Prague: parks


La Grotta in Havlicek Gardens, fot. Marta
La Grotta in Havlicek Gardens, fot. Marta

Autumn is the best time of year for walks and where could be a better place than in park. Surprisingly Prague it is green city with many green spaces within the center. If you're looking for a place to walk, sit down and read or simply take a breath and relax, here you have some of proposals.

Letna Park

This would be the first of my thoughts. Big area located by the river, on a hill with majestic views for city center. In Letna you can walk longer ways and combine it with sightseeing. You have a Metronome, Expo 58, Letna Summer Castle. You can skate there, run, walk your dog or have a beer in Beer Gardens. Multiple purposes and it's so close to center.

Useful tip: How to get there? You can take a tram 17 from the center and go to Cechuv Most. Or you can from the other side by tram 8 and get off at Letenske Namesti.

Havlicek Gardens

This garden combined with vineyard is located in district Vinohrady and sometimes it's called Grebovka. I love this place for two reasons, first is that you can a viewpoint there, second you can find beautiful pseudo- renaissance spot La Grotta. This is Rome styled grotto and fountain, where you can sit and relax, but you can take a romantic photo shoot. If you're lucky enough you can see street artist practicing there. Beside that you have nice paths down and uphill and little lake fith fishes and ducks. Of course if you'd like to have a drink or coffee, there is a small café with arbour where you can see vineyards and part of Prague.

Useful tip: How to get there? You can choose green line of metro (line A), get off on Namesti Miru, and then walk about 15 minutes. You can take a tram and get off on Nadrazi Vrsovice.

Vitkov Hill

I have discovered this place recently, main attraction is museum and enormous monument, Narodni Pamatka, but around is great park area with view. So if you like, to admire Zizkov and Karlin from above you should go there. It's closer than I thought and it's worth it to climb there. Part of the way it takes stairs and part paths. You can sit on a bench at the begging and admire railway and trains going from and to Prague. But from the place around monument you can see much more! This place is great for everyone families, couples, singles. You can sit there and relax or enjoy a perfect autumn moments.

Useful tips: How get there? Basically every mean of transport that goes to Florenc Bus Station, because Vitkov is located behind it. You can take some bus and get off on Narodni Pamatka.

That's it from me, this was the first part of my favorite parks in Prague, but since it's there much more, stay tuned for part 2!

Marta

One-day trip: Karlovy Vary


Mill Colonnade, fot. Marta
Mill Colonnade, fot. Marta

If you feel bored of Prague or you just like to explore some of Czech Republic, here you have another inspiration for one-day trip. Why is worth it to go to Karlovy Vary? Simply, because it's two hours away from the capital and this unique place have astonishing architecture and hot spring inside the town! If you feel temped, then keep reading.

Useful tip: How to get there? You can use one of the bus lines, like for example Flixbus. During the weekend it could be all full, so remember to book tickets earlier. If you plan your trip during the week, this shouldn't be a problem. Route takes about hours and the bus station is at Florenc (metro A, yellow line). Ticket costs around 150 Kc, but if you're a student with valid ISIC card you can go literally for 40 Kc!

First steps in the town

If you take a bus, you will get at Karlovy Vary Terminal, which is the main bus station there, near to the heart for town. You need you go upstairs and cross the street and you will see wide sidewalk full of shops and restaurants. You should follow this exact street. In the distance around 200 meters on your right is Tourist Information where you can get free city map and some tips. Frankly, all of colonnades are located close to each other and you can reach them within 5 up to 15 minutes of walk. So as you can see it's perfect place for rather lazy sightseeing and relax.

Sightseeing time!

First what you can see during your walk from Terminal is big white building in pseudo- baroque style, called Elizabeth Baths, which is a SPA complex. This place is surrounded by beautiful garden with palm trees!

If you walk along Tepla River, your next stop will be Hotel Termal, which is probably the highest building in Karlovy Vary famous for hosting important film festival. Keep walking into park nearby you will get to arbour with springs. This is the place where you can buy your own cup and enjoy tasting healing waters of resort.

Town of collonades

Going straight next on your way will be impressive pseud- renaissance colonnade Mill Colonnade with greek style columns and palms everywhere. This is the place where you can find four different springs and drink them aside the river. Next on you will reach Market Colonnade which is my favorite of all. This amazingly detailed wooden arbour is made in Swiss style and it is the oldest bath in the town. This construction appears as otherworldly with its spotless white inside and outside. You just have to experience yourself how beautiful it is.

But the main pearl is just few meters further and I am talking about actual geyser in the town center! You can see geyser that gushes to a height to a couple of meters and steam that comes out of channel next to it. This, in my opinion, it one of the must- see there.

Panoramic view

If you would like to see some panorama of the whole city just keep going by the river and at the crossroad go a bit right. Hidden street leads to funicular, which takes you to Diana, an overlook tower. Ticket both ways costs around 140 Kc and the car goes every 15 minutes. If you prefer you can hike to the hill at least two different routes. The tower is free of charge and it has a lift, so you don't need to take a stairs. From the top, you have view to Karlovy Vary and the whole neighborhood.

