OK, I’m gonna be honest, I totally stole that title… I got it from this travel app I was using while overseas called OffMaps2. It suggests walking routes and gives you detailed maps, and best thing is you don’t have to be connected to the internet to use it. It’s pretty cool… So anyways, for Prague it suggested a walking route called “The Golden City” with the top 10 must see spots in town.
I figured that sounded like a brilliant way to kick off my Prague exploration, and the app said it should only take 3h 45min. Easy peasy! I was up for the challenge.
I started at must see spot 10 first, cause my hotel was closest to that one, and then worked my way down to number 1. But I don’t think they were listed according to which is more popular, I think that’s just how the walking route worked out best. So it didn’t really matter.
BUT because there was just soooooo much to see and I took waaaaaay too many photographs, I’ve decided to split this Golden city tour into two parts. The first will take us just past the halfway mark, up to a bridge named after some guy Charles… And then the second will cover what’s beyond this beautiful bridge.
So let’s go:
- My first stop was Powder Tower, a gothic tower which dates back to the 11th century and is said to be one of the original city gates:
You can go up the tower, but I had already decided to do another tower in my next stop (Old Town Square), so I gave this one a skip…
- So yes, just a few steps further, I got to Old Town Square – a historical square, lined with incredible gothic & baroque buildings and beautiful cafes. It’s a real magical space and no wonder then that it’s jam-packed with tourists at pretty much any & all times of the day.
- Just off the square, you can see the Church of our Lady Before Týn peeking out amongst a few other tall buildings:
I couldn’t find an entrance that looked tourist friendly, so I’m not actually sure if you can go in and just have a look. But wikipedia says that it has been the main church for this part of the city since the 14th century and they’re apparently currently doing some renovations on the interior.
- Another Old Town Square area find is the Astronomical Clock:
It’s a medieval clock mounted on the southern wall of the Old Town City Hall and was first installed back in 1410. This actually makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world, and the oldest one still in working condition. Just don’t ask me how it works… it all seemed a bit complicated. I’m just gonna stick to regular clocks thanks. But I will say, it’s definitely the prettiest clock I’ve ever seen.
Now from here you can also go up the Old Town Hall Tower, which gives you really great panoramic views over the city:
Definitely worth the expense. As I recall it was only 100 CZK to go up, so that’s only about R50.
- Then about 2 or 3 blocks down from Old Town Square, you can check out Prague’s music auditorium, the Rudolfinum:
It is the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and it got it’s name from Rudolf, the crown prince of Austria, who presided over the opening of this building back in 1885.
I didn’t have enough time in Prague to actually see if I could go watch something here. So that’ll just have to stay on my “to do list” for my next visit.
- A 5min walk from there then gets you to the Charles Bridge:
I love bridges. They’re so calming, aren’t they? This one crosses the Vltava river and is lined with little stalls and some incredible statues (as you can see above). The bridge was named after King Charles IV, who was the man in charge back when construction on the bridge started in 1357. It was finally finished at the beginning of the 15th century and today it is visited by goodness knows how many tourists every day. It’s a very popular spot and makes for the perfect place to get some great scenic shots of Prague as well.
So like I said, in my next post I’ll cover all the sights on the other end of the bridge. There’s still lots of good stuff to show you…