The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague, has beautiful medieval buildings, remnants of the post World War Two Eastern Bloc era and gorgeous people roaming the city. Prague is known as the City of a Hundred Spires, and is overlooked by the medieval Prague Castle. Prague is full of interesting sights and tours that are a must on your trip there. Here is a list of some things that you can do:
1. Prague Castle: As with any European city, a visit to any castles or sites of historical importance are high up on my list, and hopefully, on many lists. Prague Castle is said to be the largest castle in the world. Wander around the gardens, museums and courtyards to gain an understanding of what life was like in this castle. The many buildings that make up the 70,000m square castle are individual, each built in different periods extending from 880 to around the fourteenth century, and onwards to renovations during the early twentieth century. Visiting this castle today, one can see the various architectural influences and remnants of centuries past in the various rooms of medieval weaponry, and catacombs type rooms that evoke a sense of mystery and wonder about the lives of those living in the castle.
2. John Lennon Wall: This wall represents the silent protest of young people after John Lennon's death to the Communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia. The authorities attempts to white wash the graffiti on this wall to honour Lennon failed. These days, it is covered in graffiti and messages of peace. It serves as a reminder that repressing people never succeeds. When visiting this wall after a walking tour about Communism, and being shown the stark differences between Communist era buildings and buildings built prior to then, you get a feel for a Prague that was, that is and that it hopes to become. Hidden away in a niche, tourists add to the messages of peace on this wall. A definite must see if you are in Prague.
3. Charles Bridge: This is the bridge that connects the Old Town and Lesser Town across the Vlatva River. It is mainly a pedestrian zone, but Czech artists and musicians line the bridge during the day performing and selling or creating their art. At each end, there is a tower that can be climbed to see the city of Prague from above. The bridge is also lined with a series of Baroque statues, first placed there in the 17th century. The Charles Bridge gets very busy, so evenings or early mornings are the best time if you are after a nice view, though the crowds later in the day add to the atmosphere of what Prague and Charles Bridge is like at its busiest.
4. Astronomical Clock: The Astronomical Clock at Old Town Hall is a must see - even if only for the forty-five seconds an hour it does its duty. On the hour, the figure of Death rings a bell and turns his hourglass, and the twelve Apostles parade past the crowd. This clock is one of the most intricate and amazing pieces of architecture, and even if you miss the hourly performance, it is still well worth a visit to admire the intricate detail of it.
Prague also has many tours that can be taken. Like most cities, they have a double decker hop on, hop off bus. Two tours I took when I was there a few years ago were a ghost story tour at night, and a Communism tour, which is eye-opening, and allows tourists to see the differences in architecture from the Communist era, and architecture from earlier. Depending on your tastes, you can find tours on the Lonely Planet website to explore.
Prague is another amazing city in Europe that is worth a visit, and it is worth exploring the history as well to fully understand how Prague has become what it is today.