Prague, the city of a long-standing history and beautiful architecture. A place that I never visited before but had many expectations, all by the exceeded and more! It was absolutely amazing to experience Prague right ahead of Christmas and it really helped put me in a very festive mood.
We travelled with Jet2holidays had a really packed itinerary that I wanted to share with you in case you were wondering where to go and what to do in Prague and most importantly what to expect.
There is a vast choice of Prague flights every day from the UK. We flu with Jet2 from Manchester and the flight took less than 2 hours. You can beat that feeling of being able to experience amazing European culture and history at your fingertips. Flying to Europe from the UK is so convenient and budget friendly that if you ever feel stuck in the rut, you can pop over to one of the neighbouring countries and feel extremely inspired and cultured. Prague is so rich in history, culture and art that it made me so excited to visit again in spring.
Where to Stay
Occidental Praha Wilson was the hotel of choice via Jet2citybreaks. Located in the business centre of Prague the hotel provides a perfect base especially if you like exploring on foot. The city centre is only 2km away so you can walk to the Christmas Market with 15 minutes. The hotel is surrounded by restaurants and shops and if you are into shopping, this is a perfect location.
What to see
You can start your trip with a visit to Strahov monastery which is the oldest monastery in the Czech Republic and home to the incredible Baroque Strahov Library. The Strahov Library holds large collection of medieval manuscripts, maps and globes. Even Mozart himself visited in 1787 and improvised on the organ in the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady.
Prague Castle complex should definitely be on your list especially if you are visiting Prague for the first time. This is the largest inhabited castle complex in the entire world covering the area of 45 hectares. historical palaces, cathedral, fortification buildings and gardens. It also offers the most beautiful panoramic views of the Prague city. Alit it hosts one of the most popular Christmas markets in town, which was one of the main reasons of our visit.
From here walk down to Mala Strana, the most picturesque Prague neighbourhood. Male Strana is also called Lesser Town offering the views of the Vitava river into the old town. You can come here for the large variety of restaurants and traditional pubs nestled within its narrow streets. You will also find John Lenon Wall here which is a very big tourist attraction in Prague. The wall is located on the Kampa island which has been declared the second most beautiful city island in the world by VirtualTourist.
Few minutes walk from the John Lenon Wall is the Charles Bridge that leads into the old town. This is Prague’s oldest bridge holding fortifies towers on each end. The bridge contains 30 Baroque sculptures and sculptural groups placed on the balustrade was named after the Czech king Charles IV who had it built in the 14th century. The rumour has it that the bridge is haunted because of the events that took place in 1621. During the time of a Bohemian uprising against the then ruling power, the Hapsburg dynasty, 27 leaders of the revolt had their severed heads displayed on the tower on the bridge’s Old Town side. Apparently, they haunt the bridge now. The versions of the display are actually replicas of the 17th century originals put up during the 60s. These statues really add the extra charm to the bridge and this is definitely a must visit spot in Prague regardless of how many times you’ve visited before.
A few minutes on foot from the bridge is the Old Town Square and the Old Town Hall tower which is 70 meters tall and offers 360° views. Here you can see the most beautiful panoramic views of the city as well as the Christmas market. The oldest part of the complex consists of a beautiful Gothic tower with the famous astronomical clock.
Aside of beautiful architecture and historical important areas, the art scene of the city truly exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend a trip to Holešovice & Letná, Prague’s hip art district. The National Gallery’s modern art collection, highlighting the most famous works (Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky, etc.) in the Veletrzni palac (Trade Fair Palace). The impressive Trade Fair Palace is one of the first functionalist buildings in Europe. The interior is considered to be one of the most elegant spaces of the Czech modern architecture. Today, the palace houses the National Gallery’s collections of modern and contemporary art. The exhibitions taking place are really cool, hip and current with a raw edge.
The next stop on our art exploration plan was the visit to Dox Centre for Contemporary Art. This is a multifunctional space for presenting international and Czech art, architecture and design in a renovated complex of industrial buildings from the 19th century. DOX is considered to be a dynamic cultural platform and an arena for confronting varying approaches and trends. Visit to Vnitroblock, a multi-functional centre which combines a design store, café, gallery, dance studio and an underground cinema. One of the exhibitions that really stood out for me is The Hard Times, set up as a gym showcasing the hard times that our world currently faces.
After the Dox, we travelled to Karlín, an up-and-coming neighbourhood, with a blend of restored historical residential and industrial architecture and modern development. We walked up to scenic spot National Memorial on Vítkov Hill, which really offered beautiful views of the city. The National Memorial was bulit in honour of the Czechoslovak legionaries. The bronze statue of the Hussite leader Jan Zizka is one of the biggest equestrian statues in the world.
Where to dine
Prague food scene is quite vast and you will find yourself spoilt for choice. Expect local cuisine with a modern twist. Very delicious indeed. Here is the selection of restaurants we dined at that I can recommend.
Café Savoy, Vitezna 124/5, Prague 1
Kuchyň, Hradcanske nam. 186/1, Prague 1,
Restaurant Speciál, Hastalska 12, Prague 1
The Eatery, U Uranie 18, Prague 7
Eska, Pernerova 49, Prague 8
We had a guide that really showed us so much in a couple of days and I can recommend Mrs Eva Vondrusová enough. The number for Eva is +420 602 618 354
I hope you enjoyed this post. I worked in collaboration with Jet2 and Chezh Tourism Board to deliver this content to you.