Poppy’s Travel Diary – Prague – I love to travel and visiting a new city is always a unique, inspirational experience, often in more ways than one.
Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is a fascinating destination with numerous reasons to visit, making it a super destination and a popular choice for travellers, here are a few choice reasons why:
Rich History and Architecture: There is no denying that Prague boasts a beautifully preserved historical centre, with buildings spanning various architectural styles, including Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Art Nouveau. There are many remarkable landmarks that showcase the city’s history and architectural splendour.
Charming Old Town: Prague’s Old Town, or Staré Město, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a treasure trove of historical attractions. Wandering through its narrow, winding streets offer an enchanting experience, with stunning squares, churches, and picturesque houses at every turn.
Prague Castle: Dominating the city’s skyline, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle complex in the world. It houses magnificent buildings such as St. Vitus Cathedral, the largest and the most important temple in Prague, the Old Royal Palace, Golden Lane and St. George’s Basilica, the oldest surviving church building within Prague Castle.
Exploring the castle grounds provides breathtaking views of Prague and a glimpse into its regal past.
Stunning Views: Prague’s unique topography, with the Vltava River flowing through the city, presents numerous viewpoints that offer stunning vistas. Whether you’re walking across the Charles Bridge, climbing the Petřín Tower, or enjoying a river cruise, you’ll have ample opportunities to capture memorable panoramas of Prague’s skyline.
Easy to Explore: Prague’s compact size and well-preserved historical centre make it an ideal city to explore on foot. Most of the major attractions are within walking distance, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s atmosphere and discover hidden gems.
Where to Stay – Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Prague was our destination – located in the heart of the city this historic hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Prague’s fabled Lesser Town district, right below Prague Castle and just steps away from Charles Bridge. With its deep history and energy inspired by the 13th century Augustine monastery, which is interconnected with the hotel and still active with 4 monks living there, this was truly an exclusive location.
The hotel is directly connected to Baroque St. Thomas Church and offers special tours where guests may experience an authentic Augustinian monastery and a 13th-century library without stepping outside of the hotel.
The Unique Refectory Bar is a must. The authentic atmosphere of The Refectory reveals the historical significance of a place where Augustinian monks used to meet and drink their own St. Thomas beer under the amazing baroque ceiling fresco. This gives the perfect opportunity to savour seasonal cocktails, which I can highly recommend and their signature St. Thomas Beer, which I can also highly recommend!
Where to Eat – Augustine Restaurant offers exceptional fine dining from Chef Jan Horák and his team putting emphasis on fresh seasonal ingredients, simple yet tasty recipes and unique presentation of dishes.
Where to Visit – Waldstein Garden – When walking around the streets of Lesser Town, the most picturesque quarter of Prague, you should not miss the chance to see Wallenstein Palace and its garden. The complex is one of the most prominent buildings of the Czech Early Baroque period. Today, Wallenstein Palace is the seat of the Senate of the Czech Republic. The 17th-century gardens are a pleasant place for relaxation with ornamental pools and baroque statues.
St Nicholas Church in Prague’s Mala Stranta – described as the greatest example of Prague Baroque, The Church of Saint Nicholas was built between 1704 and 1755 on the site where formerly a Gothic church from the 13th century stood. The present church of St. Nicholas belongs to the most valuable Baroque buildings north of the Alps. Three related generations of great Baroque architects – father, son and son-in-law – took part in this work, which took approximately one hundred years to complete: Kryštof Dientzenhofer, Kilián Ignác Dientzenhofer and Anselmo Lurago.
Old Town Hall and Tower and the Astronomical Clock – The Old Town Hall was established in 1338 as the seat of the Old Town administration. The oldest part of the complex consists of the southern wing a beautiful Gothic tower with a bay chapel and a unique astronomical clock – known as the Orloj – where, every hour between 9 am and 11 pm, the twelve apostles appear. Take the steps to the viewing gallery of the 70-meter-tall tower and enjoy the most amazing views of Prague.
Highlights – Speculum Alchemiae Museum – for something a little different, this is a historical alchemist’s workshop with guided tours offering a glimpse into medieval science. The newly opened alchemical laboratories were discovered during the reconstruction of one of the oldest historical buildings in Prague on the street Haštalská number 1. This building is listed by UNESCO and by miracle this one has been preserved after the demolition of the Jewish Quarter at the end of the 19th century.
Visitors have the first opportunity to see places, where alchemists produced elixir of eternal youth, Philosopher’s Stone and non-precious metals changed into gold.
Prague is a fantastic travel destination. It’s a city with a unique charm, cultural wealth, and historical significance that leaves a lasting impression on its visitors.