Sunday, December 29, 2013

Exploring The Wonderful City of Prague: Christmas Market and Beyond!

Sunday, December 29, 2013
I actually wanted to fly to Stockholm and see their famous day of St. Lucia when girls walk with crowns of lit candles on their heads. It's not like you're gonna see that every day, right? But the flight schedule to Scandinavia was so abhorring that I had to switch destinations and so it happened that I ended up in Prague. I have been planning to go somewhere for Christmas markets after my delightful time in Estonia last year anyway, so Prague was OK. Not OK was the total expenditure, though.

The Impressive Our Lady before Tyn.

The Magnificent St. Nicholas's.

Night illuminations.
Trdelnik. Yummy.
The marketplace was typical to the event, with many wooden houses selling edible and inedible things, excelling in Christmas toys. I had some mulled wine, heard lovely songs, ate delicious pastry, delighted at crystal items in shops displays, and walked the lovely streets.

I walked over the iconic Charles bridge.


St. John Nepomuk.
An XVIII th.c. Crucifix with Jewish Letters. 
The Birds!
The next thing Prague excels in is Art Nouveau. I was glued to buildings trying to peek inside through glass doors into the magnificent lobbies. I hope I have not become a suspect!

The Jewish quarter is another reason to visit Prague. They say Nazis didn't destroy it like they did in other countries because here they planned to set up a museum of an extinct race. Talk about creepy things.

The Jewish Cemetery. 

The Spanish Synagogue. 
It's confusing because several separate buildings are referred to as a museum of Jewish history as it that was a single building. The only place they allow photos is in the cemetery. I really advise to visit the displays in synagogues as they are organized neatly and present interesting history. You might want to attend a concert in the Spanish synagogue, but expect to pay up to 700 CZK for the ticket (25 EUR).

I spent a full day exploring the castle side of the city and it's worth noting that it needs at least two full days to enjoy it.

Houses in Mala Strana.
St. Nicholas's Church. Yup, one more. 
St. Vitas's Church. 
A Fragment in the Fence. 

Down to Panorama Place.
Red Roofs of Prague.
You Rub "The Thing" for Good Luck. 
The Beautiful Cloisters of Loreto.
There are also some quirks of the city.

A Monument to F. Kafka.
Christ in A Dress in Loreto.
St. Agatha with her severed breasts in Loreto.
Used to be A Church.
Prague is great for day trips and the famous Kutna Hora seemed to fit the bill. I was let down by the Ossuary even though every other travel blogger seems to have enjoyed it. But the town impressed me a lot, the food we ate was delightfully gourmet, and the church of St. Barbara justified the effort of coming here.

Ossuary Bones.

Inside St. Barbara Church. 
St. Barbara's Stained Glass Windows.

Me in front of St. Barbara's Church. 

Tips for Prague.

Accommodation can be tough unless you are rich or have relatives who can put you up. I recommend hotel Bohemians with good transport links and buffet breakfast. Third party websites often have very good deals for it.

Transport is frequent, fast and not crowded. I recommend buying a three day ticket that is valid for your luggage as well as for 72 hours on trams, metro and buses.

Sightseeing depends on your preferences but expect to pay about 5 EUR or more for entrance to any place that sells tickets. Photo permits are sold separately.

Food comes to all shapes and sizes but to be on the safe side do rely on trusted internet reviews of places and make sure you read what you can find about tourist traps in Prague.

Souvenirs depend on your idea of souvenirs but typically that would be alcohol in the local style, soft toys of Mole the Animation Star, jewelry with crystal and garnet, Mucha's reproductions. I brought home some coffee from Starbucks because we don't have one in our country but, unfortunately, garnet will have to wait until I find myself a rich sheikh.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me by email or leave a comment on this blog.

Have you been to Prague?

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