Experience The Hidden Aspect’ of Prague with the Help of Homeless

Posted January 7, 2013 by
Tagged As: events of Prague, prague homeless | Categories: Prague, Prague Advices, Prague Events, Prague Monuments | Comments Off

A student-run travel and leisure company in Prague, provides sightseeing tours organized by homeless men and women… Read more about exploring Prague with homeless.

Homeless in Prague

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Prague Winter Pictures in Snow

Posted December 6, 2012 by
Tagged As: Andel, Charles Bridge, Malá Strana, Prague, Prague Castle, prague winter, snow prague, Wenceslas Square | Categories: Prague, Prague Accommodation, Prague Advices, Prague Events, Prague Monuments | Comments Off

Snow in Lesser Town (Mala Strana)

Prague Mala Strana Winter

Prague Old Town in Winter

Snow in Prague Old Town

Prague Wenceslas Square in Winter

Wenceslas Square Snow

Apartments in the Wenceslas Square, Prague

Apartment Attic Olivova in the Wenceslas Square, Prague

Winter Market in Andel (Smichov), Prague 5

Andel Winter Market

Snow on Prague Castle

Prague Castle Snow

Charles Bridge in Winter

Charles Bridge in Winter

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The Hidden Face of Prague

Posted November 26, 2012 by
Tagged As: prague advice | Categories: Prague, Prague Accommodation, Prague Advices, Prague Monuments | Comments Off

 

So many scenes in Prague show similar touches of the city’s standard-issue strangeness, a quotidian surrealism that often blends the elegant with the near-hallucinatory, that makes the contemporary Czech capital a hard-to-understand place, especially for strangers like myself. But after 12 years of residing here, I’ve come to make the city my own, figuring out how Prague’s various parts fit together and finding wonderful attractions and unexpected beauty just about everywhere I look.

The Vltava's bend in Prague

This, regardless of having settled in one of the most overextended areas of the city: its historic center. Less than five minutes by foot from Namesti Republiky and its tremendous Art Nouveau palaces, and 10 minutes from the Gothic steeples of Old Town Square, my wife, Nina, and I set up house among the most enchanting views, as well as the greatest busloads of tourists, the lamest of souvenir shops and the most inauthentic of pubs.

And yet I quickly got over the disadvantages of living “downtown.” Rather, what I found amid all the gimcrackery were neglected joys that most visitors probably never saw: a kind of concealed Prague, both old and new, where every day meant another stylish statue or wonderful facade I’d never noticed before, another redesigned park or overhauled embankment, another awesome new pub or restaurant that was not yet in the guidebooks.

Inspired by Vzorkovna, the cafe where I had experienced the angelic chorus, I decided to spend a few days monitoring down Prague’s best invisible points of interest and new innovations, or at least those that were unknown or new to me.

Based mostly on my own experience, I’d suggest not missing the tourist zone. Avoid the Royal Way, the city’s ancient coronation route and take the cautions about places like Wenceslas Square with a grain of salt — at least during the daytime. Prague is a very secure city, and many of the grittiest areas — such as Wenceslas — are finally getting cleaned up. When our family occurred by the square one morning this spring, we found that the western half had just gone car-free, creating a huge extra amount of space for shoppers and strollers, and changing much of Vaclavak, as locals call it, into a much user friendly area.

Regardless of the central location of the Vltava River, which threads through the city like a hook, the beachfront has long been overlooked. Lately, however, you can find a lot happening along the river, from the vibrant Saturday-morning farmers’ market along the Rasinovo Embankment in New Town to Jazz Dock, one of the city’s best spots for live music, on the other side in the Smichov area. Here, great worldwide acts like John Abercrombie and the Legendary Pink Dots, as well as local favorites like Tony Ackerman and the Kasparin Quartet have performed in the three and a half years since it started out.

