#SETRAVELS: Prague is a Fairy Tale City that’s a Feast for Your Eyes
When I realized, I had yet to visit Eastern Europe, it was immediately on my list. On the top of that list was Prague. Unfortunately, I didn’t know much about the Czech Republic but knew that there was something intriguing about their capital. With only 72 hours to play with, I booked my flights and made my way to this fairy tale city.
The second I landed, I made my way to my hotel, andel´s hotel Prague. Once unpacked, I took a short (less than 10 minute) tram ride into the city centre and realized that the city is very walkable and offers a great public transit system. With less than 72 hours to go, I knew I had to narrow down the to do list: walk along the River Vltava, cross the Charles Bridge, people watch in Old Town Square and climb up to Prague Castle.
I meandered down the Vltava, the longest river in the Czech Republic, before crossing over into the Old Town. Although much of the city is quite touristy, I managed to find a few quiet spots along the river to soak in the view. Along the Vltava, there are many bridges but the Charles Bridge is the one you want to take. It may be full of tourists, but this stone bridge offers both history and architecture and boasts 16 arches and 30 statues of religious figures along the way.
Once I crossed the Charles Bridge I sauntered over to the Old Town Square, where you could easily people watch for hours – and I’m pretty sure I did. The square takes you back in time. With the Old Town Hall with Astronomical Clock, Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn and Church of St.Nicholas, you’re surrounded by beautiful history. There are rumours that Walt Disney was inspired by the Our Lady before Tyn Church and created a Disney castle based on the architecture. I’m not sure if there is any truth to this but either way, you really do feel like you’ve wandered into a fairy tale.
Speaking of fairy tales, Prague also has the largest castle in the world (according to Guinness World Records). Within the castle district we spotted the beautiful St. Georges Basilica and St. Vithus Cathedral, with stunning gothic architecture and incredible stained glass windows. But make sure you bring your walking shoes! It’s a nice (hot and sweaty) walk to the top. But once you get there, the views are definitely worth it.
Did I mention the food? Ohhh the food! Czech food is not exactly what anyone would call dietary – insert eyebrow raise. At dinner one night, I ordered duck with a side of cabbage and baked apple. Here I thought I would get a duck breast, a small side of cabbage and slices of baked apple. WRONG. I apparently ordered a whole duck, dumplings, caramelized cabbage, red cabbage and a whole baked apple sprinkled with cinnamon. I thought I was ordering dinner, but apparently it was a feast for one. Either way, I savoured every moment of it and it was delicious. My taste buds and stomach were happy but my hips, not so much.
Unlike many other cities of Europe, Prague emerged from World War II relatively intact. With so much history littered in the streets, you can easily lose yourself for hours just walking around the city. As you wander the cobblestoned streets and look up at the castle, it really does feel as if you’ve been transported into a fairy tale. All I’m missing is the glass slipper.
– Chenessa Lam