciate the Royal Road that begins just below and runs through the city.
The Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter is one of the city’s most popular attractions, one of the few places which wasn’t destroyed during World War II, as Hitler aimed to make a museum dedicated to the “lost Jewish race”. Today you can visit different museums, synagogues and even a cementery that are part of the history of which was one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe.
In my opinion one of the most beautiful places in Prague and more photographables, you can shoot excellent photos even at night when the castle is fully illuminated.
Walking around this beautiful stone bridge surrounded by impressive baroque statues is really like immersing yourself in a fairy tale: definitely a symbol of the city as it brings together Staré Město (Old Town) with Malá Strana (Small Town).
Following Kafka’s steps
For those who did not know, this world famous writer was born here in Prague! That’s why throughout the city you will find different monuments and tributes to him, you can even visit a museum dedicated exclusively to Franz Kafka: Tickets are 8 EUR and it seemed to me that as being the writer’s hometown they could have taken care of a little more of his museum… there you can take a general overview of his life and work; If they are short of time I believe it’s OK to skip it.
The most prominent and well-known, at least I had seen it on television one time or another, is the giant moving head that forms different faces as it rotates. Of course it’s free and it’s in the city center, it only takes a few minutes to get to its location and appreciate it! Worth it!