Free time in Prague
Prague is a city of mystery, romance, and fun. Prague Trips & Tickets is here to help you plan not just a visit to this city, but to experience a full-bodied holiday from accommodations to day trips and sightseeing.
Finding suitable accommodations is possibly the most important element of a successful holiday. You want to stay where you will feel comfortable – like a home away from home. There are many hotels, hostels, and short-term, private apartments at your disposal. Staying on the outskirts of town usually is more cost efficient. But, what you save in rent can cause longer travel time into the center and higher public transportation fees. For the perfect combination of cost, comfort, and convenience try our accommodations! Old Town Home Prague is located in the same building as our ticket office. Our comfortable apartment units can hold a family or group of friends up to 4 occupants in each apartment. We are in prime location, right off the Old Town Square, within a short walking distance to the beautiful historic sites.
On your first full day of your holiday, you will probably want to see as much as possible. Strolling the streets to the places you want to see is an attainable goal, but if you aren’t familiar with the city’s layout, you could end up walking in circles or walking the longest route possible. A pleasant alternative is taking an all-inclusive tour. It will orient you with your new surroundings while you learn the history and interesting stories behind the buildings and places you see. It will also inspire you with plenty of ideas where you could visit in depth later on your own. Local guides can also tell you about special deals or discounts that you’d not be privy to otherwise. While on the tour, you will have a chance to taste the savory Czech cuisine and maybe your guide can give you a recipe or two to make Czech food at home. You will also float down the Vltava river in a comfortable boat to see a different view of Prague’s famous sites.
Each morning in Prague, the vendors and musicians set up their wares and instruments along the Charles Bridge, one of the most frequented site in Prague’s Old Town. If you take a stroll across the bridge in early morning you will capture some of the “behind the scenes” feel for this local famous spot. And, it won’t be so crowded with tourists so the view will be clear and leisurely. From the Charles Bridge, many other famous site are easily accessible. On the Lesser Town side, there are the famous churches, trams to Prague Castle, Kampa Island, and palaces with gardens open to the public.
The Cathedral of St. Nicolas of Lesser Town is considered the most perfect example of Baroque architecture in Europe and houses a cycle of paintings by the famous Czech painter Karel Skreta (born next door to our office building). Be sure you are on the right side of the river to see this church – Prague does have a St. Nicolas Church in Old Town, as well. That is because prior to 1784, Prague as it is today was separate towns (Old Town, Lesser Town, Hradcany, and New Town) so they could have the same names of churches without it mattering. Also, in Lesser town you will find The Church of Our Lady of Victory. It is home of the Prague Baby Jesus whom Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2009 and gave him a golden crown which he still wears today.
Outdoor gardens are plentiful in Prague and make delightful walks during nice weather. The Vrtba Garden in Lesser Town is considered one of Prague’s most beautiful Baroque gardens. It still has its original design by Frantisek Maximillian Kanka and contains its 18th century statues by Matyas Bernard Braun. April till October, 10am till 6pm, you can visit for just 60 CZK per adult. Another fascinating garden is that of General Wallenstein who served under Ferdinand I during the 30 Years’ War. His Italian garden is open from 10am till 4pm (5pm in summer) free of charge year round. The aviary, grotto, and replicas of De Vries original statues lend themselves to you for a quiet getaway from Prague’s busy sounds.
On Kampa Island you can walk through the park, visit a museum, and look at some unusually witty statues by Czech artist David Cerny. The Museum of Modern Art is located on the island and the Kafka Museum is nearby just across the Certovka Canal. They both provide insight into differing moments in Prague history and talents. Outside of the art museum, you find 3 giant black metal babies. They are part of the installation done by Cerny to decorate the Zizkov Television tower in the 1990’s. More of his controversial work is found in front of the Kafka Museum, entitled “Piss” it is 2 bronze men urinating on a map of the Czech Republic.
Up the hill from Lesser Town is Hradcany – the castle hill! The grounds are open to the public and several of the buildings are available for the public to visit. There are a good many exhibits on the castle grounds, but to see them all at the same time would be exhausting! For this reason, tickets are valid for 2 days – the day you purchase them and the following day. Unless you are a great history or castle lover, the “short visit” pass should suffice. You can see the St. Vitus Cathedral dating from the time of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in the 14th century, the St. George’s Basilica where patron saint of Bohemia St. Ludmila is buried, Golden Lane where Franz Kafka resided for a few months in the home of his sister and it’s adjoining Daliborka Tower (containing medieval torture instruments), and the Old Royal Palace where the ruling family once lived and the infamous defenestration took place in 1618. The castle gardens are open free of charge during the summer months.
Evenings are full of possibility for making your holiday magical! Stereotypically, people go to a great theatre to partake of the fine culture such as Bizet’s Carmen. This dramatic performance is worthwhile, but something out of the ordinary perhaps would provide more thrill such as the Jazz Boat with dinner! You will enjoy delicious food to the lively jazz band’s thrilling tunes.
Walking the street after dark are generally safe, just beware of pickpockets. Strolling the old cobbled lanes by lamplight add depth to the city that you don’t notice during the day. Going on a nighttime tour enhances the beautiful glow with legends and intriguing stories of historical character’s Prague life. Getting to know some of the contemporary characters is easy to do in any of the numerous pubs and clubs. Several have underground sections that predate 13th century, so be sure to look for a bar with stairwells leading down to add a “new level” to your Prague adventure!
When your time is spent, your bags are packed, and you’re beginning to dream of your own bed at home, be sure to secure quality transit to the airport or train station. Going on public transportation is efficient, but not comfortable when traveling with luggage. Our professional drivers speak English, have good driving experience, and will ensure you arrive to your destination in comfort.
Happy Prague Holidays to You!
Written by Rebekah Sramkova