Written by DLX contributor Nancy Barkley, owner, and founder of Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways. Nancy is a Certified Lifestyle Specialist in Luxury Travel, Honeymoons and Destination Weddings. To know about magical places like Prague gives key information to the readers.
Prague is one of the most beautiful, enchanting, and romantic cities in Central Europe. This capital city of Czech Republic seems straight out of a children’s storybook, like the setting of a fairy tale. Legend has it that the turrets and spires of Tyn Church Towers in Old Town gave Walt Disney the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty Castle. It is one of the wonderful magical places in the Europe.
This is one of the perfect magical places to simply stroll and explore. You may stumble across a hidden alley, courtyard, or a lovely garden tucked away behind an apartment block. Even locals get lost wandering the cobblestone streets discovering this architectural jewel.
You should begin your enchanted walking adventure at the Powder Tower, the first point of the Coronation or Royal Route, and follow in the steps of Czech kings. This will lead you on a historical path which medieval Bohemian monarchs paraded on their way to being crowned in St. Vitus Cathedral.
This will put you at Prague Castle, which takes center stage in Czech history. It sits majestically on a hill high above Prague. Rising above the castle is the 600-year-old St. Vitus Cathedral.
Arch your back and you will see the beautiful spires on top of the cathedral. It is the largest and most important church in the Czech Republic. The cathedral is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture where saints, kings, and emperors of Bohemia are buried. The coronations of kings were held here until 1836.
Duck your head to visit the nearby houses of Golden Lane, originally the laneway of goldsmiths that served Prague Castle, dating back to the 15th century. It is one of the finest collections of traditional medieval buildings.
Climb the 287 steps of the South Tower for breathtaking views.
Here, you will also see Zikmund, the largest bell in the country, weighing in at approximately 15 tons. Six bell ringers are required to swing the bell into motion, 4 to swing and 2 to manipulate the clapper.
Presidential guards secure the main entrances to the castle. They are members of a special army division and services directly to the president. The exchanging of the guards occurs every hour, with a ceremonious changing at noon that features a parade and music. They also walk the grounds of the Castle looking over the security of visitors and reluctantly giving directions to lost travelers.
The iconic Charles Bridge, that crosses the Vltava River, is a destination in its own right. Construction started in 1357 under King Charles IV and finished in 1402. This land connection made Prague significant as the trade route between Eastern and Western Europe. Crossing this bridge with 16th arches and 30 baroque statues, you will be treated to very talented street musicians, souvenir shopping, custom portraits drawn by local artists and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities.
Prague’s Old Town, dating back to 1328, is a plaza surrounded by former palaces. Here you can wander in any direction and discover picturesque buildings, winding alleyways as well as galleries showcasing Prague’s Modern Artists.
The medieval Astronomical Clock, dating to 1410, is the 3rd oldest astronomical clock in the world. Sometime in 1490, a calendar dial was added and the entire structure was decorated with Gothic sculptures. The figures at the top and bottom had significant meaning in medieval times, while the skeleton pulling the bell cord is Death and the fourth represents lust and earthly possessions.
Join the crowds from around the world lining up on the hour to watch the procession of the Twelve Apostles appear from a small trap door.
Getting lost in this place, it’s easy to see why travelers say Prague is one of the most magical places and beautiful historical cities in the world.
Header image courtesy Nancy Barkley.
All other images courtesy The Official Tourist Website for Prague.