Prague is one of the few cities in Europe that escaped major damage during World War II. This means that the Medieval centre is still intact, and the incredible buildings of centuries past are still there, in all their glory. When I first visited Prague in 2006, I had no idea this was in store for me when I stepped off my flight from Hamburg. I still look back on that trip and thing. I definitely have to go again.
Understanding a little about Prague is the first step in deciding if you want to visit. The city was founded in the 9th century and was quickly set up as the city of the Bohemian kings. Under the rule of Charles IV, the New Town was constructed, and much of that still remains as the core of the key attractions you will want to see when you visit this summer. Prague manages to mix this incredible history with a modern vibe that permeates the very fibre of the city. The climate here adds to the overall feel with long hot summers and mild but cool winters. No matter the season, colourful is a word you can use to describe it.
Deciding on a place to start in Prague can be a bit overwhelming. I’d suggest you start with the Prague Castle, the biggest ancient castle in the world. From this starting position, you can tour through the Old Town where you can see the Astronomical Clock – one of my favourite discoveries. Just outside the Old Town is the Joseov, a historic Jewish ghetto. The museums here are fantastic.
The next stop is the New Town… which to me is also old, but it’s newer than the Old town, so I guess the name is fitting. The New Town was built up in the 1300s under the direction of King Charles IV. This is the part of the city that I love the most. It’s filled to the brim with shops, kiosks, restaurants, museums and just about everything else you can think of.
One thing I stumbled on, totally by accident, was something called Discover Walks Prague. This is where a local person takes you and a small group on a 90 to 120 minute walk around the city. You get a local feel for what’s going on, things to see later, things to do, suggestions for places to eat and drink and so on. If you want a more personal touch, you can arrange a private tour, but I’d suggest you just do one of the free tours. You get to see a side of Prague you didn’t see before, and you make new friends in the process.
Hmm time for me to go book a flight to Prague… and arrange a nice hotel too.