Sightsee without being a total tourist! We want you to avoid Disneyland-esque frenzy in a popular city that’s high on every traveler’s radar. Our Top 5 covers: art, history, ancient architecture and a gorgeous sunset. Follow this guide and enjoy the magic of Praha!
1. Night stroll through Prague Castle
Wait until after sunset, when large groups of tourists have gone away. The walk on Castle grounds underneath the night sky is incredibly peaceful and gorgeously romantic even for those traveling alone. The Castle remains open to the public at night, except for the interior of St. Vitus Cathedral, which is open from 10am – 6pm. Inside the Cathedral is definitely worth a look (we recommend heading there at 5pm), take lots of photos of the incredible stained glass windows!
2. Cross the Charles Bridge at 7am
Yes, 7am! Avoid massive tourists during the day. Trust us, it’s completely worth it getting up early to experience the real beauty of Charles Bridge. Construction of the bridge began in 1357. It became significant throughout history, linking the Prague Castle to Old Town and elevated Prague as a vital trade connection between Western and Eastern Europe.
On the way to the Bridge and back, make sure to pass by the medieval Prague atronomical clock (or Prague orloj), which also becomes a tourist attraction during the day with far too many crowds. In popular belief, the clockmaker, Hanuš, was blinded because Prague Concillors at the time did not want him to repeat his work anywhere else. Hanuš broke the clock so no one was able to fix it for the next 100 years. Legend has it that Prague would suffer if the clock doesn’t function properly.
Check the bridge and the clock off your list by seeing them bright and early in the morning.
3. Sunset and BYOB at Riegrovy Sady Park
You just can’t go wrong with watching the sunset and a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) picnic at Riegrovy Sady Park! Check out locals with friends or families who lounge on grass, all admiring the magnificent Prague skyline fading from orange to violet. It’s truly an unforgettable and relaxing experience. If you get hungry or run out of alcohol, there’s also Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden within the park that serves local beers and delicious snacks (sausages and Camembert)!
4. Spend an afternoon in the Jewish Quarter
Six synagogues, a museum, a Jewish Town Hall and a solemn cemetery all add up to a somber reminder that the Jewish Quarter, or Josefov, boasts an important part of the Czech history. Ironically, it was the Nazis who prepared for an “Exotic Museum of an Extinct Race”, and collected Jewish artifacts in preparation for the museum. It’s interesting to walk around the neighborhood but be prepared to shell out $20 or so for the entire tour to see all the synagogues in the area. Today, the neighborhood has been refurbished with alleys of older establishments next to charming streets of high-end boutique. Josefov is also the famous existential writer, Franz Kafka’s birthplace, make sure to check out his bronze statue!
5. Explore the artist in you at DOX – Centre for Contemporary Art
Prague is filled with some of the best museums in the world: National Museum, National Gallery, Naprstek Museum…etc. Jetset Times contributors have loved the AMoYA – Czech Republic’s youngest and largest non-for-profit art museum. We also think, you should definitely pay a visit to DOX, which is widely considered as the most progressive art institution in the country. Though it’s fairly new with an industrial setting, DOX has already presented numerous exhibitions since 2008. Even Praguers are never bored. If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path or something to fix an industrial, artistic craving…then be on your way to DOX.