5 Must-Do Things When In Prague
The historic city of Prague often termed as the ‘city of thousand spires’ is a great travel spot in Central Europe. With its cityscape lined with Gothic and Baroque architecture and cobbled streets enveloped in a joyous atmosphere, one can never get enough of the quirky charm the city has to offer. Despite its recent commercial success with snake charmers and Thai massage parlours springing up around the main square, Prague still has something for every traveller.
This past summer, I backpacked across Eastern Europe with my sister. Having reached Prague from Krakow (Poland), I must say I was slightly disappointed with its touristy vibe. However, the dilapidating picture in my head slowly gained clarity as we explored the city on foot. I quickly came to realise that there was so much to do away from the crowds.
If you ever find yourself in Prague, these would be my top 5 things to do:
1.Visit the Astronomical Tower and the Old Town:
Walk around the Old Town in sensible shoes, because lets face it, the picturesque cobbled streets are not fashion friendly. This area gives you a sense of how the city looked like a few hundred years ago with its pristine architecture. The greatest attraction is the Astronomical Clock, the largest preserved Medieval mechanical clock. Though, not usually crowded, climb its tower to get an enchanting view of the city. Don't take the elevator, trust me. You can read the history of the clock as you make your way up.
2. Watch a ballet performance
The National Theatre hosts several Ballet performances throughout the year. Buy your tickets in advance for reduced prices and to avoid crowds. It's always better to take in an early show so you can continue the festivities of the evening that Praha has to offer. Its a great cultural experience to take in and transfixes you the minute the curtain rises. We were awfully lucky to watch the ‘Swan Lake’ which not only moved us to tears but also gave us serious fitness goals. Also, be aware that you can't take photographs inside the theatre.
3 Visit the Lennon Wall
Use the 15th century Charles Bridge to cross the Vltava river to reach the other side of town. Walk past tiny parks, elegant Churches and quiet cafes to find yourself in front of the rather discretely placed ‘Lennon Wall.’ Covered in graffiti dedicated to John Lennon and the Beatles, its a great place to sit around and soak in the atmosphere. Invariably, there will be small crowds playing the guitar, singing songs as a tribute to the greatest British pop band. Brush up your singing skills and meet travellers from ‘across the universe.’
4. See the breath-taking Baroque Library
A lover of books and art- the Klementium Library with its beautiful Baroque ceiling is definitely the place for you! Take the guided tour to the library to view the fresco ceiling decorated with gold while the sunlight trickles through the large window panes illuminating the dusty books. The library, indeed is still in use but you’d have to be great scholar to access it. Also, photography is banned. You'll need to take a mental picture to remember the view.
5.Eat a donut cone ice cream
With all the walking done, treat yourself to a delicious nutella-filled donut cone topped with fresh cream or even ice cream. This is by far the most ingenious dessert I’ve come across with two of my favourites combined as one. There’s an array of toppings and flavours to choose from and don't hesitate to buy another to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Finish your day visiting the flee market to pick up local spices and knick knacks, tasting wine and eating a scrumptious meal overlooking the sunset-lit river. I’m sure Prague will leave you fascinated just as it left my sister and I.