Prague, A Hot Travel Destination

Just hours away from Berlin and Vienna, Prague has become a hot travel destination in Central Europe. Ask most travelers that haven’t been to Prague already and they will say that it is on their bucket list. This beautiful city is filled with Baroque architecture, soaring church spires, cobblestone streets, interesting  neighborhoods filled with art galleries and museums, and has delicious food and great beer and wine, what more could a traveler ask for.

A stroll across the famous Charles Bridge is one of the first things that every visitor who goes to Prague wants to do but that is just the beginning of what this fascinating city has to offer. I would say, put Prague on your bucket list of places to visit and let me show you why.

Click on any photo in the story to enlarge and see a slide show. 

Charles Bridge is perhaps the most photographed sight in the city. The famous  stone bridge, with Gothic towers at both ends and lined with 30 statues of saints, spans the Vltava river which divides the town into two parts. Old Town is on one side of the river and Lesser Town, with its castle high on the hill, lies on the river’s other bank. The views from the pedestrian only bridge are wonderful but be warned, it is swarming  with tourists unless you visit at dawn’s first light.

Old Town Square with the Jan Hus Memorial at its center is home to many of the major sites. The two Gothic towers of Tyn Church can be seen as you enter the square from almost any of the narrow cobblestone streets that radiate off the square. Just before the hour, large crowds gather at the Astronomical Clock which is part of old town hall,  to watch it come to action for 45 seconds. (The clock tower is under restoration until the summer of 2018 but the clock is still visible.)

Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle complex in the world with its many courtyards, palaces, gardens and sweeping views of the town, has been used by kings and emperors and is the official home of the President of the Czech Republic.

The most dominant feature of Prague Castle is St. Vitus Cathedral. It is the final resting place for not only Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors but important saints as well. Perhaps the most well known tomb being that of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech Republic and  who so many of us associate with the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas”.

Another feature at the castle is a tiny lane next to the ramparts called the Golden Lane. The lane has very small, almost fairytale size houses where servants, guards and goldsmiths among others once lived. Later they were homes to writers such as Franz Kafka who once lived at number twenty-two.

If the weather is nice, be sure to visit the castle’s many beautiful gardens. Unfortunately, the day of our visit, it was rainy and cold.

John Lennon Wall, a graffiti filled landmark is one of the many unusual public art displays in the city. On your walks throughout the city go in search of some of the works of Czech artist David Cerny, Czech sculptor Jaroslav Rona, and others.

There is a debate on where you should stay in Prague. During this visit, we stayed at the Mandarin Oriental which is in Lesser Town where the castle is located. Proponents call this the quiet side and I would have to agree. While the hotel was very nice, my husband and I would probably stay in Old Town next time as it is very convenient to most attractions whereas we had to take a taxi to many of the places we wanted to visit.

When it comes to restaurants that we thought were very good and would return to, I can recommend three.

U Modré Kachničky (“The Little Blue Duck” in Czech), serves traditional everyday Czech food that has been recreated into sophisticated Bohemian cuisine. It has two locations, one in Old Town and the original one right next to our hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, in Lesser Town. It’s a cozy little restaurant that specializes in duck and wild game. We had a delicious meal there on our first night in Prague.

Divinis, owned by Czech celebrity chef Zdeněk Pohlreich prepares refined Italian cuisine with the finest of Italian products. The restaurant has an excellent all Italian wine list. From beginning to end, the food we had was outstanding.

Aromi, considered one of the top restaurants in Prague. It’s a very nice, modern Italian restaurant where the emphasis is on incredibly fresh fish and seafood simply prepared so the fresh ingredients really shine. Our waiter brought out a huge tray of fresh fish and described each one and how the chef suggested they should each be served. We decided on a whole halibut cooked with a light lemon sauce that was absolutely delicious.

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Whether you want to sit and have a drink at a sidewalk café on the square after exploring Old Town, spend a day visiting Prague castle and its gardens, take a stroll over Charles Bridge to have dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants or go in search of Bohemian crystal to take home as a souvenir, Prague is bound to charm even the most jaded of travelers.

Yes, after my visit to this interesting city, I can see why Prague is a hot destination in Central Europe and I would definitely recommend that you put it on your travel bucket list.

 

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

111 thoughts on “Prague, A Hot Travel Destination

  1. Great travel report and pictures, Karen! I’ve been to Prague on a business trip, but apart from a bus tour at night where you don’t get to take pictures really I only saw half of what you managed to see. I think I need to go back 🙂

    1. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post Kiki. Perhaps my photos will entice you to visit Prague again when you can spend more time.

  2. I have to admit that it was never on my bucket list but after you incredible post it just might well be now. Keep well Diane

    1. Hi Diane, I do believe that you would thoroughly enjoy a visit to Prague. And what is nice, it’s not a long flight to get there like your trip to Africa was. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely compliment, I’m happy you enjoyed the post.

    1. Hi Diane, You can’t believe all the the photos I left out of the most beautiful buildings. Prague is lovely. I appreciate your nice compliment, thank you so much.

    1. You are more than welcome Fatima. I think spring would be a wonderful time to visit Prague and I’ll be looking forward to following along on your tour.

