Prague: the city of one hundred towers

Prague is called the city of one hundred towers. I don’t know if the number of towers in the city is exactly that, but when you visit it, there are many stairs you have to climb. Every time, however, the effort is always repaid with breathtaking views.

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View of the Charles Bridge and the Castle from the Old Town Tower

My trip to Prague and the blog

This trip I took in summer 2016 was very important to me, because when I was in Prague, I decided to start a travel blog. The idea had already occurred to me in the past, but I had abandoned it all the times. I don’t know, perhaps it was for the fear of launching myself in this 2.0 adventure, of failing, of not being able to reach certain numbers. But in the end I said to myself: “Who cares about numbers”. It was during that trip that something happened to me. I had a strong desire to describe the places I was visiting and to share many photos. It was a turning trip, if we want to say so, the one that convinced me to give it a try. And so, a few months later, I started this adventure on the web.

How the trip arose

It was meant to be a holiday. The trip proposal was launched during an evening with friends. In the following days I took care of the search for flights and accommodation. In the end only two of us left, me and my dear friend Alberto – who was an excellent travel companion. Honestly, I prefer it to be like this. I like traveling alone, because during solo trips I can really enjoy the place I’m visiting. But when I have to travel with friends, I think that leaving in a group 2 – 4 people is ideal.

The idea was to go and visit a European capital and, above all, to escape for a few days from the suffocating heat of Sicily. After several researches and having evaluated various options – you know, leaving in August costs an arm and a leg, especially as regards flights – the choice fell on Prague. The Czech capital was in my wishlist, but not really at the top of it. Thank God it turned out to be the most convenient city in that period, because, once there, I fell in love with it. It was a continuous surprise, every corner of the city gave me something to be amazed of and fascinated by.

Before the trip

I’ve already said it in other posts. I plan my trips almost maniacally. I can’t help it, I want every day to be well organized and have a precise timetable. I usually have a few days to travel, so time must be optimized in the best way to visit as many attractions as possible. Of course, I also give myself a small margin of flexibility.

In the case of this trip to Prague, the travel guide I used to plan the itinerary was the Prague Walking Guide by National Geographic. It was a very useful travel guide both during the planning phase and during the trip itself, because it proposes walking itineraries to be followed in the various districts of Prague. It is a city that must be toured on foot and public transport must be used only to cover large distances. Only in this way, it is possible to fully enjoy the magic of the Czech capital.

Prague card yes or no?

IMG_20170327_114041 Prague: the city of one hundred towers

Prague Card

Another thing to evaluate before leaving was whether to buy the Prague Card. It is a card designed for tourists, which entitles you to unlimited use of public transport and free or discounted admission to many Prague attractions, for the number of days purchased. In fact, there are several cards (2 – 3 – 4 days), to be chosen according to the length of your stay in Prague. Should you buy this card? Well, the matter is quite subjective and depends on the type of visit you intend to make. If you want to visit the city in depth, then it is very convenient. If you are only in Prague for a couple of days and want to take a tour to the main attractions of the city, the Prague Card is not convenient. However, on the official website of the Prague Card it is possible to calculate the savings you would have by purchasing the card – for the Prague Card Calculator click here.

The itinerary

This trip lasted 4 days, not considering the two of the outward and return flights. Every day was dedicated to the visit of a district or attractions close to each other. This was to facilitate the visit of the city on foot, minimizing the use of public transport. Here is the chosen itinerary:

Our arrival in Prague

As I said above, the idea of this trip was to go somewhere cool, to escape for a few days from the heat of Sicily. I can never forget the feeling I had as I was disembarking at Prague airport: the sun was pale, almost covered by clouds, but we were welcomed by a heat with high levels of humidity. Yes, in Prague it can be quite hot and also quite humid in summer – the heat that I bear less 😀

Some things of Prague that struck me at first sight: bus drivers drive crazy – or at least the one of bus number 100 that took us from the airport to the Zličín metro station of the line B; the metro in Prague is very deep: when you go down to the metro stations, the escalators are very long and very windy, especially in conjunction with the passage of trains.

Arrived in the late afternoon at our hotel, on the border between the Malá Strana and Smichov districts , and after a nice refresh, we immediately ventured into the Old TownPrague in the evening is loaded with its magic and, in my opinion, is the best time to take beautiful pictures if you love taking pics. The streets were crowded with tourists and people of all kinds, even if the atmosphere was very relaxed.

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Powder Gate

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Municipal house

Once in Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square), we experienced for the first time (the first of many in reality) its main attraction: the tolling of the Astronomical Clock, one of the symbols of the city. At every hour, the clock rings and the figures depicting the twelve Apostles move – but I will talk more about this in due course.

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Astronomical Clock

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Palace of Staroměstské náměstí

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Staroměstské náměstí in the evening

Since I visited many Prague attractions, I decided to dedicate a post to each day of my trip. In the next post, therefore, I will talk about the first trip day, dedicated to the visit of the Prague Castle and its surroundings.

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