When I stopped by Jazz Dock for an after-work mixture this summer, I was as amazed by the club’s cool riverside location as I was by the refurbished play area I spotted from its riverside patio. Called Detsky Ostrov, or Children’s Island, and connected to the embankment by a footbridge, the grounds included great new sandboxes, jungle gyms, swings and slips, with plenty of shady trees and lots of benches for parents. Bigger kids were trying out their first skate boards in a small skatepark, and members of the city’s Nigerian community playing pick-up soccer games offered to let me join in. Nina and I would have to bring our children by sometime soon, I thought.

While Prague’s public transport works incredibly well and crooked cabdrivers are much less common than they used to be, the best way to get a feel for the city is in a pair of comfortable shoes. My own walk to the library each morning is so full of new sights that I often have to stop myself from taking more photos or from writing down another new address. After dropping off my son at his preschool in the Petrska area, I walk the breadth of Old Town, from its northeast to its southwest corner, taking in the full sweep of old Prague.

Without adding more than a couple of minutes to my 20-minute travel, I can explore numerous variations of my journey: often I walk straight down Na Prikope, the city’s main shopping strip, dodging the tour groups and buskers and getting notice of recently opened shops downtown like the Lavmi boutique at Truhlarska 18, which sells unusual, locally designed wallpaper, lamps and other housewares.

Sometimes I walk down traditional, unmodernized avenues like Provaznicka and V Kotcich, enjoying views that look just like the rest of the city did before the Velvet Revolution. Frequently I take one of the many mysi diry (mouse holes), the little passageways that run between Old Town streets like Celetna and Stupartska. If you see a gate or a doorway at a crook in the road like the two at the end of Michalska Street, check if it’s unlocked. In all chances, you’ll find a hidden pathway.

Many such paths offer amazing views, as I found when I fought to find something that seemed as of it would be impossible to miss: a new walking and biking trail in the Zizkov neighborhood, after hearing it described recently by Pitr, a neighborhood friend.

“It’s very long, and fairly private,” Pitr said. “But the interesting thing is that it’s almost completely invisible. If you don’t know precisely where it is, you will never find it.”

I made the error of not taking Pitr absolutely at his word, and after fruitlessly looking the area for half an hour, I gave him a call. Armed with fresh guidelines, I backtracked in the direction of Hlavni Nadrazi, near the top of Wenceslas Square, then walked east up Seifertova Street.

Moving under a railway bridge, I saw an seniors couple strolling an even older dachshund and observed their route up an embankment to what had once been a small railway division line. Hemmed in by elder trees and covered in some sections with herb gardens, it had been paved the previous year, developing a path directly behind some of Zizkov’s most beautiful 19th-century flat houses. The voyeuristic sights onto each pavlac, or public terrace, offer a obvious feeling of what life — hanging clothing, talking with neighbors — on those balconies must have been like 100 years ago.

Even residents can be surprised by the city, as I found when I decided to check out new innovations in the Karlin neighborhood with my Prague-born, Toronto-based friend, Matej. Before we had found our

we initially desired to stay in the area, which is northeast of Old Town and south of the Vltava. Karlin was affordable and relatively rundown, but with great architecture and a very real neighborhood feel that stemmed from its narrow streets and its establishing between the tree-covered hillside and the river.

We were both surprised to see how much had changed in recent years. We began by having meal at the Red Hot Chilli restaurant, opened in May of last year and perhaps the finest of the many new areas in Prague focusing on in Vietnamese dishes, providing fresh and savoury summer rolls and sweet-and-sour servings of bun bo nam bo, a various meats and noodle salad, right on the district’s main avenue, Krizikova.

Subsequently, we strolled over to the park in front of the expansive primary college on Lyckovo Namesti — my vote for the most beautiful square in Prague, though a complete amaze to appreciate its tremendous, Mucha-style murals dating from the early 20th century. On some of the nearby buildings, we could still spot a few scars from the high-water line of the flood of 2002, but many had been lately repainted in pink, yellow and other lavish pastels.

