Top experiences from the city of Prague

 

How can you not love a city that has its beauty comparable to Paris, beer one of the best in Europe and has gigantic castles, beautiful bridges and small cafes all around waiting for wanderers…

 

Here are the must see places and experiences when you are in this wonderful city:

 

Spend some time exploring the Old Town

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One of Europe’s biggest and one of the most beautiful is the Old Town Square of Prague. Always bustling with tourist and locals, this is an ideal place to start with your experience of the beauty of this city. Located between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge, Prague’s Old Town Square is often filled with entertaining artists and street performers. The main square has the gothic Tyn Cathedral overlooking on one side and the famous Astronomical clock on the other on the other.

 

 

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Make sure you are present here when the clock strikes the hour and the bells start ringing, the Walk of the Apostles begins, the Gothic sculptures move, a cock crows and a trumpeter blast sets off a tourist-pleasing show, a sight everyone should see at least once.

Stroll across the Charles Bridge

A mere walk on this 14th century bridge is worth a lot. Being the most iconic tourist attraction in Prague, place has spectacular scenery on both sides making the walk on this bridge an experience in itself. 

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Best place to be on a fine afternoon, not only the bridge but even the adjacent areas around it are good to stroll. Also, a good place for a romantic stroll in the evening under the lights. You will always find a lot of artists, painters and musicians along the bridge   making it a brilliant experience for the wanderers.

Visit the Prague Castle

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Overlooking the city of Prague is the massive complex of the Prague Castle. This beautiful castle has traditionally been the seat of Czech rulers and is today the official residence of the president. The castle buildings are centuries old and consists of the royal palace, a cathedral and three churches, a basilica, a monastery, defensive towers, royal stables, a tiny lane where craftsmen worked and magnificent gardens.

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Entry to the grounds of the castle is free although many buildings such as the St Vitus cathedral, Basilica of St George and Golden Lane can be visited with a combined entry ticket.

Walk across Wenceslas Square

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Wenceslas square is one of the main city squares in Prague and the centre of business and cultural community in the new town of Prague. Being a shopper’s paradise and home for many popular bars, clubs and hotels this place is an essential part of cities’ nightlife. Overlooked by the grand National Museum and intersection to all most of the metro lines of the city this place is filled with commuters and tourists all day long.

Go to the top of Petrin Tower

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Often called as the ‘Eiffel Tower of Prague’ this is a 63.5m high watch tower on the Petrin Hill. Take a small funicular ride up the hill and you can have a majestic top view of Prague’s old town from the top of Petrin Tower. Also In the peaceful Kinský Garden (Kinského zahrada), on the southern side of Petřín, is the 18th-century wooden Church of St Michael.

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View from the Petrin Tower

Admire the Lenon Wall

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Although Prague is a long way from Liverpool, the birthplace of the Beatles, fans should certainly check out this shrine to one of the most famous bands of all time. The wall has been covered in John Lennon and The Beatles graffiti, lyrics and quotations since the 1980s and is very popular among tourists and young fans wishing to pay homage to the group.

 

A few other places to check out while you are in the city:

  • See the ‘Infant Jesus’ of Prague in Mala Strana.
  • Go to the old Jewish Ghetto.
  • Take a Cruise on the river Vltava.
  • Have a beer on the river shore at Náplavka Riverbank.
  • Indulge in the amazing nightlife of Prague with clubs and jazz pubs.

 

Have a look at a few other city blogs :

Don’t miss these 10 places in Brussels !

Don’t miss on these if you are in Cardiff ! 

London Attractions Not to be missed !

Weekend trip to Brussels and Brugge !

If you are looking for a weekend getaway and Belgium is on your list of countries to visit. This blog will serve you just right.

Recently, I did a weekend trip to Belgium including the cities of Brussels and Bruges. There are a lot of ways to reach Brussels, capital city of Belgium. You can use trains or flights (Advisable to book tad bit in advance to avoid the availability and high pricing issues) and the coach service from major cities across Europe and UK. Coach should be an ideal choice if you are looking to travel on a budget. (Always preferred)

I started my trip from London, used a coach for London to Brussels on Friday night which was about 7-8 hours of bus ride, not a lot of time if you can sleep in a bus. A piece of advice, start your trip Friday evening so that you can start roaming around from Saturday morning.

So here is what you can follow if you are headed for this weekend trip.

Reach Saturday morning to Brussels and find your hostel/hotel to keep your stuff and freshen up for the city. Make sure you choose a place near the centre of the city that ways you have to rely less on the city transport and also coz walking around the city is always exciting and more fun.

