Prague is situated 977 km from Aarhus, Denmark, where we live, and it takes about10-12 hours to drive there if you’re in a car that is. Therefore, when fall vacation was near, we decided to take the opportunity to drive to Prague for a quick trip.
We booked accommodations for three nights, got the car and ourselves ready, and off we went.
What Can You See in Prague in Two Days?
Prague’s Citadel – Prazský Hrad
The first thing we did after waking up in Prague was to go down to the Vltava River, which divides the town. Here, we could look up at the large citadel (see picture below). We wanted to go up there.
The fortress is located in Old Town and has been there since the 800’s. The citadel has been home to kings, emperors, and presidents. Today, the citadel is the main office of the president.
We arrived just in time for the changing of the guard, which happens every two hours, and that was right up Sebastian’s alley. We didn’t go inside the actual citadel since the line was very long. But the trip up there was beautiful.
The Old Town
Behind the citadel, Prazský Hrad is the old part of town, surrounded by the fortress walls. Here are incredibly beautiful buildings and quiet, crooked cobblestone streets and alleys. Just as you think the autumn wind has whisked you away, you are standing in the middle of a ray of sun shining on the old wall of the monastery. Very idyllic.
This part of town was also where we passed the home of our Danish Tycho Brahe, where he lived from 1599 until his death
Charles Bridge – The beautiful. The lively. The slightly creepy… especially when the fog hits the river, forming silhouettes of the baroque statues of saints on the bridge. As we walked there, this time, there was nothing but sunshine, music, and people. In a strange way, the bridge creates a silence in the city. As though all sounds are carried by the wind, away from the bridge and out across the water.
Staré Mesto, is the large plaza, where you find things like the Old Town Hall and the Astronomical Clock. The plaza is surrounded by old, beautiful buildings and the Týn Church, where Tycho Brahe is buried.
The plaza is filled with cafés and restaurants, and there is a buzz of life, children, and musicians with soap bubbles.
The Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock is the oldest Astronomical Clock still running – anywhere in the world! Every hour, the tourists flock to the clock to see the little scene about death, greed, and vanity. We flocked there as well, mostly so Sebastian could see it. A fun little event, and incredibly short-lived.
The Lego Museum
We can’t go anywhere without also accommodating Sebastian’s enthusiasm for looking at Lego. Lego shops, Lego workshops, and Lego museums. This time, we just happened to find a Lego museum, or Sebastian did, and we visited it. It was a big hit with the boy.
5 Awesome Things about Prague
1. The beauty
Prague is beautiful. Incredibly beautiful. The buildings overwhelm me every time, and I can’t help noticing the many different styles. There are citadels, a cathedral, synagogues, monasteries, churches, gold, and iron… all wrapped in beautiful trees and parks.
2. The atmosphere
The atmosphere in Prague is warm on an autumn day. A little warm, but not too warm. Just enough that it feels nice and comfortable. Her is a city, alive and breathing with everyday Czech life and activity. The atmosphere is enhanced by all the cafés spread throughout the city.
3. The cafés
Charming, warm cafés that beckon already at the first glance for you to open the door and go inside. Here, people talk and chitchat and they debate, read, and work.
4. Their chocolate and their beer
Oh… the wonderful taste of Czech chocolate and Czech beer! Now I know how really good, Czech beer tastes…
5. The prices
The prices are set where we can keep up, even on our meager fall budget. We opted out of many attractions, precisely so we could go out to cafés and restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On the other hand, it’s ridiculously cheap.
5 Not So Awesome Things about Prague
1. Prices on the attractions
The prices of several of those attractions, we were going for, were very high compared to the price level of the town. We experienced several times that they were a little over-zealous with the fees, such as at the old Jewish cemetery and that we had to pay for several tickets + fees if we wanted to take pictures as well.
2. The tourist groups
It is paramount for many institutions to experience Prague. And rightfully so. But they can take up a lot of space in the townscape. Which of course is easy for us to say, because we “only” take up space for three. But they did so especially around the tourist areas, where there were guides and selfie sticks galore, which occasionally eclipsed a little of the joy of being there.
3. The relationships between the café and the tourist groups
We experienced several times being relegated to dark corners in the otherwise empty cafés or restaurants we visited, simply because the made the large groups a priority. I can’t really blame them, but I simply refused to leave my money in a place where I was deprioritized to sitting in the worst places. In addition, the thought of a group of 25 being about to come inside, didn’t lead me to believe it would be a very nice place to eat.
4. The food
Uhmm… the first night, I devoured a good portion of Czech “Svíčková na smetaně” with dumplings, whipped cream, and cranberries. It was pretty good, and I insisted that I was going to eat Czech food on the whole trip and simply try everything! When I later suffered from horrible nausea, a stomachache, and the feeling of needing to vomit, that was the end of that. Apparently, I haven’t yet progressed to a point, where I can handle the Czech gastronomy.
5. The smoke
Many cafés are completely filled with smoke. I have completely forgotten have I used to enjoy smoking when I went to a café, but that was then and this is now when I leave the place immediately. I have lost too much to smoking.