3 Days in Prague: City of a Hundred Spires
For #ThrowbackThursday, we’ve picked this piece by Charlotte McKee. She picked Prague for a 3 day jaunt and explored this stunning Eastern European city at a relaxed, ambling pace…
Thinking of jetting off to Prague? With the promise of a gothic cathedral, a medieval astronomical clock, ornate bridges, bustling cafes and vibrant bars, why wouldn’t you? Nicknamed ‘City of a Hundred Spires’, the capital of the Czech Republic was calling me. Before setting off for my 3 days in Prague, I went cross-eyed wading through the multitude of guides, itineraries and countdowns of how to make the most of a weekend in the Czech capital! I had no desire for my holiday to be a militaristic exercise and so join me on a more laid back approach to soaking up the culture of this beautiful city.
Kick off your weekend at the Charles Bridge, arched elegantly over the glistening sapphire of the Vltava river. Lined with 30 saintly statues, there’s tradition to make a wish once you reach the plaque for John of Nepomuk – the saint of Bohemia who drowned in this very river. The bridge is home to local artists selling shimmering trinkets and picturesque paintings. Stop and get a caricature or portrait for a personalised souvenir. If a selfie is more your thing, this view is one of the best in Prague – so make sure you get a snap with the river or surrounding hills in the background!
No matter where you are in Prague, you’ll always be a stone’s throw away from the next historical treasure. Amble along the winding streets to Old Town Square where the magical Astronomical Clock rests. A hotspot for tourists, it can get very crowded so arrive early for when the clock strikes the hour and the mechanical figures embark on their melancholy tale. Explore bustling market stalls at the 10th century marketplace which has retained all its charm over the years. If you’re looking for a place to eat in the area, turn a corner and find more authentic Czech restaurants. I recommend the Apartments Puškin restaurant for a hearty meal on a budget.
Time to cross the river and explore historic Malá Strana or Lesser Town, named for its smaller size compared to the rest of the sprawling, bustling city. Rove the charming streets, admiring the pastiche of modern and traditional artwork painted on buildings. Nooks and crannies hide plenty of secret gems and delights… there’s even a small island underneath the Legií Bridge, home to a bar serving up BBQ food and ice cold beers – perfect for a pitstop! From here it’s only a short walk up to the John Lennon wall. A must-see inspiring and magical piece of history, that since the 1980s has been filled with lyrics, art and inspirational quotes. What started out from young Czechs rebelling against a communist regime still resonates with its visitors today.
Delve even further into the history of Prague and follow the meandering cobbles of the Lesser Town up to the castle. It’s quite a climb but the once you reach the top it’s worth it! Magnificent panoramic views of the city sprawl below with the city’s rich past captured beautifully within the complex. Set aside a full afternoon to spend here as it can take a while to look around! Finish the day with a drink and Czech delicacy from one of the many food stalls or if a sit down meal is more your thing, grab a mouth-watering stone baked pizza at Canzone just down the road!
Art lovers must check out the Alphonse Mucha Museum – it’s small but houses a gorgeous collection of his works. The big kids among you should spend some time in the Lego Museum. The assortment of pieces is fascinating and its interactive models of famous cities are great fun. Can you say you’ve driven a Lego train around the streets of Prague? Well now you can – it’s universal fun for every age!
Discover fascinating artifacts in natural history, history, arts and music housed within the breath-taking architecture of the Národní Museum. Nearby is Wenclas Square – which is more of an avenue where baroque architecture meets the new cosmopolitan Prague. Snuggled in amongst the historical buildings are chic and stylish shops, food vendors and cafes. Here you’ll find Trdelník – or chimney cake – a sweet pastry, rolled in sugar and filled with fresh ice cream. I recommend indulging in one of these traditional delicacies!
For your final meal try the Domecek café. Dine in a magical garden and relax well into the night with fairy lights laced into the shrubbery create a chilled-out ambience. The food isn’t half bad too, with a satisfying choice of Czech dishes.
Each experience of this city tells a different story; just like the layers of history and art itself. Take it easy and don’t overload your schedule – take the time to really drink in the magnificence of this magical city as you ramble through the coiling streets and people watch in the old characterful squares.
Stay at: St Christopher’s at Czech Inn