Prague in 3 photos

3 minute read

Prague was my favourite city to visit in Europe. I deeply regretted only visiting for 24 hours.

(i) The transit

Bending the rules slightly to talk about two things I enjoyed. The 2.5 hour train from Berlin to Prague was my very first experience of inter-European rail travel, and I really regretted (regret is a big theme here) not having done this more. Ryanair is cheap but you pay for it with stress and less sleep. The trains were clean, the dining car with hot breakfast and coffee felt very retro, the views of the countryside were very pleasant. We went back for a second coffee just to sit in the dining car again.

I spent most of my time in Prague walking from the hotel to the various sights. Central Prague is very, very walkable, and it wasn’t that cold in March. So I only got to take transit when I headed to the airport. I left a bit earlier than I usually do to have more of a buffer time navigating a new transit system, I had to transfer to another line that would take me to an airport bus, so it seemed a bit complex. But I had data and enough experience that I figured, why not.

Turns out Prague’s metro is incredibly well-designed. They had clearly put a lot of thought and care into what a great user-experience would feel like, and “tourist visiting Prague for the first time” is probably one of the toughest tests around.

(ii) The C enter for A rchitecture and M etropolitan P lanning

(The spaces are intentional, check out their extremely beautiful website.)

Did you know that Prague has a museum-like interface through which the public (and tourists) can learn about their urban planning initiatives and research? C.A.M.P is part of the The Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Prague) – they’re housed side-by-side. Note their outreach mandate, paired with their cheeky “go to camp!”

24 hours in Prague meant I had to choose between urban planning and Prague Castle. My friend and I split up for the afternoon. I could have spent days at C.A.M.P. I enjoyed their exhibition on the future of housing in Prague–they share many of the same problems facing major cities worldwide. Great bookstore with lots of niche urban planning books in English and Czech.

(iii) The goulash

I still think about this goulash. We wanted something local and hearty (with beer) and both got the Budweiser Goulash for 385 CZK (~23 CAD, described on the menu as “(sirloin of beef goulash), dumplings, potato pancakes, fried eggs, horseradish”). I had no idea what Czech dumplings were before this; we got an array of different, fluffy, bread-like…breads that went great with the gravy). It went down easy with our Budvar 12 Darks (59 CZK ~ 4 CAD).

When I was searching up dinner options, there were a number in the area that looked good since it was a short walk from the main tourist attractions. I was looking for something on the quieter side, and Hostinec U Sádlů delivered. I was intrigued by the Google reviews with “medieval” listed as one of the top keywords.

I also enjoyed the kolaches at The Kolacherie.

Other things

Best city for varied architecture styles

I recommend spending an afternoon walking through the core area. It’s the best way to take in Prague’s Baroque, Gothic, and Art Nouveau buildings.

The Dancing House, designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry
An example of a beautiful facade
The C.A.M.P building itself is a marvel, designed by Czech architect Karel Prager in the 60s (and built in the 70s
The Czech National Bank
They love pastels

View from Powder Gate Tower

Always, always, take the opportunity to get a panoramic view of an urban city. I took my time here, circling it a few times. It cost 190 CZK (~11 CAD) and was well worth it. Don’t just take photos, take videos too.

One view from the tower
Another view, with the Žižkov Television Tower in focus