This week being half term break for the children, we decided a family trip was in order. Destination, Prague. This was a second visit for the husband and I, our first being some ten years ago, minus children. A first for the children, they were excited to visit a new place and we were keen to see what had changed.
Although it has a wealth of attractions, Prague is a wonderful city to just wander in. Each district has its own charm and where ever your wanders take you, this is a city of details. Be it a quirky doorway, a wrought iron balcony, a beautifully crafted lamp or a gruesomely fascinating gargoyle, there is always something to catch the eye. Don’t forget to look up either, many buildings are beautifully embellished. I’d forgotten how grand much of Prague is, even if it’s a faded grandeur in places. One thing that hadn’t changed in the decade since our last visit is the amount of graffiti on the buildings …..and precious little of it artistic. But in an odd way, the street level scrawls serve to high light the beauty of the place once you look past it.
One thing that had changed in Prague was the quality of the shopping. On our last visit it was limited to say the least, with few names or stores we recognised. This time round we spotted lots of familiars like Next, Intersport, Zara and a branch of Hamleys toy store. Complete with a giant slide and in store musical carousel, this place is worth a visit. It’s exactly what a toy shop should be, and better than its London counterpart in my opinion. Housed in a former bank, the building has some beautiful art deco details….but you’ll need an eagle eye, there is much to distract you and much to look past to find them! You’ll also find a stunning range of high-end shops .Hello, Bvlgari and Prada!
We hit lots of the major points of interest whilst in the city and enjoyed getting lost in-between. This meant a lot of walking, but we felt we made the most of our time and got a good balance of seeing the big things and discovering the little things. We did end up a little far from our hotel one night, but taxis are cheap and plentiful so we just grabbed a ride back. Driving , or being driven, in Prague was an experience to say the least.
One of Prague’s most famous sights is Charles Bridge. The bridge is a wonder in its own right.The views, the statues .But the atmosphere is something too. You’ll find plenty of street artists and vendors here and it all makes for a very enjoyable way to spend some time. A wander round the Old Town is also a must, wind up at the old town square and you might catch the astronomical clock in action. I’m going to be honest, it underwhelmed us. But if we’d visited and not seen it, we would have felt cheated. I guess when it was first installed in 1410, it was really something. That aside the Old Town Square is a beauty. Centrally, you’ll see the statue of Jan Hus . Mr Hus was a religious reformer who was burned at the stake and the memorial is eye-catching, set against the backdrop of the beautiful buildings that frame the square.
Being squeezed for time we didn’t quite get to cover everything we wanted to see. We sacrificed a day in Prague to visit the ossurary in Kutna Hora ,more on that in another post. We spent quite a lot of time sampling local delights food wise, more on that later! I will say Prague is not for the dieter!. We decided to leave the castle, rather than rush round it. Despite missing out a few things we’d hoped to do, it was an amazing few days. My husband described Prague as ‘raw’ and it is in the sense that it hasn’t shaken off what history has served it. Rather, it wears its past with pride.My five year old cheerfully declared Prague to be ‘better than Disney!’ and I’m inclined to agree. I can’t wait to go back
Until next time,