If you are a Bollywood fan, then you have seen Shah Rukh Khan romance Anushka Sharma in ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ as did Ranbir Kapoor with Nargis Fakhri in ‘Rockstar’ in beautiful historical Prague. The capital of the Czech Republic is very popular with Indian tourists now not just because it is picturesque but also because it’s one of the most pocket-friendly cities in Europe. The Bohemian land has a lot to offer and my trip to Prague is one of the most unforgettable.
Here are 10 things you must do when in the beautiful city of Prague:
You may be wondering why I would ask you to visit a monastery but the Strahov Monastery is not just a monastery. The 12th-century monastery is famous for two things – firstly, it’s exceptionally outstanding library that houses many old books, manuscripts and even artefacts and secondly, its brewery. The 17th-century brewery has been restored and today, it’s the only monastery in the world that brews a beer.
The Prague Castle is, of course, on any tourist’s list of must-see places and you shouldn’t miss it. It’s the largest ancient castle in the world and it’s not just a castle – it’s a complex which houses numerous churches including the renowned St. Vitus Cathedral, royal residences, gardens, museums, galleries and more. The tomb of St. John of Nepomuk is also found here. Don’t miss the Golden Lane.
Old Town Square
If you want to experience what it was like in 10th century Prague, then this is the perfect place. The ancient buildings now house cafes, galleries and shops but the 15th-century clock at the Old Town Hall reminds you of the place’s past. Once you catch the show at the top of the hour on the clock, relax with a meal or a beer at one of the restaurants in the square and watch the world go by.
A beautiful bridge built in the 14th century, the Charles Bridge is the ideal spot for a stroll. You can get beautiful shots of the city from the bridge and there are numerous musicians playing a tune or two to keep you entertained. You can pick up paintings here and in fact, get a sketch of yourself too from the local artists.
The world of Franz Kafka
Those of you who are Kafka fans must follow his trail in Prague. The locals are very proud of their son and you’ll find references to him on tees, mugs and so on. The Franz Kafka Museum in Mala Strana provides a self-guided tour but Kafka’s world is something you must discover on your own in this city.
Opera and Theatre
Eastern Europe has a culture and history rooted in classical music and theatre. And Prague is a treasure trove for those interested in this. The Prague Symphony Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic are some of the best in the world and their concerts are on throughout the year at numerous locations in the city like Rudolfinum and Klementinum. The Hybernia Theatre has some splendid ballet performances like Best of The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky) and Best of Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) that you shouldn’t miss. Puppet shows are also very famous here as the Czechs love their puppets!
Jazz it up
Did you know that Prague has a strong culture of jazz music too? The Reduta Jazz Club, Jazz Boat, Jazz and Blues Club Ungelt and Jazz Dock provide some unique locations and jazz experiences in Europe. Don’t miss it!
There are plenty of microbreweries and beer bars in Prague and if you love a good beer, then you must check them out. But even if you don’t, check them out as it’s quite an experience. Vinohradský Pivovar, Pivovar Národní and Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden are some of the best-known places for their brews. And yes, beer is cheaper than water!
The Kolache, Buchty, Kremrole and fried cheese
Like every country, the Czechs also have some traditional foods that you just can’t say no to. The Kolache (dough buns with a sweet filling) and Buchty (sweet dough buns) taste like heaven as does the kremrole (cream in a roll). The fried cheese (fried and breaded cheese) is another popular dish which is simply irresistible with its hot gooeyness.
If you want to be like a local and get a taste of the local goodies, then make your way to one of the farmers’ markets in the city. The Jirak farmers’ market in Vinohrady takes place from Wednesday to Saturday and it’s very cosy so you can enjoy some local delicacies in a less crowded atmosphere. The more famous Naplavka market not just has delicacies to feast on but even a band playing. You can even pick up cheese, cold cuts and other foods for yourself here.