This article has been quite hard to write as some of the most attractive things about Prague are rather more esoteric than a simple list allows. However, here are my top five and I would be interesting to hear what other people have on their list of top five things to see in Prague.
I think that Prague Castle has to be number one on this list. It is a stunning place in and of itself but it is also has a beautiful view out across the city and so is a great place for first time visitors to get a feel for Prague. The castle and its view are especially beautiful in the early evening when the crowds of tourists begin to thin and the sunset provides a magnificent backdrop. Within the grounds of the castle there are several museums, gardens and the stunning St Vitus Cathedral. Plan several hours to do it all justice.
The Charles Bridge is directly between the castle and the Old Town and is one of the most beautiful medieval bridges left in existence. The bridge can get extremely crowded with tourists and hawkers so rise early if you want to see it at peace, you sometimes have to fight your way across in the high season. At the busiest times visitors are advised to beware of pickpockets on the Charles Bridge, often working to distract and disorientate visitors.
The Old Town Square and its Astronomical clock feature prominently in many guidebooks and with good reason. The traditional centre of the city is still a rowdy and functional meeting place but with some of the most stunning architecture in Europe. The restaurants on the square are usually overpriced and rubbish so look elsewhere to eat but the square is a great place to stroll, enjoying your surroundings and company.
Wenceslas Square is not that pleasant in itself, being set in the New Town and containing chain shops and bars catering to the younger visitors. However, the square is still interesting as it was here in 1968 that Soviet tanks crushed the nascent Prague Spring, effectively condemning Eastern Europe to another twenty years of communist domination. With its history and current occupiers the square is an interesting juxtaposition of warnings from Prague’s past and future.
At the top of Wenceslas Square is the main building of the Czech National Museum. This contains some fascinating exhibits in a sumptuous setting although some of the presentation lacks finesse and will seem boring to younger visitors. The stuffed animals are sure to be a hit however. The staff are friendly and helpful and speak English and usually German very well.
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