After taking a few pictures, we stopped by the neighborhood’s new coffeehouse star, Muj Salek Kavy, where we stopped for a knockout cup of estate coffee — something that I always thought could not be found in Prague — from Graciano Cruz of Panama, accompanied by a fat slice of spicy-sweet carrot cake.

From there you could stroll in privacy nearly all the way to Old Town, where any number of invisible passageways built among the old streets, and where any variety of odd new findings were yet to be discovered.

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The Best Areas of Prague to Stay in?

Posted November 25, 2012 by
Tagged As: Prague areas, Prague Castle, Prague districts, Wenceslas Square | Categories: Prague, Prague Accommodation, Prague Advices | 11 Comments

Tourists at Prague Old Town It would be quite hard to answer such a question about the best districts of Prague to stay in, Prague is a town of diversity and a lot of charm, each district has its own character and appeals for a different kind of tourists. But here we will try to categorize each area of Prague:

Prague New Town and the Wenceslas Square

This is the modern part of Prague, the most crowded and usually frequented by young tourists, and preferred for its animated streets, its pubs, restaurants and shopping malls. The heart of this modern part of Prague is the Wenceslas Square, the main avenue of the city, named after Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia who is known in the rest of Europe as King Wenceslas. The Wenceslas Square is dominated bu the National Musem uphill and the the statue of Wenceslas in front of the Museum building. Both busiest Metro stations, Muzeum and Mustek have access to the Wenceslas Square also as several tram lines.

The Wenceslas Square is separated from the Old Town by the Na Prikope street, Prague’s fashion boulevard that attracts shopping fans where they can enjoy a large choice of malls, cafes and restaurants.

For staying in this area of Prague, tourists usually choose hotels in the Wenceslas Square and its surroundings, but during last few years a new accommodation trend is growing: serviced apartments for short stay that you can find almost in each street and which you can book in advance online as for example King Wenceslas apartments.

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Prague Old Town

Staying in this district of Prague is the choice for those seeking more authenticity and history, holiday apartments are in every corner of the Old Town, usually in building with a great architectural style. Hotels are mostly around the main Square and each hotel tells stories from the history of Prague.

Some of the notable places in the Old Town are the Old Town Square with its Astronomical Clock, the Josefov quarter, Charles Bridge and tens of churches, palaces and houses from different architectural Epochs.

The Old Town is also the right place for fine dining, great restaurants and pubs can be discovered in the small hidden streets.

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The Lesser Town (Mala Strana) and the Prague Castle area

The Mala Strana is the most romantic choice for staying in Prague, located on the left bank of the Vltava River just below Prague Castle and connected to the Old Town by Charles Bridge. The Lesser Town is the calmest district of Prague (actually my favorite), dominated by a Baroque architectural style that sprays in the air of the Mala Strana an atmosphere of simplicity and serenity.

If compared to the Old Town and the Wenceslas Square, hotels in the Lesser Town are far from being fancy and shiny, smaller buildings and simpler rooms but high standard services. For those who prefer self-catering apartments, they can find even good bargains at a walking distance from Charles bridge, some of the apartments are just studios for couples or large flats suitable for families and groups of friends.

In the Lesser Town, cafes and restaurants usually have affordable prices if compared to the luxurious New and Old Town, so staying in the Mala Strana can be suitable even for tourists with limited budgets.

Some of the main monuments of the Lesser Town are Charles Bridge, the oldest preserved bridge in Prague, Prague Castle which is considered as the biggest ancient castle in the world and the St Vitus Cathedral, the main and biggest Gothic Cathedral in Prague.

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Andel District (Smichov)

Andel (Angel) is a very busy districts in Prague, with a big shopping mall, many pubs, restaurant and an important traffic and public Transport point (Metro and Trams).

During last few years Andel started to attract tourists seeking animated atmosphere and nightlife, this district is today one of the main concurrents of the Wenceslas Square, it’s very close to the center of Prague and in the neighborhood of the Lesser Town. Many new modern hotels opened in Andel also as several stylish apartments with very interesting prices.

