Charles Bridge from Below

Go To Prague, You Said

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

“Go to Prague,” you said, when we tasked you with deciding our next journey. Secretly, we had hoped you would choose another.

Not for any meaningful reason, really. We will admit to being wooed by the more off-beat destination of Tallinn which also would have been just a quick sail across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki. Prague is such a beautiful city with so much to do. Whether you are visiting Prague with kids, a couple or flying solo, there is something for everyone. And although it is one of those places in which we felt like we had seen it a million times before (even without having been there) – we’ve all seen the morning photos of Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle lit up at night. We knew that Prague was a destination we would visit someday, but our desire was not immediate.

But we were dutiful, listened to you, and went straight to Prague from Helsinki.

And after three weeks in the city, there is one thing we can say for sure about this capital of the Czech Republic: she’s a charmer.

Upon arrival, we approached the city like any other. We went straight for the heart of the historical center and the more tourist-y sections, to “knock those off the list”, so to say. With dear friends from Amsterdam in town with us for the first few days, we took in the Castle, the Jewish Quarter, we wandered as far as our feet would take us.

And, like in many other cities, my interest was piqued. The intrigue to learn about a location rarely sets in prior to our arrival – it’s once we’ve been immersed that the sudden urge is upon me. I usually start with digesting the basic Wikipedia page (in the absence of any planned tour with locals in Prague, another good first step), and then let myself be guided from there, stumbling wherever my interest takes me.

Except that for Prague, I never made it off the first page – not for lack of interest but for my short attention span given its massive complexity. Over 1,100 years in existence, the city has been claimed by many, survived floods and wars, actually coined the word “defenestration” (the deliberate act of throwing people out of windows), remained fairly unscathed through WWII, and then celebrated the most amicable break-up in history when the Czech Republic and Slovakia separated with a hand shake.

Its history is complex and twisty and worthy of knowing – but I instead found myself more swept up in the city it is today. Prague is impossibly beautiful, provocative, quirky, incredibly diverse, and begging to be roamed aimlessly.

Pete, perhaps the most grumbly about the choice of Prague, quickly fell into adoration. I had, in all honesty, not seem him as inspired with the camera in a very long time. He would be gone for hours, always finding new angles to capture, bouncing into the room and demanding my attention to share his best. And while his first love is for landscapes, he found himself often enraptured by the little details. (Which explains the abundance of photos for this post.)

So we have to hand it to you our readers for choosing Prague as it became a real highlight of all our travels in Europe. We should really have you make more of our decisions for us.

where to stay

High-end The dreamlike Four Seasons hotel is pure luxury, but the staff makes it feel like home. If you’re looking for a luxe hotel experience, look no further!

Check reviews | Book this hotel

Mid-range The Residence Agnes has exceptional reviews! Most say not to consider any other hotel in Prague – the staff goes out of their way to help you, the food is great, and the location is very central!

Check reviews | Book this hotel

Budget You can reserve private rooms, shared rooms, or apartments at the Mosaic House. There are many shared spaces and events, and it functions mainly as a hostel.

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  1. Prague is definitely a city of details. I know a lot of people complain that it’s “too touristy”, and yes there are a lot of tourists relative to its size, but I think for good reason. It’s also definitely a city that merits more than one visit. I think I’ve been there about four times now, and it still feels like there’s more to see each time.

  2. Thanks for this post, I too have had Prague on my list of must visit one day but it has now jumped to I must see soon! I think places popular with tourists are popular for a reason and must not be left off the list for fear of crowds or tacky souvenir stalls. I love reading your blogs and dreaming of being in your photos one day! Thanks again.

  3. Thanks for this post, I too have had Prague on my list of must visit one day but it has now jumped to I must see soon! I think places popular with tourists are popular for a reason and must not be left off the list for fear of crowds or tacky souvenir stalls. I love reading your blogs and dreaming of being in your photos one day! Thanks again.

  4. Yep, it’s popular for a reason! I only spent 3 days there but I loved it too and it’s history is very interesting. Did you go to the Museum of Communism?

  5. As I have not made it to Prague yet, I have been waiting for your
    post. Wow, tell Pete his photos were exceptionally outstanding.
    Makes me want to go pack my suitcase and leave immediately.
    Keep up the GOOD work. Love your blog.

  6. I got to explore Prague for about 12 hours a couple years ago. We did an event in the monastery and hotel at the top of the hill overlooking the Charles Bridge. It’s quite the hike up that hill!

    Even with less than a day to explore, Prague quickly went to the top of my list of favorite cities in the world. We made it all the way across town to the main train depot that looked like it had been around for 100 years (probably longer), way over to the Jewish Quarter, and back to the main square. Somehow you can walk 30 minutes away from a spot, then circle back to it in 5 minutes. The layout of the city was quite confusing in that sense.

    I loved every meal I had while I was there and can’t wait to go back for an extended visit one day.

  7. Great photos, especially of the doors. We went last year at this time and loved it. Drank too much cheap beer and ate too many sausages, but that comes with the territory when you are in Prague (or central Europe for that matter).

  8. I was in Prague for one day in 1988 and absolutely loved it. I want to get back and Pete’s pictures just made it even more appealing!

  9. So what did Pete had to get up to take the picture of empty Charles Bridge 😉 ? When I was there at 5am (in summer but still) there were already people around…

  10. I simply gushed through the post…Prague is SO gorgeous…I love the cityscape, the lamp-posts, the red roofs and the clock towers. I guess it’s an architectural dream.

  11. So nice to read you have been impressed by Prague although you were like prepared for not to be :)) Thank you for very nice recommendation of my city. Monika

  12. I went to Praguevin late July. I went to the Loreto/not crowded, the Museum of Music-not crowed, but great, many places not crowded. Just the Charles Bridge and the Castle- sign up for your tour early with the castle /not crowded and went right in. Loved my 8 days there! Still could do another!

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