Our time in Prague seemed long (in a good way!), maybe because I loved it so much or because we didn’t try to pack so much into the days there and we’d come from a very busy and fulfilling trip in Vienna. Whatever the case, it was really relaxing and enjoyable.
We took the train from Vienna to Prague and arrived late in the afternoon on a Saturday. Our immediate plans were to check in to our hotel (Sheraton Prague) and then head out to explore. We started with the beautiful and compact Mucha Museum. There are some truly beautiful pieces in that collection and the gift shop is stellar. In that same gift shop, there are items from the Kafka Museum as well but we didn’t go there. Since it is small, we spent about an hour there. One could spend a bit longer, but 90 minutes maximum, I think. My friend and I personally are really into Mucha’s art, but maybe not everyone is so google his artwork first to see if it is your cup of tea.
Dancing House - This is a must-see (and pictured above)! The building is a hotel and was designed by Frank Gehry and has a rooftop bar and restaurant. You can pay to go to the top or you can buy a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage and gain access to the roof terrace as well. There is an interesting sculpture on the roof, seating, and great views of Prague looking towards the river. We chose to get an inexpensive glass of prosecco and walk around the rooftop taking photos and enjoying the crisp and sunny fall day. I recommend going here for the view and for a moment of rest.
Petrin Hill - We climbed/hiked to the top of this hill and shed layers as we went. It is not an easy climb even for those who are in shape because it is steep. The views at the top are wonderful though! There is a restaurant, a bar with outdoor seating (all full when we were there) and pay toilets at the top. I do recommend this if you want some nature in the city. There is a funicular but it is closed on Sunday, that’s the day we went so we had no choice but to walk. Relax with tea, a glass of wine, or some dessert at Cafe Savoy afterward, it is a short walk away. :)
Astronomical Clock - This is located in Old Town, it is really old and still functioning, which is the appeal. It is cool, but you don’t need to see it more than once.
Prague Castle - If you go here, get here early. We were out the door of our hotel and walking well before 8 on a weekday on our second try. The first time we wandered by midday on a Sunday the line was ridiculous. There are several different tickets you can buy that allow you to see different things. We purchased the mid-range ticket. The Cathedral is worth the ticket price alone though, so gorgeous. I will do a round up of my favorites of Prague and include the photos from it. The stained glass windows are some of the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen in my life. The day we were there, there was some kind of EU Economic summit happening and so it was interesting to see all the dignitaries being driven in and walking into the courtyard.
Charles Bridge - An outdoor and free thing to see that is a huge pedestrian-only bridge. There are a lot of vendors and artists on the bridge and it will be super busy almost all day. Go early if you want it to yourself. We saw it at peak busyness and nearly empty so it was a nice contrast. You can stroll, take photos, browse the street vendors, and just enjoy the slower pace.
Museum of Communism - This museum is inexpensive and full of really interesting Communist propaganda, relics, and historical artifacts and information about life in Prague under Soviet rule. I’ve made it a point to go to the local Communism museum in each Eastern European country I’ve visited. Each country’s resistance movement is different and I learned a lot about the Velvet Revolution (the Czech version of the end of Soviet Rule) from this museum. I recommend this place. The gift shop is interesting. There are actually old Soviet patches and pins for sale. I kind of wanted one but I kind of felt disrespectful about buying one too. Communism isn’t “cool” in any way, shape, or form and that was my ultimate decision in not buying what is essentially a piece of history. It seems too much like buying a swastika pin or something.
I will finish up the rest of Prague with some of my favorite photos the rest of this week. On Friday I will talk about my planning process for my winter getaway, and where I’m going!