Monday, August 10, 2020

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24 Hours in PRAGUE

Prague is a mystical and mysterious city and a capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is famous for its architecture and unforgettable sunrises and sunsets. Spending one day to get to know Prague is blasphemous in our humble opinion, but nevertheless better than none.

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Prague by Anastasia Dulgier

How to get the most out of a galloping day of getting to know Prague? Well, to accomplish this, you will have to make a plan and adhere to it strictly: there is simply no time for spontaneity! Here’s a sample guide to action, which, if followed responsibly, will help you discover only the tip of an iceberg; however, with a hand on our hearts we can say this will be a starting point for an everlasting love relationship with one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, let alone in the world!

7 a.m.

It does matter when you arrive  in Prague – we highly recommend that you arrive in the early morning or the evening before, as we would like you to experience the Czech capital’s embrace in the lights of its inexpressibly beautiful Charles Bridge right after sunrise! Why go there so early? It is a fact that there are a lot of tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of bridge sculptures, Old Town and Malostranska area and the waters of the Vltava. Closer to noon, the streets become multilingual, noisy and jostling. Therefore, an early morning is an ideal and serene time for the introduction to Prague on its most famous bridge.

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The statue of Jan Nepomutsky on Charles Bridge by Matthew Waring

Take your best shots in the sleepy sunshine and be sure to make a wish by touching the statue of Jan Nepomutsky, the patron saint of Prague and the Czech Republic (it is a male statue with a halo of stars). Jan Nepomutsky was a priest during the reign of Wenceslas IV (no, this is not the Wenceslas that the Wenceslas Square is named after). The statue will help you for a minute transport yourself to the XIV century. Legend says that Wenceslas IV forced the priest to reveal him  the confession Wenceslas’s wife made to the priest. Naturally, the priest refused. It is believed that it was for this that Jan Nepomutsky was tortured and tormented, and then put in a sack and thrown into the Vltava River. According to the same legend, when the bag was swallowed by waters, a five-star radiance arose over the bridge. Since then, the saint has been depicted everywhere with five stars around his head.

In general, we highly suggest that you articulate your wish clearly so that it is easy to fulfil, and with a sense of accomplishment, proceed further trampling over the Prague pebble stones.

9 a.m.

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Astronomical Clock at Old Town Square by Fabrizio Verrecchia
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Trdelnik by Roman Kraft

Another place you must visit is the Old Town Square which you have most probably seen on the postcards. Prague gingerbread houses, the pointed church of the Mother of God in front of Tyn, the Astronomical Clock – all of this is congested on the square filled with people especially when the clock strikes. Take a seat at the nearest café because when the arrows meet at the highest point, you will see a fun performance resembling a puppet theater. The Old Town Square is full of traditional Czech street food, so if you are already hungry or haven’t really had breakfast, nibble on the traditional roast pork knee (make sure you have a partner in crime to share it with). Don’t forget to indulge on Trdelnik which is a type of spit cake made from rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar, cinnamon  and walnut mix.

It is also a good time to visit a gift shop to buy a souvenir such as a magnet or a micro version replica of an astronomical clock. 

11 a.m.

Cross the Vltava, not forgetting to turn your head from side to side and gasp at the opening views. You are now heading straight to the Prague Castle. It was built in the 9th-10th centuries, and now it is a real city within the city! It is the largest presidential residence in the world and, apparently, also the largest castle in the world. In the past, Prague Castle was the residence of Czech Kings and Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.

What to do in Prague Castle?
  • Take a selfie with a guard, with a stone face guarding the entrance to the architectural complex.
  • Stunned by the beauty of St. Vitus Cathedral, try to fit it into one photo
  • Climb to the very top of the cathedral and take thousands of photos of beautiful Prague with its red roofs.
  • Wander around the Golden Street, where, according to the legend,  alchemists lived who invented the philosopher’s stone, capable of turning everything into gold.
  • Take a walk in the incredibly beautiful Prague Gardens, which will touch the hearts of not even the biggest lovers of nature and flowers.

1 p.m.

We bet by now, despite the inspirational views of Prague, you might be slightly tired. What it means is that it’s time to have lunch and have a pint of famous Czech beer! 

Go to Wenceslas Square to the Výtopna restaurant (metro station Muzeum, entrance through the Palác Fénix). There you will find everything that tourists go to Prague for: excellent Czech cuisine and delicious beer. Restaurant is famous for delivering food and drinks to their guests by toy train service! This will delight both children and adults. 

As a tip, you can order in Czech restaurants anything that your eyes fall upon, but if you have already tried the roast pork knee at Old Town Square, try Svickova – a Czech meat dish and one of the most popular Czech meals. It is sirloin steak prepared with vegetables, spiced with black pepper, allspice, bay leaf and thyme, and boiled with double cream. It is generally served with houskové knedlíky.

If you still have not tried the pork knee, order it here! Just don’t forget to specify the portion size: often it is served for two, and even for four people.

In general, do not hesitate to ask the waiter to help you in choosing the menu. In addition, many waiters in cafes, restaurants and shops in Prague speak Russian, German and English besides their native Czech.

4 p.m.

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Medieval Window View by Wim Hovens

This day is already heading towards evening, which means it’s time to visit one of the most mystical places in Prague – Vysehrad. This is the first place of residence of the Czech Rulers. Prague as such began precisely from here! The territory of Vysehrad is huge, but since you have only 24 hours, explore at least some of its territory. It is a must to see the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul, which was founded almost 1000 years ago. The neo-Gothic church, located on a hill, is visible from afar almost from any point in the city. But at close range it makes a much more vivid impression, forcing to reverence her strict blackening facade and typical Gothic spires.

Don’t forget to visit the Vysehrad cemetery. Do not be afraid of the prospect of visiting such a place at night. This cemetery has long been a memorial and is known as one of the most beautiful necropolises in the world. Many famous Czechs are buried here: writer Karel Čapek with his wife, composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák and many others. The cemetery has a romantic atmosphere, and in the daytime students of art schools sit here and make sketches.

And last but not least, it is a breathtaking view of the Vltava. Kilometers of water will be revealed to you from the hill, and although it seems that the view of any river cannot surprise an experienced traveler in any way, this is a dangerous misconception. Vltava will astonish you!

7 p.m.

On one hand, by this time you have already visited a lot of sights of Prague, and it seems to you that you have seen everything. On the other hand, you still have time to visit some of Prague’s must-sees.

Pass by the famous Dancing House or get lost in the streets of the Old Town. Prague is so amazing that it is rightly called the second Paris. But, you know, there is a certain guile in this: Prague is not the second Paris, Prague is the first Prague!

At the end of the day, take yourself again to the Charles Bridge to see it in the light of the evening lamps, and make your wish again!

10 p.m.

The evening is best spent at any bar or pub in the city. As one of our top picks, we would suggest the Hemingway Bar, which is one of the ten best bars in the world: It is famous for its large cocktail menu and beautiful interior.

Black Angel’s Bar will greet you at Old Town Square, where you can spend a wonderful evening. The bar terrace is located right on the rooftop of the U Prince Hotel. The music and atmosphere are definitely worth it!

AnonymouS Bar is a venue where cocktails are delivered in a mystical way. They offer you a blank page menu in which you can read the riddles and the cocktails names using the UV light. Before visiting this bar, it is highly recommended to watch the movie “V for Vendetta”!

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Prague street by Tom Gruenbauer

We hope you have enjoyed our brief one day itinerary in Prague. We wholeheartedly  believe that the memories you will make in one day in Prague will have a lasting effect on you for months, and you will definitely return to Prague again. And then again. And again.

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