Why Prague Deserves Your Time
This past January I had the privilege to go on Globus' Imperial Escape Tour. The 40-person bus tour began in Budapest, Hungary, then traveled to Vienna, Austria, and finished in Prague, Czech Republic.
While each city was unique and fun in its own way, Prague stood out as the best of the three, in my opinion. Here are a few reasons why I loved Prague so much (and it's just a coincidence they all begin with an 'A' lol)
The atmosphere of Prague was fun, safe, and inviting. Even though it was the off-season, there were plenty of friendly people exploring Prague, and there were also street performers and live music. So many things are in walking distance and even at night, walking around alone wasn't an issue. Prague has a quality mix of shopping both in the Old Town Square and the surrounding streets. They have everything from cheap souvenir stores to Pařížská Avenue (Prague's equivalent of the Champs-Élysées in Paris). There were also street vendors with different types of foods. Even if I didn't want to buy anything, walking around and exploring was really exciting.
The buildings were gorgeous. I learned that unlike most European cities, Prague didn't have to be re-built in the 18th or 19th centuries, and it wasn't damaged during the second World War. Because of that, there are many different types of architecture and several of the buildings / towers have very interesting histories. I went on a World War 2 tour that started at the 17th-century Gothic Powder Tower that used to be a gunpowder store. I passed the contemporary Dancing House on the walk between our hotel and Old Town. On our tour through the Prague Castle complex we saw several different architectural styles from Baroque to Romanesque. Basically everywhere I went in Prague, there was a cool building to admire.
I thought there was a lot more to do in Prague than in Budapest or Vienna. While it doesn't get the same notoriety as cities like London and Paris, I still think Prague is an exciting city many people miss out on. There are beautiful and diverse neighborhoods to explore. There are world-famous sites like Prague Castle and the Astronomical Clock (dating back to 1410, it's the oldest clock that's still operating). There are plenty of towers to climb to get great views of the city. One of my favorite things was a tour that took us through the 13th-century underground tunnels below the Old Town Hall. Not sure if it's technically considered an attraction, but the 14th-century Charles Bridge is always full of people, especially around sunset. The Gothic Church of Mother of God before Týn stands out because of its spires and the Jewish Quarter has some intriguing history. Those are my highlights, but I'm sure Google has countless results on more things to do and see in Prague.
The tour allowed us to spend about 2 days in each city. I definitely think Prague deserves longer than two days (Vienna as well, depending on your interests). If I was there longer, in addition to adding more things to my itinerary, I probably would've taken advantage of some of the interesting day trips like Český Krumlov, Terezín Concentration Camp, or Kutná Hora.
If you haven't been to Prague, I highly recommend it. Whether you fly into Prague, go on a group tour, or take a river cruise, put it on your bucket list.
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