FINALLY…. writing something new… have been travelling a lot so definitely more to talk about – and had enough time to find the Prague photos!
As already noted, Prague has come a long way, baby… Luckily, there is still plenty you can do on a budget but, if you have a little more money to blow, it’s even more enchanting. There are now boutique hotels and one of the best is Hotel Josef. You can walk to many attractions and there is a metro stop a couple of blocks away if you want to do something more adventurous. Included in the price of your room is a sumptuous breakfast. On the plus side, you will likely do plenty of walking, some of it uphill, so you can indulge without guilt.
A great journey is to walk through the Old Town over the Charles Bridge (or a less famous one if you don’t like crowds) to Malá Strana. It’s the baroque neighborhood near the castle. It’s worth checking out St. Nicholas Church but even more interesting is just walking the medieval streets. Nearby is Hradčany, the homeland of the support staff for the castle in medieval Prague. The castle is the obvious draw but it’s also worth checking out the Loreta.
It’s a baroque place of pilgrimage. It’s modelled on the Santa Casa in Loreto, Italy. The Santa Casa is
supposed to be the home of the Virgin Mary. Dorothy wasn’t the only one to have magical journeys. The Santa Casa was moved by angels to Croatia when the Turks threatened Nazareth. When the Turks got close to Croatia, the angels delivered the house to Italy, finally landing in Loreto. There are some impressive frescoes and a spectacular treasury.
One of the reasons Prague has become such a popular destination is that there is gorgeous architecture from all sorts of periods, especially older periods when elaborate, unnecessary details were standard fare. This architectural splendour extends beyond tourist attractions. The night I arrived I was dining alone and didn’t know the neighborhood yet so spent quite a while wandering the streets and was starting to worry there might not be a seat for me so decided I needed to make a decision.
Then I saw it… a stunning art deco building that looked to have empty seats. Francouzska Restaurace. The space is sublime. The staff were friendly. What was most impressive though was the food. An exquisite meal at a great price, including foie gras terrine with chocolate, lobster bisque and champagne! It was so fabulous I made a second visit with my Toronto friend. He was equally impressed.
If you are more into beer than champagne, Prague is also wonderful. Czech beer is world famous and they didn’t need to wait for the craft beer movement to start making great beer. There is actually a place called the Prague Beer Museum, which is highly recommended. Most fun is to do flights so you can try different styles before committing.
There is definitely nightlife, although a lot of it is low key and sometimes quirky. In one nightclub, they showed a ski movie as part of the entertainment and the crowd was really into it.
Quirky is definitely part of Prague’s character. One of the best ways to experience that aspect of the Czech
identity is to seek out David Cerny’s sculptures. I didn’t see them all. An excuse for another trip to Prague?
There is no question Prague is a destination where one visit doesn’t seem enough…