Eastern Europe has been a great destination for visitors for many years. The largest city in Czech Republic there are a myriad of sites and events that are worth checking out. So, without much in the front, we will get right into the things in Prague well worth experiencing.
1. Take a walk across the Charles Bridge.
This bridge, which began construction in 1357 by the order of King Charles IV. It was not finished until the next century. The bridge that stood before it was the Judith Bridge and that was on the same spot from 1158-1172. Yet floods damaged the first structure so the Charles Bridge was erected in its place.
Of course, something built nearly more than five hundred years earlier, has seen a great deal of change. On significant one was the halting of horses from crossing the bridge. That was put into effect in 1905 and a few years later busses took their place.
There are several baroque statues to check out while crossing and the gothic style is from a time that is long gone. It did go under a reconstruction in 2008 after another devastating flood in that area.
2. Visit Prague Castle
This ancient group of buildings goes all the way back to the 9th century. It is the where the President and his family resides. Bohemian kings, Roman emperors and other notable dignitaries have all sat in power at the Prague Castle. It was first constructed as a building that would serve as the Church of the Virgin Mary.
Later other buildings like the Basilica of Saint George and the Basilica of St. Vitus were erected and slowly the compound known as Prague Castle was formed. It served as a castle in the Medieval times under the reign of Charles IV and the Gothic style was popular at the time.
There was a fire in 1541 and much was destroyed so Renaissance type architecture replaced them. The infamously evil Adolph Hitler spent a night in this building after he bullied the Czech president Emil Hácha into surrendering to Germany.
Many of the areas in the castle are open for tourists to visit and they hold the National Gallery collection of baroque art.
3. Check out a performance at the Prague State Opera House
With such a deep history it is only fitting that Prague would be home to an amazing operatic theater. Part of the National Theatre of the Czech Republic and was founded by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic in 1992. But this is not where it all started. The first theater to sit on this spot was the New German Theatre and it opened in 1888. It became the Smetana Theatre in 1949 and remained under that title until 1989. Then, a few years later, it was given the name Prague State Opera House.
Opera that reside in their repertoire include Carmen, Rusalka, Roméo and Juliette, La Bohéme, Madama Butterfly, Salome, Aida and many more. Currently the Prague Chamber Ballet dances there and more than 300 shows are performed every year.
Historically, this building was a refuge from the Nazi regime for many artists during the 1930s. Yet, when the Nazi’s took over Czechoslovakia in 1939 the building then became a place for political assemblies for the heads of the Nazi party.
4. Visit the Old Town Square
Located in the Old Town portion of Prague this historic square is well worth checking out. Gothic themes from buildings like the Church of Our Lady before T´yn, which dates back to the 14th century.
It is filled with several statues and monuments including a sculpture of Jan Hus, a priest who was put to death for speaking his mind. It was put in place on the 500th anniversary of his burning at the stake.
If you find yourself in Prague during the holidays like Christmas and Easter, you will find medieval style markets set up at the square. The markets held at Christmas are the largest markets in the country for that holiday.
5. Check out the Prague astronomical clock, in Old Town Square
This clock dates back to medieval times, precisely around 1410. It is the third oldest clock of its kind in the entire world. Not like the type of clock you are used to seeing on your kitchen wall, the Orloj sits on the south wall of the Town Hall and the parts that make the clock work have three main machineries.
There is an astronomical dial which illustrates where the sun and moon are in the sky, another part depicts the apostles and a skeleton, which represents death, and yet another mechanism that represent the months of the year. It is said that if the community mistreats or fails to care for the clock they will suffer.
To push that agenda there is ghost on the clock to remind them.
6. Try some of the local fare
Why visit a new culture and not dive into their cuisine. A few local dishes that can be found in Prague are grilované klobásy, which is sausage grilled and served in a pastry, or trdelník, a rolled pastry filled with sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Another delectable is smažený sýr, which is deep fried cheese that is typically served with salad, bread, or potatoes.
Another classic Czech style food is reminiscent of the crepe, but the batter and methods used to make these thin pancakes is unique to this location. They can be prepared with sugar, fruit, or jam for the sweet taste or you can go with savory and eat one with cheese and spinach or a meat of your choice. Many different places serve palačinky, which is what these tasty pancakes are called.
7. Drink some beer
Brewing in this part of the world began in the 10th century and the tradition keeps getting stronger and stronger. Certain communities were allowed to brew at that time like Plzeň and České Budějovice.
Currently, the types of beer commonly consumed and brewed in the Czech Republic are pilsners and pale lagers. IT is said that more people in the Czech Republic drink beer than anyone in the world.
Pilsners are native to this part of the world and the style is crisp and light yet hearty. If you can, visit this country while one of their many beer festivals is being held. One of the most popular is the Czech Beer Festival in Prague and it is held practically the entire month of May. Nearly 100 different beers are featured.