TWO DAYS IN PRAGUE
Prague became one of Europes' top destination in recent years. The amount of tourists that visit keeps increasing annually and the city is adjusting to accommodate visitors from all around the world. We stayed in very eclectic Gradior Hotel, on Na Poříčí 42, and it was a perfect choice. It is very close to Florenc Metro Station and is within the walking distance of the Old Town Square. Basically it was close to all major city’s attractions, plus getting to it from airport is easy as the hotel organizes airport pick up and drop off for 50 euros round trip .
As the downtown area is fairly small, the city is best seen just by walking. We found many interesting stuff by just wandering the streets of Prague and stumbling upon some very cool restaurants and cafes. Be aware of the tourist traps, as the Czech charge for everything, including for ketchup and mayo. The draft beer (0.5 L) should be around 50-65kr, and anything above that is a ripoff. Most places accept major credit cards, and you can exchange foreign currency in numerous exchange office throughout the city. Do not change money from the hustlers approaching you on the street.
There are few main attractions that you must see while in Prague. Of course, the world famous Charles Bridge or Karluv Most, a pedestrian bridge across Vltava River is the number one attraction. The best time to visit is early in the morning (sunrise if you can get up early) as the bridge will not be yet saturated with gazillion visitors. If you are lucky, the morning mist will cover the river and the surrounding area, making the bridge even more interesting and mysterious. During the day the bridge is almost impossible to see and enjoy because of some very pushy tourists, wedding photo-shoots and selfie-sticks.
The Old Town Square is the oldest square in the city. Here you will find a City Hall Tower with the famous Astronomical Clock. The Clock shows date, time and zodiac signs, and at the top of each hour there is a small "show"- 2 small windows open up and you can see the figurines of 12 apostles slide by. Unfortunately, when we were there the Tower was under the construction and the show was not regular. Also, you will see the St Nicolas Church and Church of Our Lady on opposite sides of the square. Here you can also chill in one of the restaurants patio overlooking the square, and try some of the Czech’s specialty dishes accompanied by cold beer.
Across the Vltava River, the Prague Castle is situated on top of the hill, overlooking the whole city. The entrance to the Castle grounds is free, but there is entrance fee for some historic buildings within in the castle walls. We chose the B options for 250kr ($12.5) to see St Vitus Cathedral, the Golden Street, and St George Basilica. Considering the amount of visitors, this was just enough to quickly see the highlights of the castle. For us, the main and the most impressive thing we saw while up in the castle is the city view from the castle’s garden overlooking the city. The entrance for this is free, and there is no need to purchase tickets.
The Hanavsky pavilion is a small restaurant on a nearby hill from where you can see the breathtaking view of the city, Vltava River and its bridges. This is absolutely the highlight of any Prague visit, so it a must see. It’s very easy to get there, either from the Czech Bridge or from a corner of U Plovarny and Nabrezi Edvarda Benese. We left the Dancing House Gallery (located near Jiraskuv (Most) Bridge), for the end. This is the coolest building in the whole city.
Overall, Prague is a very fascinating city. Its architecture, history, famous Czech beer, and sweet pastry Trdelnik, were all crucial part of making this short visit so special.