• Spike

Prague - Czech Republic

When I first began my travels I didn't do a great deal of research before each destination. Now I thoroughly list all oft the things that will interest me in a new country or city.

Prague being one of my earlier travel destinations meant that I didn't plan for it, and I therefore missed a few things which if I do go back I'll be certain to see. Prague was a beautiful city, but the problem I had as with many other European cities was the amount of tourists. Prague was filled with tourists and I didn't get the chance to meet or get to know any of the locals.


What to see


Charles Bridge

Probably the most popular sight in Prague. Again, as I was fairly new to travelling on my visit to Prague, I timed my visit here at the worst possible time. I visited late morning and it was rammed with tourists. It was a case of having to push past people to actually get across the bridge. It's one of the most over populated tourist areas I've ever visited on my travels. The 15th century bridge itself is stunning! There are many statues placed along the sides as you cross, and many street performers and many vendors trying to sell you over overpriced souvenirs. I suggest visiting at the crack of dawn, or late at night to avoid the crowds. Prague Castle

Situated on a hill that overlooks the city, you'll find Prague Castle. The largest ancient castle in the world is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Surprisingly for a castle that dates back to the 9th century, this is the official office to the President of Czech republic.

There are several buildings that make up the castle, including the stunning St. Vitus Cathedral. Exploring this area can take up most of the day, and you'll get some wonderful views of the city whilst up here.

Prague Astronomical Clock

Unfortunately when I visited Prague, the clock was under maintenance. So I was unable to see the special performance of the 12 apostles which happens each hour between 9:00am-11:00pm.

The clock dates back to 1410 and is the oldest astronomical clock still in operation.

You'll find the clock on the southern wall of the Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square.

As with most attractions in Prague, this can get quite busy, so get here before the hour to get a good spot.

If you'd like to get a closer look at the figurines that animate the clock, you can see these from the towers chapel in the Old Town Hall. Entrance fee for the Old Town Hall is about €10.


Paternoster

One thing I did research before visiting Prague was the Paternoster elevator. These are an old style of elevator that are constantly moving. You have to jump on it quickly as it moves. I really wanted to ride one of these, but unfortunately the town hall which has a working one was closed when I visited. All I could do was see one from afar. But I hope to ride in one one day. Please excuse the blurry photo. I hope to think that my photography skills have slightly improved since this was taken.

Karlovy Lazne

Now I'm not usually one for clubs, but this place was something else! Five floors and countless rooms, you'll find one that's right for your music taste. Fridays and Saturdays are obviously busier, on less busy nights not all the rooms are open.

Amongst the different styles of music you'll also find an ice bar on the lower floor and a chill out room on the upper. It seemed a little pricey for the entry fee, but once inside the drinks are very very cheap, so it seems worth it if you're going to drink a lot here.

Vytopna Restaurant

Somewhere I didn't find out about until I'd left the city. This restaurant has a miniature railway that is spread out around the tables. The trains will deliver your drinks to your table in the small wagons. If you want to have a meal somewhere fun, then this is the place.


Head of Franz Kafka

A little further south of the more popular tourist spots, outside the Quadrio shopping centre, you'll find a giant head which is constantly shifting its structure.

Known for his surreal and odd stories, this sculpture does a great job at reflecting that.

if you're in the area, or want to escape the more crowded tourist areas, then this is a nice change of scenery.



Dancing House

Something else a little different to the regular tourist spots is the Dancing House, also known as Fred and Ginger.

You'll find this building close to Jiráskův most, again further south to the usual tourist hot spots.

Not really worth going out of your way to see, but if you're in the area, it's quite an interesting building to check out.








Piss Sculpture

So, I'm not too sure what to say about this. There are two statues of men facing each other. And they take turns to piss.

It can be found on the western side of Charles Bridge, a little to the north.









The narrowest street of Prague

This is something a little different. The narrowest street of Prague is just that. Also found on the western side of Charles Bridge, it leads down to a restaurant. Due to this street being so narrow there are special pedestrian lights that tell you when you can go, as it'd be impossible to squeeze past anyone coming the other way.



Lennon Wall

Named after John Lennon, it has been covered in John Lennon inspired graffiti since his death in 1980. Covered in messages of love and peace, there are unfortunately more obscene words and images on there too.

The wall was used before this and decorated with love poems. But after the assassination of John Lennon a single image of the singer-songwriter and some lyrics were found on the wall. Since that day it has continued to be filled with images of him.

Why not go along and add some John Lennon inspired graffiti of your own?


Sedlec Ossuary

Whilst technically not in Prague, this is a great place to visit if you have the time. I took the train to Sedlec, which took about an hour each way, but it was worth it.

This chapel is decorated with real human bones. There are tens of thousands of skulls and spinal chords decorated in and eerie yet beautiful way. The chandelier is the centrepiece to it all. Why is this chapel decorated with bones? Well, in 1278 an abbot brought some holy soil to the church, and as a result a huge amount of people wished to be buried there. Over the years the bodies increased and the bones were eventually left in the basement of the church for hundreds of years.

In 1870 a woodcarver was hired to sort out the bones. Much to many peoples surprise, that's exactly what he did, and why the chapel is styled how it is today.

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