Useful tip: While being in Karlovy Vary don't forget to try something local like Lazensky Oplatek, which is thin waffle with filling in many tastes like coconut, chocolate or hazelnut. It's very sweet and delicious and it costs like 10 Kc for piece.

That's all I can say about Karlovy Vary and reasons why to visit it. I find it perfect for one-day trip, because it's pretty close to Prague and because of it coziness you can reach almost all of the attractions within couple of hours. You have plenty places to walk and rest and if the weather is good you can enjoy every minute in this SPA resort.

Marta

Prague: cemetery


Cemetery on Vysehrad, fot. Marta
Cemetery on Vysehrad, fot. Marta

Spooky, but valuable

Cemetery could sound like odd place to visit, but maybe it's time of the year or maybe it's a matter of preferences. I find cemeteries as specific places, which are mysterious and thoughtful at the same time. Maybe they have never been my main destination to travel to, but definitely, I always try to visit some old cemeteries while I'm sightseeing. If you're looking for some inspiration tho, keep reading!

Gaves of honored

First of all monumental and cryptic cemetery in Vysehrad with beautiful preserved family graves. This cemetery of Church of St. Peter and Paul is the most famous one in whole Prague, because of buried more than 600 famous people. You can admire detailed arcade with paintings, sculpture, and walk through paths with a mass- tombs. Entrance is free and I recommend you to visit this place during being in Vysehrad.

Calm graveyard near metro

Second, is small cemetery near metro station Andel. I couldn't find more information about this place but it's quiet and intimate place, you probably will not see other tourist there. I discovered it while walking around Andel metro station, because it's one tram stop further at Bertramka. This cemetery looks like a park; there are benches, lots of greenery and ivy among graves. I noticed there mainly German graves from around 18th century, which are still being renewed. I enjoyed this peaceful atmosphere and quiet entrenched by the high wall, which isolated cemetery from rush street.

Useful tip: How to get there? You can go by metro line B and get off on Andel, then take a tram from stop in front of Novy Smichov and go one stop to Bertramka. Cemetery is right behind stop shelter.

Top 10 by National Geographic

This were only two places I have visited so far, but on list is still Old Jewish Cemetery, because of being one of the top 10 graveyard's to see by National Geographic. Of course, I also appreciate other, smaller and not so famous cemeteries.

Marta

Where to: buy souvenirs?


Smaltum, fot. Marta
Smaltum, fot. Marta

So I want a souvenir

Souvenirs for some people may appear as something useless, childish or needless, for them they're just an items. But for me souvenirs are like pieces of experience and places where I've been to. That's is why in this post I would like to introduce you two places where, in my opinion, you can buy unique and quality things for yourself or friends or family. Just keep reading!

Where to go?

I found two places with peaceful atmosphere and very eye-catching items. One of them is Smaltum, it's not only shop but also workshop place, where you can paint your own mugs! How cool is that? So, this can be great spot for those who are having visitors and want to provide them entertainment and customized gifts from Prague. I liked this place due to handmade items, variety of patterns connected with city spirit and reasonable places. For example, cup with Prague theme drawing you can buy for around 150 Kc, and painted keyring for 99 Kc. I found that it's fair price for originally Czech's souvenirs located in the heart of the city.

Useful tip: How to get there? If you're walking from Charles Bridge towards Prague Castle you should go straight to the St. Nicolas Church and then turn left. If you walk like three minutes, you will see on your left store window with yellow frames. This is the place; you're there J If you're taking a tram the closest train stop will be Hellichova or Malostranske namesti.

But first, cool design

For fans of art and designed, my second proposal is concept store Pragtique just right next to Charles Bridge. This souvenir shop offers products designed by local artist who draws inspiration from vibes of Prague. This shop combines boutique quality with Prague's theme patterns. You can find there T-Shirts, mugs, bags, keyrings and much more. Price range is higher, for example, keyring costs around 175 Kc, but for esthetes and modern arts lovers I think this is the best proposal.

Useful tip: How to get there? Leave Charles Bridge and walk straight around three minutes' place you're heading to is on the right. And if you're tired or need coffee next to Pragtique in the same building, there is a hidden coffee and cake place called Roesel. I highly recommend you to come and sit there, because it's calm and cozy place with simple interior and nice prices.

That's all for me. I hope you will find some great items for you!

Marta

Prague: viewpoints


Letna Park view, fot. Marta
Letna Park view, fot. Marta

Good news for fans of viewpoints! Prague is well known from its easy to reach spots with panoramic view on almost whole city and most of them are for free. So if you'd like to visit some of them then charge your batteries and keep reading.

Prague Castle view

Starting with most recognizable, this could be tower in St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague's Castle. I recommend you to visit the castle, because of breathtaking architecture and amazing royal gardens. When you're there you can entrance this nearly 100 meters tower and admire panoramic view at whole center. Just be aware that you have to take a stairs and it's almost 280 steps to get there, so better brace yourself and prepare comfortable shoes. Along the way, you can see cathedral bells and entrance fee is 150 Kc.

