When I decided to go to Prague on my own, I started searching materials about the attractions in order to see the most interesting places in my opinion in 4 days. The two episodes of “Heads & Tails” in Prague, one episode of “Абзац” (The Paragraph) was broadcasted (the authorship of the New Channel), and a bunch of articles about what exactly is interesting in Prague became mandatory for viewing.
I sketched a small list of attractions interesting for me, added them to my Google Maps and Maps.ME app, top my mobile account up (I always want to be “online” during my trips) and hit the road! 🙂 I was talking how I got to Prague for only $25 from Lviv before, so here I’ll tell you what is interesting in Prague, where you can find tasty food and good accommodations.
I arrived early in the morning, so I have all day to explore the city! The first thing to do was to have breakfast. It’s good that I took a thermos with tea, I brewed back in the Lviv hostel 🙂 There were also sandwiches that remained in my trip, tea + banana! In my opinion, it’s a great start for the day to be in Europe! 😉
What to see in Prague – the first day
It turned out that the bus station Florenc, where I arrived, is located very close to the city center. So, as I had a lot of time, I decided to walk by foot in the direction of the main attraction in my opinion.
The road from the bus station descends to the Vltava River and then along it I decided to go to the Charles Bridge.
There are parks, a philharmonic orchestra and exquisite European architecture along the way.
Charles Bridge has played a very important role in the history of Prague. It connected the two parts of the city of Prague Castle and the Old Town and got its name thanks to King Charles IV, who ruled in the Czech Republic in 1346-1378. The Royal Road once was across the bridge.
On the east side of the bridge, just along my route, there is an Old Town Bridge Tower (Staroměstská mostecká věž), as well as a monument of King Charles IV. A whole gallery of sculptures and sculptural groups stretches along the entire Charles Bridge on both sides. There are 30 of them, and they are devoted to religious subjects. According to legend, you can make a wish on the Charles Bridge! There are several symbolic places to do this, where you will see grated figures, literally to shine. I also found one and rubbed it for good luck 😉
The Charles Bridge is exclusively pedestrian, so you can slowly walk along it, and be inspired by the views around.
I decided to move to the next attraction, which I outlined for myself. It is located on the other side of the Vltava River.
It is difficult to explain why I chose this particular attraction. Probably I was hooked by the name which sent me back in history of the legendary Liverpool Four!
Here is a formula: “The Early Prague morning + narrow streets = an unexpected thing” !
I found a bottle of unfinished white wine, apparently left by John Lennon fans! 😉
A few more turns, a couple of times in the wrong direction and, I’m already in a place – contemplating the same wall which I was looking for with the symbolic name “Lennon Wall”. It is considered a symbol of the struggle for freedom and against the communist regime! Here it is! 🙂
It is unbelievable, but it is a fact – all the graffiti’s on the wall were repeatedly completely painted over by the government, allegedly they were fighting vandalism! But today it was recognized as a cultural value, so new graffiti’s are superimposed on top of the old ones and John Lennon’s wall periodically changes its view.
And here I also found a drawing of a dancing resident in a turban and trousers 😉
Following the plan my next tourist attraction that required dedication for several hours. Especially if you buy tickets to all the adjacent attractions! It is
This place is just a kilometer away from John Lennon’s wall, so I decided to walk, even though I had to climb a mountain! 🙂 After the Lviv ascent to the High Castle, Prague hills are only a joy to me!
Prague Castle is a huge complex of temples, defenses and palaces. He bears the proud title of the largest fortress in the Czech Republic. The fortress is the seat of the Czech president nowadays (the largest presidential residence in the world!). But in the distant Middle Ages, it served not only as a fortress, but also was the habitat of the Czech Kings and Emperors of the Roman Empire!
Just right after climbing the stairs, I found the entrance to the fortress, which is called the “Matthias Gate”. There are “nice” guards at this entrance, so all the tourists want to take pictures with them 🙂 It turned out that this “entrance” is actually an “exit”, and the real entrance is on the other side!
After a thorough search by the presidential guard, I managed to get through the main entrance.
When I was walking around Prague in the morning, I was amazed by the scale of historical buildings! It doesn’t matter whether they are temples, churches, fortresses, or simply houses of a wealthy nobility. Everything speaks of the greatness of the city, with the sharp peaks rushing into the sky! 🙂
But here, in the Prague Castle, everything looks just gigantic, so it doesn’t fit into any camera lens!
