Prague (4-7 June 2008)
When I think of a trip to a European capital, I don’t know why, I immediately think of Prague.
Perhaps because it is relatively close to Italy, surely because it has an excellent value for money and you can enjoy a city of great charm, history and beauty without too much money. Not surprisingly, according to an analysis of an important international agency (the IPK), Prague is the 5th favorite destination by Europeans.
Often called the “Golden City” (but also the city of hundred towers, the city of the red roofs ….), Prague is a charming town and fairytale: every alley, every square hides centuries of history that is perceived easily on foot through the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s easy to become familiar with the names of its historic neighborhoods that are now familiar even to those in Prague has never been: Stare Mesto (Old Town), Nove Mesto (New Town), Malá Strana (the Lesser Town) .
Nowadays, Prague is above all a city with beautiful squares, buildings alternating theaters, luxurious shops, nightlife and local breweries constantly full of life, where to find “all kinds” of fun.
It’s a city very collection which is very well explored on foot, perhaps with some raid on traditional red tram, number 22, above all, the most frequented by tourists, partly because leading up to the visit of the Castle.
The starting point of any visit can only be the Charles Bridge that connects Stare Mesto with Malá Strana. Once a place of condemnation of traditors, Charles Bridge is today a romantic walk along a promenade literally suspended over the water, a true open-air stage for street performers and acrobats. And then the Clock Tower, in the nice Staroměstské Náměstí, where you can sit in one of many local and sip one of the great Czech beers, poured to perfection and served in mugs strictly wet with fresh water, an experience that alone it is worth (almost all) the journey.
In short, a rich city of history and culture (it is homeland of Kafka and Kundera but also of Zatopek and Lendl), in art and history, it deserves, as perhaps few other cities in europe, to be seen, but above all be lived fully in all its facets, at least once in life.
Withdraw from the ATM of the airport a little currency. You can withdraw 3,000 Czech Crowns (about 110 Euros) for the first few purchases (for example, the bus fare leading into downtown or the taxi ride).
To reach the city center, take bus no. 119 (the last bus from the airport is at 11.30 p.m.) and get off at the last stop, Nadrazi Veleslavin where you will find the same name Metro line A (recently opened). Hence the town is just a few stops (for example, stop “Mustek” or “Muzeum” of the central Wenceslas Square). The cost of the ticket is 32 Crowns (about 1.20 euro).
NOT TO BE MISSED
The Charles Bridge
Staroměstské Náměstí with the Clock Tower
The Castle (Pražský Hrad) with the St. Vitus Cathedral
WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME
A boat cruise on the Vltava river
The Petrin Tower
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Ambassador – Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Namesti 5-7).
5-star hotel (at least one, however, is “donated”), in the central Wenceslas Square (50 mt. from the metro station on line A, “Mustek”). The Charles Bridge can be reached within a 15-minute walk through the beautiful streets of Stare Mesto. quite luxurious hotel, maybe a little ‘impersonal.