Bosnia & Herzegovina

How To Spend An Unforgetable Day In Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

We departed Split, Croatia for a trip to neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. Originally a part of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence in 1992 following the Bosnian War. While it remains a developing country even to this day, it has nevertheless become a popular tourist destination. With its Ottoman history, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a blend of Middle East meets the West.

A Viator Tour Group
A Viator Tour Group

Although we rarely take part in group tours, preferring instead to explore and experience destinations and cultures on our own, we highly recommend joining a tour group when traveling to – and within – Bosnia and Herzegovina. The political environment remains somewhat unstable and minefields still exist in rural areas and open fields if you plan on hiking. We chose to book through Viator which operates tours from Croatia. Our group consisted of only six people, and the tour guide was very wells knowledgable in passing us through numerous border entry points without problems.

Počitelj

Our first stop in Bosnia and Herzegovina was in the 15th medieval village of Počitelj. Located about 30km south of Mostar, Počitelj is situated in a deep river valley along the Neretva River and surrounded by rugged rocky mountains. We were immediately transported back in time.

Počitelj, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Počitelj, Bosnia-Herzegovina

With an early morning chill in the air, we couldn’t wait to try a cup of Bosnian coffee. Unlike Turkish coffee, Bosnian coffee is bitter, potent and about as thick as mud – yet surprisingly good!

Bosnian Coffee
Bosnian coffee served on a copper tray with a džezva, ceramic cup, sugar cubes and rahat lokum

It is traditionally served on a round metal tray (Bosnians are renowned for their copper metalwork), along with a džezva, a ceramic cup, sugar cubes and rahat lokum (a Bosnian candy).

Počitelj, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A Počitelj vendor proudly showing the figs she grows

Although the total population of Počitelj is just over 100 people, everyone was extremely friendly, offering fresh squeezed juices and locally grown figs.

Citadel Počitelj in Počitelj, Bosnia-Herzegovina
The Citadel Počitelj

Looming over the village is the Citadel Počitelj, an imposing structure that seems to rise majestically from rocky cliffs below. Built by King Tvrrko I of Bosnia in 1383, the fortress is now recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Monument.

Mostar

Fully awake from the effects of the Bosnian coffee, we rejoined our group and began the journey to Mostar.

Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A cobbled street in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Established in the 15th century along the banks of the Neretva River, the cobblestone streets of Mostar are lined with bazaars offering beautiful metalworks, handblown glass and textiles.

Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bazaars line the streets of Mostar

Mostar is perhaps best known for the Stari Most, a bridge that spans the Neretva River.

Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
The Stari Most spanning the Neretva River in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Originally constructed in 1566, the bridge stood 29m long, 24m high and 4m wide, and was considered an engineering marvel. Unfortunately, after 427 years, it was destroyed during the Bosnian War. Under the supervision of UNESCO, the Stari Most was reconstructed in 2004 using the same materials and technology that were originally used in 1566.

Mostar is also known internationally for its annual diving competition. From atop the Stari Most, divers jump to the Neretva River that flows 24m below. The tradition dates back to 1664 and is not for the faint of heart! Not only is the water very cold, but only the most trained and skilled will try the jump and, yes, deaths have occurred.

A diver on the Stari Most bridge in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A diver prepares to jump from the Stari Most bridge on Mostar

Diver On The Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovania

Diver Jumps From Stri Most in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovnia

Rafting On The Neretva River

Walking down the path from the Stari Most Bridge to the river bank, we found several local vendors offering short raft trips for only a few euros. We decided to take a leisurely 15-minute ride on the Neretva River to experience Mostar and its Ottoman architecture from a different perspective.

Rafting on the Neretva River in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovania
Rafting on the Neretva River

Kravice Waterfalls

After enjoying a relaxing lunch of traditional Bosnian cuisine in Mostar, we rejoined our tour group for the 40km drive to the Kravice Waterfalls.

Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina
The Kravice Waterfalls

Plunging from cliffs as high as 25m along the Trebižat River, this watery amphitheater is popular among locals and tourists alike.

Kravica Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina
A Family Enjoys The Kravice Waterfalls

A few sets of stairs connect the parking lot to a winding path that lead to the Falls below. A tram is also available. Once at the Falls, we explored the beauty and hidden crevices before relaxing in the afternoon shade of the surrounding forest. A number of small restaurants border the water where you can enjoy a great view while dining on local Bosninan/Croatian cuisine, or relaxing with an iced cream cone or cold Staropramen beer.

Exploring Mostar’s Bosnian War Siege

Mostar was devastated during the Bosnian War of 1992-1995. While much of the Old Town has been rebuilt to reflect a storybook image, bunkers, ruins and buildings scarred from the shelling still remain 27 years later. Neglected bombed out buildings line the streets, reminders that tell the tragic story of the destruction that took place. Even today, tension exists among the differing religions and cultures.

