I was not surprised to see hordes of tourists at Prague – it is definitely the current flavour of the wayfarer trail. The city offers all you may expect from a European city, on a platter. But you must let the traveller in you go beyond the usual circuit to discover the quirkiness and character that a heady concoction of history lends to it.
Great from: Flight connections from Delhi to Prague are most frequent and reasonably priced.
Great for: The city is a delightful blend of the old and the new! Great for families as well as backpackers.
Indulge in: Admire varied architectural styles; amble down the cobbled streets of Old Town; sample street delicacies and the beers, oh the beers; and if nothing else, absorb the stunning cityscapes.
Top tip: Autumn is a lovely time to visit the city. There is a nip in the air and there are vibrant hues of yellow, red and brown all around. Also, cycling around the city is highly recommended; so go rent a bike!
The capital of the historic Bohemian region, Prague was integral to the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance eras; it was the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors; as well as an important city of the Austro – Hungarian empire. The magnificent architecture of the old city is testimony to its significance. As you walk down the streets, you will still find remnants and undertones of the Iron Curtain, peeping through from wall graffiti and posters.
So here is my list of top things to do at Prague:
1. Go for an early morning walk in the Old Town (before the crowds wake up!). Old town (also known as Stare Mesto) is famous for the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town hall tower and the Church of Our Lady before Týn.
2. Explore the local markets; you may just discover interesting souvenirs here. Do check out the marionettes; puppets controlled from above using strings. Interesting trivia – A marionette’s puppeteer is called a manipulator!
3. Get a healthy dose of old world – cathedrals, castles, they are all here. If architecture fascinates you, this is the place – you will find Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau, Cubist, Neo-Classical and ultra-modern styles….phew!
4. Cross the Vltava River over the Charles Bridge and soak in the picturesque cityscapes. Charles Bridge is also home to many street musicians and artists.
5. Relish the Wursts (sausages) and Trdelník (sweet pastry) – delicacies easily available at the street cafes. No trip to a city is complete without trying out the local specialities. And if you love the spirits, do not forget to order in a Czech dark beer.
6. You can’t miss the wall art. It’s omnipresent and wacky.
7. Bring in dusk as lights start twinkling across the city. Walk down the quiet roads near Castle hill all the way to the river promenade. Getting around the city is a breeze – trams, cycles or good old walking – they are all plain easy!
An economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi and an MBA from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar, Gitika started flirting with photography in 2011 and it has been a constant companion ever since. She enjoys taking photographs related to travel, humanitarian causes, festivals and celebrations and once in a while, likes to connect dots and find the common thread between images of people and places. You can view some of her work here.