(Photo by: Infrogmation of New Orleans)
Caption: Prague’s John Lennon Wall is modern street art at its finest!
Biggest and Best Perks of Prague
When Czechoslovakia was under communist rule, Prague was the city that you had to visit but that you didn’t visit. Now, Czechoslovakia is the independent Czech Republic, and tons of tourists flock to Prague annually to see everything glorious this city had hiding behind its former iron curtain. Prague is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has architecture from so many different periods that you simply cannot keep track of it all. Prague is also a party city, with a rich nightlife, bountiful art and street culture scene, and some of the best beer in the world. That’s right – Germany might even have to take note of Prague’s famous brew! There is so much to do in Prague that I simply cannot list it all. I can, however, tell you about some of the biggest and best perks of visiting Prague, Czech Republic!
Check out Prague’s Architecture
Prague is famous for its architecture – UNESCO famous, as a matter of fact. One of the best ways to view the structures is to wander through the Old Town district of the city. The Czechs call it Staré M?sto, but you’ll call it amazing. Throughout Old Town Prague, you’ll find architecture from the Art Nouveau, Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance periods. Notable buildings include the Convent of St. Agnes and Prague’s Municipal Hall. Take a gander at the Museum of Communism, the Mucha Museum, and the Museum of Czech Cubism while you’re in Staré M?sto as well! Each presents an informative and unique take on this great city’s history.
Check out Prague Castles
Prague also has a Castle District, which is mighty impressive if you think about it. I mean, wow, do they actually have that many castles? Kind of! It’s not so much that Prague has a district filled with castles as it that has a district with the biggest castle complex on earth. Yep! Prague Castle holds the distinction of being the largest medieval castle complex on our planet, so plan on taking several hours to wander through this glorious crib. It was once home to Czechoslovakia’s king; now it’s home to the Czech Republic’s president. You’ll see the castle itself, complete with a throne room, a chapel, an art gallery, a basilica, and some very impressive staterooms. There’s also St. Vitus Cathedral on the castle grounds and some really awesome gargoyles!
Check out Some Serious Street Art
After you’ve been blown away by the beauty of Prague’s artistic past, head over to the John Lennon Wall to be blown away by the beauty of Prague’s artistic present. Prague has a very eclectic street art scene. No matter where you are in the city, you’ll see artists working in numerous mediums. You might see street musicians, dancers, and other forms of artistic expression, but one of the most interesting examples of street art in Prague is the John Lennon Wall. During Prague’s communist regime, people fighting for peace and love began to litter the John Lennon Wall with graffiti. Of course, the police repeatedly whitewashed the wall, to no avail: The messages of peace reappeared nightly. Now, this unique expression of anti-communism is a wonderful testimony to the expression of street art in Prague.
Check out Some Prague Animals
If you’ve brought your kids along to Prague, they’re probably pretty cranky by now. Kids can only appreciate Baroque architecture and museums for so long – try five minutes – before they catch a serious case of the whines and you need a serious case of the wines. Don’t worry. Prague’s got you covered! Surprise your little ones with a visit to the Prague Zoo. Alongside just about everything else in Prague that has the reputation of being the best in Europe, so does the Prague Zoo. Your kiddies will have 111 acres of land filled with every animal imaginable to see. In fact, the Prague Zoo is home to more than 4,500 animals, birds, and… eww, reptiles. This perfect prescription to cure the whines should score some serious parental brownie points!
Check out Prague Food
Another thing Prague does really well is food, but hey, what European city doesn’t? As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Prague has an amazing beer and nightlife scene, so if you didn’t bring the kids along, go crazy! You have to consume more sustenance than just beer, however, and one of the biggest and best perks of Prague is the innumerable restaurants serving amazing food. Some notable establishments are:
- Kampa Park: Want to hobnob with celebrities and politicians like Lauren Bacall, Mick Jagger, and Bill and Hillary Clinton? Then enjoy dining and clientele at its finest at Prague’s Kampa Park. Alongside some impressive diners, you’ll find amazing, amazing food. How about enjoying a plate of wonderfully seared fresh scallops? Or perhaps you’d prefer lamb prepared with gnocchi infused with truffles. Okay, I’m hungry! And the restaurant has a beautiful outdoor dining area to boot!
- Ku?e V Hodinkách: Are you more of a beer and rock and roll kind of person? No problem! You can let your hair down and rock out at the rebellious Ku?e V Hodinkách. This pub/restaurant was banned by the communists and has a bar area for the serious partiers as well as a quieter basement for those wanting a tamer Prague pub experience. Eat light with the pub’s famous chicken Caesar salad or pig out with some authentic goulash and bacon dumplings. Wash it all down with, of course, a Prague brewski!
- Branický Sklípek: Let’s keep our rowdy beer theme going and check out Branický Sklípek. This is an authentic beer hall and one of the few left in Prague. You have to experience a beer hall when in Prague; they’re so much fun! Alongside beer, naturally, you’ll find reasonably priced and truly authentic Czech food on the menu… which is in Czech, so bring your translation book! If you order purkmistrová mísa, you’ll be eating some super pork, dumplings, and the best sauerkraut around… I think! Double-check me!
- Les Moules – If you’re loaded to your ears in fantastic Eastern European food and want to taste something a little different, Les Moules offers Belgian cuisine that is, in some cases, lighter than the heavy goulashes you’ve been enjoying. Les Moules serves mussels and fresh lobster as well as steak, pork, and a boeuf bourgignon (that’s beef burgundy to us!) that is to die for. Enjoy lighter sauces, such as the restaurant’s famous white wine, cream, and garlic marinière to compliment your dish.
Okay, y’all: If this hasn’t convinced you to book your trip, pack your bags, and go see the biggest and best perks of Prague, I honestly don’t know what will! You really cannot beat this magnificent city. You have art, culture, history, a raging nightlife, and some of the best food around. What else could you possibly need? Oh, yeah! Your tickets! Come on! Book ‘em!