Many monuments and attractions can be visited while staying in Andel district, the Church of St. Wenceslas in Smichov, the Mozart Museum also as the Novy Smichov shopping mall.

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Other Districts of Prague

Hotels and apartments are in every part of Prague, so not only the areas that we mentioned are suitable for accommodation, district like Vysehrad and Vinohrady can be a great choice with many bargain hotels and affordable apartments with an interesting surroundings and easy access to the center of Prague.

For cheaper accommodation, tourists can even go further from the city center, to seek accommodation in other districts of Prague, like Kobylisy or Letna districts that provide easy connection by an organized public transport, one of the best public transport systems in Europe.

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Funny City Hall campaign aims to attract Londoners during Olympics

Posted August 14, 2012 by
Tagged As: campaign, City, during, Funny, Hall, Londoners, Olympics | Categories: Prague Hotels | Comments Off

English: Nuselský most and Corinthia Towers ho...

Funny City Hall campaign aims to attract Londoners during Olympics
Prague City Hall spokeswoman Tereza Králová admits that there was no cooperation between campaign organizers and local hotels, but points out the Prague Games campaign was never intended to be more than a small, low budget effort. In her view …
Read more on Radio Prague

 

New sales leader for Corinthia Hotels US West Coast
Since joining the company earlier this year, Mr. Horn, also well-respected with 10 years’ experience within the hotel industry along the East Coast, has made strong progress in driving business from this key market towards Corinthia London. Manetti …
Read more on eTurboNews

 

Bohemian Rhapsody
So, as said, it’s not a chain in the strict sense, and at the Kempinski Hotel Hybernská Prague, for instance, they like to consider themselves to be much more a boutique hotel, a sector sometimes called “lifestyle hotels” or “design hotels”, namely …
Read more on Budapest Times

 

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Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright

Posted August 2, 2012 by
Tagged As: Central Europe, Czechoslovakia, Madeleine Albright | Categories: Prague, Prague Events, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Madeleine Albright surveys....

FOR the Czechs, Madeleine Albright (née Marie Jana Körbelová). Some, like Alexander Vondra, still calls the formidable former secretary of state “Madlenka”, her Czech pet name, with a tender possessiveness that she seems to embrace. Though she admits, with a tinkly laugh, that when offered a “korbel” (an archaic Czech word for a large drinking cup), on her first trip back after emigration, in 1967, she didn’t quite know what it was.

Albright’s latest book, “Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War”, makes it clear that the country of her birth remains close to her heart. Her likeable patriotism, fuelled by just the right dose of idealism that émigrés tend to harbour almost by default, is the connecting thread in the painful Czechoslovak history of 1937-1948 that she skillfully interweaves with a family memoir.

The book is, above all, a journey of self-discovery. Albright conducts a compelling personal exploration of her family’s  roots, of which she only learned shortly before she first started serving as secretary of state, thanks to an ardent reporter at the Washington Post. She was “shocked” and “embarrassed” at the time of the expose, and, as she writes in her book, not “entirely reassured by the many people who spoke or wrote to me of having had comparable experiences concerning secrets kept by their own parents. I could accept without being satisfied that there was nothing inexplicable or unique about the gap in my knowledge; still, I regretted not having asked the right questions.”

Albright was only a little over a year old when her father, Josef Körbel, a diplomat and democrat, packed up his family and fled to Britain, narrowly escaping the Nazi tanks that rolled into Czechoslovakia after the Munich Agreement of 1938. Three of Albright’s grandparents and numerous other relatives perished in the Holocaust. Their names are among the eighty thousand inscribed on the walls inside Prague’s Pinkas Synagogue. Ten years later, in 1948, the Körbels left again, this time for good, when it became clear that Czechoslovakia had fallen into the hands of the Communists.

Albright’s book is a sprightly historical narrative of this long decade, which marked, as  Albright poetically puts it, the beginning of a freezing Prague Winter. Her account of the destruction of inter-war Czechoslovakia, both as a geographical entity and as an idea of democracy, first by the Nazis and then by the Communists, is balanced and vivid. (Albright has a reputation as a good writer and storyteller even among the brusquest of Washington pundits.)