Useful tip: How to get there? You can reach Prague Castle from metro line A and get off at Malostranska.

Around Strahov district

Another spot worth to visit is Strahov Monastery and whole region of Petrin's Park. This place is like outside of the city, but is a strict center. You can feel like in your grandparent's garden with lots of apple and pears trees, just that here you can get marvelous view at Old City. This calmly place is great for walks, chilling and romantic dates almost for every outdoor activity and it's all for free.

Vysehrad wall

Have you heard about Vysehrad? If yes, this is another spot with amazing views and lots of path to walk around. Vysehrad complex is located a bit from city center at opposite side of Vltava River than castle or Strahov. Vysehrad is hill fort with giant park area, church, cemetery and casemates. What is more important for me this is a place with great view from the wall, where you can observe northern and eastern part of Prague.

Useful tip: How to get there? You can take line C and get off on Vysehrad.

Dancing House terrace

I couldn't pass over Dancing House and its view from 7th floor terrace. To get there you can either pay 100 Kc for entrance or buy something in coffee place and enjoy your view from the heart of the city. I like to take cappuccino for 69 Kc and sit outside on the couch. Unfortunately, this place is usually crowded, so it's hard to enjoy your view and have a coffee in peace. No matter what time you're there probably you will see tourist with camera who are trying to get the best picture.

Park view- Letna

Lastly, you can go to Letna Park, not only a beautiful walking area, but also place with a couple attractions, such as Metronome and Expo 58. Letna Park is my biggest discover of the month! Almost on every step, you can admire stunning view at Vltava River, bridges and main center of Prague. You do not have to pay for anything and just enjoy your time in this nature field. If you walk a bit and you feel, tired you can step into Letna Beer Garden, which is an open-air beer place and also have astonishing views.

This is just few places I've been and I can recommend, but you have to believe me there is much more! For example Petrin Tower, Zizkov Tower, Grebovka Park and many, many places I'm planning to visit. So stay tuned for part 2.

Marta

One day trip: Kutna Hora


Kutna Hora panorama, fot. Marta
Kutna Hora panorama, fot. Marta

Let's start!

If you feel familiar with Prague and it miracles, it is a time to explore more than just this agglomeration. Czech Republic is known for its variety of small towns and cities that are more than worth to visit. You have multiple choices between directions and what is best pretty much of them are located within two hours by train. One of them is Kutna Hora, a little town with amazing sanctuary complex, which is situated just fifty minutes away from the capital. So if you're ready to leave this big city life and experience some cozy and picturesque place, just keep reading! 

Useful tip: How to get there? By train from Hlavni Nadrazi (Main Railway Station) since it goes every hour just choose the best time for yourself. The provider is Ceskie Drahy and there is no need to book tickets earlier. If you're a student under 26 with ISIC card you can have a discount. Also if you're travelling as a group you can have discount too. I recommend you to buy return tickets since it's a bit cheaper.

Kutna Hora navigation

Once you get to Kutna Hora you can follow the signs and maps which are located at train station. From station to the first tourist attraction is around 10-15 minutes of walk and don't be afraid of walking it's actually the best way to reach first of three sanctuaries.

If you take this path, you will get to Kostnice Sedlec (Bone Chapel) which is a little chapel with interior filled with bones and skulls of over 40,000 victims of plague and wars. This strange and shocking place is combination of two styles: baroque and gothic. Bone Chapel is unique relic and nowadays is as a memorial about life and death.

Useful tip: If you're planning to visit a whole complex you can buy one ticket for them all and save some money. One student ticket for whole complex costs 155 kc.

Next to Kostnice Sedlec you will find Cathedral of Assumption of our Lady and St. John The Baptist which part of UNESCO heritage. Inside you can find Bohemian vault, which seems to be unique in the world. Whole building claims to be a monumental combination of gothic style with German architecture.

Last stop is St. Barbara Cathedral with its beautiful architecture and amazing interior and one of the UNESCO monumental. Combination of styles and refined architecture's details are impressive. From the ground floor, you can admire incrusted altars and stain glass windows. Upper you can for admire arches and remarkable ceiling and there is a small balcony, so that you can see a panorama of the city. I highly recommend this place, it's more than just a church, it's a piece of great art.

Other attractions

Of course around center of Kutna Hora you can find much more interesting places, such as: Gallery of Central Bohemian Region or Hradek- Czech Museum of Silver or Stone Fountain. In addition, if you feel hungry, definitely visit fine Dacicky restaurant with traditional Czech cuisine and feast inside.

That's all what I can tell you about one day trip in Kutna Hora. If you're interested in more places check them on official website of Kutna Hora or just grab a map and explore it yourself. If don't feel sure about visiting this city just take a look at this panoramic view and fairy- tale nature. 

Marta

Living in Prague

What to know about Prague to enjoy it.