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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Prague Marco Polo Guide

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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



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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Prague Marco Polo Guide

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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

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

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.

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).

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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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Prague Marco Polo Guide

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Low Budget Prague

Some of Prague’s top hot spot destinations are completely free to visit! Here is Marco Polo’s pick of the best attractions, plus where to dine, stay and shop on a budget:


Týn Church, Prague. Photo credit: Tim Kelly


Every day at 11am (also at 2pm in summer) there are free guided tours in English that commence at the corner of Old Town Square. The tour guides are usually Czech students and they make their money from tips.

The Dancing House is an awe-inspiring building and offers fantastic art for free! The bizarre structure, which actually looks as though it is dancing, has become the new face of Prague and is loved by all of the city’s residents. Rašínovo nábreží 80 | Metro: Karlovo námestí

A visit to Prague’s famous Golden Lane, where Franz Kafka once lived, is simply obligatory. If you go after 4pm between November and March or after 6pm between April and October then there is no admission charge and you will avoid the busy crowds. Visitors are able to view this famous street until the castle area closes (between 11pm and midnight).

Take a stroll through the city’s streets and follow in the footsteps of famous Hollywood stars. Where did 007 give his pursuers the slip in Casino Royale? Where was Miloš Forman’s Oscar-winning Amadeus filmed? Where did Angelina Jolie once stand against the Prague skyline? Head to the tourist office and pick up the free city map entitled ‘Lights! Camera! Prague!’ to find all of these film locations!



The beer garden in Letná Park has a good atmostphere and a spectacular view over the Old Town. Beer is sold at the drinks stall for very reasonable prices and you can sit on the wooden benches under beautiful chestnut trees to drink it. Letenské sady | Tram 1, 8, 25, 26: Sparta

For many years, clubbers have nominated Roxy as ‘Club of the Year’. Head down to the club on a Monday night when DJs play for free! Daily 7pm–2am | Dlouhá trída 33 | Metro: Námestí Republiky


Eating Out

You can find the Czech alternative to fast food called chlebícky in the Zlatý Kríž delicatessen. It consists of thin slices of baguette with various toppings and mayonnaise! Open Mon–Sat 7am–7pm | Jungmannova | Metro: Mustek

There is a traditional pub in the Lesser Town called Barácnická Rychta where you won’t find many tourists. In a wood-panelled tavern in the maze of narrow lanes, you can sit alongside the locals and polish off a delicious goulash. Mon–Sat 11am–11pm, Sun 11–21 | Tržište 23 | Tel. 2 57 53 24 61 | Tram 12, 20, 22: Malostranské námestí

Many pubs and restaurants (even some gourmet restaurants) offer a low-price lunch menu on weekdays from noon to 3pm.



Have a browse around the department stores or craft shops. Wooden toys made in the Czech Republic are not only inexpensive, but they are often imaginative and encourage creative play.

Havelská market is one of the oldest markets in Prague and is the place to go for cheap vegetables, woooden toys and jewellery. If you can’t find it here, then you are unlikely to find it anywhere. Mon–Sat 10am–7pm | Havelská | Metro: Mustek



The Lesser Town Square is not exactly a tranquil spot, but it’s in the heart of the historic core and where most of the action is. At only 450 Kc per person, the Little Town Budget Hotel is a good place to rest your head. Malostranské námestí 11 | Tel. 2 42 40 69 64

The Travellers’ Hostel is quite basic but it’s very popular with young people due to its central location. A double room including breakfast costs 750 Kc. Multi-bed rooms plus breakfast cost around 350 Kc per person. 164 beds | Dlouhá 33 | Tel. 2 24 82 66 62 | Metro: Námestí Republiky

As a general rule, book early online and get the best price! www.prague.st  offers good value deals for all price ranges.


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Prague Marco Polo Guide

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Top 10 travel photos from around the world

Top 10 travel photos from around the world – as chosen by Marco Polo photographer Tim Kelly.

Tim and his faithful camera have been travelling around the world together for over three decades. Well, the camera may have changed over the years – but Tim’s eye for detail certainly hasn’t – capturing the spirit of a destination in one single shot.

Here is Tim’s personal selection of his favourite photos from all around the world:

1. Paddy field worker in Bali

Paddy field - Bali

2.  Octopus restaurant near Plaka, Crete

Octopus restaurant near Plaka, Crete

3. Narrow car-free streets of Mdina in Malta

Narrow car-free streets of Mdina in Malta

4. Aerial view of Dubrovnik from Mount Srdj

Aerial view of Dubrovnik from Mount Srdj

5. Inside the glass dome – Reichstag in Berlin

Inside the glass dome - Reichstag in Berlin

6. Camel trek through Wadi Rum in Jordan

Camel trek through Wadi Rum in Jordan

7. Night view of Our Lady before Tyn church in Prague

 Night view of Our Lady before Tyn church in Prague

8. A different view of Grand Palace, Bangkok

Grand Palace - Bangkok

9. Bird’s eye view of Rome from the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

Bird’s eye view of Rome from the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

10. Dubai – the Burj Khalifa at night

Dubai - the Burj Khalifa at night

Which is your favourite?

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