The majestic city of Prague is one of Europe’s finest, and almost undamaged by WWII. Its bridges, castles, cathedrals, church domes and towers retain much of their original charm and features. The city centre is a maze of tiny cobbled streets that open out into walled courtyards and large squares. The imposing 9th century castle watches over the city that today pulsates with a modern energetic vibe that entices every kind of visitor from the culture buff to the art fanatic, and from students to food lovers.
As with any popular city it can be hard to get away from the main tourist honeypots and discover less crowded and arguably just as fascinating sites. Here we suggest 5 off the beaten track must-sees on a visit to Prague.
The Art of David Černý
David Černý is the undisputable bad boy of contemporary art in Eastern Europe and many of his pieces cause controversy and upset. Prague showcases lots of his artwork and whether you love it or hate it, you can’t help but marvel at his talent. From alien babies crawling up the Žižkov TV Tower to the upside down horse with St Wenceslaus, the weird and wonderful sculptures you spot around the city are bound to belong to David Černý. You can even do a tour that takes you around stopping at his main ones.
Žižkov TV Tower
The Žižkov TV Tower in Vinohrady is another controversial icon in Prague and is yet another dominant feature. Lit up during the hours of darkness in white, red and blue, this building is the tallest in the city. Atop the tower there is a viewing platform, which offers unparalleled panoramic views of the city. There is a restaurant and bar in the tower and don’t forget to check out the crawling alien babies!
This was built on the site of the largest Stalin statue in the world. Once upon a time, the dictator’s stator stood here and presided over the city. Today the area around the Metronome has been developed into a playground for the youngsters keen on skateboarding and BMX biking. Located in Letna Park, the monument makes a nice place for a picnic, and there is a beer garden close by too.
The John Lennon Wall
This piece of art history originated in the 1980s when political activists among the youth of communist Czechoslovakia used it to state their opinions about the repressive political situation they lived in. Today it remains as a reminder of the inspired changes that have taken place in the region since. Today, the wall changes constantly as people inscribe their messages and symbols of hope.
The Meet Factory
There is always something cool going on at The Meet Factory, with many non-mainstream yet top quality concerts being performed here. The multi-purpose functional space was the brainchild of David Černý and today hosts many parties and gatherings for the young and hip of the city.
How to Get There: Prague
Prague airport is a bustling hub and serves flights from several major European cities, including London, Newcastle, Bremen, Cologne, Madrid, and Zurich. For reliable Prague airport transfers, Shuttle Direct offers a professional and efficient service. The private or shared taxis take you from the airport and straight into the city. You can book your Prague airport transfers in advance, which makes your journey even more seamless.
Where to Stay
Pension Prague City – If you are looking for a budget hotel, situated close to the city centre then the Pension Prague City is a good option. Only a 25-minute walk from the Old Town of Prague the hotel is close to many of the city’s main monuments. Every room is en suite and some provide air-conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is offered and there is a computer for guests’ use in the reception area.
Cloister Inn Hotel – For something a little more upmarket, the Cloister Inn Hotel, located in a quiet area close to the city centre is a nice option. The rooms are all air-conditioned, roomy and bright. Free Wi-Fi is offered in the hotel and every room has a safe, desk and en suite facilities. Breakfast is included and there are minibars in the rooms too. Free tea and coffee is available in the reception area and the staff is on hand 24 hours a day. Close to some great restaurants, this hotel is also only a 10-minute walk from the Old Town.
Hotel Kings Court – If you are looking for a more luxurious place to stay in Prague the Hotel Kings Court, next to the Art-Nouveau Municipal House could be for you. Right in the very heart of the city, this exclusive hotel has a pool, sauna and steam bath. Treatments can be booked and there is a fitness suite on site, which you can use for free. Rooms are beautifully decorated and all have air-conditioning, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and a safe.
The Vodka bar is a popular feature in this hotel and here you can enjoy specialty vodka while marvelling at the views of Republic Square. The restaurant serves excellent international cuisine too.