  3. Great post, Karen, thank you. I’ve only been to Prague once, mid December for a short break over 10 years ago, with my daughter. It was the time of Christmas market, which was lovely, but VERY cold! We loved Prague and saw many of the sights you mention but I think I need to go back at a warmer time of year.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Kay, I’m glad to know that you enjoyed the post. You definitely need to return when the weather is warmer.

  4. Hard to beat the beauty of the old European cities – looks like you ate well. While stationed in Germany our kids visited Prague and really enjoyed it.

    1. So very true Larry, our country has nothing to compare to these wonderful old cities. We were really surprised at all the wonderful meals we had in Prague, they have some outstanding restaurants.

    1. I believe you are Pete are going to love your time in Prague. If you do everything we did, I think you will be happy except I would stay on the other side of the bridge.

  5. Haven’t been to Prague and you’re right — it’s on my bucket list. 🙂 Beautiful pictures! Sounds like you had a wonderful time — thanks for the tour.

  6. Had one of the best meals and dining experiences in Prague—-Zovnice—-in one of the old bell towers….
    also had a wonderful crepe in a small restaurant just over the bridge…
    Prague is such a historically rich city—and as the war spared much of the old city—it is that much more the fascinating—especially the old Jewish section….

  7. Our very first trip to Europe in 1971, we stayed overnight in Prague and I remember seeing the beautiful city lit up at night from our hotel room. The next day we boarded the hovercraft and travelled to Budapest on the Danube. It looks like you are having a lovely time, notwithstanding the weather.

    1. Hi Eva, It sounds as though you had a memorable first visit to Europe. Yes, Prague is very pretty at night, probably more so than on your first visit.

  8. Karen, you have an inbred talent for taking wonderful photos from angles missed by others holding a camera 🙂 ! Oh yes, have not as yet been, oh yes, it has been on that ‘bucket list’ [Gad, that film is responsible for the most used two words in the world, methinks 🙂 !] forever . . . Loved your inclusion of the John Lennon Wall . . . . have stayed at The HK Mandarin and loved it . . . . when I get there would love to do heaps of homework and only eat the local cuisine a la ‘Little Blue Duck’ . . . but at places which only locals know . . . 🙂 !

    1. I appreciate your very kind words Eha about my photography, thank you so much. There is so much to see and do in Prague, I know you would definitely enjoy the city.

    1. Thank you Lisa for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and that you have put Prague on your bucket list of places to visit…it really is a lovely city.

  9. I’ve heard a lot of interesting and exciting views of Prague, and you have completely sold me.

    So glad you had a wonderful time and thank your for sharing!

    Jane

    1. Hi Jane, I was like you and everyone I talked to enjoyed their visit to Prague. Naturally, I had to include the city in this year’s travels. We loved Prague and I think everyone would who got a chance to visit. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  10. The city looks absolutely beautiful. I am particularly charmed by your photos of Little Venice and Golden Lane. The David Cerny sculptures are certainly a quirky take on modern Czechia.

    1. Hi Gallivanta, Prague is indeed beautiful. There were so many lovely little areas just around each corner as we walked the city. The Cerny sculptures are quirky to say the very least. 😀

  11. Karen, the last time I was in Prague we took the train from Berlin to Prague. It was a great train ride and I enjoyed visiting Prague . Your photos are wonderful and I think I ate in one the restaurants you recommended. I also enjoyed the Kafka museum.

    1. Hi Gerlinde, My husband and I have never used a train for getting around in Europe but I know a lot of people love it. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back memories of your time in Prague. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  12. This was really interesting for me to read as I visited Prague in the 1980s before the borders across Eastern Europe all opened up. We had to have a guide with us the whole time and there were no exclusive restaurants as food was scarce and very simple! I am glad I saw it as it was then – such a beautiful city – and would love to return to compare. Lovely photos Karen! 🙂

    1. Hi Cathy, Prague has to have changed so much since your visit and I think in a very good way. I think you would be very surprised, especially to see all the high end shops featuring young Czech designers, amazing modern crystal, etc.

  13. I had the privilege of visiting Prague a few years ago. Your photos and summaries brought back so many memories. Thanks so much for sharing! Fanstastic post♥

  14. Karen, thank you for doing this post on Prague. It has been a topic of discussion here, wheather to go or not. Your photos are fabulous and I appreciate the tip on hotel locations and good restaurants. It will probably make the list for a future trip. Now we have a trip booked to return to Italy next spring. Great post!

    1. Hi Emily, I do hope you decide to visit Prague in the future. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and hope it will be helpful if you plan a stay in the city. I fill enjoy following along on your trip to Italy in the spring. 🙂

  15. Great info and awesome pictures! ❤ Looks beautiful. Just got back from Ireland, would love to go to Prague.

  16. What a treat Karen. your photos are lovely. I feel like I am there. I have never been. Maybe one day. Our friends just returned from a European cruise and they did visit Prague. It’s great how you created a journal of your travels with your blog. Thank you for your sweet compliment.

  17. We visited Prague about 20 years ago. It was an opera weekend. We saw Aieda and Carmen in the state opera house. It was fantastic. The city was a bit crime ravaged at that time. A lot better now by all accounts.

