10 October 2012

Our top tips for Prague

{ Prague snapped at night by Morgs - a view of the Charles bridge from the side with the Palace in the background }

Praha. Where do we begin with beautiful, beautiful Praha. The whole city & experience shot straight up to one of our favourite places so far. We had heard wonderful things about Prague, as we're sure you have to, but it's not until you go there & experience the city & vibe & sights yourself that you truly understand what is so extraordinary about this vast city. 

And extraordinary & vast it is! It was, without a doubt, love at first sight - or arrival if we were to speak in travel terms.

What we realised though, is the city really is so huge, & so eclectic - with a bustling city on one side & a beautiful hilly park on the other - that we would do our own 'how to' or 'guide' to Prague to help future adventurers plan there own days there. 

p.s Before hitting each new city Morgs & I google till our keyboards are worn out on the history of a town, learn a few of their words in the local language and find out what's on offer so we can best plan our days so we really do feel quite qualified to offer you this advice....

So grab a cup of coffee (or tea if you're that way inclined - like my mum, HI MUM!!) & settle in for ....


1. Walk Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge was a 'how cool we're really here & really walking this piece of history' moment for sure, and something we truly enjoyed doing. We had actually found the bridge by accident whilst walking to find a quaint cafe in old town but had in fact slapped it on our to do list the day before so it was divine timing - which has happened this whole trip for us, I'm putting it down to my Nanna, thanks Nan.. But don't worry, you don't need divine timing & my Nanna as your guardian angel to find it, the crowds are a dead give away. The bridge itself is 621 meters long & is lined with statues, buskers and merchants offering their goods for this & that euro. We were told through our googling it is considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic style buildings in the world - and when we got there, we could see precisely why. We walked slowlyyyyy slowly soaking in every sight & sound possible & stopped at almost every - ok no I lied, it was every single stall that was doing characteruters of tourists paying to have there's done - it was so incredible & fun to watch their cartoon transform on paper in front of us. The views alone of Prague that you can see from every vantage point on the bridge are worth the adventure itself as you can stand and soak in the Vltava river & get some great shots of this area. Don't forget to make a wish at the statue of a saint with 5 stars & a small dog that allegedly comes true ... you just rub the area that a million other tourists have rubbed, and voila...wish come true - stand by for an update if ours does!! - FACT: Morgs & I had in depth negotiations over coffee that morning pre bridge visit to succinct our wishes so we had extra wish power by wishing for the same thing, genius idea we know & we're happy to share the idea for future wish placers like yourself. 

2. Visit & get lost in old town

This was by far our favourite area of Budapest and where we spent the most time. If you couldn't find Morgs & I you didn't have to look any further than old town, where we could be found wandering every street stopping when we fancied for the 12th cappuccino of the day...or for cheesecake, or for lunch or for every other delicious thing you can imagine. We really (did I mention really?) adored old town and loved every knook & cranny, every ally way & every groovy little cafe that all offered seats in the sun to watch the world go by. If you only have one day in Prague - this is where you should spend it. 

3. Marvel, yes, Marvel at the Astronomical clock

So there is a remarkable story behind the clock but should you ever go to Praha and partake in said marvelling at it's size & detail I wouldn't dare want to spoil the story & fun for you. Let's just say, the clock, since it's beginning was the main attraction that brought merchants from across the seas to sell their goods but more so to see the clock, but by bringing their goods, it also brought many other people & money to Praha. The architect of the clock had something terrible happen to him from masked men (therein lies the story!) & so he went & destroyed part of the clock and then, sadly, and allegedly died of a broken heart. It wasn't until some Two hundred years later, that another clock 'genius' figured out how to fix and return it to it's full working capability - and it still works today. Local legend has it though, that when the clock strikes & rings out on the hour you can still hear the architect laughing in joy that the culprits who inflicted the terrible incident on him never got to hear it work again. It's incredible, it's huge and it is in the middle of old town so is an absolute must see. 

4. Do the 2 hour bus tour around all of Prague

{Pretty views out of our window}

It shouldn't surprise anybody - who follows the blog - that Morgs & I jumped on another bus tour of a new city...we still maintain it is the best way to see a city first up and to learn of it's rich history. This took us all through Praha - including through the Jewish quarter & up near the palace so it was the perfect way to suss out what we wanted to go back and see, where we wanted to visit... and of course not to mention how much we learnt in those lovely 2 hours. Being huge walkers and huge 'let's run around like crazy tourists every waking minute of the day', the 2 hours sitting quietly on a bus is actually a serene time to relax & take everything in not on foot. It cost us $15 euro each & was worth every cent. 

5. Visit the Palace

Just another Palace? - you would understand this statement if you've been to Vienna..where there are palaces everyyywhere. Nay.. It's not just another palace. Why? Because the President of Vienna actually operates & has his offices inside the palace so it's a living breathing official royal place. Very cool!! Very cool indeed. Not to mention there is tonnes to do & even more to see once inside the big pretty golden gates. Our most favourite part about the palace &  our visit though & something we personally think you should go for even just for this alone is.... The palace gardens - even if you're not in to gardens, don't think we're lame garden people. Morgs & I actually walked up to the palace gardens the day after the initial visit just to marvel at it's beauty again. It is stunning. And the views of Praha you get from a top here are honestly unbeatable. 