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Grote Markt – Brussels

After you are ready for your city visit, start with the Grand Place (Grote Markt), this is the central square of Brussels, it’s enclosed between many of the famous buildings of Brussels, special one is the 15th century Town Hall and is an ideal place to start. The Grand place square is accessible by a lot of alleys by walk and the best entrance is via Rue des Harengs. You can have some good food in the adjacent cafes and restaurants in this area. There is a lot of things happening usually in the square so you would be able to catch some of the local events or markets in this place.

Town Hall of Brussels
Town Hall of Brussels

While at the Grand-Place don’t forget to visit the Gothic Hôtel de Ville. It dates back to 1402 and is the seat of civic government. It is an attractive building with arched windows, towers and adorned with sculptures including St Michael slaying a she-devil. If you are feeling energetic, climb the 96 metre high Brabantine Gothic tower and enjoy the amazing views over the city.

After the grand palace square, if you are a fan of museums, make sure you check out the City Museum – Maison du Roi. Just in front of the Town Hall. Here the history of Brussels is told over three floors from the Middle Ages to date.

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After spending some good quality time here in the Grand place and the City Museum, walk towards The Royal Palace of Brussels. This is the King’s administrative residence and main workplace, where he works daily with his staff. A tradition has been established since 1965 to open the Brussels Palace to the public every summer after the National Holiday of 21 July until September. So if you are visiting in these dates you might want to have a look inside.

After the Royal Palace, walk towards Rue Charles Buls to view the cheeky, chubby-cheeked Manneken-Pis – ‘Pissing Boy’ is a major character in the folklore of Brussels. He is probably Brussels’ most photographed statue, yet it is only 60cm high. He is usually stark-naked but sometimes he gets dressed. He has an impressive wardrobe of 600 outfits displayed in the Maison du Roi.

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In the evening, you can take a train ride from the Manneken-Pis towards the Atomium and Heysel Park. Your destination station for Atomium would be Heysel. Heysel park, located in the west of Brussels, is dedicated to recreation and leisure. One of the highlights of the park is the Atomium. This is a glistening 102 metre (335 ft) high model of an atom made out of chrome and steel designed by André Waterkeyn.

After visit to Atomium, you should check out some of the pubs, cafes and restaurants in the Grote Markt area for dinner and drinks (Because it is a Saturday Night J). And call it a night after that as you still have one more city to go.

For some more places in Brussels: Don’t miss these 10 places in Brussels !

Next morning, try and wake up a bit on time (I know that’s a task but still..). You can take a light breakfast and Coffee in your hostel/hotel or near the Brussels Centre station. Because that’s the station you have to catch a one hour train to Bruges city. Preferably take a two way ticket because you have to catch back your train, flight or coach to your city from Brussels again.

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Bruges, is a city straight from fairy tales. This medieval town is picturesque, full of canals, small alleys and beautiful buildings. Not a very big city in itself and home to only 20,000 people, it is famous amongst young lovers for a stroll because of the beautiful canals. The first point for Bruges is the Belfort, also called Belfry this is an 83m gigantic clock tower. Today the tower holds the 47 bells designed in 1741 by George Duméry and regularly chimes the hours and important events. You can go up the tower (366- steps I must add) to see the panoramic view of Bruges.

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From here take a short walk towards the Burg Square. This is the main square of Bruges and has many beautiful and famous buildings. Beginning with Heilig Bloed Basiliek (Basilica of the Holy Blood) named after the holy relic that found its way here in the middle Ages. After Burg, the other main square of Bruges is ‘The Markt’, also called as the heart of Bruges, here you will find a lot of cafes, eateries and also shops for Belgian chocolates !

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After spending good time and lunch the final thing to do on your weekend trip would be a relaxing canal ride in Bruges. Because it would be incomplete without this. You can find the Canal tours near the Belfort.

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After the Canal tour if you have time you should try some of the Belgian beers (I did !) in one of the pubs in Markt area. After which you should catch the train back to Brussels well in time to catch the final train/flight or coach home.

Happy Travelling!! Please share how you find these places 🙂

Destination Photos that will Inspire you to take your next Trip!!

London, UK – This city never fail to amaze you ! 

 

Brussels, Belgium – Architectural and Multicultural !

Paris, France – Where Love is in the air, you will fall for this city every time you visit!

 

The City of Bath, England – Flavour of Europe in English midlands!

 

Barcelona, Spain – Awesome beaches and a lot of culture!

 

Cologne, Germany – Less explored city with an awesome hint of enjoyment!

 

Bruges, Belgium – city straight out of fairy tales.

Thimpu, Bhutan – a country where you will find peace !

Don’t miss these 10 places in Brussels !