Some might object that her idea of interwar Czechoslovakia is very Czech. It is the “sun state” of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš, the Czechs, rather than Milan Rastislav Štefánik or Milan Hodža, the Slovaks. In her eyes it is more a model of reconciliation between the ideals of the liberal republic and the nation state than a Prague-centric and tension-ridden multinational conglomerate. (Barring the outbreak of World War II, Czechoslovakia may not have survived within its original borders, due to the rising pressure of autonomy movements in various parts of the country.) “I have a glorified view of the First Republic, probably because it is what my parents talked about all the time,“ she admits.

Albright handles the 1938 Munich Agreement, the epitome of a small power’s ultimate trauma, which inspired the famous outcry “about us, without us”, particularly well. Munich remains a scar on the Czech psyche, as well as an ever-present framing device for a diktat of any sort. Vaclav Havel, the dissident turned president, last used it during the Russian-Georgian War in 2008.

Albright is as fair on the British and the French allies, who actively participated in the “sell-out” of Czechoslovakia, as she is on her absent American compatriots. “In a country that was ‘born’ pro-American, like Czechoslovakia, this created a sense of ‘where have you been’?” she says.

Munich does, to a great extent, explain the peculiarities of the Czech avatar of Atlanticism, a sentiment shared by Central and East Europeans. Czech Atlanticism is Wilsonian, rather than Reaganite. Thanks to Munich, the Czechs continue to suffer from severe abandonment issues, which, as far as the Americans are concerned, they deal with through amnesia. “A lot of it is mythology. They persuaded themselves that the U.S. just wasn’t part of Munich,” says Albright.

As the Czech elite so clings onto their belief in a strong transatlantic partnership and the values shared with the Americans, they tend to bother less than, say, the Poles, to hide their disenchantment with America when they feel let down. (Poles admittedly have more geopolitical reasons to foster the best possible relationship with America than Czechs do.) The “open letter” in 2009 of Central European intellectuals and politicians to Barack Obama, which bemoaned the decline in transatlantic ties, was masterminded by Mr Vondra.

Albright was not impressed. “We all worked to have Europe whole and free. The first president Bush said it, president Clinton said it, and I said it, over and over again. It was a theme. Then, all of a sudden, we get this whiny letter while people are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan that we aren’t paying enough attention to Central Europe when we had clearly done that for a very long time,” she says. “It was not responsible.”

What, then, should the Central Europeans focus on? Echoing the 2009 speech of Joe Biden, the American vice president, on the special relationship between Americans and Central Europeans, in Bucharest, Albright says that it is their “time to lead” in extending the zone of freedom and prosperity, especially in the European Union’s eastern neighbourhood. And as Europe is now whole and free, there is a need for a new narrative.

Albright admits that she doesn’t sense the same intellectual vibrancy as she did when she was writing her dissertation on the role of journalists in 1968 or during her time in office. Nursed by her parents’ vision of the First Republic and her own academic work on the Prague Spring, she deeply admires Masaryk and “her hero” Havel, with his lot of dissidents. “They had a sense of mission and great determination. I would hope I would have behaved well too. But you never know,“ she says.

Ahead of the Czech Republic’s upcoming presidential election, she fears small mindedness, corruption and isolationism, be it from the EU or globalisation. “This is an abnormal summer. After the Velvet Revolution, the Czechs thought it would all be much easier. And they so wanted to be a part of the west. Now they are more confused than I would have thought.”

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Prague Top Alternative Sights

Posted July 24, 2012 by
Tagged As: Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, prague, Prague Castle, Žižkov Television Tower | Categories: Prague, Prague Accommodation, Prague Advices, Prague Events, Prague Monuments, Travel | Comments Off

Vysehrad Castle & Park, Prague.

