The beautiful city of Prague – פראג, the capital of the Czech Republic (צ’כיה), cleverly combines the charm of bygone days and its rich culture with the modern flair of a European metropolis. With cheap flights to Prague from Tel Aviv, there’s no wonder it became a hot spot for the Israeli traveler. We’ve looked at the most exciting things to do and places to visit.
1. Walk around Prague Castle
Prague Castle is the largest surviving ancient castle in the world, at 570 meters long. As you walk up the hill from Charles Bridge, you will not be able to miss the castle from the 9th century. Prague castle impresses visitors with its magnificent architecture and centuries of history that took place behind its walls. It also serves as the official residence of the Czech president. Also belonging to the castle complex is the Golden Lane, in whose house No. 22 the author Franz Kafka once lived and worked for a short time.
2. Go to St Vitus Cathedral
Officially, St Vitus Cathedral is also part of the Prague Castle. As you step through the castle gates, the first building you come across is St Vitus Cathedral. It is the largest church building in the Czech Republic and was founded as early as the 10th century. However, it got its Gothic form in the middle of the 14th century on behalf of Charles IV. The last part of the cathedral was completed in the 19th century after a long construction break due to wars and lack of funds. Inside the cathedral, you can see the enormous pipe organ and a truly impressive stained glass display, the Mucha window. This display alone makes it a must-see in Prague – פראג.
3. Visit The Old Town Square and the Prague Astronomical Clock
With more than 9,000 square meters, the Old Town Square is the center of Prague – פראג. It houses significant buildings such as the Týn Church with its beautiful towers, the Kinský Palace or the House of the Stone Bell. You can also find there the Old Town Hall with its famous Prague Astronomical Clock. This remarkable timepiece was built in 1410 and is the oldest functional astronomical clock in the world. Naturally, the one-of-a-kind clock tells you the time, but also the position of the moon and the sun, the day of the year and the current zodiac sign.
Mechanical marionettes of the 12 apostles file past as the bell chimes. More interesting are the four figures that represent the dire societal concerns of medieval Prague: Vanity, Greed, Death, and Pagan Invasion, embodied by a Turk. If you want to get a stunning view of the 12th-century Old Town Square, climb up the clock tower.
4. Cross Charles Bridge
Crossing Charles Bridge in Prague – פראג may not be as easy as it seems, especially at peak times. It’s extremely popular with visitors, as well as with hawkers and entertainers who add to the bustle. However, it’s well worth making the trip to this unique bridge which dates back to 1390. The bridge which features beautiful Gothic towers is one of the oldest stone bridges in Europe and the oldest surviving bridge over the Vltava. Over the years, the bridge has been photographed by thousands of photographers and became one of the most famous motifs of the Czech Capital.
5. Take a Synagogue tour
There are several Synagogues at Josefov District which used to be the small Jewish ghetto in Prague. Now, it’s home to some of the most beautiful shop fronts and jewelers in the city. There are several synagogues in the town quarter altogether, but these two shall not be missed:
The Old-New Synagogue is considered as the oldest synagogue in Europe. It has existed since the middle of the 13th century and said to have been built with angels’ help. This house of prayer is authentic and uniquely preserved the early Gothic interior of one of the oldest European synagogues.
This one may be the most recent synagogue in Prague Jewish Town, but it is probably the most beautiful synagogue in Europe. The Spanish Synagogue was built in 1868 for the local Reform congregation with an impressive Moorish interior design, influenced by the famous Alhambra.
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6. Be Kafkaesque at the Franz Kafka Museum
Opened in 2005, The Franz Kafka Museum (מוזיאון פרנץ קפקא) is an admirable attempt to capture the spirit of Kafka’s work. The museum features a permanent exhibition called The City of K, and it includes unsettling representations of tropes from his work. It includes mirrors, labyrinths, dark drawings, and even a torture machine. Just outside the entrance is an impressive statue by Prague artist David Cerny, depicting two men urinating onto a map of the Czech Republic. If you text a word to the phone number next to the stature, the micturating duo will spell it out for you by swiveling their bronze penises.
