Europe is spoiled when it comes to cheap flights, amazing food and cosmopolitan cities. With its close proximity to several countries, Europe has made it super easy to travel a short distance and be a whole world apart. While many have made Western Europe a popular weekend getaway, Eastern Europe is definitely giving it a run for its money. With fabulous destinations for half the price and twice as much history, Europeans are giving their weekend trips a second thought and heading east. One of the most intriguing and oldest cities to top the list of must-see European cities is Prague. Prague continues to win over visitors every year, providing a fun and interesting escape for half the price. Check out some of the must-do’s below when you’re planning a weekend away in Prague.
The Astronomical Clock
The most popular attraction in the city, the Astronomical Clock invites hundreds into the town square every hour to watch the 45-second show. Built in 1410, the Astronomical Clock is the oldest clock of its kind still ticking. The clock has three different elements to its structure, making it an extremely intricate contraption. One of the elements is the astronomical dial, which represents the positions of the sun and moon at all times of the day. The next element is the Walk of the Apostles, showcasing different characters striking the time. The final element is a calendar dial which highlights the months out of the year. It might be a short show, but the sheer architecture of this clock is impressive enough to check out.
Built under the rule of King Charles IV, the Charles Bridge has become the most important bridge for Prague. Finished in the 15th Century, Charles Bridge was an integral part in connecting Prague Castle to the Old Town district. It also became a big player in assisting trade between one side of the city to the next. The popular bridge boasts 30 sculptures along the way, all depicting different saints during the time of construction in the 1600’s. Charles Bridge is now a touristy hot-spot for the typical Prague photo, but its architecture and beauty cannot be unseen. Take a stroll across and transport yourself into the rich history and importance of one of the most popular bridges in the world.
Once a medieval castle, a fort, and now the home of the President of the Czech Republic, Prague Castle is an incredible sight. Known as the largest castle in the world, this monstrosity covers a lot of ground. Filled with gardens, halls, churches, palaces, towers, and even schools, the Prague Castle is much more than just a building. Watch the changing of the guards, walk the gardens, check out exhibits or attend an event. There is so much more to this destination than an old castle. Considering it was built more than 1,000 years ago and wasn’t finished until 100 years ago, gives you an idea of just how extensive this area of the city really is.
One of the most visited museums in the world, the Jewish Museum in Prague is a must for any history buff. Created in the early 1900’s, this place has one of the most interesting stories to tell of any museum. Built to establish a history for the Czech Jews, the museum was taken over by the Nazis during World War II and wasn’t given full independence until 1994. The collections include over 100,000 books including rare printed ones. From visual art to documentations of Jewish communities to photo galleries and beautiful synagogues, the Jewish Museum is well worth a visit.
Old Town Square
Located in the centre of Old Town, this square is the hustle and bustle of Prague. Filled with local artists, fast food chains, Pashmina scarves and thousands of people, Old Town Square is exactly where you need to be. Also home to the Astronomical Clock, the gothic Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, and the Church of St. Nicholas, this square is buzzing with life day and night. Enjoy a Pilsner at one of the café patios, shop til you drop for local gifts, or get snap happy with your camera. There is so much going on here, you’ll be amazed at how many different walks of life end up in one town square. If you’re around for holidays like Christmas and Easter, the square is filled with medieval themed markets, sprawling across the entire cobblestone area.