Don’t stop after the main castle; visit Vysehrad, too
Prague Castle is the big set-piece, with its Gothic spires and medieval ramparts overshadowing the Vltava River. However, in the city’s south, there was a rival seat of power and these castle’s ruins are also worth visiting. Today, Vysehrad is an enormous, walled plateau floating high above the river and looking north across the city. (Those modernist swoops of concrete belong to the Emmaus Monastery.) Up here, you’ll find an atmospheric Art Deco cemetery with beautifully tiled mosaics, a church and spectacular views. Pop into the garden for a barbecue, or bring your own picnic.

Chilling at Letna Park

Letna Park
Popular with locals and expats alike, Letna Park is a place rarely visited by tourists, yet only a short way away from Charles Bridge. Take the bridge to the right of Charles Bridge and you’ll end up a world away from the street hawkers and wind up in a quiet area with a road that winds up and up and up. The road takes you to Letna Park, which is a popular place for people to walk their dogs and, when summer hits, to hang out at the gardens. The park also offers spectacular views over Prague.

Petrin Lookout Tower Prague

Trade in Charles Bridge for Petrin Hill
Famous for its saintly statues, artists, views and, erm, crowds and pickpockets, the oldest bridge on the Vltava River is certainly a victim of its own success. These days, it’s also half-closed for reconstruction, making a detour to nearby Petrin Hill even more appealing. Ride the dinky funicular to the top, where there’s a lookout tower and several eateries.
In freezing winters, there’s some urban skiing and snowboarding up here; but year-round, the real joy is to walk around the hillside to Strahov Monastery. There’s a small viewing platform just south of the monastery, where the view is unbeatable. Before leaving, make a brief stop at next door’s Museum of Miniatures.

AMoYA (Artbanka Museum of Young Art)
AMoYA, an acronym for Artbanka Museum of Young Art, is a gallery situated right before walking under that famous arch and onto Charles Bridge. Yet it’s tucked away slightly to the left, down an arch way and devoid of any pomp and ceremony. Only the curious and those with time to wander make it here, the tourist groups bypass the place without a second thought on their mission to Charles Bridge and the castle. This is a place that, as the name suggests, is young, hip and edgy isn’t thrown around lightly in this case. And a toy collection that make Andy’s toys from the first Toy Story movie look like a collection of Care Bears? this is an art gallery that will leave you with your mouth wide open and plenty of space to breathe.

Zizkov tower

Zizkov TV Tower
Prague’s tallest building is the bizarre-looking Žižkov TV Tower (Mahlerovy sady 1) in the working class Žižkov suburb. Visible from all over Prague, the tower looks like a rocket launcher from afar, but when you get up close, you’ll see it’s crazy! A series of huge babies can be seen crawling up to the top of the tower. Don’t ask me why – ask Czech artist David Ĉerný, whose Babies sculpture has adorned the tower for the past decade.
There’s a restaurant and bar on the 5th floor and observation pods on the 8th floor of this 216m carbuncle, and as you might imagine the views are awesome – both those far away (you can see for 100km), and those of Žižkov and Prague itself.

Try Svickova
Czech food doesn’t quite carry the same cache as, say, Italian or French food, but that’s not to say that it’s without its charms. Sometimes the charming aspect can arise from rather peculiar combinations of food, a category which svickova definitely falls into. A dish made of beef that has been marinated in a cream of decomposed vegetables, the meal is served up with dumplings and then has a generous dollop of whipped cream and cranberry sauce plopped on top. Far more appetising than it sounds, the best place to Czech out (sorry, I couldn’t resist) svickova is in Therapy, a trendy but not pretentious restaurant where the waitresses are all former drug addicts (hence the name), with dim lighting and dark wooded furniture.

Hermelin cheese
Another Czech culinary delight is Hermelin, a kind of cheese that originates from the central Bohemia area of the Czech Republic and is best served pickled. Head to the Vinohrady part of the city for a more authentic and cheaper experience and pick any pub that you come across.

metronome in Letenské Sady

Prague Metronome
Make sure you check out the Metronome. Overlooking the Vltava and constructed in 1991, the Metronome is an oddity on the Prague skyline, and the hangout of local skater boys and graffiti artists. If you like your city with a bit of grit, pay it a visit. The Metronome offers killer photo opportunities of the city.

