Prague is a lovely place. Prague in summer is something a little bit different. Thanks to summer holidays, that last two whole months (July and August), there are just workpeople, retirees, and tourists. Kids are playing computer games at home, lots of families go to Croatia for a vacation. Despite it’s little bit less crowded than usual, people in the public transport are still smelly enough.
All the sunshine and love are in the air. When I’m going to work by tram, I see Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas square) with Národní muzeum (National Museum), Národní divadlo (National Theatre), Vltava river, Basilica of St Peter and St Paul – Vyšehrad, Karlův most (Charles Bridge), Pražský hrad (Prague Castle), Petřín lookout tower. Almost all the monuments of our beloved city. Just take the tram no. 9 and take a look!
I’m not new in this city anymore. That’s why I’m always surprised with some stuff I’m wandering around every day. Like these old buildings everywhere. You have to look up to the second or higher floor to see it. Decorative plasters, old windows, flowers in window boxes, pastel colours, dates of finalization. All these beautiful things are above those ugly advertisements, casino windows, flashy graphic, or even weird socialist rebuildings of the first floors.
There are some places you should definitely visit in Prague. All the monuments I mentioned above plus a few more: Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square), Vyšehrad cemetery (there are buried lots of famous Czech people – just don’t take selfies), old Jewish city (closed on Saturday), enormously huge Olšanské hřbitovy (Olšany cemetery), Lennon Wall, the zoo and the small Trojský zámek (Troja Palace) next to it.
Take a walk around the embankment (take the stairs near to Výtoň / Vyšehrad or Jiráskovo náměstí / Karlovo náměstí – tube station line B), it’s so romantic! Sometimes there are swans and ducks. On Saturday morning there is a farmer’s market.
Is it really hot outside? You need to try ice-cream Angelato (Újezd, Rytířská) or Vanille (náměstí Míru). And try some iced coffee in my beloved Ema espresso bar (Masarykovo nádraží). If you’re a fan of Czech beer, go to Lokál (Bílá kuželka near to Karlův most, in Dlouhá street, in Kunratice, near to Stromovka, and near to Karlínské náměstí).
Even in Prague there are some places you can have a picnic. Petřín, Stromovka, Letná, Jelení příkop (next to Prague Castle), Ladronka, Kampa, next to Rudolfinum or try some of the Vltava river isles. Just don’t stay in parks near to hlavní nádraží (Praha hl. n.) – main train station or the Museum – lots of weirdos there.
Be aware of these shops with an unthrifty exchange rate. These shops with souvenirs are usually full of Russian and Chinese stuff (matryoshka dolls, fur-caps with Soviet five-pointed star, low-class goods). Do you really want to buy something Czech? The Little Mole – Krtek/Krteček is sold almost everywhere. Try some bookshop or a toyshop (you can buy there also some wooden toys). Czech cosmetics and some other hand-made things are sold in Manufaktura. Artworks are usually sold in galleries, for traditional marionettes I would go to some specialised shop. Very popular are also slivovice, Becherovka, and spa waffers (Kolonáda); all of them can be bought in every supermarket. Czech kids love gingerbread covered in chocolate (perník), rolled wafers with chocolate or nutty filling (hořické trubičky), wafers (Tatranky, Fidorka), and chocolate bars (Deli, Kaštany, Kofila, Margot, Milena).
In the future, we want to write some posts about where to eat and drink and how to get around Prague easily – something like posts about London.
Enjoy the summer in Prague! You’ll love this old city!