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Welcome to Prague!
This larger-than-life European capital was once home to kings and dictators, but the fun and eclectic Prague, Czech Republic, of the 21st is anything but strict. Set among historic castles and cobblestone streets, the old Bohemian capital is a perfect place to get lost among the old buildings and monuments. Prague is a city that evokes mystery and fun around every corner. It is also a place that attracts tons of tourists every year, filling up the Prague hotels. If you want to experience it like a worldwide local, you have to know where to avoid and how to find places off the beaten path. Enjoy this guide for an inside look at the best ways to make the most of your trip to Prague!
Where to Begin
Start your journey at Wenceslas Square, one of the city’s most important places. Wenceslas square is full of history, with the area having seen demonstrations, riots, and celebrations, over the course of its history. This area is generally full of people, as there are a lot of restaurants, clubs, bars, and retail shops in the area. Locals know that this area is normally geared towards tourists. While there are things to do, it’s all very artificial and overly pricey.
Worldwide Local Tip: Check out the nuclear fallout shelter under Wenceslas Square. Located under a five-star hotel, this piece of Czech history is relatively unknown to tourists and is an amazing alternative to the overcrowded castles around the city.
Enjoy Charles Bridge as a Local
Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe, so there are typically tourists throughout the central areas. Locals know that the Charles Bridge is one of the most picturesque places in the city, with beautiful views of the Vltava River and gorgeous sculptures. Locals also know that since this is one of the most popular things to do in Prague, this place is almost always crowded with tourists. For a more peaceful experience, visit Letna Hill located next to Prague Castle. Enjoy some time in the shade and take in the views of the Charles Bridge from a distance. Here you can admire the Vltava River like a real worldwide local.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re looking to get some amazing views of the city, consider hiking up Petřínské Sady. It’s just a short bike ride outside the city and a trip uphill, where you’ll be greeted with some stunning views of Prague.
The Astronomical Clock
Located in the old town square is the Prague Astronomical Clock. It’s one of the biggest attractions in the city, built in 1410, making it one of the oldest in the world that is still functioning. Every hour the clock chimes with a rooster call and a dancing skeleton. It is certainly cool to witness, but, perhaps, not worth fighting hordes of tourists who are trying to get a good look at it.
Worldwide Local Tip: Across the street, you can visit the rooftop terrace at the U Prince Hotel, where you can relax and enjoy the Prague weather. Grab a cocktail and admire the clock from an unobstructed view, unlike down at ground level.
History and Architecture: Prague Castles
Prague is known for its castles. There are so many, exploring the city is comparable to walking through an adult Disneyland. Locals know that many tourists frequent the castles in the area, especially Prague Castle in the old town. If you’re going there, do so as a worldwide local by being prepared. Food and drinks in the area are marked up for tourists, so pack something light ahead of time. Instead, visit Café Savoy for breakfast. They offer meals for as low as $6 and are located in the old town.
Worldwide local Tip: Instead of visiting the tourist-centric Prague Castle, check out the Vyšehrad castle. This 10th century structure offers great views of the Vltava River and the city. Its grassy exterior is a great local hangout--the perfect spot for a picnic.
Enjoy Your Stay!
The fairy-tale-like beauty of the city is only one of the reasons why Prague is such a marvelous city to explore. Always be careful not to get sucked in the tourist traps that surround the popular landmarks. Talk to locals outside the busy city centers to learn about the best ways to spend your time in Prague, and soon, you’ll be rewarded like a worldwide local.