My main goal of visiting Prague Castle was the most beautiful temple in Prague – St. Vitus Cathedral! I went there.
St. Vitus Cathedral
When you go through the arch, you will see this great shrine! I’m not a Photoshop master, but I managed to create some kind of panorama 😉
Such scale cannot be described in words, only in numbers!
Just imagine that:
- the length of the main nave (inner hall) is 124 meters! So, the former sprinter Usain Bolt would run this distance for about 11 seconds! 😉
- the height of the Great South Tower is 96.5 meters.
- there are two 82-meter-high stone towers on the west side with a 10-meter round window in the form of a rosette between them.
The construction of the temple is truly the largest unfinished building! It was started back in 1344, and completed construction was 600 years later – in 1929! 🙂
In front of the cathedral, you will see the “Tourist Information” area, where you can buy tickets for all kinds of excursions and expositions of Prague Castle.
In the same place, if necessary, you can exchange bills for “coins” – I needed to do this, because, I wanted to buy a 3-in-one travel card around Prague. It allows you to use a bus, tram and subway. How and where you can save money in Prague, I would like to tell you in a separate article with Life hacks 🙂
After visiting St. Vitus Cathedral, a pleasant surprise awaited me – that was the Solemn Changing of the Guard at 12 noon.
Hundreds of onlookers watched this action, I wasn’t an exception! 🙂
They were moving to the Gates of Matthias, where one of the exits from the Prague Castle is located. Since, I still didn’t finish exploring the St. Vitus Cathedral, I decided not to go out through the gate.
After finishing exploring everything around the Prague Castle, I went to the exit. Just near the Basilica of St. George, I noticed a sign with the inscription “Golden Lane” (Zlatá ulička), which is not free until 16:00 in the autumn-winter period, so you have to have a ticket to go there. Here is also an excellent observation deck, which offers stunning views of Prague. At this moment, I decided that I need to return here in the evening and enjoy the view of evening Prague.
Petrin hill (Petřín)
Well, I really love mountains, hills and views from above. Therefore, according to my plan, the next destination was Petrin Hill. Since I was already tired of walking a bit, I decided to buy a travel card for 3 days. It can be done almost at every bust stop or subway. I went down to the “Malostranská” station, bought a travel card, and after that Google maps built the most convenient tram route to the foot of the hill, which is “Újezd” tram stop.
There is a funicular at the top of the hill, but, unfortunately, it was closed for repairs. This fact did not upset me at all, because I could climb and walk along the forest paths! 🙂
There is a stunning view of Prague from the top of Petrin Hill.
There are a few more things you can visit nearby: the Petrin Lookout Tower with an observation deck, the Stefanik Observatory, the Church of St. Lawrence or just walk around the park.
The time was already past noon, so I decided to go taste the local Czech cuisine.
My Quest for food
I was going the same route as Masha Sebova, from the “New Channel”, so I decided to find the same place where I could find “cheap” food.
After watching her video, it turned out to be a mystery how to find the right subway station and restaurant where the presenter dined. Apparently, during the mounting of the program there were no Czech letters, so they decided to replace the letters with similar ones in English.
But in Czech, everything will be different, literally:
- the subway station – Anděl;
- the full and correct name of the restaurant is “Kozlovna Lidická“.
By the way, here is a video of this program “Абзац” (The Paragraph).
The prices, I would say, are not the lowest ones, because Kozlovna is a good respectable restaurant, but also slightly cheaper than similar cafes in the center.
I ordered this dish – Velkopopovický guláš, špekový knedlík, cibulka, chilli. It was very satisfying, tasty and unusual for only 200CZK, which is $8.77!
The Czech cuisine impresses with its abundance and variety of meat, so it will be difficult for a vegetarian to find something for himself from the “traditional” cuisine! 🙂
The time quickly moved towards evening, and according to my plan for today, I still have to visit 2 more attractions.
I wanted to see this street, but put it off for later. It is located in the same Prague Castle, where I was in the morning.
As I mentioned earlier, it is not free during the day. However, you can go there if you buy tickets to visit A and B areas – the price is 250CZK and 350CZK.
The Golden Lane works:
- April – October – 09:00 – 17:00, every day
- November – March – 09:00 – 16:00, every day
Since I didn’t buy any sightseeing tickets to Prague Castle, so my idea was to get there after 16:00 just to see what it is.
