5 years, 8 months ago
Long gone are the days when Prague was an undiscovered gem of Europe. Instead, a visit to Prague in the Czech Republic can mean more stag-meets-hen drinking culture than the rich east-meets-west history that it is traditionally famous for. While we highly recommend that a Czech beer or two features on your list of things to do and enjoy, here are some of Prague’s best (and more sober) secret sights to explore.
National Theatre in Prague – Image © Jose Maria Cuellar
Prague is known as the city of 1000 spires and the owner of not only some of the most elegant of these and a beautiful view across many of the hundred others is the famous Prague Castle. While the tourists will still surround you as you admire this Czech landmark, it’s what you do afterwards that will mean you avoid the crowds. Rather than follow the herds back down towards the St Charles Bridge (still beautiful, but pesky tourists like beautiful too!) step outside the Prague Castle’s fortification walls to find New World Street, a small, cobbled street heading down hill towards the Stag Moat of the castle. Terraced houses painted in warm pastel shades line your walk and while there are no souvenir shops or even pubs for you to pop into, you must remember that this is precisely why this little piece of Old Prague remains relatively tourist free.
St Charles bridge in winter – Image © Edgar Barany
Image © Miroslav Petrasko
Another spot overlooked by the average tourist is Divoká Šárka. This urban park is hard to beat in terms of its size, easy access from the centre of Prague (a quick tram) and the opportunities for activities and relaxing with open-air theatre in warmer months and hiking trails winding their way around the picturesque reservoir. An open water swimming pool keeps locals happy and the visitors scratching their heads as they watch the bravest of locals enjoying a quick dip in winter months, sometimes only after pushing the surface layer of ice to one side.
Divoká Šárka swimming pool – Image © kh1234567890
Spotted in Divoká Šárka – Image © Lee Martin
Want to explore Prague after dark and risk seeing something scarier than a group of British men on a stag do? Well, you should consider signing up for the Haunted Prague walking tour. With historical facts and tales about Prague’s secret brotherhood and why Prague was built according to a clandestine plan, this tour will show you a secret side to Prague that is only too easily overlooked by those who see the night time as an invitation to party.
One place where you can guarantee combining culture, history, good food and a tourist free morning or afternoon is Brevnov Abbey and Monastery. Within the grounds is the stunning, baroque style St Margaret’s Basilica, which is just a beautiful inside with frescos adorning the vaulted ceiling. Take a quick stroll through the gardens to quickly work up an appetite because the Klašterní Senk restaurant onsite is one of the best places in Prague to get some traditional Czech food.
Save a little room in your tummies for a sweet treat that most visitors to Prague don’t take the time to try. Tredlnik is a type of sweet bread rolled into a cylinder that is then dipped in sugar, nuts or cinnamon. Originally a Slovakian delicacy, locals rely on this afternoon (or morning or evening) treat to keep them warm in the winter months. Look out for vendors selling Tredlnik on street corners and in the Old Town Square, and yes we know there are lots of tourists there, but the Tredlnik here is among the best as they even fill the centre with nutella or jam to keep the pesky tourists happy. So I suppose being surrounded by tourists in Prague isn’t always bad?