Prague is definitely not an undiscovered old Eastern Europe capital. It's a well discovered destination these days.
The first time we arrived in the city, we took the bus and subway into the center of town from the airport...
When we emerged from the subway, it was to a street crowded with tourists on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.
I mean, you almost couldn't move crowded...
...so much that it almost put us off about our visit...
...but we got over that...
The first thing we did was go to the opera, just to get
away from the crowds!
No, we're not opera buffs...
But when we were researching the trip, we had read about the Estates Theater being a real jewel box of a theater...
And that they often have performances of "Don Giovanni"...
And that THIS is the theater where Mozart himself conducted the premier of his opera way back in 1783!
We were lucky enough to get decent seats for a matinee performance that day... our hotel was close in to the historic district... it was cool in the opera house... and a great way to ease into the city on a Saturday afternoon.
The Czech Republic and Prague have embraced the European Union, and tourists from all over the world have embraced this graceful capital.
This is one of Europe's best preserved historic cities....
It's the only Central European capital to escape the bombs of World Wars I and II.
Once we got used to the crowds, the first place we headed for was the Old Town Square. This is a good place for you to start too.
It's been a central point and market square for the town for centuries.
The Old Town Hall anchors one side of the square.
Watch the 15th century astronomical clock strike the hour and put on a show with great mechanical pageantry.
he 14th century Tyn Church towers on the opposite side of the square. The rest is lined with wonderful pastel Art Nouveau buildings.
This Square is a tourist mecca with outdoor cafes, horse drawn buggies, classic cars offering city tours, and musical groups playing for tips on the corners.
Even with all that
it's beautiful and a fun place to start exploring.
You can't visit Prague without seeing its iconic bridge. So find Karlova Street.
Karlova Street starts just beyond one side of the Old Town Hall. It's a narrow, twisty old street that winds its way through medieval Prague to the Charles Bridge.
OK... there were still tourist crowds, and you'll be swept along with them...
This is definitely a place to be wearing your money belt to protect your valuables.
Since you know you have things safely tucked away, just enjoy the exuberance of this old and engaging street.
You can spend hours on the Charles Bridge if you want.
Explore each of the statues that line both sides of the bridge. (Many of them are copies, with the originals in the National Museum, but they're still fun to see.)
Vendors set up stalls that sell everything a tourist could want... (or never buy!)
Musicians set up shop just far enough apart that they don't compete with each other... too much.
If you want some quiet time, sit on the side and admire the view of the Prague Castle on the hill.
Do make your way over the bridge and through the Little Quarter.
This quarter is full of Baroque Palaces and old houses and of course, churches.
The streets slope up to the Castle.
Explore the huge castle, but don't obsess on it. It's rooms are simple by castle standards.
See what you can, and enjoy the city views from the promenade along the edge.
The city is sometimes called the "Golden City of 100 Spires" and you can see why it got that name from your vantage point by the castle.
There is also a Jewish Quarter and the New Town to explore if you have time.
There are plenty of B&Bs and restaurants in the city.
The old city center is very walkable.
Linger over a beer on the riverside. Czech beer of course.
Take in a concert in the evening, and enjoy being one more tourist who has discovered Prague.