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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Prague in Four Days by Christel on 3 May 2006 6:07am
Having never yet been out of North America, I am preparing to embark upon a trip to the Czech Republic, along with a group of other students and teachers, to take a course in Baroque culture and theatre in the town of Cesky Krumlov. Our month-long stay includes a four-day trip to Prague. I wonder if any of you seasoned travellers can recommend absolute must-sees that I should visit during my short time in what, I have heard, is Europe's most beautiful city?
Re: Prague in Four Days by perfectbitch on 3 May 2006 9:41am
The St Charles Bridge which connects the old part of town to the buildings of the palace/castle is amazing. The road is sand coloured and the statues are black from soot and smoke pollution but the gold trimmings on the statues shine brightly. It is so atmospheric and I felt that I was stepping back in time with each step.

The Natural History Museum, at the top of Wenceslas Square is worth a visit too. The building itself is spectacular and so opulent. The exhibits are interesting but it's the building that is the main interest. I was looking through a window there, down Wenceslas Square (which isn't square by the way) and thinking, "Wow, I remebmer the tv images of Russian tanks rolling along the road and Jan Palach." It didn't seem possible that that could have happened in my lifetime.

There is a small museum of the work of Muscha (excuse spelling if that's weong) He did all those theatrical posters of Sarah Bernhardt and very Art Nuoveau.

And of course, the castle/palace area is very atmospheric with a small road of original buildings from hundreds of years ago.

There are plenty of internet cafes and transport is very cheap but walking is fine as the central area is quite small and easy to get around.

Many casinos and other entertainment establishments are open 24 hrs a day and proudly advertise the fact with "NON STOP". I was quite amused to see Non-stop car park!

Have fun. Linz
Re: Prague in Four Days by tucsonmike on 3 May 2006 2:27pm
Not much I can add to what Linz described.Wenceslas Square is a great place to walk and people watch. Watching the clock strike the hour was fun, but watch for pickpockets.

Re: Prague in Four Days by CarlT on 6 May 2006 4:44pm
Its a wonderful city and the best starting point is the main square. From there everything else radiates from it

Just enjoy it and make sure you see everything you can
Re: Prague in Four Days by Tauriel on 10 May 2006 3:51pm
Four days is not too much for Prague, but you can see the main sights. ;-)

You should definitely see these:

- Wenceslas Square with the famous statue of St. Wenceslas on a horse and the National Museum (I also recommend going to see an amusing parody of the statue in the Lucerna passage, in the lower part of the square, where there is a statue of St. Wenceslas sitting on a dead horse that is hanging upside down from the ceiling... :-P )

- Old Town Square - Old Town Hall with the famous astronomical clock, church of Our Lady Before Týn, church of St. Nicholas and the statue of Jan Hus

- Obecní dum (Municipal House) on Námestí Republiky - a classic example of the Art Nouveau architecture - and the Prašná brána (Powder Gate)

- Charles Bridge (Linz pretty much summed it up... I'll only add that it was almost destroyed during the floods in August 2002, but luckily, it held), by which you cross to

- Malá Strana (Little Quarter), with many romantic little streets. From Malostranské Námestí (Little Quarter Square) you can walk up to

- Prague Castle with the Cathedral of St. Guy and Golden Lane, one of the most famous sites in Prague, very picturesque (though I recommend visiting it early morning, when there aren't so many tourists around). Also, the Castle guards change every hour, but at noon there's a big parade made around it, it's worth seeing.

- you can also take a cable car up to Petrín and walk to the baroque Strahov Monastery (from there you can also walk to the Castle)

- Jewish Cemetery and the Old-new Synagogue - definitely a must see

- possibly also a small visit to the Zizkov TV tower - the tallest building in Prague, offers a nice view in good weather, and you can also see statues of babies crawling up on it, a rather funny piece of modern art. ;-)

Um, and that's about it, for the basics... :-)

CarlT: Well, what IS the main square? ;-) I would say that Prague has TWO main squares, the Wenceslas Square and the Old Town Square. But one can start at Wenceslas Square and can walk all the way to Prague Castle from there, passing Námestí Republiky, the Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and Malostranské námestí on the way. :-)

As for the public transport, the best thing is to buy a 3-day ticket (costs 250 CZK, about $10), which is valid for metro (underground/subway), buses, trams and the Petrin cable car.

And yes, watch out for the pickpockets, especially in full metro or tram (there are notices with warning everywhere).

Have fun! :-) And if you have any further questions, feel free to ask! ;-)
Re: Prague in Four Days by Adopted Tyke on 17 May 2006 2:07am
My most favourite place in the world. I visited a few years ago for 4 days also and found it a charming and delightful place. Had a wonderful time in an old retired tram turned into a restaurant in the main square which was interesting. Also I was in Prague during a major football game shown on a big screen in the centre of the old town with hundreds of Czech football fans which again was an experience. You shant regret a visit to the Czech Republic.
Re: Prague in Four Days by Tauriel on 17 May 2006 11:05am
Oh yes, both Czechs and Slovaks are huge football and ice hockey fans. You should've seen Prague when it hosted the Ice Hockey World Championship two years ago, it was incredible. The atmosphere was great. :-D
Re: Prague in Four Days by david_convery on 18 May 2006 12:45am
Prague- what a city. I spent five days there with my girlfriend in January. It was amazing, especially since it was covered in snow. Everything i imagined it would be and more! I hear it's great in summer too. One place you really should visit is Karlstejn castle. It's about 30km outside Prague and the train takes about 40min and costs the equivalent of about 2.50euro for a return. You get the train from the main train station, about 5min from the top of wensceslas square (the museum end). Go down jerusalemstavka to get to it though there is an amazing looking synagogue there. We wondered since we had only a few days in Prague, should we really go to Karlstejn but it was probably the best thing we did.

The castle was owned and built (though not personally, he wasn't a brickie) by King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, (of Charles Bridge fame and withstood three sieges, one during the 30 years war. It's located on top of a hill and looks incredible. Its huge once you get in and you can get a guided tour in a number of languages for the equiv. of a few euro. Karlstejn village is lovely, with souvenir shops like in Prague but cheaper and has a nice few pubs and restaurants too. The place looked so beautiful when it was snowing. I really thoroughly recommend a visit. You can still see all of the other things the other readers mentioned. They're all close together.

Anyway, enjoy your trip. I'm sure you'll have a great time.

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