I had just departed from the uber charming Czech town of Ceský Krumlov, and journeyed two hours north to Czech Republic’s capital – Prague. I was gleefully marching down the street, tredlník in hand, listening to Christmas music, and passing massively ornate Christmas trees, which seemed to be on every street corner. My feet were soar from walking, my cheeks ached from smiling, but I was finally fulfilling my dream of spending Christmas in what has to be the most magical Christmas destination of all. Prague.
My sister chose Prague to study abroad, which made it my very first international trip when I was the ripe age of 22. I recall giving her so much trouble about it. “Why Prague?” “Go to Italy or somewhere COOL”. And she just laughed and looked at me like I was an idiot – because I was. Since I left Prague in 2010, I have been aching to go back. So when I learned I’d be spending Christmas in Europe, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to book my tickets to this magical city.
Prague has everything you could ever want or need in a city and more. The beer is cheap (cheaper than water). The air smells of cinnamon and sugar chimney cakes, which you can find on every corner. There are bars, clubs, and restaurants galore! And there is endless amounts of site seeing to be done. But the cherry on top of it all? Prague is CHEAP. The country is a part of the EU but has kept its own currency, the Czech Koruna. And although it is crowded and touristy, it’s a city that everyone must experience at least once in their lifetime.
While Prague has a good food scene, bar scene, and more; the best thing about the city are the beautiful sites scattered throughout. So put your walking shoes on, and get ready to see Prague the best possible way. On foot.
Must See Sites of Prague
Construction on Charles Bridge began back in the 1300’s under King Charles IV rule. It spans the Vlatva River, connecting the Prague Castle to Old Town. The bridge is a trademark of Prague and is gorgeous day or night. Being one of the most famous sites in Prague also makes for one of the most crowded sites. If you attempt to cross the bridge during the day you’ll be pushing through crowds, unable to enjoy the true beauty. Get up early in the morning or head to the bridge late at night to enjoy it without the crowds.
Located in Prague’s Old Town, the Astronomical Clock is currently the oldest working clock in the world, and the third oldest clock worldwide. It was built in the 1400’s and the clock itself is an ornate structure that makes Prague’s Old Town unique compared to other cities in Europe.
John Lennon was made famous from being a part of the Beatles. While once a normal wall, in the 80’s it was transformed into a mural by graffiti. People come to express themselves through Beatles lyrics, love, and so on. You can find people’s names, schools, countries, lyrics, and more on this wall. And to this day you can still buy a can of graffiti and add your own artwork to the wall. Just don’t expect it to last long!
Close to the Lennon Wall there is a quaint restaurant worth popping in – Velkoprevorsky Mlyn, where you can look out upon the water towards Prague’s Love Lock Bridge.
Old Town Square
Founded in the 12th-century, Prague’s Old Town Square comes alive at all hours day or night. Here you’ll find the Astronomical Clock, Church of our Lady, St. Nicholas Church, and more. With restaurants surrounding the square, sit down and watch the people pass by. However if you’re looking for more authentic and less touristy experience, skip the restaurants all together. Instead admire the square and move on to the outskirts for somewhere to eat.
Two of my favorite off the beaten path restaurants in Prague are Las Adelitas, for Mexican food; and IF Cafe, a sweets shop.
The Prague Castle complex is the largest castle complex in the world, dating back to the 9th-century. Being an UNESCO World Heritage Site, it attracts over 1.8 million visitors per year. While you can pay a fee to enter the castle and tour it, I wasn’t too impressed. Walking around the complex is free, and more worth your time.
Major bonus points if you can get the men who guard the castle to crack a smile!
The Dancing House is a unique architectural structure, unlike any I’ve previously seen. Designed by a Czech-Croatian and Canadian-American, the Dancing House is of deconstructivism and is famous to Prague. Walk by the house to admire from the outside, or head to the rooftop bar for sweeping views over Prague.
Whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter, Prague’s sites don’t lose their charm in any season. Skip through the city in the summer, with sandals on and your hair waving in the wind. Or bundle up and stroll the streets in the winter to see the city covered in a blanket of snow. No matter what the season Prague is always in style.