Golden Lane (Zlata Ulička) is interesting because it has really modest houses. All the buildings are very tiny and they are vivid representatives of the “small” buildings of Prague Castle.
Here in a house No. 22, where was weaving and working a German-language writer – Franz Kafka in 1916-1917. During World War II, the fortuneteller and clairvoyant Matilda Prushova from house No. 14 predicted the fall of the Third Reich, for this fact she was tortured in the Gestapo prisons.
The street itself is quite short, tiny, bright and unique – and deserves attention!
It was getting dark – so, it was perfect time to take a look at evening Prague from a height! That is why I returned to Prague Castle.
There was a final chord of the first day, so I decided to take a walk in the center of the old part of Prague with the name “Stare Mesto” (Staré Město).
Prague Astronomical Clock
Prague Astronomical Clock – it is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world! 🙂
They are located directly on the Old Town Square, mounted on the Old Town Hall tower’s wall.
You can find very detailed information about them in Wikipedia, but I will touch on very little information. So, every hour from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. you can watch a medieval performance on the Prague chimes! Therefore, hundreds of tourists gather at the near the clock to see this action.
Before they beat off the “hour”, the chimes come to life! The windows are opening and performance begins! There are many figures appear in the windows and do their part. The most interesting figure for tourists is “The Death”, which turns the hourglass. Everything comes to the end with the crows of a rooster!
After this very interesting event I decided to finish my first very busy day in Prague.
Couchserfing realities, Plan B
From the very beginning, as soon as it became clear that “I will go to Prague”, i.e. I will go in my first “solo trip”, I decided to try to find a host on couchsurfing.com.
My search criteria were very strict – I would like to stay with a couple (boyfriend + girl) or with a girl 25-34 years old, in addition they would not be students (although the students are also excellent), well and still, they should have free time at least in the evening to walk around Prague. I sent a couple of dozens of requests and finally I managed to find where to stay! 🙂
At the last moment, it happened that my host got sick (it’s also autumn in Prague after all), she fell ill with the temperature and cannot accept me! At that moment, “Plan B” came into effect, which should always be on all occasions when you are traveling!
When I was on the way to Prague, I woke up at about two in the morning and found a message from my host in Prague (she wrote her message earlier, but I found it at night) 🙂 It was time to find a place where to live! Without further ado, I decided to use booking.com. When I was still at home, I take a look at the hostel prices, and designated an acceptable price of $6-9 per day.
Why did I decide to choose hostels? – That’s because my plans were to save money on food and cook breakfast and dinner by myself since most of the hostels have a kitchen.
Most recently, I wrote a very useful and detailed article with tips on how you can save on accommodation on booking.com.
I opened a Booking.com app on my phone, applied filters, sorted by price, checked the distance from the center and chose the most suitable option for me. It was $15 for two days. With a calm soul I went to bed.
A Three Star Hotel for the price of a Hostel!
In the evening, when it was time to move towards the hostel, I decided to check what kind of kitchen they had there. I flipped through the photos on the site several times, read reviews. In the end, I came across the phrase “great view from the 14th floor …“. I’ve never been in such high hostels …! Okay, I will figure it out! So, I turned off the phone and jumped into a suitable tram 🙂
After 20 minutes when I almost fell asleep in a tram car, I decided to check whether I still have to go far or not. Oh, Gods, I’m going in the wrong direction !!! 🙂
Well, the day was too long, so fatigue gave its way!
After another 40 minutes, I was already nicely welcomed at the reception of a three-star hotel “a&o Prague Rhea“. I became an owner of a cozy single room on the 11th floor with a huge double bed and a TV for only $7.5 per day!
The plan was to take in a shower, but yet you need to have dinner! But this hotel doesn’t have any kitchen …
When I was sorting out with my backpack, I discovered a brilliant adaptation of mankind – a small boiler! 🙂 It’s great that I took this tiny thing with me is a trip! Now I can make unlimited tea and even cook something! 😉
I found the nearest supermarket “Billa” on Google map, bought everything I needed and made a royal dinner – soup with sausages and brie cheese, tea with sandwiches!
A new day was already waiting for me, as well as new adventures and emotions! On the second day in Prague I decided to fulfill my old dream. So, I went to the Prague Zoo!
See you in my next story! 🙂