Saturday, October 6, 2012

Prague: Walking Tour in the "Walkable" City of Czech Republic

Although Prague is noted to be one of Europe's most charming cities, it is also known for being a very "walkable" city.

My walking tour was a two-day affair, and though agents abound offering their "free" services, I decided to explore Prague on my own. 

Starting from the bus station at Florenc, the first landmark I passed was the Powder Gate, which served as an entrance to the Old Town. Minutes later, I found myself getting lost in the Old Town taking endless shots of the square. The Old Town is Prague's center, where the historical buildings and monuments are found, one of which is the famed Astronomical Clock (Orloj).

Powder Gate.
Old Town Square

Astronomical Clock (Orloj)

Old Town buildings

Later in the evening, my host and I met for dinner. We crossed the less crowded bridge, and had a hearty meal in Cafe Savoy, one of Prague's oldest restaurants. The restaurant has been around since the 1890s, but during communism, most establishments flaunting aristocracy have been shut down. After liberation, the locals were back to their lifestyle of being able to take time to enjoy a meal over long conversations or contemplation. 

less crowded bridge (Most Legii)

feeling aristocratic at Cafe Savoy;
on the way to the loo,
you can have a glimpse at how they bake their own breads

The following day, I promised to beat the crowd, as the Charles Bridge tends to get packed with tourists. And I was right. 

Charles Bridge

I walked uphill to reach the Prague Castle, and almost gave up catching my breath. Reaching the castle was almost a prize itself, as you enjoy a magnificent view of Prague. 

the climb uphill. erm, i was actually looking back.
the castle.

view over Prague
I took the stairs downhill, which was surprisingly empty, save for a few travelers like myself, trying to escape the multitude.

the road less traveled. hah!

where are the tourists?

I spent some time in the quaint Lesser Town (Malá strana). There is a courtyard which is transformed every night into a smorgasbord of sausages and the famous Prague ham. Not to miss is the Lennon Wall, a graffiti of the young Czech's expression of their sentiments against communism. Also found here is a canal with water wheel.

Lesser Town and the
delish Prague ham. *drool*

on a quieter time.
before noon.
Lennon Wall

On the other side of the bridge, is the Jewish quarter, also called Josefov. Here you'll find some synagogues, the old Jewish cemetery, and Kafka's monument.

Jewish cemetery

Franz Kafka's monument

Back in the center, I passed by Artbanka Museum of Young Art and  the Estate Theatre, where Mozart's opera Don Giovanni was first performed. 

To cap the night, I had a cup of coffee in Cafe Louvre, which Albert Einstein & Franz Kafka frequented during the pinnacle of the Prague cafe society. 

if you're looking at infographics, it doesn't matter which language it's written in.
their classic Melange.

where Albert Einstein used to sip a cup and
mull over the theory of relativity: E = mc2.

Special Tip : Since most of the paths are made up of uneven cobblestones, make sure you are wearing a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

How about you, where have you gone recently, exploring a city by foot?


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