by Kimberli Hull
You are probably thinking, “Prague in January - are you crazy?” Yes. It was quite cold, but we were rewarded with incredible discounts on hotel rooms and far fewer crowds.
We'd never been to Prague, so when a friend stopped by Paris to visit on her way to the Czech Republic, we tagged along for a long weekend in Prague.
Dating back to medieval times, Prague is stunningly beautiful. Walking through Staré Město (Old Town) with its castles, towers, colorful buildings and cobblestone streets is like walking through a fairy tale.
Home to the Astronomical Clock, the Town Hall Tower, the Church of St. Nicholas, and Týn Cathedral, Old Town Square is one of the most beautiful squares in the world and is a hub of activity with musicians, street artists, food vendors, and tourists.
The third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest still in operations, the Prague Astronomical Clock was first installed in 1410. The four figures next to the clock face come to life each hour and represent vanity, death, lust, and greed who are greeted by the 12 Apostles. The performance ends with a crowing rooster and the ringing of the clock tower bell.
For a bird's eye view of Prague, visitors can ascend to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower.
On the other side of the square, Týn Cathedral majestically fills the sky with its high towers and spires.
While it was a whirlwind of a weekend, we managed to take in many of the top Prague destinations.
Strolling from Old Town across the Charles Bridge, we stopped to rub the 30 statues that line the bridge for good luck and, of course, for a Trdelník, a rolled pastry wrapped around a stick and baked, then topped with cinnamon and sugar. They serve them plain, filled with ice cream or, how we had ours, filled with Nutella.
Moving on, we climbed the steps up to Hradčanské square with the Gate of Giants - the entrance to Prague Castle. In addition to helping work off the calories in the Trdelník, the stairs offer a stunning view of Prague. As we reached the top, it started to snow, so we moved on to the shelter of the castle.
Returning to Old Town, we wandered the winding shops that offer a wide variety of items, including stunning glass creations.
Prague Castle is the largest castle in the world with courtyards, palaces, museums and St. Vitus Cathedral. Architectural elements where the cathedral now stands date back over 1,000 years.
In Prague, English is spoken nearly everywhere and it is a highly walkable city. We would love to return to Prague and spend a month when it is warmer, giving us much more time to explore the city of a hundred spires.
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