Sunday, February 8, 2015

Prague/Praga/Praha/Prag

Prague is the capital and the largest city of the Czech Republic. As magical as Paris, the city looks like a history book. In terms of its history, art, shopping opportunities and sightseeing, it provides unique alternatives.

In this multicultural city, you can see the effects of Germany, Austria, even Russia. When you visit the city you see even more influences than these countries. Beside these, it includes hundreds of extraordinary beauties too. For an ideal quick trip 5 days are enough, though you will never feel enough :))


Prague consists of several parts, and it is possible to see those parts on the city map. Here is my must be seen list : The Jewish Town, the Old Town, the Charles Bridge, the Castle, Loreta, and Vysehrad.
Praha 1 covers Old Town and the Castle area. The bridge separates the castle part from the old town.



From Mustek metro station you can reach the new city and the old town. In this part of the city you find:



Charles Bridge (Karlův most)
Boat trips (just behind this historical bridge.)
Lessser Town
Municipal House (OBECNÍ DŮM)
Powder Tower (Prašná brána)
The old town square
The Astronomical clock (Pražský orloj)

New Town Hall
Strahov Monastery
Church of Our Lady Before TYN
National Theatre
St Nicholas Church
Old New Synagogue


The Jewish Town Hall (Židovská radnice) in Josefov, Prague, is an 18th century Rococo building that is the center of the local Jewish community. It is perhaps best known for its two clocks (one with Roman numeral markings, and the other, lower, with Hebrew numbers.


The Castle: In order to go to the castle area take the metro and get off at IP Pavlova, later take the tram numbered 22, get off just before Pohoreke tram station. Don't forget that at 12:00pm (at the middle of the day)  there is an impressive military show in front of the castle. Although it is called the castle area, it is more than a castle, the area is impressive with the breath taking view too. Here you can visit Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) & Loreta Palace, the Cathedral and more...  The zone includes full of charming structures.

Praha 2 is on the other side of the city. Vysehrad is a park with the whole view of the city that worth visiting in this part. To go there you need to take the metro, the name of the station is Vysehrad.

Praha 5
Bertramka Mozart's house and the Dancing Bulding are in this part.


If you have left time, an option to visit can be a close city called Kutna Hora. Kutná Hora is an ancient silver mining town. During the Middle Ages, it was the most important city in the Kingdom of Bohemia after Prague. The city is preserved by UNESCO as a world heritage site. In this city you will find one of the the weirdest thing that you might imagine in your life :) "Ossuary in Sedlec"; a town chapel decorated with human bones. For more interior photos: http://www.ludd.luth.se/~silver_p/NewSedlec/index.htm.


About the Czech cusine; the traditional food is not exactly what one would call dietary :), however it is delicious. It mostly consists of pork or beef meat with sauce and a side dish, the most common and liked food are dumplings.

Dumplings (“knedliky”): They are the Czech traditional side dish contains wheat or potato flour, the combination is boiled in water as a roll and then sliced and served hot.
Trdelník, a traditional cake, is made from rolled dough, wrapped around a stick then grilled and topped with sugar and walnut mix.
Rice, potatoes (boiled, baked or fried) are other side dishes. Chicken, duck, turkey, fish, rabbit and lamb are also used in some very tasteful Czech dishes.

A good choice can be the Guláš (read like in English, “goulash“), even though it basically belongs to traditional Hungarian cuisine.

Also you can find some Czech classics out of the restaurants, such as Fried Cheese (Smažený Sýr, read “smazhenee seer”) garnished with potatoes (I recommend baked potatoes) and Tatarská Omáčka, read “tatarska omachka (Tartar sauce).

Czeck cuisine provides several soup opportunities. The most appreciated Czech soups (polévka) are onion (Cibulačká, read “tsibulachka”) and garlic soup (Česneková polévka, read “Chessnekova polevka”), but the speciality for Christmas is the fish soup (Rybí polévka). Also another very tasty one is Goulash Soup (Gulášová polévka), a spicy thick (creamy) soup, served with brown bread.

Trdelnik, the sweet cake,  is a type of dough wrapped around a spindel and cooked on a spit over an open fire. It's then rolled in a sugar and spice mixture. There are varieties of toppings such as chocolate, apple, walnut,etc.
It is not fair finishing this part without mentioning the famous Czech beer(pivo); Czech beer deserves its fame !!! I suggest you to try the dark Czech beer or the mixture of dark and light beers. The most famous brand is Pilsner Urquell. Hot wine (Svarak) is also popular. Beside these, there is a famous drink which doesn't include alcohol: A native coke called Kofola. In comparison with Coke it contains 30% less sugar, 50% less caffeine and it does not contain phosphoric acid. It tastes herbal flavor and in my opinion it is pretty original.

About shopping in Prague, keep in mind that you can find the chinaware and crystals here for a reasonable price.





 Basic Expressions:

Good morning: Dobré jitro
Good day: Dobrý den
Good evening: Dobré večer
Goodbye: Nashledanou
Yes: Ano
No: Ne
Please: Prosím
Thank you: Děkuji
Excuse me: Promiňte/Dovolte prosím
Sorry: Pardon
Transportation:

At the airport there are some daily tickets, 3-day, 5 day tickets for the buses. Once you validated at the first use, you don't have to validate them just don't forget to keep it with you all the time during your trips.

Again at the airport you will find the first tourism information point to get the first info and most importantly a map.

From the airport after buying your ticket, take the Bus 119 to Devijvicka station which is the last station. When you get off at that station take the metro and get off at Mustek or Museum stations both are at the downtown of the city.

Metro Lines:

Metro is the most efficient, the fastest and highly integrated way of transport in Prague (05.00 a.m. to midnight). The three metro lines are:
Line A (Green): From Skalka to Dejvicka running east to west.
Line B (Yellow): From Cerny most to Zlicin running east to west.
Line C (Red): From Ladvi to Haje running north to south.

The three transfer stations where two lines intersect each other.

Mustek (lower end of Wenceslas Square): lines A and B
Muzeum (upper end of Wenceslas Square): lines A and C
Florenc (main bus station): lines B and C

Enjoy Praha!