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Our 2 days in Prague encompasses day 4 and 5 of our tour of Berlin and Dresden Germany, Prague Czech Republic, Krakow Poland, Budapest Hungary, and Vienna Austria. For more on planning for this educational travel see my post, Student Travel - Germany and Eastern Europe.
Day 4 Prague
After a short 2-hour bus ride from Dresden, Germany on a modern 2 lane highway, we arrive in the Czech Republic. We have 2 days in Prague.
We are so excited to see the fairy tale city of Prague, also known as the “city of a hundred spires”.
Beautiful and medieval, Prague has a history of almost 1,000 years and much of the original is retained as it was spared major destruction in WWII bombing.
Our tour focused on the historical areas of Prague including Old Town, and across the Vltava River, the Castle District, and Mala Strana is also known as Lesser Town.
We are dropped in Old Town Square by the Jan Hus Memorial. As we group and take in the square we are amazed at the beauty of Prague.
Murals on this building caught my eye. Everything is ornate and decorated in Old Town Prague.
Our tour guide soon whisks us off to find our restaurant for tonight’s dinner. We walk through the streets through Praha 1 into the Old Town area where we have dinner.
Traditional Czech Dinner
Dinner was traditional including pork roast in gravy with potatoes and chopped onion. You’re probably thinking, well I can make that here.
What makes it different are the traditional Czech bread dumplings or houskovy knedlik. You can see them in the picture and if you look closely, you will see the chopped bread that is worked into the dough prior to boiling.
If you want to try these dumplings. Look for a traditional recipe like Old-Country Czech Dumplings at Just a Pinch.
While I am thinking about it, remember there is a lot of walking on these tours. You will be walking on cobblestone streets, so keep that in mind when packing your shoes.
For more tips on how to pack for a trip to Europe, check out my post, Travel Essentials, What to Pack.
Think about walking shoes rather than dress shoes. Even flip flops are a stretch on the cobblestones. I suggest bringing at least 3 pair of shoes if you will be gone for 2 weeks.
Day 5 Prague
Prague Castle Complex
Prague castle is considered to be the largest castle complex in the world.
Our bus drops us at the access point. Barriers prevent traffic as group after group of tours arrives to visit the castle complex.
We are traveling in June, which is some of the peak tourist times for Europe. As we are directed through our tours there are masses of people. Something to remember is to keep valuables close during these times when your attention is directed at the beautiful sites.
St. Vitus Cathedral
First, we tour St. Vitus Cathedral. Construction began on the cathedral in the 9th century. It is an excellent example of Gothic architecture. The details of the cathedral are beautiful and ornate.
What I notice everywhere are the details. From door handles to carvings above doors to the stained glass in the cathedral. Too beautiful to describe. Even the roof tiles are laid in an ornate pattern.
After the Cathedral, we tour the old Royal Palace with its cavernous hall that still serves for state functions and ceremonial gatherings.
Next, we see St George’s Basilica. It was designed in the Romanesque style and is stark in contrast to the ornate Gothic style of St Vitus Cathedral.
We spend most of the day enjoying the castle complex. There is really more than you can see in one day. Our travel included tour tickets, but many of the outside areas you can explore for free. But the tours tell the story of the history of the castle. Well worth it if you have the time and the interest.
Rather than catching the bus back to Old Town, we walk out of the castle complex through Golden Lane which contains original preserved servant housing.
As we continue out of the castle complex, we walk through St. Wenceslas vineyard and continue down the hill via the old castle stairs.
This route provides beautiful panoramic views of Old Town and Lesser Town which sits below the castle complex.
The Charles Bridge
Down the hill, we continue on to the Charles Bridge, completed in the 15th century. Up until the 1870s, the Charles Bridge was the only means of crossing the Vltava River.
It is a pedestrian-only crossing since the 1960s. Decorated with elaborate statues of saints and patron saints. The crossing is crowded with tourists, street vendors, and musicians.
Take your time strolling on the bridge and imagine crossing the Vltava River has been much the same since the 15th century.
Old Town Square
From the bridge, we travel to Old Town center where we break for lunch by the 600-year-old Astronomical Clock.
The square is filled with people gathering for lunch.
The afternoon is ours for a tour of The Jewish Museum of Prague. A moving memorial that houses Jewish history from the Prague area.
After all this walking it is time for a treat! We stop for a Trdelnik filled with Ice Cream.
This is a welcome treat in the afternoon.
We meet back at the Old Town Square where everyone gathers before dinner. Full of energy, the square is packed with locals and tourists enjoying the historic buildings and entertainment.
The Mala Strana
For dinner, it is back across the Charles Bridge to Lesser Town or the Mala Strana. The Mala Strana is the quieter area of Prague that sits below Prague Castle. If crowds get to be too much, you should consider strolling through the quieter streets on this side of the river.
On the way to dinner, we stopped at the John Lennon Wall. It is a memorial to his assassination in 1980. Constantly evolving, the wall is worth a look.
The group continues on through the Mala Strana to dinner. Our second dinner in Prague is again, a traditional Czech meal of pork roast, sauerkraut, and potato dumplings.
Prague did not disappoint. It is beautiful and there are so many places to see and experience.
After dinner, we head back to our hotel. We welcome a good night's sleep before we leave for Krakow, Poland in the morning.