Under siege. That’s how I would class any visit to Prague. A city of a hundred spires and home to amazing Gothic architecture untouched by the grubby hands of Communist block buildings and now under siege from stag do’s and tirades of tourists. According to most people we know, we were probably the only people on the planet who have not already visited. So in case there are any other hermits hiding under rocks and do want to go, we present our top picks of Prague.
Old Town Square
In some kind of twisted tradition, every major attraction we end up visiting seems to always have scaffolding draped over it. In this case, we made our way top the cultural capital of Prague’s old town square to see the Teutonic decadence of the astronomical clock. Completely covered and under repair. The streets around are of a forgotten age and much better explored.
The Charles Bridge
A pick pockets dream destination as you fight your way through the crown to the other side. Instead, head up the 14th century old town bridge tower for a sweeping view of Prague.
We enjoyed a slow walk around Prague castle taking in Golden Lane, St George’s Basilica and St Vitus Cathedral which dominates the high point. We were lucky enough to hear the tannoy alert system blaring out as though “air attack red” was underway as we were walking up the castle area. Straight out of the 80’s Cold War era but minus the wave of cold war bombers.
Admire the Art
I’m not quite sure I’d call the John Lennon Wall art, but there will be approximately one million people trying to Instagram the shit out of it while trying to look like they’ve just stepped off the cover from an 80’s album. Yes, someone with a guitar will rock up and play The Beatles. The Crawling Babies are freakishly huge with a slot for a face and will have kids climbing all over them. The Hanging Man is Sigmund Freud hanging on by one hand, probably fed up with the boozy Brit brigade. The Head of Franz Kafka has a mesmerising quality to it as it rotates through but not nearly as much as the controversial statue called ‘Piss’ which has two men taking a piss on the shape of the Czech Republic.
The Czech’s are the biggest beer drinkers in the world and you can get pretty pissed in Prague quite cheaply with conclusive proof that 20 pints the night before is great for a hangover the next morning. Hell, you can even have your beer delivered by train and I have absolutely no shame in admitting we ordered more drinks just for the kick of it, lost track of how many we had. Choo choo cheers I guess. The bottom of a beer glass is not the only sight though.
— Cookie (@nicholascook) February 9, 2018
St Wenceslas Square
The half mile long 14th century St Wenceslas square, named as in the good king who looked out on the Feast of Stephen as the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even. Though I suspect he lounged around to gawk at the improbable number of shops, strip clubs, hookers and hotels that adorn the place before giving alms to the poor.
The Prague Sex Machines Museum
There is a whole separate post on that here. It might make your eyes water though. Some of those items might look like they’ve been stolen from a back alley sex shop, not that I’ve been in one…
In summary, Prague has been lovely but we’ve probably made too many comparisons with Budapest which we thought was just as pretty and cheaper. Not that Prague has been expensive, you can eat cheaply or expensively and we paid beer prices from 35 to 79 CZK, which is a good job because Mrs Cook can knock the booze back better than anyone I know.
The transport system is a breeze and far from the unfriendliness of the UK. When you land, go to the yellow kiosk at the airport and buy a ticket for 80 minutes of travel costing 32 CZK which is £1.12! (you can pay by contactless card). Prepared to be squeezed on the 119 bus to the last stop which is the metro station at Nádraží Veleslavín and hop on the green metro A line to Staroměstská (Old Town Square). Prague has a very easy to use, cheap, efficient, reliable public transport system (take note UK government). An Uber back to the airport only cost us £11.
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