Prague, Czech Republic
Prague - the centre of Europe
19 people found this review helpful
'Well', said the lady in Wencesalas Square, "this is the centre of Europe". Well there is a plaque in the pavement in Wenceslas Square! I am not disputing this lady's finding – the plaque does say so, but I would like to add that Prague is a wonderful city with a lot to offer all Europeans.
We went to Prague for a short spring break and wished it could have been for a little longer. We booked the three night stay on a" cheap and cheerful" web site. Sadly the "cheap and cheerful" hotels do seem to be out of the city a few tram or metro rides away from the main town. We changed our accommodation to be nearer the centre and booked into the Corinthia Towers hotel.
Tip: before you start your journey to Prague book an airport taxi. The chauffeur is waiting for you with your name on a board and you are whisked to your hotel and book a return, the price includes a walking tour of the old town and castle and is well worth purchasing, the cost is approximately 20 pounds each way, but it does save all the effort going by tram.
Our hotel was good – but for anyone going to Prague I would advise and prefer a centrally located hotel. The Corinthia Towers hotel , provides a good breakfast and comfortable rooms. However, the Metro is approximately 2 minutes walk away but coming back two flights of stairs have to be negotiated – for any one with walking difficulties this is a minus. The Metro or should I say all of Prague's transport is very good, the Metro runs every 3 minutes during the day and takes you into the centre, but remember this is a capital city and the Metro have undergrounds just like London – that includes escalators and walking a lot. The fare is cheap and a three day pass was 10 pounds approximately.
The city is like Paris and Rome but on a smaller scale. It is the beauty of Prague that hits you first, angels and gargoyles, domes and arches, spires and facades from every architectural style of the last millennium. It has beautiful churches, two castles, the River Vltava is the hub of the city and is criss-crossed by beautiful bridges. The Charles Bridge is the most famous and is one of the biggest draws for visitors young and old. A jazz band plays daily and lifts your spirits as your jig along to the music. Stalls selling crafts, jewellery and artists painting you as yourself or in caricature. A wonderful atmosphere and an interesting bridge. The city is an architects dream, lots of amazing buildings, beautiful fresco's everywhere. The astronomical clock is a must, crowds flock on the hour to watch the saints go round and round above the clock.
The city has two castles the largest and most popular is the Prague castle which houses the St Vitus Basillica, an imposing building, with beautiful stained glass windows, but you do have to pay for entrance to the cathedral and the museum. The smaller castle which is called Vysehrad castle, is on the south side of the city and is well worth a visit.
Wenceslas Square – which isn't a square, it is an oblong shape with a very imposing building at its head, the National Museum looks down on the people and the shops. Marks and Spencer's – yes they do have an M&S and many other shops that we have in our major cities. Go off the beaten track if you want a good deal on food, try the Goulash and dumplings – wonderful, and a tradition in this part of the world.
The conducted walk that was included in the taxi fare was very good. It started at the Astronomical Clock with a guide that could speak excellent English and the walk was around the old town – not strenuous just a steady walk with lots of information. We went to the Jewish Quarter that was fascinating with the history that surrounds that area. tthe walk stops for a lunch break and then takes you up to the castle – this is more strenuous but is still worth the time and really get a feel of this wonderful city.
A boat ride on the River Vltava is a way of seeing the city from a different angle and a very restful hour on the water, a tram ride is also a must, it is an iconic piece of history in the city.
The only down side of this break was that it wasn't long enough to enjoy such a lovely city – but remember we did have lovely weather and Prague can be Very cold – three weeks before we went the temperature was – 20 degrees!!!
19 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.