Things to do after the Prague Discovery Tour
This blog covers a question that many of us get once our Prague Discovery Tour is complete: “Now that we have seen the basics, what else is there to do?” Since we are in the winter months, my first suggestion is someplace warm! I do plan to keep you inside or near enough. Most of the more scenic areas and gardens are actually closed during the winter months and, truthfully, who would want to look at dead plants in freezing temperatures?
Now, I do realize that the first two suggestions on my list are included in our Prague Discovery Tour, yet there is no way the tour can go deep enough into the history of these locations without it lasting for days. Our tour is intended as a sampler giving you an idea of the city and things to revisit.
My first consideration is the crazy big place on top of the hill, the castle. Prague Castle isnʼt just big, it is the largest in the world. Many of the buildings serve as museums and with a big pile of Czech and world history inside. There are places to eat and drink and almost every food place sells svařák, the traditional hot spiced wine that can keep you warm while moving between the buildings.
I have some suggestions while you are there. There is an art gallery in the Second Courtyard featuring paintings by many greats from the 1500ʼs onward. The display is very open so time can be taken to enjoy the works without the herds of tourists wielding selfie sticks blocking your sight. For only 100 CZK, this is an incredible bargain. Also, when visiting the Golden Lane, donʼt forget to go to the upstairs area which has a great display of armor and at the end, they have an indoor crossbow range. Who doesnʼt want to shoot a crossbow?!
No mention of the castle is complete without mentioning the Lobkowicz Palace. It contains one of the nicer (though smaller) museums in Prague. They also offer a lunchtime classical recital and afterward, you can dine while overlooking the city. It is a beautiful view.
My next suggestion is the Jewish Quarter. So much history is hidden here. From the beauty of the Spanish Synagogue to the informative Maisel Synagogue or the heart-rending Pinkas Synagogue, the spaces are very authentic and filled with many incredible historical figures and events. Spend the extra money for the headsets to truly get all you can from a visit here.
One of the things I think visitors miss sometimes is the amount of culture that is offered in the city. At the start of my tour, I show a building with the word “divadlo” on it. This is the word for “theatre.” I then watch as they notice this word somewhere on almost every street we walk down. There are something like 40 major theatres in Prague as well as a large number of small ones.
If you like music, it is here. The level of musicianship is amazing. Classical music, opera, jazz, reggae, and even old rock music that was not heard here during communist times. If you are here at the right time of the year, you can go and see Mozartʼs Don Giovanni at the very place he originally opened the opera in, the Estates Theatre. Now, that is something to write home about!
Looking for paintings and sculptures? It is all here, by the truckloads. Puppets and marionettes? We have it. Blacklight theatre and multi-media presentations? Weʼve got you covered. Museums? From the National Museum covering Czech history to smaller, more specialized ones like the Museum of Communism, the KGB Museum, a Kafka Museum, and even a couple of alchemy museums, you can find tons of interesting and strange exhibits.
I think you get my point. The great thing about all of this is that it is affordable. You will not spend an arm and a leg to see a great performance. Donʼt miss out on the cultural offerings available.
After a good show, what is better than a bit of food and drink to accompany the conversation? There are certain cities in the world where food isnʼt just nutrition for the body, but a social event that brings people together. Prague is one of those places. From the heavy Czech cuisine to the myriad of tapas and everything in between, there is something for everyoneʼs pallet. Also, let’s not forget the national treasure of the Czech Republic… beer! Many of the finest beers in the world are made here and it is certainly loved by the Czechs. A bonus is that it is about the cheapest thing you can buy in this country. It is cheaper than water!
The restaurants of Prague have a relaxed view of customers sitting back with a coffee or a drink after the meal, so there is no need to feel rushed to leave after you have finished eating. Relax, enjoy your beverage, and maybe try one of the tasty desserts the restaurants offer.
Not very hungry? Maybe one of the many cafés will suit the bill. So many have an old-world charm, that a modern coffee shop just doesnʼt have. Try Café Slavia opened in 1884, right across from the National Theatre. Maybe the cubist coffee house at the House of the Black Madonna? Perhaps Dobrá čajovna in Wenceslas Square, which is one of my favorite in that area of town. Truthfully, you canʼt throw a tea bag without hitting a good café (though we might ask why you are throwing tea bags). We pointed out some of the coolest ones in this article, but donʼt be afraid to explore! The best café may be the one you find on your own.
The last two things I will mention are only open certain times of the year but must be listed. First, for a couple of months each winter ending in January, there will be temporary ice skating rings in certain areas of Prague. One is right in Old Town behind the Estates Theatre. Family friendly and a good way to burn the extra energy the children may have.
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable events the winter brings is the Christmas markets throughout the city. They are packed with handmade items, great foods, and enough beer, mead, and hot spiced wine to keep everyone warm and happy. The massive one in the Old Town Square also contains a stage for traditional Czech dances and songs and features a massive Christmas tree overlooking the event. Each year, we organize a special Christmas Tour devoted to these.
One final thing to suggest: bundle up and just wander the city. Kafka thought Prague was best in the winter. The city feels magical and romantic. With magic and romance all around, what is the problem with a bit of cold weather?
You can ask about these and other locations on any of the Urban Adventure tours in Prague.
February 25, 2019