Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a magical mix of East meets West, intermingling minarets and church steeples in a colorful mélange of shapes and styles. Situated at the very heart of Europe, on the interconnected routes of ancient trading roads, Prague blends both the ancient and the modern in an enticing mélange of styles, attractions and cuisine.
Don’t debark on an empty stomach. The Prague Airport offers food and drink, but at prices that would make a Rockefeller blanch. If you must have something to eat, go to the McDonald’s in the terminal, and save your gastronomic curiosity for the restaurants in town. Ok, so now you have finally arrived to Prague and your next stop is the city. Let’s see what are some of things to see and do in Prague.
Stay in the Residence Lundborg, a four-star hotel converted from a 700-year-old house to luxurious and fairly inexpensive suites. Located in the heart of historic Prague, it’s a short walk to the Charles Bridge and the castle in Old Town. The neighborhood around the Lundborg is replete with cozy, home-style restaurants. Choose from high-calorie dishes such as potato soup, or choose main courses like roast pork with dumplings or sauerkraut. Eat apple strudel for dessert; you’re on vacation. Walk off your dinner by visiting Saint Vitus Cathedral, or tour the square in Old Town.
Or choose the five-star Esplanade Hotel. Just steps from Wenceslas Square in Old Town, and close to the State Opera House, the Esplanade is an Art Nouveau structure dedicated to providing restful yet luxurious surroundings and all the amenities a discerning traveler could want.
If you are looking for cheaper options, then why not try the Sax Hotel, with it’s classic architecture with unique inner atrium and vistas that encompass Lesser Town, the Strahov Monastery, the castle and the old Church of St. Nicholas. The Sax is in one of the oldest parts of Prague but well kept and modernized to accommodate the discerning traveler. The prices will appeal to budget-conscious travelers. Because of its grand old age and relative seclusion, the Sax offers a visitors a more personal service which is not always found at some of the larger hotels.
Whilst on your city break in Prague, be sure not to miss the impressive medieval Astronomical Clock. Located on the south-facing wall of the Old Town City Hall, this clock – built originally in 1410 – chimes on the hour. Simultaneously, wooden figures which represent the 12 apostles pass by the window above the astronomical dial. Other figures include Death, holding an hourglass, Vanity, a man holding a mirror, and Greed, a man carrying a money bag. Other statues feature an astronomer, a time-keeper, a philosopher and an angel. If you are a fan of cuckoo clocks, you are sure to be amazed by this medieval timepiece!
Don’t forget to tour the Black Tower. Originally built as a prison in 1135, past inmates have left their inscriptions on the walls for history to see. Many of these date right back to the 16th century. The name Black derives not from the tower’s use but from a fire at the castle in 1541; the walls of the castle remained black for decades. The tower has not been altered since 1538, and is currently used to store various Czech archeological discoveries.