Saturday, 10 January 2015

Prague pt. 1: getting to and around

Hello Darlings! I'm back from Prague, where I spent 4 days with my new boyfriend (new as in we've been going out for about 6 months now). We had been planning to go either to Prague or Dubrovnik, but our choice was partly made for us by circumstances. The flight to Dubrovnik would have taken us 14 hours with 3 flights and over 7 hours layover - so Prague it was! And I'm glad it was. Prague was a very pleasant surprise. 
Perhaps we'll be doing Dubrovnik an other time when the flights are more reasonable.

Having lunch right around the corner from the hotel after arriving. The cream of pea soup was delicious.

Tři století
Míšeňská 70/4, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana
The city of Prague is about 1100 years old. With it's old town, Staré Město, founded in the 9th century and the new town, Nové Město,  in the 14th century, Prague is definitely the place to go if you're looking for history, culture and beautiful medieval architecture. 

Unfortunately though the old town of Prague is quite the touristy place with souvenir shops after another, all a like, and a dense crowd of people even in January which isn't exactly the high peak of travelling season. I can't even imagine what it would be like in July or August. Also most of the sights collect entrance fee if you wish to enter, which it isn't always so cheap.
I felt like Prague is a relatively safe place though, if you watch out for pick-pocketers. I never felt like we had to be scared even when we wandered off from the tourist centre.

Prague public transport map and tickets

We arrived to the Airport just before noon and took the bus and metro over to our hotel. Usually airport transportation is available either through hotels or at the airport, but if you're not carrying a lot of heavy luggage, getting around with the public transportation is very easy and cheap. A 30 minute ticket costs only about 0,85€ and a 90 minute ticket about 1,15€. This allows you to use the bus, tram and metro as much as you can within the time period. The metro and tram will take you to any part of the city and once you get a hold of it, it's a rather easy and fast way to get around.

Hotel U Pàva
Our room at Hotel U Pàva
Our hotel, Hotel U Páva, was situated in the Lesser Quarter or Malá Strana just on the other side of the river from the old town. In the middle ages the Lesser Quarter housed a large number of noble palaces and the Prague castle and the 9th century cathedral, St. Vitus Cathedral, are also situated there.

prague castle and st. vitus cathedral
The view from our room window
The hotel was very nice and the interior very lavish with heavy, black and gold draped curtains, wooden floor and antique furniture. The situation was also very good for us: just in the middle of the old town and caste quarter and just around the corner from the Charles bridge, yet away from the noise and hassle. We also got the corner room overlooking both the Charles Bridge, Karlův most, and the Prague Castle, Pražský hrad.


love lock on a railing under the Charles bridge Prague
Right at the root of Charles bridge at Malá Strana


After getting settled to the hotel we went for a little stroll over the Charles bridge and in to the old town. We just wandered around, hit a little coffee shop and came across couple vintage shops (of which I will tell you about in a later post). We wandered to
the old town square, Staroměstské náměstí,
 where there was a Christmas market for a couple more days.

At the Staroměstské náměstí havig a cup of hot cherry wine and trdelnik.
 
the astronomical clock, prague
The Astronomical clock, Orloj, at Staroměstské náměstí.
The Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town City Hall in the Old Town Square. The clock was first installed in 1410, making it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still working.

 We stopped at the square to take in the atmosphere, listen to the band on the street 
playing jazz music and enjoy a cup of hot cherry wine and Trdleník, a traditional Czeck
pastry. 
After dinner we strolled back through the old town square and went up to the Old town
city hall tower.

The view from the top of the tower overlooking the Church of our Lady before Týn

View from the charles bridge of the prague castle
A view from the Charles Bridge

You can find maps of Prague here
Information about the public transport here
Tram and metro map here

Credits to most of the pictures go to Jake, my beloved travel companion and trusted map master.

Also check out
Prague pt. 2: Music and theatre
Prague pt. 3: History and architecture

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