TRAVEL GUIDE: PRAQUE, CZECHIA #1
During our recent trip to Lam we decided to explore a city outside of the peace and tranquility of the Bavarian mountains. You may be surprised, but that city was Prague! Yes, it’s not exactly on the doorstep, however it was only a 2 hour drive by car and we’d never been there, so we thought; why not! We set off early after breakfast and had and action packed day ahead of us.
First of all, the scenery on the route across the German border into the Czech Republic is absolutely breath taking, with rolling hills and small villages along the way. This part of the journey is around 1 hour, and the remaining hour is by motorway. A helpful tip if you are also planning to drive in the Czech Republic is that most, if not all motorways, are toll roads. You will need to buy a vignette at a petrol station ideally before, or shortly after you enter the motorway.
We researched the parking situation before we left the hotel and decided to use the park and ride service, which has locations all around Prague. Conveniently, there is a location just off the motorway as you approach Prague. Parking for the whole day cost less than 2€ and from there you have access to the Metro, which is very easy to use, with only 4 lines running across the city. A day pass for the Metro is also very cheap, costing less than 5€ per person. A final practical point before we tell you about our experience in Prague is that they do not have the single currency, however as most people have an idea of the Euro’s value, we’ve used it here for comparison. 1 Euro is roughly 27 CZK (Czech Koruna) if you’re interested.
We exited the Metro at Náměstí Republiky station, which translates to Republic Square and this was to be the starting point of our sightseeing tour. From the station, we walked around the corner and were at our first destination, Obecni Dum which is an art nouveau venue hosting concerts, ballet, opera and fashion shows. The building itself is very impressive from the outside and is a very well-visited sights in this part of the city. From there we walked a few steps further and were already at our next stop, The Powder Tower, which is a gate to the city, standing very prominently amongst the other buildings, built in the 15th Century. As you walk under the tower, it feels as if you enter a new world as the street scene on the other side is from an earlier period and all looks very charming and picturesque.
We continued along the street enjoying the view as we made our way to the Old Town Square, the most historic destination in the city - and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! Around the square you will find The Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, The National Gallery, The Old Town Hall and the Prague Astronomical Clock. All of these sights are impressive, but the most spectacular of all is the Astronomical Clock and the tower above which you can go up for around 4€ per person. From the Tower, you have a 360 degree view across the City and it really is breath taking. We personally didn’t imagine the city to be so beautiful, but we instantly fell in love. From the tower you can also see down to the square below, which also gives a great perspective.
We took our time at the square and then moved on to the next destination which was the Clementinum, an architectural masterpiece that also contains the National Library. You can take a tour, but as we only had the day we decided to move on.
We made our way further and reached probably one of the most well-known landmarks of the city, Charles Bridge. From both sides and indeed on the bridge you have absolutely stunning views down and up water, with the colourful houses and beautiful architecture. It’s a wonderful sight to spend a few minutes and enjoy. Although we have to say it was very full with tourists, but nevertheless enjoyable.
To be continued....