7. Get the views of Petřín Hill
Just south of Prague Castle, Petřín is on the west side of the Charles Bridge. If you’re up to it, hike up the hill. There’s an entrance fee to the tower, but the stunning views of Prague – פראג from up there are really worth your money. The tower was first built in 1891, and there are 299 steps to climb up. The views of the rose gardens, the Vltava River and the Church and astronomical tower will take your breath away.
When you’re done and go down the stairs, you can grab something to eat and drink at the Petrin restaurant terrace. The restaurant is located just in the middle of the eastern slope of Petrin hill with a breath-taking view of the whole city.
8. Stroll around Stromovka Park
Stromovka Park is the largest park in Prague – פראג. It is an oasis of relaxation, a green lung in a noisy metropolis. You can find here hipsters, lovey-dovey couples, joggers and runners, skaters and cyclists, families with kids of all ages, and dogs with their owners. It’s a great place to enjoy a picnic. You can simply walk through the park, cross the Vltava river and reach Prague Zoo and Troja Castle.
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9. Connect with the local history at the Václav Havel Library
Many people see Vaclav Havel as the best Czech president. After all, this is the leader who said: “Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred”. At this library, dedicated to Havel, you can learn about the president who led the revolution against the communist regime and the Czech Republic after that era. The library collects, researches, and advocates the spiritual, literary, and political legacy the former president. It also focuses on people, events, and phenomena related to the legacy of Václav Havel and strives to place them in the context of the times and of the late present.
10. Eat street food at the farmers market
Farmářské tržiště Náplavka is probably the most popular farmers market in Prague – פראג, loved by both tourists and locals. It’s located on the riverside of the Vltava river and offers its visitors a great atmosphere and lots of healthy food from local farmers. You can pick up some fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables, meats, spices, bread, fish, wines, beers, and much more. Generally, the market is open on Saturdays, but it’s recommended to check the website if it’s closed due to a public holiday or a special event.
11. From breakfast to evening wine at Kavárna Zanzibar
Kavárna Zanzibar is one of the favorite spots by locals in Prague – פראג. Founded in 1995, you can get here breakfast from 08:00, have an exceptional coffee and enjoy the delicious food of all kinds – vegetarian, vegan, meat, poke bowls, quesadillas, tapas, and great salads. Come for lunch or dinners, and enjoy good wine and excellent atmosphere until night.
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12. Be brave and Drink absinthe at Café Slavia
Absinthe was invented in Switzerland, but it became associated with bohemians and dissidents living in Prague פראג. Café Slavia was a drinking hole for Franz Kafka and the author and philosopher Václav Havel, later to become the first democratically elected president of Czechoslovakia. The café which was first opened in August 1884 occupies a prime location opposite the National Theatre and has a wonderfully restored art deco interior. Café Slavia closed its gates in 1992 because of legal disputes but reopened five years later.
13. Learn more at the city’s museums
There are many museums worth your visit, here are three recommendations:
This little exhibition offers a rare ingredient that most museums don’t have: some sense of humor. For example, you can buy in the gift shop postcards with classic images of Communist workers underneath the slogan: “Sometimes there was no toilet paper in the shops. Luckily there was not much food either”.
The National Museum of Prague – פראג
The National Museum of Prague has an extensive collection of cultural and natural history exhibits. Those of the prehistory and early history are very interesting.
Important Info about Prague
|Country 🇨🇿||the Czech Republic – Czechia – צ’כיה|
|Currency 💸||Czech Koruna|
|Currency exchange||1 CZK ~ 0.15 ILS|
|Flight time from TLV Airport||4 Hours|
|Average temperatures in July-August 🌞||12-23|
|Average temperatures in December-February ⛄||(-4)-2|