"Praha (not Prague); golden city on the Vltava" Prague by hundwalder
Prague Travel Guide: 11,872 reviews and 24,809 photos
I don't understand why most tourists to this great city never venture beyond Stare Mesto, Mala Strana, and Hrady Praha. Most of Prague and central Bohemia is fascinating, and oh so easy and inexpensive to get to. Go ahead my friends and lose your travel inhibitions. You will never regret your decision.
While touring Europe I generally avoid big heavily touristed cities like I avoid the plague. However, Praha ( Prague ) and Venezia ( Venice ), are exceptions to this rule. I have visited many small cities and villages throughout the two republics formerly known as Czechoslovakia. More later on these obscure and unheralded gems. You may notice that I also detest angloisations of city and other place names. After all these cities are located in countries that sacrificed greatly to win their independance, and are proud of their national identities. These great nations are independant and are not colonies of Great Britain or any other country. For these reasons the name of the city will always be Praha to me.
Behold the mighty tour buses pour into Praha by the hundreds. Thousands of duty bound " follow the leader " tour groupies descend on the most popular sites like Prazsky Hrad, Karluv Most, and Stare Mesto. They fill the castle courts to the point that breathing out of rhythm with the crowd can result in suffocation. The tour groupies listen dutifully as the guide treats their ears with one highly forgetable detail after another. Not much fun for the likes of you and me.
Don't despair. The tourist crowds are easy to lose in Praha. By 1700 hours, the tour groups have moved on to chain restaurants having familiar names, and even the popular tourist attractions can be enjoyed without the crowds. Heavy tourist traffic is seldom an issue at the lesser known but equally enjoyable attractions. Just remember that 98 % of Praha is off of the beaten tourist paths. Most tourists insist upon confining themselves to very restricted boundaries. For example you can walk about 100 meters from the most popular and crowded tourist areas in the city and find yourselves completely removed from other tourists. The ancient buildings and storybook cobblestone streets are every bit as nice as in the tourist crowded areas. However, there are virtually no tourists in most of the more fascinating areas. Incredible ! You would swear that there must be barriers preventing tourists from entering these places. I assure you that there are no such barriers. The only barriers are the imagined variety. Enjoy the entire city. Come to think of it, enjoy all of the Czech Republic. The villages and smaller cities are inexpensive, the highways and trains are excellent, the people are friendly, they don't bite, and the crime rates are low.
Visiting any of the places shown in my photos requires departure from the designated tourist routes. Don't get me wrong. I also visited and enjoyed the " must sees ". But regarding these I cannot offer anything not already offered by numerous others. My lodging and dining recommendations are also of the" off the beaten path " variety. Love of Czech goulash is an acquired taste. Hey it is about all many of us got to eat while we were growing up. How else do you think we got to be so big and strong ( LOL ).
- Pros:Exciting and dynamic city. Great people, music, architecture, culture, etc.
- Cons:None if you avoid that which does not appeal to you.
- In a nutshell:Much to enjoy. Give it a try.
Lapidarium Narodniho muzea ( Lapidary National museum ) is located in the Exhibition center complex ( Prague fairgrounds... more travel advice
Construction of Rudolfinum, which is one of Prague's many architectural masterpieces, began in 1876, and was completed... more travel advice
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