Old Town Square
It’s full of tourists and yes you’ve seen it in photos a thousand times, but nothing beats actually going to the square at the heart of Prague’s Old Town. Ignore the fact that the first thing you’re likely to see as you approach is Starbucks. Old Town Square’s beauty will knock your socks off and the streets leading off it will lead you on numerous different adventures. Visiting Prague and skipping the Old Town Square is like visiting Paris and not going to the Eiffel Tower or leaving out the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. You’ll be glad you went, and you’ll be spared the questions when your family start nagging you about why you didn’t go.

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Exploring Prague like a local

Posted July 6, 2012 by
Tagged As: Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, prague, Wenceslas Square | Categories: Prague, Prague Advices, Prague Monuments | Comments Off

Up: Panorama of Hradcany with Prague Castle an...
1. STOP going to Lucerna Music Bar.

Most of the Czechs I know try to avoid Lucerna’s overpriced bar and tourist-infested dance floor. Expats.cz said it was convenient to Wenceslas Square, but it took me almost four months to find the front door.

Instead, go to Futurum.

“We’re going to go dancing at Futurum tonight!” my friend Lenka told me one day after class. Based on her enthusiasm, I concluded that Futurum is where locals go for a crazy night out.

While singing along to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” (“I’m impressed you know all the words!” said Lenka), I witnessed some dude groping a woman under her shirt. She didn’t seem to mind the PDA. They just kept dancing. Because that’s the kind of place Futurum is.

2. STOP going to Cross Club.

You know that spot in your town “everybody” goes to that seems cool at first, but really isn’t that cool, and after a while you realize that the kinds of people who go there are people you don’t really like? Cross Club is that place.

Tourists flock here, hoping to buy drugs from the shady dealers hanging around the bathrooms, and while the live music is a nice touch

Instead, go to Radost FX.

I’ve eaten vegetarian food, sipped on cappuccinos, rifled through used CDs, and partied my ass off in an underground club — all within the same building at Radost FX. I discovered this cafe / vegetarian restraunt / second-hand record shop / discotheque while getting lost in my neighborhood, Vinohrady.

I don’t even mind when tourists show up, because Radost’s multiple venues make it easy to avoid them.

3. STOP shopping on Wenceslas Square.

Václavské náměstí is an important Czech historic site, but none of the retail shop brands lining the boulevard are Czech. I thought I’d at least score some deals due to the country’s low exchange rate, but in doing the math, a pair of sneakers found at my local mall cost almost twice as much in Prague.

Instead, shop off the beaten path.

One-of-a-kind pieces from some of Prague’s own designers cost me pennies — all found while strolling down alleyways and taking side streets off the main tourist areas.

Le Boheme is my favorite find, a funky little shop near Old Town Square where, after being fitted for a custom blazer, I watched owner Renáta Vokáčová construct new designs in the back of her shop. Even one of the city’s most famous designers, Helena Fejková, offers couture fashion for considerably less than any other designer I’ve ever met.

Deutsch: Prag, Wenzelsplatz
4. STOP going to Bohemia Bagel.

I thought bagels were an Eastern European thing, and that I’d be swimming in them in Prague, but that hasn’t been the case. Stopping by this expat joint one day, I wasn’t impressed by the nearly $2 poppy seed bagel with cream cheese. I didn’t come to Prague to eat Caesar salads, Philly cheese steaks, and brownies anyway.

Instead, go to Cafe Savoy.

Located near my favorite bridge, Most Legií, Cafe Savoy’s interior has been restored to its turn-of-the-century architectural glory. I’ve traded Bohemia Bagel’s free wifi and takeaway coffee cups for Savoy’s decadent plates of food and creamy cafe au lait.

