Prague In a Nutshell
Around the time my boyfriend and I started dating, I had already planned a trip to Prague. “Go” he tells me, in his delicious French accent. And then proceeded to describe the great romance of the Charles Bridge, the winding alleyways. I was sold. I was excited to go. Until I found out I was stuck there for an extra two days.
So let me caveat this first by telling you Prague was a waiting trip for me. I was staying at a friends place for the first night, and then I would move into an AirBnB for the next few nights, when my friends from Hong Kong were supposed to join me. The friend whose house I was staying at told me in a last minute call that he wasn’t able to come back from his job in Riga. Some emergency, and so he won’t be back until after my HK friends have left. Which was fine, since we were planning to travel together through Slovakia afterwards anyways.
So, the next night I move into the AirBnB by myself, and wait in anticipation for my friends. This sign greeted me as I moved in.
Needless to say, I was in a huge house, all alone without anything to protect me. I waited twiddling my thumbs, and found out after countless messages that we had gotten the dates wrong and my friends were joining me the night after. I slept alone with plates next to my head just in case someone tried to break in. I would smash these plates against them I thought.
After it was all said and done though, and my friends made it safely over. We finally did some sightseeing. Remember I’ve had two days to venture around by myself by now, and had already seen some of the sights.
Prague Astronomical Clock
Of course if there’s anything you must see in Prague, it has to be the astronomical clock. It hails from the 15th century is still functioning, and has an awesome design to boot. Wait around with the crowd to see the clock hit the hour and the figurines moving around. I warn you though, the clock isn’t as big as you would imagine, and the figurines not the most impressive (but Im sure back in the 15th century it was amazing). So right after that, look upwards and watch as the clock guards bring out their horns for a loud tooting party.
Tip: I recommend you actually go up the clock tower as well. It gives for wonderful views, and if you go on the hour you could be right next to the tooting guard watching the crowd below. You could also see the figurines that move around the clock.
Of course after the wonderful introduction by my boyfriend, my expectations were through the roof at the thought of heading to Charles Bridge. I suggest you cage some nonsensical ideas of the extreme romance. The bridge itself beautiful, and the artists and statues lined up all along it magical. But after being pushed around by hordes of tourists, even the most romantic of us can start feeling a little edgy.
Tip: Head to Manes Bridge instead. Located just North of Charles Bridge. It’s closest Metro is Starometska. Walk over and take pictures with Charles Bridge in the background. Then do as I did, and head to the small park at the end of the bridge, bring a book and bask in the shade while watching Charles Bridge and the throngs of people go by. Since I was stuck for two extra days, I ended up spending my last two just sitting around the park enjoying my books.
Venture up here if you have time and enjoy the view from the top of the hill, the artisans lined up on the small cobblestones, and the Golden Lane village where tradesmen used to live. There are great churches here, one even dating back to the 14th century. But be warned, Prague Castle complex is the biggest castle complex in the world, and sure feels like it. Arrive early in the morning, and plan to spend at least all day there taking it slow.
Black Light Theater
Now that you’ve had your fair share of historical amazements, it’s time to head out for entertainment! Prague is famous for its black light theaters. The only way I can describe it is:
Imagine you’re in a live theater show. Now everything is dark and the only light available is the black light they are shining on the stage. You don’t see it, but there are all the stage people dressed in black moving all the props and actors around. The only light and color you see are on the actors and props now glowing in the dark. Since you can’t see the stage hands, you can’t see them lifting and turning the actors and props around. Cue: the feeling like you just stepped into Alice in Wonderland. In a most amazing way. I strongly recommend it. And if you want, the Black Light Theater I headed to was a few feet in front of Charles Bridge.
There were a lot of other things I did and did not check out (since by now I have a total tally of almost six days in Prague). There is no chance you will miss the Old Town Square, because most of the wonderful part of Prague is located in it. With terrace café’s and the main high street shopping located there.
You can also check out the old Jewish cemetery and the old Jewish quarter to see one of the earliest synagogues still around. I recommend doing a full walking tour of Prague just to get a sense of things and its history (like you would never know where is this old market that used to trade in slaves).
Also drop by the House of the Black Madonna or also known as the Cubist House was one of the earliest examples of Cubist architecture. Walk in, sit on the terrace balcony and order a coffee and try to find and angled line somewhere in the building.
I did actually miss the Dancing House so if you managed to go, do let me know what you thought about it. And for those heading over there, enjoy Prague!