Advantages Amazing trip to a beautiful country
Disadvantages Not enough time to fit it all in
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
Like a previous review. I wrote my review of Prague as a diary of the things I did while I was there. There is of course much more to see and do but this is an example of a few things I found interesting.So we've arrived in Prague! Where to first? We collect our baggage, quite a short wait... and get a mini bus to the door of our hotel for CZ 840 return which works out at twenty one pounds, which for the length of the trip and for the fact they dropped us off at the door was very cheap! Beware though if youre going to Prague, the drivers are fearless, its a scary experience! TIP: The cheapest form of transport in Prague is definately public, the bus that leaves from the airport and the further tube to get into the city centre costs the equivalent of a couple a pounds, but you would need to be an experienced traveller and confident about finding your way. With a big bag and newly arrived in Prague, we opted for the mini bus (like a big taxi). This is cheaper than a standard taxi and is cheaper still if you can find some others to travel with you. coming off a Prague flight it shouldnt be too hard. It also takes you to the door of your hotel for a cost of CZ 840 return (approx 21 pounds return)... thats not bad for the comfort and safety! A taxi will cost you at least eighteen pounds each way! Also another thing to be aware of in Prague, before you travel in ANY taxi, make sure you agree the price upfront as a lot of drivers will attempt to charge you more than the standard fare if they think you are a naive tourist and they can get away with it!
We arrived at the hotel (U Tri bubnu) just after 2pm and checked in. Since we have an attic room, we have stunning views over the rooftops in Prague. We also have a TV with DVD player and free DVD rental from reception . It sounds weird being in prague and being delighted with a TV and DVD player but after youve saw the many sights Prague has to offer on a day, by the evening and night you are well and truely knackered and need the rest!First off we went for a wander around the old town square which is beautiful. We watched the astronomical clock strike the hour, a sight which everyone gathers to see to watch the moving figures when the doors open. TIP: Don't come to Prague without going to watch the clock strike the hour on the old sqaure... ok maybe nothing much happens, but its a quaint old tradition and is said to bring good luck!.. oh and its free!!)
We went for a nice meal in a hotel.. Cerna Liska! The food here is fantastic but its not one of the cheaper places. Its a good idea if you want a nice meal in a perfect setting. TIP: When eating in Prague, it is standard to tip the staff as service charge is not included. Most people round it up to the nearest hundred. Ie.. if your meal costs CZ 840, leave CZ 900. We had lemon chicken with fried veg, Mozerella Chicken with fried veg, a portion of what the menu called american potatoes (which turned out to the chips!), 2 diet pepsi's and 2 MASSIVE portions of tirimisu which worked out at CZ 1056 (about Twenty Seven pounds) This was due to the fact they put down a basket of all kinds of break with garlic butter, we assumed this was free as we didnt ask for it.... Ummm no,. they charged us for it!! . While the meal was lovely, Twenty Seven pounds was a bit excessive to say the least and we were quite shocked.So the first night was taking in the atmosphere and wandering around the beautiful old streets and in and out of the many shops. We also went for a night walk across the famous Charles bridge which is beautiful and a must for any visitor to Prague. It is lined with many old statues and had a lovely rustic feel. The views from here are amazing... including a magnificant view of a lit up Prague Castle and night boats sailing down the river.
We spent that night resting glad of the offer of free DVD. Next day started with a breakfast of toast with smoked cheese (which I loved), orange and coffee, we also tried a chocolate yoghurt which I wasnt too keen on. We then headed out to Prague Castle, but got considerably distracted enroute... or should I say lost! After several bickers about maps and where we were and who's fault it was, we managed to find a little pizza place to fill our bellies! TIP: This is the way to go on a budget... ok its not as nice as the meal we has last night and the pizza was a little dry, but it filled a hole. We paid CZ 440 (about 11 pounds) for massive amounts of pizza, 2 drinks and 2 chocolate brownies. We accidentally ordered too much and ended up with double what we needed. With full tummies and a pocket stuffed with pizza we headed out in search of Prague Castle.TIP: It was quite a walk to the tram stop (No's 22 or 23) at the Malostranska stop. You can take a 18 tram from the city centre to the Malostranska stop and then the 22 or 23 to the castle. We didnt have to pay....we found out much later you are meant to buy your ticket before you get on the tram. We took the hotel receptionists advice and got off at Prohoelec stop, which we later found out was 2 stops too late and took us through the old jewish town, which was actually really interesting.. if a little hilly. If you want to go straight into the castle, get off at the stop which is funny enough called Pratsky Hrad (Prague Castle). if you want to see more and are happy walking, go on 2 stops to Prohoelec. We walked and we walked and we walked, and eventually we ended up back on the road where we got off the tram, one stop down, so as my legs were ready to give way, we got on another tram (again for free) and took the one stop down to Prague Castle.
