Stroll Across Charles Bridge at Dawn or Dusk
The silhouettes of the statues lining the 600-year-old crown jewel of Czech heritage hover like ghosts in the still of the sunrise skyline. Early in the morning you can stroll across the bridge without encountering the crowds that appear by midday. With the changing light of dusk, the statues, the bridge, and the city panorama take on a whole different character.
Make Your Own Procession Down the Royal Route
The downhill jaunt from Prague Castle, through Malá Strana (Lesser Town), and across Charles Bridge to Old Town Square, is a day in itself. (If you want more exercise, start in the Old Town and walk up to the castle.) The trip recalls the route taken by the carriages of the Bohemian kings; today it's lined with quirky galleries, shops, and cafes.
Take a Slow Boat Down the Vltava
You can see many of the most striking architectural landmarks from the low-angle and low-stress vantage point of a rowboat you pilot yourself. Make the trip in the evening and rent a rowboat with a little lantern.
Get Lost in Prague's Old Town
It happens to everyone, even people who have lived here for years. You think you're taking a shortcut down a back alley, and soon you're on a street you've never seen before and have no idea where you are. Old Town's winding lanes were carved out long before cities had rectilinear street grids, and that's a big part of the city's charm.
Catch a Performance of Smetana's Moldau Symphony
Or any other piece of classical music, for that matter. Prague's Gothic spires and baroque cupolas provide the perfect backdrop for a classical concert, opera, or ballet, and the city's symphony halls and churches are just as beautiful as the music itself.
Have a Cold One in the City That "Invented" Beer
We're not talking about Prague here, but the western Bohemian city of Plzen (Pilsen) that's the birthplace of clear, golden modern lager. It's why we call beer "pilsner" or simply "pils." They're still making beer there and you can tour the brewery. If you can't make it to Plzen, stop in at just about any pub in the country for some of the best beer you'll ever drink.
Step into History at Karlstejn Castle
A 30-minute train ride southwest of Prague puts you in the most visited Czech landmark in the environs, built by Charles IV (Karel IV in Czech -- the namesake of Charles Bridge) in the 14th century to protect the Holy Roman Empire's crown jewels. This Romanesque hilltop bastion fits the image of the castles of medieval lore, though the exterior is more impressive than inside.
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