Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic offers the charm of Paris, at a fraction of the cost. Savor history, architecture and surprisingly good but also very cheap beer. During autumn we did a road trip from Zürich to Prague. It took about 7 hours, but the roads were clean and the scenery painted in green, yellow and red. There are also 2-3 daily non-stop flights from Zürich (1 hour and 20 minutes), but since we wanted to bring our doggies with us, driving was the best option. I am glad we drove since this gave us the flexibility to stop in different places, like Pilsnen, for example, home of the Pilsner Urquell Brewery.
Prague, view of the Vltava river
Old Town Square, Prague
Here are some of the highlights:
1. Free walking tour
Taking the free walking tour the next day after we arrived was perfect because it provided a great orientation to the city and we covered most of the highlights, including the Powder Tower, Municipal House, Spanish Synagogue, Old Jewish Cemetery, Pinkas Synagogue, Rudolfinum, Old Town Square Astronomical Clock, Charles University, Estates Theatre, Wenceslas Square and Old City Walls. The guide was knowledgeable, funny and friendly. P.S. Don’t forget to tip your guide! $5-10 per person is recommended. The tour meets at 12:00N at the corner of Old Town Square on Pařížská Street, next to the Cartier store.
Old Town Hall Tower and the Astronomical Clock
Jewish Cemetery, Prague
2. Walk on the historic Charles Bridge
Experience walking on the very much crowded but filled with history Charles Bridge. The construction began in 1357, ordered by Charles IV and was completed in 1402. A walk is particularly pleasant at sunset. The bridge is packed with tourists, artists and pickpockets, so be careful!
Strolling on the Charles Bridge
3. Eat Trdlinks
I was obsessed with these rolled cylindrical pastries. They’re served hot and the basic ones are coated in cinnamon and sugar. But there are also stuffed with Nutella, ice-cream or fruits. They literally melt in your mouth! (*warning! they are highly addictive)
4. David Cerny’s (bizarre) public sculptures
Famous Czech sculptor David Cerny left his mark in Prague with a series of unique, fascinating and bizarre sculptures. You can track them using a map or simply let them surprise you as you encounter them when exploring the city.
“Babies” sculptures by David Cerny’s
Retrace the story of Jewish prisoners during WWII in one of the biggest concentration camps built by Nazis in the Czech Republic. This was not an extermination camp. Prisoners were brought here to ‘work’ while (unbeknownst to them) they waited to be transferred to one of the extermination camps, most likely Auschwitz in Poland.
Terezin concentration camp
Don’t forget to pay homage to the camp’s victims upon your exit. Take a moment to remember them and think about what can you do to stop history from repeating itself.
Memorial to Terezin camp victims
Simply known as the “bone church”, Sedlec Ossuary is an unusual, and quite frankly, very creepy chapel with an interior decorated with human bones, specifically the skeletons of 70,000 plague victims.
A chandelier made with human bones at Sedlec’s Ossuary
7. See this weird crooked building known as the “Dancing House”. Prime example of modern architecture
The “Dancing House”, Prague
8. Eat and drink like there is no tomorrow
Food and beer in Prague are ridiculously cheap. Our favorite spots were:
This cafe near the Jewish quarter offers delicious breakfast and coffee, and different pasta dishes.
**forgot to take a picture**
This cafe is worth to visit, not only for the sumptuous breakfast and pastries, but also to experience its interior, dominated by the New_Renaissance ceiling dating back to the 1893.
Breakfast @ Cafe Savoy, Prague
Recommended to me by a friend that visited Prague before, Lokal did not disappoint. They brew their own beer which is served straight from the tanks. They also offer authentic Czech dishes.
Lokal: Some traditional plate that I don’t remember the name, but it was good