Tour Prague the City of 100 Spires
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe
The city of Prague, in the Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe in my opinion. Prague is the 6th most visited city in Europe for a reason; The Church Spires and cobblestone streets lead you back into History.
There are Churches and Synagogues from practically every period in History. The Jewish Quarter was one of my favorites, as was eating and relaxing by the River. Architecture, Plays, Musicals, Festivals, all add charm to this city.
The Medieval Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square is a popular tourist attraction, and something not to be missed. Architecture, Cultural Shows, Marionettes, and Crystal are some of the other things Prague is known for.
Prague is the Capital of the Czech Republic, formerly known as Czechoslovakia before the breakup of the Soviet Union. Prague, Budapest, Vienna, and Krakow are a few of the other Cities I would highly recommend seeing if you get the chance. There are tours of Eastern Europe that can include these cities, but for now we will concentrate on Prague. Below you will find some useful information, and photos from my trips there.
St. Nicholas Church in Old Town Square - Old Churches in Prague, the Capital of the Czech Republic
Preparing for Your Trip to Prague - A few things to keep in mind when vacationing in Prague
There is so much to see and do that a guide can help you learn some of the History before you go, and will help you when you get there. There are people selling tours on the streets, but from experience I learned to know what I want to see in advance (saves money), but keeping options open is my advice.
Money: The currency in the Czech Republic is the Koruna (Kc), but most shops in the tourist area also take Euros and the Dollar. You can convert money in various shops, but NEVER exchange money on the street, it is illegal and the people exchanging your money will likely rip you off.
Accomodations in Prague - The Castle Steps: Aspen Apartment
Trying to find the right lodging to fit everyone's needs isn't always easy when you have to depend on the Internet. I learned that some of the places advertised, were nothing like how they appeared on their website, like our Apartment in Budapest which was a big letdown. But the one in Prague was even better than expected.
Booking was pretty easy, they emailed me a contract after several mails back and forth with me asking questions, and them answering. I picked this Apartment because it was bright, on the ground floor and slept 4 comfortably. At the time of booking they didn't offer a continental breakfast, but by the time we got there, they had renovated a wonderful room that served a wonderful continental breakfast and also had a free Internet Cafe for their guests.
A big plus was that our Apartment was in the same building as the Dining Room and Internet Cafe. Other guests of The Castle Steps had to walk up the street for breakfast to reach our building. My mother said it was the best place she had ever stayed, and I have to agree. They book very quickly so when we went to another town for 2 days I kept the Apartment, preferring to pay instead of having to pack, and unpack, and possibly not have the place ready when we returned.
The Castle Steps Executive Apartments are a series of Apartments in the Executive District very close to the Castle. Transportation is close by, but it is a walk. We learned to walk down to catch the bus, but coming back we took a different bus so we didn't have to walk up hill....it's pretty steep after a long day of sight seeing. We even asked the little train tour guide if he would drop us at our Building as we had already seen the Castle, which was where the little train was going. I just loved that the tour went past our Apartment!
Tour to the Castle
Finding Affordable or Comfortable Lodging in Prague
Accommodations for all budgets in the Czech Republic
The first time I went to Prague I went with a Group of people, and we stayed in a small town outside of Prague. Transportation is excellent, and it just took us about 20 minutes to get into the city by tram, or you can go by bus.
This trip we were more concerned with saving money than on my second trip. Very different experiences and because of the location outside of Prague it was less expensive, although it was very hard to find in the dark that first night.
Another good option besides staying outside the City are the Hostel's. You can find one from a Double Bed Room up to large Dorm Rooms with rows of bunkbeds. Some have their own baths while others have a shared bath and shower down the hall. Breakfast is included in some, while others aren't much more than a bed for the night.
Whatever your needs are you can usually find something to match your budget.
Transportation: Getting around in Prague
Prague has a very good transportation system of buses, trams, taxis and the metro. Tickets are good for a little over an hour and you MUST punch them with a time date stamp, which is a little box somewhere when you get on. You'll see it. Controllers periodically check passengers and if you are caught without a valid ticket, there is a large fine, payable on the spot. Transportation is cheap, so it's not worth the risk.
Also negotiate taxi's before you get in to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Recommended Tourist Attractions In Prague
The Main Square and the Astronomical Clock
The Prague Astronomical Clock is an absolute must see experience. As you can see this Medieval clock is beautiful. Located in the Main Square, tourists and locals alike line up for the Show of the Apostles.
"The Walk of the Apostles" is a show with figures of the Apostles (and other moving figures) that entertains and delights children and adults alike. The calendar dial with medallions represents the months.
Prague's Medieval Astronomical Clock
Video of the Astronomical Clock
Although it's not the same as being there, this is the next best thing.
Josefov: The Jewish Quarter in Prague
One of my favorite areas of Prague is the Jewish Quarter, just around the corner from the Main Square in Old Town. During my first trip to Prague the Jewish Museum had a Display about Children from the Holocaust, stories, drawings and tons of shoes. Walking around reading everything I was aghast at what I saw. It's different seeing it in real life versus reading about it in a book.
During my second trip to the Museum in 2006 it was the "Walls" that captured my heart. The walls are monuments to the Jews that had been killed. It reminded me of the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC, but very different. Honoring the deceased was the common denominator of these Walls.
If you are in Prague, I would highly recommend spending some time in the Museum, and walking around the area. They have guided tours, but with a good guide book you can do it yourself at your own pace. This Museum is the most visited Museum in all of Prague for a good reason.
Don't forget to visit the old Jewish Cemetery which is the oldest surviving Jewish Cemetary in Europe. There are also 6 Synagogues ranging from the 13th Century Gothic Style to the 20th Century neo-renaissance Style.
Do they speak English in Prague?
Yes, in all the Major tourist areas You will most likely find English Speakers, especially in the shops. Keep in mind that Czech is the official language, not English so do not expect them to know your language. It is very appreciated if you learn a few basic phrases of Czech. The effort is appreciated by most Czech's even if it is pronounced wrong :)
My Google Maps
A trip to Karlovy Vary is well worth the trip if you want to explore outside of the Capital. It is easily accessible by train, or bus and then either a taxi or another bus will get you there. If you are taking a lot of luggage I would suggest a Taxi.
Traveling to Karloy Vary (Carlsbad) by train
We chose to go by train to enjoy the scenery along the way. Coming back we opted not to take the train, but paid a Taxi Driver to take us back. This ride took us through areas that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. We paid 250 euros for the trip, but all of us decided it was well worth the cost.
For your next vacation, imagine yourself here......
Traveling can be a very enriching experience. I would love to know your thoughts or comments on this Travel Guide to Prague. And don't forget to Rate this Lens. All Photos were taken by me and are copyrighted but if you would like to use one let me know :)