Now for anyone who goes to Prague, you have to go see Prague Castle (or Pratsky Hrad), it is amazing. You cannot get the front of this in a pic... its too big no matter how far away you stand!!! The sheer scale of it is massive and the architecture is stunning and really shows what the word breath taking means! You walk around a corner to something that looks like it belongs in a time centuries ago (it was built in 850 AD to be exact). The detail in the carvings means you have something to look at for hours, and you would still not see it all. The lack of pollution and traffic, and the location of Prague Castle on a high hill means the sculptures are free of errosion and are all very sharp and clear. We also were lucky enough to see the guards in full dress (pursued by 2 japanese tourists... one marching behind and one with camera!), marching down to change the guard, but we werent quite quick enough to follow them down.We paid CZ 200 each (Five pounds each) to get into the amazing St Vitus cathedral (Katedrála Sv. Víta) and took in the awe inspiring inside. The inside is freezing... actually colder than the outside, but that would be to do with the copious amounts of rather impressive marble work. The cathedral was built in 1344 by Emperor Charles IV, whose body lies underground in the crypt (which you can also go and see.... the crypt that is, not the body!). It has the most beautiful stained glass windows from floor to ceiling that I have ever seen. The ceilings and pillars are very gothic in design. The colours of the glass are spectacular. We should have some amazing photos of these, and I have some video footage also which we will post. It really does render you speechless. The various altars and statues were so intricate and beautiful, you almost feel spoilt for things to look at, there is so much! You could go around this building for hours over and over and still see something new each time. I could go on and on about how beautiful this place is but you really have to witness it yourself to believe it.
I remembered this from the last time I visited Prague and I loved it. The inside is very basic and old fashioned, crudely carved stone walls, lots of little alcoves, amazing ceilings and beautiful chandeliers hanging from it. It was used for banquets between 13th to 16th century. Unfortunately we didnt get to go in as we are on a budget and were sneakilly not told about the ticket you can buy to get into everything. We had paid the CZ 200 each to get into the cathedral and were now being asked for a further CZ 350 to get in to see the old palace. This was a futher 8 to 9 pounds each which we couldnt afford. TIP: For those who are going, if you pay CZ 350 at the start of your visit this entitles you to the entire tour (this doesnt mean a tour, it means you get into everything!), where you are given a card which gains entry into everything. Approx 9 pounds each for everything the castle has to offer is a fantastic deal! Just don't wander into building and pay the individual prices on the doors like we did, as we missed out on some beautiful stuff.So we wandered around looking at many beautiful buildings, taking many photos, by this time I was in pain from all the walking as there is so much walking to do. We got to the top and viewed the panorama that is Prague. The view is beautiful but it was somewhat spoilt by a massive crane and a noisy generator from men at work (or not as the case usually is). Again we have all this on video!
We began the descent and were tempted by the many stalls selling beautiful photos, paintings and prints of famous Prague landmarks. Since up to this point neither of us had bought anything, we decided to buy a couple of prints each as a souvenir.TIP: Dont buy the first thing you like that you see as the prints seemed to get cheaper the further down the hill you go. The vendors are quite puchy and will try to show you the most expensive prints and drawings, but dont be put off as they do this all day and will not be offended if you look and dont buy. You don't necessarilly need to buy prints here as Charles Bridge also sell some beautiful photos and prints.
After the Castle we were exhausted and as it was late, very hungry. We found a chinese restaurant hidden away on one of the streets off the Old Town Square. There is a board outside which shows numerous dishes and the prices beside. we thought we'd give it a go. Its up an alley and down in a rather scary looking lift. The place looks quite dingy and you wonder what kind of eating establishment it will be but it is a pretty little place with lovely RED embroidered seats and nice clean tables and covers. For anyone who's interested there is also an internet cafe beside it. We chose Sweet n Sour Chicken with boiled rice and decided as we were hungry to have a portion of noodles each as well. So it arrived! we had a nice little hotplate with a big plate of sweet n sour chicken with vegetables and a bowl with boiled rice and 2 plates for us to put it on. She then came over with a second hotplate with 2 massive plates of noodles.... One portion would have been more than enough for the noodles. As we began to seperate the Sweet n Sour, she came back with a third hotplate with another potion of sweet n sour and boiled rice! These big plates were 1 portion!!!! JEZUS! We ate loads... even left some noodles... the food was beautiful, and we were amazed when it came to CZ 568 (15 pounds) for this feast! More people need to find places like this!So, our last full day in Prague. We started off by going to a place we had passed the day before which looked interesting.... The museum of Medieval Torture.
It was fun and interesting, if a little gross in places. We took some funny photos. I had an accident with a spike filled iron maiden, where I pushed open a spring loaded door whilst climbing inside! That would have made for an interesting autopsy or at least a 200 quid payout from Youve been framed!.. It was a really interesting place and gave a real insight into what it was like to suffer from commiting a crime in the middle ages... they need to bring some of those back today! Although the small crimes which were punished is scary.... even things which are far from being cirmes were punished in the most horrible ways imaginable... homosexuality and suspectec witchcraft.TIP: If you have a interest in the macabre and different, visit the museum of Medieval Torture found just beside Charles Bridge in a shopping arcade and up the stairs. Entry is a mere CZ 120 each (3 pounds). Its definately worth a look.
After a delightful time in here, we went for a stroll over Charles Bridge in the daylight and marvelled at how wonderful the views are in light as well as dark.Next we wandered around the streets looking in the many shops, and taking in the atmos... after much wandering we went into a nice little cafe and had chocolate milkshakes and sundaes with chocolate and white ice cream, bananas, strawberries, cream, chocolate swrils and run in the bottom, they had proper strong czech chocolate ice cream which was just to die for!!! It cost CZ 396 for both of us (about 10 pounds) which was a bit pricey... well similar to UK prices actually, but we were tired, cold and in need of shelter, so paid it.
We ended our trip to Prague with a visit to the notorious Sex Machines Museum which was entertaining. There wasnt really an awful lot in there, but what there was, was indeed eye opening. Its worth going in just to do something a little different from the usual touristy thing.In short, Prague is fantastic. Get yourself over there.
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