6. Ice Bar & Karlovy Lazne (5 story club in Prague)

So if you're in to nightclubs & music then this is a must see - otherwise obviously don't do it. You can visit the ice bar seperatley during the day if you so wish but seeing as though it costs to get in to the ice bar, and costs to get in to the night club we just went to the ice bar at night & only paid the one price to enter the nightclub as the ice bar is just another area on the 'ground floor' of the nightclub - ahh the tricks you learn once travelling. Admittedly it's all a rip off in terms of entrace fee's and drink prices - we're talking Perth prices compared to Europe prices everywhere else - but was a fun experience and something we ticked off our to do list! We had a few drinks, explored all 5 levels of the nightclub, danced to some old 90's music & I busted out to some hip hop - each floor has a different genre of music - & then like the crazy kids we are these days....were still home in bed by midnight.  

7. Underground Catacombs tour

{Terrible photo of me but a true indication of the emotion I was feeling on the tour! A lot of fun but a lot of fear}

Now this is an absolute must do. We were both very well aware going in to each new and very old city - Naples & Rome included - that there would be the option to do catacomb tours. But alas, there was just something about Prague that we knew this was the city we'd do it in, and aren't we glad we made that decision as it was a highlight of our Prague visit! What happened, which is what we're learning has almost happened in every city we've visited, is that as the centuries plod along, new cities are just literally built on-top-of old cities. So as you walk & live & sip your coffee in new cities like Prague, far below you are whole cities and passageways that were once a vibrant city. We had done our tour at night - which is when you do them - booking what was to be just a simple tour to learn the history, not a ghost tour or a scary tour or anything like that. BUT... it's exactly what it turns in to!! You enter the Catacombs through a long downward stair case behind a locked door under the Astronomical clock - I know I couldn't believe it either! & you're handed a lantern. I had thought the whole thing would be lit with electricity so panicked a little when I knew I was going to be underground, in the dark, with a dimly lit lantern - now is a bad time to admit I'm scared of the dark- but panicking & darkness aside...we pressed on like the professional tourists we are! You're then taken for an hour through rooms & passageways & doors & huge scary dark old houses with big wells whilst being told stories of the history of this old underground city. What got me though was after the city was built on top of, and they realised that you couldn't hear the screams or noises from the new town from 'down there'....they turned it in to a prison where people waiting to be executed were tortured & we were such stories like when a prisoner died, their dead body would be thrown in the well for other prisoners to smell & see - which was another form of torture for the remaining prisoners  The picture above came from the scariest part of the tour for me that Morgs thought was hilarious (due to my panicking, not the history)...we had just stepped in to a huge room through a thick wooden door & I immediately started sweating even though the room was cold, and I mean s-w-e-a-t-i-n-g. I burnt up, felt sick and got stomach pains. I turned to Morgs & quietly said something is wrong, this room isn't good I'm truly in pain...the guide then started up his spiel of the history of the room and low & behold...it was the room where the actual torture itself took place and where the executioner tortured & killed all the prisoners!! Cue spooky music right? Don't worry, I was freaked out too. It was one of the most fun/scary/exhilarating tours we've done on the trip so far & a MUST DO if you're headed to Prague. 

8. Walk everywhere

{ We found a tiny hole in the wall on our walks that sold traditional czech sweets, which we devoured}

"Wow Anna, how different, how insightful". Oh stop it I know I should be an in depth travel writer - not. But honestly, by not catching one piece of public transport the whole time & seeing the city the old fashion way - with two feet & a heartbeat as they say, we saw Prague in so many different ways & got to see things we'd never find on a tram or bus. One day we clocked over 22km by foot but it was one of the best days there as we happened to find by accident the Jewish quarter, the Spanish synagogue, new town (just past old town, who'd have thought! ha) and tonnes of different ally ways with gorgeous cafes where we stopped at for cappuchinos & milkshakes (milkshakes yes, a new addiction we have acquired on the trip, along with nutella, & croissants). Walking Prague will give you the best experience it offers - which is a pretty amazing one at that.

9. Petrin Hill & the Observation Tower

{View from a top the Observation Tower }

This was an absolute highlight for us - although really, what wasn't - as we adored how one minute we were in the depth of a vast bustling city, and walking a few km's up a stunning hill you're all of a sudden in lush forrest .. all whilst still in Prague! The Observation Tower & Petrin Hill is the highest point of Prague and offers stunning views - naturally, and some beautiful scenery that is green green green! We walked the hill but rest assured people who actually like to relax on their holiday and not walk everywhereee, there is a tram type cart that can take you up to the top. My advice if you'll have it though is to walk it though as it truly is a magical hike through quiet trees & nature. Once you reach the top you find the Observation Tower that is actually a mini replica of the Eiffel Tower - fabulous! We climbed to the top of this & from there saw spectacular 360 degree views of Prague. Don't rush this experience. I noticed tonnes of people reaching the top, snapping a few quick photos then begin the descent down. Soak in the fact you're a top Prague with stunning views & don't just witness it through your lens camera. Share a smooch, a high five or some wow moments once you get there & it makes the experience all the more worthwhile. 

So that's it - our 4 days summed up in to a what to or how to of Prague. There was plenty more we did too, like visit a chocolate museum - that kept our chocolate & red wine nights a go go - & the Spanish Synagogue but they were our own fun little experiences shared & you will find your own extra activities too.  It truly was one of the most amazing cities we've visited yet though & we adored every second of it. 

Love & Light xx


  1. Hi Anna, I´m glad you both liked our capital so much. You reminded me with the astronomical clock, we have a saying here when somebody stares strangely that he´s staring like a tourist at the astronomical clock :D And you´re right, a walk on the Charles bridge holds an amazing atmosphere. Once I saw there a jazz band playing. Just awesome. Hope you´re both OK and have no difficulties on your journey ;)

  2. I am loving all your posts Anna! You guys are taking the time to explain each city and not just doing the usual 'we went here, did this'

    Love it all! xxxx

  3. P.S your face in the underground tour.....PRICELESS!


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