5. STOP going to Starbucks.

Seriously. Stop it. The flagship location replaced Café Radetzky, a 135-year-old teahouse Franz Kafka used to frequent, so a little bit of Czech history died with your latte.

Instead, go to Krásný Ztráty.

Krásný’s cafe drinks and snacks are satisfying after a day spent studying next to Václav Havel. No joke, I was writing a paper in Krásný’s quiet back room, the former president and playwright sitting adjacent to me with a cup of coffee and a newspaper.

It’s pretty easy to meet famous Czech people if you go to the places Czechs like to hang out. Perhaps you’ll get lucky and spot the current President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, with a milkshake and a comic book.

6. STOP going to Charles Bridge during the day.

Charles Bridge isn’t that long of a bridge, but it takes upwards of an hour to cross during the day because of the crowds. I made the mistake of trying on one of my first days in Prague, and felt like a calf in a herd of tourists.

Instead, go in the early morning or late evening.

The crowds thin out between 11PM and 7AM. Crossing the bridge off-hours makes it easy to stop and rub all the good-luck statues.

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Next Pink Floyd Show Coming to Prague

Posted June 7, 2012 by
Tagged As: | Categories: Prague, Prague Events, Travel | Comments Off

English: Pink Floyd performing at Live 8 in London

English: Pink Floyd performing at Live 8 in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the Australian Pink Floyd Show, will also perform in Prague Brit Floyd, the spectacular show inspired by the legendary Pink Floyd band, equipped with lots of lights and animation, in the O2 Arena on the 18th of October.

Brit Floyd has been seen abroad by about a quarter of a million people and in a program called A Foot in the Door they want to introduce all the major hits of Pink Floyd. The introduction created specifically by Damian Darlington for Brit Floyd to celebrate the brand new official recordings Best of Pink Floyd. Based on the great success of audience, present a special bonus of 23 min. stunningly rendered song Echoes from album Meddle introduced by Pink Floyd in 1971. Will also be a selection of some songs from the most famous album The Wall.

Program A Foot In The Door has a precise list of songs, so fans will hear: Hey You, See Emily Play, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall (pt 2), Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Time, The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Comfortably Numb, Echoes, High Hopes, Learning To Fly, The Fletcher Memorial Home, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Brain Damage, Eclipse and Run Like Hell.

The Pink Floyd unique animation, the perfect light and sound are considered the best musical show in the world. The British rock legends Pink Floyd have long been prominent and with no expected comeback. Although singer and bassist Roger Waters has recently confirmed that relations with former colleagues are not terrible. He admitted that his dispute on copyright with former colleagues wasn’t very wise. The group was a team.”When we were young, we were really great team. From 1968 until the release of Dark Side Of The Moon, we were well-functioning team, “said Waters.

The band last went on stage on 2005 at Live 8 concert. Comeback has never happened, even when they were offered 250 million dollars for the tour. Prague concert tickets will be sold at the prices from 950 to 1250 CZK.

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Prague Parking Matters!

Posted May 11, 2012 by
Tagged As: | Categories: Prague, Prague Accommodation, Prague Advices, Travel | Comments Off

Parking in Prague has become a severe problem since the fall of communism, as if this change made the city similar to other European cities in everything including traffic matters.

The main problem for parking in Prague if you travel to Prague with you car, is that you have to pay almost for each street parking. The first and stressed recommendation you may hear  about getting around in Prague is “use the Prague public transportations, don’t drive!”. But at some point you may find yourself with a car stuck in the streets with no plan on how to find a parking space!

In any zone, make sure not to leave any valuables inside that could attract the attention of car burglars. Car burglary and theft are common crimes in Prague as they are in other big cities. For more safety, you may choose to park your car in a garage or even in a lot. Lots are located close to metro stations, and the purpose of these lots is to encourage people to leave their cars and take public transportation to reduce the traffic jam!

There are ‘color codes’ for the parking zones  in Prague downtown.

Orange – 2 hour parking (from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Green – 6 hour parking (from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
Blue – reserved for residents and offices.

For more information about parking in Prague you can read this article.

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