10 reasons to go back to Prague

Prague is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations and those who have been there know why! Here is Marco Polo’s list of 10 reasons to go back to the Czech capital.

Never been to Prague? You really should! You can check out our other Prague tips here.

Prague Marco Polo Guide

Photo Credit: Tim Kelly

 

1. In comparison with other leading cities, Prague is still very good value for money.

2. The architecture of the town is spectacular and is definitely worth a second visit.

3. The beer is far too good for one trip to be sufficient to give it the attention it deserves.

4. The coffee house scene is so dynamic that there is always something new happening.

5. Last time, there probably wasn’t time to enjoy at length the sun on the Vltava Embankment.

6. Next summer it would also be fun to rent a paddle boat on the Vltava.

7. You need to follow the Kafka Museum with the Kafka Tour.

8. David Cerny’s tongue-in-cheek works alone take up one whole day…

9. Taking a taxi is so inexpensive that you can leave your car at home next time.

10. In winter, the Christmas markets in Prague are also well worth a visit.

 

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Marco Polo’s 24 Holiday traditions from around the world – Day 17: Czech Christmas Carp

Happy 3rd Advent Sunday! It’s Day 17 of our Advent Calendar and that means that Christmas is only 7 days away! Today we are headed to the Czech Republic to find out why some Czech citizens avoid taking relaxing baths at home a few days before December 24th. Did you miss yesterday’s post? Check it out here!

carp by andrijbulba, on Flickr
carp” (CC BY 2.0) by andrijbulba

 

CZECH CHRISTMAS CARP

In the Czech Republic, and also in Slovakia, it is customary to eat fish on December 24th, and the fish of choice is usually carp. In fact, the local superstition is that eating carp on Christmas Eve will bring good fortune for the next year, and if you keep a scale from the Christmas carp in your wallet, it will help to keep money (and presumably to attract more of it) in your wallet. What makes the tradition particularly peculiar, however, is that many Czechs opt to buy a live carp a few days before Christmas Eve, presumably to make sure their Christmas carp is as fresh as it can be. Of course, the carp splashing and swimming around in the bathtub usually turns into a source of fun and fascination for children and cats. Some families even name their carp, and perhaps unsurprisingly, end up releasing the fish instead of cooking it to perfection.

Fortunately, it is also possible to buy your carp from the fishmonger ready to cook, without having it occupy the bathtub.

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Only in Prague

Unique experiences only in Prague!

Prague Marco Polo Guide

Photo Credit: Tim Kelly

The Jewish Quarter
Time has stood still in this ancient part of Prague. Take a walk at night through the cobbled streets and, you never know, you could find the legendary golem lurking around the next corner.

A beer with the locals
There are not many pubs and bars around the Old Town Square where the locals feel at ease. U parlamentu is different – there’s always something going on here (www.uparlamentu.cz).

The market by the Havel church
There has been a market in the shadow of the Havel church since the Middle Ages. In the past it was fruit and vegetables, now it’s more likely to be jewellery and objets d’art. Even so, trade is usually brisk.

Jazz in the cellar
The Czechs are said to be masters of improvisation and that also applies to music. Prague has had a reputation as a jazz town for several decades. If you want to hear the best of the local talent, then the Agharta cellar club is the place to go.

Franz Kafka and Prague
Franz Kafka had a rather difficult relationship with his home town – and the Czechs did not warm to the celebrated author, who wrote in German. Discover more about the man’s troubled life in the Franz Kafka Museum.

A famous landmark
Tourists, street musicians, traders – during the day the crowds converge on the Charles Bridge and sometimes you can hardly move. Nevertheless, the medieval structure continues to be a source of fascination. If you want to see the bridge at its best, be there either early in the morning or later on in the afternoon.

Fierce fights on ice
The sport that can move Praguers to a state of euphoria or plunge them into deep gloom is ice hockey. Tensions rise around the city when the two teams from the capital, Slavia and Sparta, meet on the ice.

 

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Prague Marco Polo Guide

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Top 10 Things To Do In Prague

Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed in Prague! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Prague’s most important sights.

Prague Marco Polo Guide

Photo Credit: Tim Kelly

1. PRAŽSKÝ HRAD
The Hradčany dominates the horizon. Visible for miles around, this enclosed castle complex is the largest of its kind in the world.

2. KARLŮV MOST
The Charles Bridge, flanked by 30 statues of saints, ranks among the oldest bridges in Europe. Make time to walk across it, preferably more than once.

3. KATEDRÁLA SV. VÍTA
One of the most magnificent examples of Gothic architecture towers 70m (230ft) over the city. Centuries in the making, this cathedral guards the mortal remains of Charles IV and St Václav (St Wenceslas).

4. STAROMĚSTSKÉ NÁMĚSTÍ
Prague’s Old Town Square boasts the famous Astronomical Clock, two imposing churches and impressive facades. This is the beating heart of the city.

5. VLTAVA
A walk along the Vltava River from the National Theatre to the Dancing House provides a striking view of the glamorous Prague town houses – especially when the sun captures them in the right light.

6. OBECNÍ DŮM
The Municipal House is the Gesamtkunstwerk of 30 artists and is regarded by many to be the most fascinating piece of Art Nouveau architecture in Prague. Take your time: there is plenty to admire!

7. STRAHOVSKÝ KLÁŠTER
Though rather unprepossessing on the outside, the monastery contains not one but two of Europe’s most beautiful libraries. The Philosophical Hall and the Theological Hall are worth a visit in their own right.

8. ZLATÁ ULIČKA
Crouched in Golden Lane, the homes once inhabited by alchemists and poets look almost like doll’s houses. Franz Kafka lived here for a while which is why this little street is so famous.

9. STARÝ ŽIDOVSKÝ HŘBITOV
Around 100,000 people lay buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery. The stones on the graves are a sign of respect and love for the departed.

10. VÁCLAVSKÉ NÁMĚSTÍ 
Wenceslas Square is the city’s main place of assembly and has seen many major demonstrations, mass rallies and attempted coups.

 

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