This capital city of Czech Republic in all its Bohemian splendour is a paradise for the urban explorer.
Nearly every hidden street in Prague boasts cobbled lanes, ancient chapels, century old pubs and more. What is the most rewarding moment is watching the sunset over its church domes with a pint of Europe’s best beer.
First impression: Prague is simply beautiful. There are possibly more words to describe this city, but what struck me instantly, was the view of the castle from the stunning Charles Bridge- a memory that will live with me forever.
The City: I couldn’t get enough of the spectacle of a 14th-century stone bridge, a hilltop castle, the astronomical clock which is an architectural wonder and a lovely river that seems to change its colour every hour – the Vltava. It is the same river that inspired Smetana’s Moldau - one of the most beautiful pieces in classical music.
Highlights: Undoubtedly, Charles Bridge which is adorned with baroque statues, numerous artists and buskers. Try to walk from the old town square all the way up to the castle for breathtaking views of the city. A visit to the Jewish museum and synagogues are haunting with a deep insight into the history of the great wars.
Food: I eagerly wanted to taste Bramboraky- potato pancakes shallow fried and seasoned with garlic and onions. I also savoured the Smažený sýr – batter fried cheese which all went down incredibly well with a large pint of Pilsner Urquell. To try some of the street food in the Old Town Centre, I had the Trdelnik- a sweet cinnamon flavoured Slovak-Czech hollow pastry bread roll that smells and tastes heavenly.
What made my visit even more fantastic was trying the pan fried barley with shallots and gherkins at a pub which opened in the year 1466! There is also a large variety of hearty cream-based soups and smoked meats that many will love.
People: Ethnic Czechs were referred to as Bohemians in English until the early 20th century. I saw friendly faces everywhere, right from the taxi driver, to the staff at my hotel and the artists I managed to speak to. Getting around is easy, but I still didn’t hesitate to ask a local for directions. Some even went out of their way to guide me to the Rudolfinum and let me know what’s on, when I expressed my love for classical music.
Truly Unique: The beer pubs made me laugh with their weird caricatures on the walls and menus. You can simply place a beer mat on the table and a pint is followed almost immediately after. There’s also street art across the city and cubist lamp posts that makes this century old city quirky, yet classic.
Getting there: Flights operate on a daily basis to Vaclav Havel Airport.
Rashmi Narayan is a London based freelance writer, currently working in Immigration and International Affairs with a strong passion for travel and food writing.