SUSAN’S GUIDE TO PRAGUE

which is about living history, absinthe and fun!

Hop on the metro & make your way to the castle area.  Visit St Vitus Cathedral to see the Technicolor stained glass. Next stop should be Josefov, for at least a look through the gate at the old Jewish cemetery.  You will be spoiled for choice of where to eat and party, so enjoy this fabulous city. 

Good day:  doe-bri-den       Good evening: doe-bri-vecher

Hi/bye (informal) :  cau (chow) or ahoj (ahoy)

Please  :  proe-seem            Thank you  :  dj-coo-ee

Yes:  anoe     No:  nae          Cheers: naz-dravi!

GETTING AROUND

Metro runs from 5am – 0:20/trams have night service

tickets: 30 mins/  90 mins / 24 hr  (only validate once)

Buy from tabac shops, gift shops, hotels or from machines at stations.

VALIDATE before boarding/ Machines on buses, trams or at entrances to metro station / honour system with

frequent ticket checks, so take the time limitations on tickets seriously

There is also an extensive bus system, but you cannot buy tickets on board.

 

CASTLE QUARTER & CHARLES BRIDGE

Charles Bridge unites the old town with the castle area.  Dating back to 1300, it is lined with statues and saints.  During the day you will find jewellery, artwork and craftsmen displaying their unique wares. By evening, the musicians entertain you.  Watch for pickpockets who weave through the masses.

You can also climb the tower at either end, for a view of the river.

To Castle cross Charles Bridge & walk towards Church of St Nicholas   9am-5pm, 70kr

You can take tram 22, off at ‘Pražský hrad’ then turn left, 5 minutes walk to 2nd Courtyard of Castle,

or cross square and start walking uphill/ when road turns back on self, follow it up.

-The Castle Quarter is 26 sites, 5 courtyards, 6 gardens/ main court yard & gardens free & open 5am-12pm/  Sites operate 9am-6pm & price dependent on how many sites you want to see.

Changing of the guards every hour 7am-8pm, with the best one being at 11am.

St Vitus Cathedral: Within the castle grounds, lie the who’s who of Czech history and striking stained glass / entry free 9am-6pm

 

David Cerney’s peeing men. Cross Charles Bridge & right along waterfront to Kafka Museum on Cihelna St. 

Lehka Hlava (Clear Head veg rest) Borsov 2/280 / When you get to Charles bridge, turn left, walk along river to Karoliny Svetle which comes off at a diagonal; then turn left down Borsov. open 11:30-11:30pm/   3:30-5pm ‘warm kitchen pause’ / Reserve for dinner * everybody raves about this one

Karlovy Lazne : Prague’s first super club playing range of jazz, blues, reggae, disco, techno over 5 floors, in a converted mill house by Charles Bridge.  Very young crowd on some floors. adm fee

PETRIN HILL

Take tram 22 from St Nicholas, then funicular to top of hill/ or 20 min hike.

Petrin tower. Replica Eiffel tower with 299 stairs or lift  10am-10pm (Oct to 8pm)

Mirror Labyrinth A mirror maze from 1891.  10am-10pm (Oct to 8pm)

 

OLD TOWN AREA

Havelska market  Crafts, souvenirs and produce.  Buy fruit and wash in fountain midway down street  9-6pm

Sex Machines museum  Three floors of historical and modern sex equipment. If nothing else, look for the mannequin of a woman riding a special bike in the open lobby, and sit in the love chair to see how ‘Hot’ you are.  Grab a free brochure for an interesting souvenir.    Melantrichova 18  10am-11pm

Old town hall & tower  Climb tower 9am-10pm   105kr/  visit town hall interior 9am-6pm

Astronomical clock 1490, otherwise known as ‘is that it?  You can’t actually read the time on it but crowds gather every hour to watch what was a miracle, when it was first built.  You will see figures of the four worries of the day:  vanity, the money lender, death and the ottoman Turk.  Crowned by the 12 apostles, a rooster crows at the end and everyone claps.

The Astrological clock. Try to be there on the hour when it goes off.

The Astrological clock. Try to be there on the hour when it goes off.

 

Finest Belgian chocolate shop Chocolate covered fruit skewers, ice cream and rock candy  #10 Celetna St

Celetna crystal 15 Celetna St.  Popular & reputable shop for crystal & garnets. 10am-10pm. Customer toilet avail

Jewish section/Josefov  This small area reveals the horror lived by Prague’s Jews during WW2. It consists of 5 synagogues & a very crowded cemetery. The best is the Pinkas.  Names of every person who disappeared and the date they left are on the walls and on the top floor is children’s art from nearby Terezin concentration camp. The Spanish Synagogue contains a photo collection & old cemetery. Buy tickets from the Pinkas Synagogue, or avoid queues and buy at the Jewellery shop on Maiselova St (sign out front saying tickets for Josefov) / 9am-6pm  closed Saturdays

If you don’t have time for a visit, or it is a Saturday, walk up Maiselova street and turn left at U Stareho Hrbitova. At the end is the exit for the cemetary, and there is a place where you can look through the fence to see the tombstones stacked like dominoes.  This is also where you will find the market stalls, for interesting Jewish souvenirs.  I like the little Rabbi puppets.

 

Walking tours

Prague is awash with companies and students willing to show you the sites and history of this history.  Everything from a free general walking tour, to the communist era, the Jews, or a full day of history are available. They start in the Old town square at various times through the day.  Look for the guides holding umbrellas and the sign boards.  More info can be picked up at the tourist info centre beside the astronomical clock.