The second day in Prague and today is time for exploration of the right bank of Vltava, more precisely Staro and Novo mesto (Old and New town). Today we also used a subway to get to the city center, which is really easy to use, while the tram has caused us a bit of trouble. In the city, the tram stops every few ten meters, and you get tram (almost) everywhere.
At the beginning we had a problem, because we know where we want to go, but we do not know the name of the station and to which tram number we have to go. Dogs are also welcome in all public transports, so it’s not unusual to take a puppy with you. You can buy a public transport card in advance, it is valid from the time you use it for the first time. Once you buy a ticket, you have to pierce it, and since then the card is valid. If you have a car in Prague, you do not even miss it, as trains and trams run from early morning to midnight every few minutes.
Definitely, the most popular part of Prague is the City Square, where is a lot of restaurants, shops, inns, museums and ultimately street artists who give their charm to the market. Looking around the market, we can notice impressive Gothic buildings in pastel colors, decorated with interesting displays. You should not miss the tour of Our Lady before Tyna and the astronomical clock tower. A beautiful view of the mentioned building is from the roof terrace of Uprince Hotel. Prices are not low (coctail 6-8 €), but the prices outweigh the view of the market and the crowd of tourists who wander on it. While we were planning a visit to the terrace, they were just restoring the clock tower, which was wrapped in a blue grid during our visit, so we left the terrace for the next time.
We also did not see astronomical clock because it was under reconstruction. We had to satisfy ourselves by looking at the pictures of clock that were on the street. The astronomical clock is there since the 15th century, and it was reformed by master Hanus in 1490. The clock is considered one of the most demanding and oldest clocks ever made. The clock consists of three parts, from the astronomical dial, showing the position of the sun and the moon in the sky and Viennese astronomical images.
The second and most striking aspect of the clock are the moving 12 Apostles sculptures carved out of wood. They are located in the upper windows of the Astronomical Clock and appear every time the clock strikes the hour. Around the 12 disciples, there are four figures representing some of the capital vices, such as vanity, portrayed by a man looking at himself in the mirror, greed, illustrated by a man holding a moneybag, and a figure representing lust. There is also a sculpture of death, a skeleton that strikes the hour at the beginning of the parade.
The newest an the third part of the clock, dating from 1865, is a Calendar Dial painted by Josef Mánes. It represents the months of the year. The Dial also has medallions with all the zodiac signs and the Prague Old Town symbol in the centre.
While watching the clock, you should not miss a performance that takes place every hour between 9am and 11pm.
Try homemade goulash and traditional desser trdelnik
There are also many stalls and pubs with traditional food on the market. Undoubtedly, you should try “trdelnik” which is a Czech traditional dessert, sprinkled with crystalline sugar and a mixture of minced nuts.
During your visit to Prague, you should try some of the traditional dishes, and preferably home goulash. The Czech cousine is known primarily for goulash, dumplings, cucumbers, roasted potatoes, ham and cabbage, so do not be surprised if you hear from locals the words vepro, knedlo and zelo (pork, cabbage and dumplings). Vegetarians do not feel good in Prague, as they say that Czech cuisine is the nightmare of every vegetarian, because the food is full of cholesterol, caloric and, above all, rich in meat. The excellent vegetarian restaurant with a good rating on the Internet is Estella Restaurant, Lehka Hlava-Clear Head, the completely vegan restaurant is Maitrea and Vegan’s Prague.
If you want to eat good and cheap in Prague, turn into a side street where there are quite a few restaurants and the prices of food are considerably lower. While walking along the side streets, away from the tourist hustle and bustle, we accidentally found a small bar of Cafe Bar Archa in Prokupek (Naprstkova 7, Praha), where they have a good local beer, Kefolo (coca-cola-like Czech drinks), great atmosphere, nice owners , delicious food and good prices.
Since we think that the city is the most beautiful, if we see it and experience it on foot, so we explored it on foot. In addition to all the historical sights, Prague is also one of the most modern and more extravagant buildings, which should not be overlooked as the Dancing House. The Dancing House (dancing or drunk house) represents modern Prague architecture, which was built in 1996. There is a Dutch insurance company in the house, and on the top there is a (more expensive) restaurant, from where is a beautiful view of Vltava and bridges.
One of the most famous sights in Prague is definetly the Charles Bridge. We walked over the famous bridge in the evening hours, because we hoped that it would not be as crowded as during the day. Well, we were wrong. If you want to experience Charles Bridge without tourists, you should go there early in the morning.
The Charles Bridge is 520 meters long, and till 1741 it was the only link between the right and left banks of Vltava. Entrance to the bridge are guarded by the towers from both sides. On the tower, which stands on the right side of the Vltava, you can climb up to the extra cost, and from the top you will discover a wonderful view of Vltava, Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle. On the bridge we can see 30 sculptures, which are copies of the original. When crossing the bridge, we need to touch the statue of Janez Nepomuk, as the legend says that if you do not, you will no longer return to Prague.
- Lunch (soups and goulash) with drinks: 320 CZK (12 eur)
- Public transportation ticket (24 hours): 220 CZK (8.8 eur)