I was not surprised to see hordes of tourists at Prague, it is definitely the current flavour of the wayfarer trail. While the city offers all you may expect from a European city on a platter, let the traveller in you go beyond the usual circuit to discover the quirkiness and character that a heady concoction of history lends to it.
The capital of the historic Bohemian region, Prague was integral to the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance eras; was the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors; as well as an important city of the Austro – Hungarian empire. The magnificent architecture of the old city is testimony to its significance. As you walk down the streets, you will still find remnants and undertones of the Iron Curtain, peeping through from wall graffiti and posters.
So here is my list of things to do at Prague…..
1. Go for an early morning walk in the old city (before the crowds wake up!)..Old town is also known as Stare Mesto and highlights include – ‘the Astronomical Clock on the old town hall tower’ and ‘The Church of Our Lady before Týn’.
2. Explore the local markets, you may just discover interesting souvenirs here. Do check out the marionettes; puppets controlled from above using strings. Interesting trivia – A marionette’s puppeteer is called a manipulator!
3. Get a healthy dose of old world – cathedrals, castles, they are all here. If architecture fascinates you, this is the place – you will find Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau, Cubist, Neo-Classical and ultra-modern styles.
4. Cross Vltava river over the Charles bridge and absorb the picturesque cityscapes. Charles bridge is also home to many street musicians and artists.
5. Relish the Wursts (sausages) and Trdelník (sweet pastry) delicacies easily available at the street cafes. No trip to a city is complete without trying out the local specialities. And if you love the spirits, do not forget to order in a Kozel Cerny Czech dark beer.
6. You can’t miss the wall art. Its omnipresent.
7. Bring in dusk as lights start twinkling across the city. Walk down the quiet roads near Castle hill all the way to the river promenade. Getting around the city is a breeze – trams, cycles or plain old walking- they are all plain easy!