There are few capital cities in the world that would offer better combination of medieval history, skyline views, relax and fun than Prague. Most other major cities have the disadvantage of being built on a flat surface, thus offering hardly any skyline view.
Prague lies around the Moldau river which encircles the Petrin Hill by 270 degrees. There is the Prague Castle located on the hill, making the famous skyline of Prague visible from three sides of the hill. The Castle itself appears to be the largest complete medieval complex in the world. The cathedral and royal palace are not the largest or fanciest ones but they form a comprehensive city of its own which together makes great impression on tourists from all over the world.
The best way to enjoy the Prague skyline is to walk from the National Theater towards the Charles Bridge, cross the bridge and stroll through the streets of the Lesser Town up the hill to the Castle Gate. There you can observe exchange of Castle Guards and enjoy the magnificent view of the city.
The streets from the bridge up the hill are full of tourist shops, selling all kinds of local souvenirs and typical Czech products. Not all of them are of big value however there are some which are unique to the city and country – Bohemia crystal glass, wooden toys and marionettes, enameled metal cups, Czech garnet jewelry and, of course, the beer.
Czech beer is a phenomenon of its own. It offers the best combination of taste, drinkability and price in the world. This is why local pubs in Prague are always full of drinkers, speaking many languages. One of the best pubs is U kocoura, located on the lower corner of Nerudova Street, just on your way up to the Castle.
Another typical Czech product with worldwide reputation is crystal glass. Each city and country has it’s speciality. Zurich has diamond watches, Venice has carnival masks, Brussels has chocolate. Prague has crystal glass and wooden marionettes. These things make the best souvenir from a trip to Prague.
Prague has kept its medieval originality for several reasons:
It was not rebuilt as Vienna was at the turn of the 20th century because the City Hall had not enough money to do it. Luckily for us only small part of the original medieval city was destroyed and rebuilt anew, forming the Parizska Street full of contemporary luxury shops.
It was not destroyed during the World War II as many other Central European cities were, keeping all historical buildings in the original shape.
And it was not rebuilt during the post-war era as there were other priorities for the communists – to build factories and cheap housing for their workers.
So no matter the reason you come to Prague, simply relax and enjoy its cultural legacy represented by unique Black Light Theater and Lantern Magic Theater, its local beer pubs, its medieval history preserved in the churches and cathedrals showing the Czech religious rebellion and difference, and magnificent skyline views when walking around the river and up the hills around it. You will not regret the trip nor the time spent on it. Happy holiday!