    1. An opera weekend in Prague sounds lovely Conor. Yes, I think things must have changed as we never felt unsafe when we were walking the streets of Prague.

    1. Hi Jenna, You are always welcome be a “backseat” traveler on all my adventures, I’m happy you enjoyed the post. Prague is almost like a fairytale city…we really enjoyed it.

  18. Hi Karen.. What a fabulous tour of Prague. Because of you, I am putting on the top of our bucket list. Just read your bio – I don’t blame you for moving back to Florida. The winters here in the Northeast are brutal! Have a wonderful week and thanks for the tour!

    1. Hi Katie, Thank you for dropping by for a visit and your lovely compliment…it is much appreciated. I think Prague being on the top of anyones bucket list is a good idea. We certainly did love our time there. In January of 2015, we got 3 feet of snow in one blizzard followed by three more snow storms. That did it for us, as much as we loved New England we knew it was time to head to warmer weather. 🙂

  19. How wonderful Karen. You’re absolutely right, Prague really IS a hot travel destination these days. I have never been, but perhaps we should entertain that idea in the future. We visit my Mom and family each year in England, then we always try to connect with other parts of Europe, it was Switzerland this year. I’ve seen and heard so much about Prague and you’ve portrayed it all so beautifully. Great job!

    1. Hi Loretta, I do hope you get a chance to visit Prague on one of your trips to Europe. It was our first time in the Czech Republic and we loved it. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    1. Hi Tandy, I’m happy you have Prague on your list to visit, we found it very interesting. Thank you for your nice comment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Allie, I’m glad that you liked the post and photos about Prague. I’m happy to have you following along on our European trip.

  20. I have a good friend who has family in Prague and loves to go visit there, now I see why! It looks really beautiful there and I just love the architecture in those old European cities. I’ve never taken the time to look up pictures of Prague and I enjoyed your tour, Karen. Lovely post!

  21. Thanks for the tour, Karen! It looks like a gorgeous city with lots to see. I love all the great architecture and the cathedral is magnificent! And the same with Golden Lane. All the food looks scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!

  22. What a beautiful city, Karen. Some surprises for me! I have never known much about “Good King Wenceslas,” and certainly didn’t know he was buried there. And the John Lennon wall is intriguing, too. The architecture of these ancient buildings really speaks to the magnificence of the city. I have had several friends return from Prague with the same sense of enthusiasm you’ve shared. It must really be something special. 🙂

    1. I agree with your friends that have traveled to Prague Debra, it really is a wonderful city. The history, the architecture, the great restaurants, all made for a lovely visit.

  23. A friend of mine went to Prague several years ago and was fascinated with the architecture and all the color used in the buildings. Now I can see what she meant. What a beautiful place to visit! Very ornate and the stained glass is amazing. Thanks for the tour!

    1. Hi MJ, I’m glad you enjoyed my tour of Prague…thank you for your nice compliment. I had heard from many people how nice the city was but it turned out even prettier than I imagined.

  24. Oh wow Karen!! Love this– we were in Prague a few years ago with our kids and so it was so much fun to study through your photos– just beautiful! And we have dear friends whose daughter is getting married there June 3rd– so we are trying to decide if we have the funds to go back and join in the celebration!! You’ve made it look so tempting!! thanks thanks Karen. xox

    1. Hi Rhonda, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back nice memories of your travels there with your family. I do hope it works out that you can return for the wedding.

  25. I’ve heard Prague is well worth visiting for it has such beautiful buildings and architecture. Thank you for reminding me of another place I must get to! The interior of the church is stunning and that little blue cottage is just divine xx

    1. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post Charlie. Prague is an exceptionally beautiful city. I wish I could have included more of the photos I took of all the beautiful buildings. So many remind me of Paris.

  26. Lovely to see your fabulous pics of Prague. I’ve heard so much about it and I have a good friend who lives there. It does look beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Hi Monica, I’m happy that you enjoyed my photos of Prague. Perhaps some day you can visit your friend in Prague and enjoy it for yourself. 🙂

  28. My daughter missed Prague when she studied abroad (long story) and she always felt bad about that. So following graduation this year she took a trip back to Europe to hit up some of the places she missed–and she loved Prague too. Of course I got more information from your than her 🙂

    1. Sorry to have taken so long to respond to your comment about Prague, Inger. It didn’t show up in my comments until a couple of days ago. Your daughter sounds very much like mine when it comes to sharing information. 😀

    1. Hi Frank, I’m sorry to be late in responding to your comment about Prague, it just showed up in my comments a few days ago. I believe that you will enjoy Prague, we found it very interesting.

  29. HI Karen! Lovely post!! We too had dinner at Aromi in Prague and we found out it’s part of the La Bottega Group of restaurants which we frequently eat at. I left so many comments over the past few days, but it’s been difficult since the wifi here in Prague has not been good at times. Love your post about Vienna.

  30. Hi Anna and Liz, I’m sorry that it has taken so long to reply to your comment about Prague, it just recently showed up in my comment box. I think we both like the same kind of food and Prague sure has a lot of great restaurants.

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