Prague – Gothic fairytale

Prague is one of Europe’s best preserved cities and has many astonishing attractions. It has something for most people, whether you want to go shopping, go to the spa or see great architecture. If you choose to go shopping, prices are rather low compare to many

Square in front of Palladium Shopping Centre

other major European capitals and all the major brands are represented, in addition to several local designs. Prague is maybe most famous for its crystals and the city is full of crystal outlets of all sizes, from local boutiques to large Swarovski shops. Palladium Shopping Centre with 200 shops and the shopping street by Václavské námestí are good starting points if you are out to spend some money on your trip. Both options are just a few minutes walk from the old town square, Starometské námestí, which is an excellent starting point for sightseeing. There you have Our Lady of Tyn Church and the Astronomical Clock, within walking distance are also the Charles Bridge, the Municipal House and several other attractions. The Astronomical Clock is maybe one of the oddest and rarest sights you’ll see, it was first installed in 1410 and is the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and the only one still working. The Charles Bridge is also an impressive sight, with its 30 statues along both sides. The bridge was started in 1357 by King Charles IV and connects the area around the town square and the hill with the St. Vitus Cathedral and the Royal Castle.

If you take the trip over the river Vltava and up to the Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral, you get a panoramic view of the city. At the same

The Prague Castle

time, one can take a look at the Royal Garden, Gold Alley, the Old Royal Castle and much more that you find on the hill. Prague Castle is actually referred to as the largest ancient castle in the world, measuring about 570 metres long by 130 metres wide!

When you get hungry, there are many options to choose from, with varying quality. One of the local specialties is “bread soup”, a soup that is served in a hollowed out round bread with the top cut off. For the less adventurous they of course have pizza and more common food. When evening comes to end one should remember that the Czech Republic is the homeland of a vast array of beers. The Prague Beer Museum (which is not a museum, but a pub) can be recommended at the warmest! They have over 30 Czech beers on tap, very good service, nice atmosphere and even nicer prices. We treated ourselves to some beer tasting. From the extensive menu you choose either 5 or 10 tastes of optional Czech beers. Staff comes to the table and will help you choose beers for you. Among the great variety of beers you will find chocolate beer, blueberry beer, caramel beer and chestnut beer, in addition to more traditional tastes.

If you take the trip to Prague in winter season in December as we would recommend, all the squares and market places around town

Christmas market at the old town square

are filled with small booths selling local goods, grilling pork and roasting chestnuts over an open flame and baking Trdlo while the

tourists stand around watching. You may not know what Trdlo is? No, we didn’t either. It is a pastry that wrapped around a rolling-pin, rolled in sugar and baked. And it’s very good! It is not without reason that Prague was ranked by Lonely Planet as one of the five best cities for Christmas markets, the Christmas spirit is present all over the city. If you are in doubt of which hotel to choose, we can recommend Kings Court Hotel, an excellent choice even if it’s somewhat pricy.

To summarize, Prague is one of the most extraordinary and magical cities in Europe and should certainly be visited by everyone who has the chance, several times!

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If you want more information on Prague and the Czech Republic, follow these links:

http://www.praguewelcome.cz/en/

http://www.pragueexperience.com/

http://www.czechtourism.com/Homepage.aspx

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