Brussels, being the capital city of Belgium and administrative capital of whole EU, is a place not to be missed in any Europe trip. As a city it is multicultural and has beautiful architecture all around. Not to forget the Belgian beers and Belgian chocolates… 

Here I am listing what not to miss when you are in Brussels. Explore these places and share your experiences 🙂

Grote Markt / Grand Place

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This UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the main tourist attraction of the City of Brussels. Beautifully enclosed between many of the famous buildings of Brussels, in which special one is the 15th century Town Hall, this square an ideal place to spend some quality time. The Grand place square is accessible by a lot of alleys by walk and the best entrance is via Rue des Harengs. Also here you will find the best cafes and local bars of Brussels city.

There is a daily flower market between March and October and often accompanied with concerts and a light show in the evening. So if you are in the city during these months make sure you attend the festivities.

Hôtel de Ville – Town Hall

Town Hall of Brussels

While in the Grote Markt, don’t forget to visit this gothic 15th century town hall. It is an attractive building with arched windows, towers and adorned with sculptures including St Michael slaying a she-devil. If you are feeling energetic, climb the 96 metre high Brabantine Gothic tower and enjoy the amazing views over the city. This building hold a lot of timeless stories of architectures and wars, you will get a lot of history in in here.

Manneken-Pis – ‘Pissing Boy’

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This 60 cm high chubby boy is probably the most photographed statue in Brussels. Mannekin-Pis is a major character in folklore of Brussels and was created by Jerome Duquesnoy. He has a small fountain piece where the water emerges from a tiny metal penis that the boys points at the viewer. He is usually stark-naked but sometimes he gets dressed. He has an impressive wardrobe of 600 outfits displayed in the Maison du Roi.

City Museum – Maison du Roi (French)

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This museum is dedicated to the history of Brussels, and if you have already seen the Manneken-Pis, in here you can take a look at his costumes. The history of Brussels is told over three floors from the Middle Ages to date.

Royal Palace Brussels

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Next to the Royal Park and strategically situated across from the Palace of the Nation stands the Royal Palace of Brussels. Representing part of Belgium’s constitutional monarchy, the Royal Palace of Brussels serves as the official palace where the king welcomes heads of state and government and conducts events. This is a huge building with remarkable architecture and as its still functional it is open to public on some particular days only.

Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée – Belgian Comic Strip Center

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Belgium has more comic strip artists per square kilometre than any other country, so if you love cartoons, you may appreciate this museum dedicated to the comic strip. It is housed in the Waucquez Warehouse, a masterpiece in itself, designed by Art Nouveau architect, Victor Horta. You will be taken on the journey a comic strip artist has to make from concept to shop. There’s over 5000 original drawings and an entire section to Belgium’s famous cartoon character hero – Tin Tin.

Heysel Park and the Atomium

The Atomium, Brussels

Heysel park, located in the west of Brussels, is dedicated to recreation and leisure. In 1985, the European Champions Cup tragedy took place in the Heysel stadium killing several spectators. It has been redesigned since then and renamed Stade Roi Baudoin (King Baudoin Stadium).

One of the main highlights of the park is the Atomium. This is a glistening 102 metre (335 ft) high model of an atom made out of chrome and steel designed by André Waterkeyn. To really appreciate this structure, take time to gaze up and enjoy the sheer enormity.

Bruparck

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Next door to the Atomium is Bruparck, a 25 hectare leisure park of several amusements and attractions. This includes a 27 cinema complex called Kinepolis, an all-round Imax screen, a planetarium and a water park called L’Oceade plus a clutch of eateries in ‘The Village’.

Pride of place though goes to the display of some of the most famous and symbolic buildings of the countries of the European Union at 1/25th of the original size. You will see gondolas, a TGV train on its way to Paris even hear the unmistakable chimes of Big Ben.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart

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This beautiful church is the fifth largest church in the world, located in the Koekelberg municipality of Brussels. Its impressive dimensions (89 metres high and 167 metres long) look out over the Parc Elisabeth. Though it is modelled on the Sacré-Coeur in Paris, it is made of concrete, sandstone and red-brick and, unlike the original and is not gleaming white. King Leopold decided to build it in 1902 and he laid the first stone in 1905. It was finally completed in 1971 in time to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Belgian independence. 

Antique Market

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Antique lovers should descend upon the antiques market in Place du Grand Sablon where on the square and the streets panning out from the square, the discerning antique lover may find that special piece. Rue de la Paille, Rue des Minimes and Rue de Rollebeek are particularly interesting.

Brussels also has its own flea market – the Jeu de Balle Flea Market. Rummage around here for gems, second-hand goods and period furniture bargains.

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Cheers! Keep Travelling !