Ruins Of A Bombed Building in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A building remains in ruins from the bombing of Mostar during the Bosnian War
Ruins of building in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A building stands neglected and in ruins following the Bosnian War
Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
A building shows damage left from the Bosnian War

Bosnia-Herzgevonia

Our return trip to Split was was the ideal time to reflect on the day in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The friendly people we met in Počitelj, the remnants of the Bosnian War that remind us of the destructive power of war on buildings and people’s lives, the sheer beauty of the Kravice Falls. As we pass a sign pointing opposite directions to Split and Saravjeo, we couldn’t help but wish our driver turned right so we could experience more of this conflicted, yet amazing, country.

 

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Hvar, Croatia

Exploring The Queen Of The Dalmatian Islands

Hvar, Croatia

Hvar, Croatia
Hvar, Croatia viewed from Tvrdava Fortica

We decided to take a day trip by ferry to the island of Hvar some 30 miles off the coast of Split, Croatia. Hvar is the fourth largest of Croatia’s 1,100 coastal islands and a favorite of locals, celebrities and backpackers.

Easily reachable in under an hour by ferry or catamaran, it makes for a perfect day tour. Two companies service Hvar from Split – Jadrolinija and Krilo – that combined operate up to 18 trips per day during the peak season.

Stari Grad Promenade

The Stari Grad Promenade in Hvar, Croatia
The Stari Grad Promenade in Hvar, Croatia

We chose the Jadrolinija line since tickets could be booked directly with them. Our ferry docked directly at the Stari Grad Promenade, a picturesque palm tree lined promenade overlooking the Hvar harbor and pristine waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Hvar, Croatia
The harbor in Hvar, Croatia

Not only does the Stari Grad offer wonderful views and numerous sidewalk restaurants, but a wonderful shopping experience as well. The alley ways leading off the Promenade are lined with shops staffed by local vendors. The perfect place to find that special gift for someone back home.

St. Stephen’s Square

A short walk along the Stari Grad brought us to the historic St. Stephen’s Square.

St. Stephen Square in Hvar, Croatia
St. Stephen’s Square with the Cathedral of St. Stephen and the Episcopal Palace

With its white-washed architecture, cobbled streets and clear blue Adriatic waters, it is no wonder Hvar is called “The Queen of the Dalmatian Islands”. Anchored by the Cathedral of St. Stephen’s, the Bell Tower, and the Episcopal Palace, Hvar Square (Hvarska Pjaca) is the center of the island and the largest piazza in Dalmatia.

St. Stephen’s Square in Hvar, Croatia
A view of St. Stephen’s Square as seen from Tvrada Fortica

At the end of the Square is the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Stephen’s, pope and martyr. The Cathedral was constructed in 1605 on the foundation of an earlier 9th century church destroyed by the Turks. Stepping inside the Cathedral, we found a beautiful triptych depicting St. Mary, St. John the Baptist and St. Jerome painted by Venetian artists.

The Cathedral of St. Stephen’s
The Cathedral of St. Stephen’s Bell Tower in Hvar, Croatia

Tvrdava Fortica

Stepping off our ferry from Split, one of the first things we noticed was the imposing fortress looming high above the town.

Tvrdava Fortress in Hvar, Croatia
The Tvrdava Fortress looms above Hvar, Croatia

The medieval castle of Tvrdava Fortica dates from 1278 and holds a special place in the history of Hvar. In 1571, the Turks invaded the island and people living in Hvar took refuge in the fortress as the town was destroyed below.

Stone /Steps Leading To Tvrdava Fortica
A view of the stone steps leading from St. Stephen’s Square to the Tvrada Fortica in Hvar, Croatia

Although you can access the Fortress by taxi (approximately 100kn), we decided to take the stone steps leading from St. Stephen’s Square that connect to a shaded, winding path offering breathtaking views.

Pathway leading to the Tvrdava Fortress in Hvar, Croatia
A view of the shaded winding pathway leading to the Tvrdava Fortica in Hvar, Croatia

The climb takes under an hour and there are numerous places to sit and take a break. It is quite a workout, so take plenty of water if you plan to make the trek!

The amazing view of Hvar and the Adriatic Sea is the highlight of the steep trek up. However, the Fortress is empty and there is not much else to do other than enjoy the view.

The Franciscan Monastery and The Church of Lady of Mercy

After make the return trek from the Fortress back down the pathway and stone steps to St. Stephen’s Square, we enjoyed a cold, refreshing, well earned cocktail at one of the many sidewalk establishments lining the piazza. We then walked along the Stari Grad Promenade to the Franciscan Monastery and the Church of Lady of Mercy which are located on the opposite end of the Promenade from the piazza.

The Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia
View or the Franciscan Monastery and the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in Hvar, Croatia

Situated on a small cove overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the Franciscan Monastery with the Church of Our Lady of Mercy is just a short walk from the center of Hvar.

The Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia
An interior room of the Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia

Built in the 15th Century, the Monastery is open to the public where numerous relics and paintings can be viewed.

Cypress tree at the Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia
A view of one of the oldest specimens of cypress in Croatia

The Monastery is also home to one of the oldest specimens of cypress in Croatia. The age of the tree is estimated to be 500 years with branches that are elliptic in cross section.

A beach in Hvar, Croatia
A beach at the foot of the Franciscan Monastery in Hvar, Croatia

The small beach at the base of the Monastery is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the beautiful water of the Adriatic Sea.

Jadrolinija Ferry

Returning to the Stari Grad to board our Jadrolinija ferry back to Split, our day in Hvar ended with the golden glow of the medieval Tvrdava Fortica looming above us and an amazing sunset over the Adriatic Sea behind us.

 

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Split, Croatia

Split Croatia

There are few places in the world quite like Croatia. The beauty of the Adriatic Sea combined with ancient history and exquisite cuisine leads to one fun filled adventure, which is why Croatia has become one of the hottest low-key travel destinations for travelers of all ages.

Situated directly on the Adriatic Sea, Split is Croatia’s largest city on the Croatian coast.  Featuring a mix of modern life with ruins dating back to the Roman Empire, Split offers a bustling seafront, ancient history and fresh seafood served at numerous restaurants throughout the Old Town.

Marmanotova Utica in Split Croatia
The pedestrian friendly Marmanotova Utica in Split Croatia

A leisurely walk on the pedestrian friendly Marmanotova Utica next to the Old Town in Split will lead you to the seafront Riva Promenade lined with tall palm trees, bustling cafes and shaded benches.

Riva Promenade in Split Croatia
The Riva Promenade at night in Split Croatia

The Riva Promenade runs along the harbor of Split. The perfect place for an evening stroll while enjoying a refreshing gelato or catching dinner at any one of the sidewalk eating establishments overlooking the Adriatic Sea.

Diocletian’s Palace

The Palace of Diocletian in Split Croatia
The Peristyle in the Palace of Diocletian

At the center of Old Town Split is the Palace of Diocletian, a massive complex built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian in 305 AD.  The east colonnade of the Peristyle is a favorite gathering spot in the Palace.  It’s easy to imagine people sitting on these same steps hundreds of years ago, relaxing and carrying on conversations the same as we do today!

The Cellar at the Palace of Diocletian in Split, Croatia
A view of the Cellars at the Palace of Diocletian in Split, Croatia

Originally constructed to support the Emporer’s apartments on the upper floors, the Cellars are among the best preserved remains of the Palace (if you are a Games of Thrones fan, you’ll recognize the Palace’s cellars as one of the filming locations).  The Cellars are accessible from the Riva through the Porta Aenea. Admission cost 30/15kn or approximately US$4.00.

Saint Domnius Bell Tower

The Bell Tower of St. Domnius Cathedral located within Diocletian’s Palace stands 57 meters (187 feet) tall and is the oldest Catholic cathedral in the world having been completed in the 7th century AD. The Bell Tower itself was started in the 13th century and is the most original example of Dalmatian Medieval architecture. Be prepared to climb over 180 steps (some are steep, narrow stone steps) to get to the top, but the view is well worth it!

Saint Domnius Bell Tower in Split, Croatia
Saint Domnius Bell Tower in Split, Croatia

Climbing the stairs to the top of the Tower gives a breathtaking view of the massive bells and pulley system.

Saint Domnius Bell Tower in Split, Croatia
Saint Domnius Bell Tower in Split, Croatia

As we climb higher up the Tower, the views become more awesome.  Once at the top of the Bell Tower, we are awarded with a spectacular view of the entire Old Town Split and Adriatic Sea.

Bell Tower of St. Domnius Cathedral in Split, Croatia
View of Old Town Split, Croatia  and the Adriatic Sea from the Bell Tower of St. Domnius Cathedral

Statue of Gregory Nin

Statue of Gregory Nin in Split, Croatia
Statue of Gregory Nine in the Old Town of Split, Croatia

At 7.62 meters (25 feet) tall, the Statue of Grgur Ninski (or, Gregory Nin) is imposing, and the closer we got, the more imposing it became. During the 10th century, Gregory was the Bishop of Nin, a small Croatian town known for being the centre of the medieval Christian Diocese of Nin.  Beyond the sheer size of the statue, it is also known for bringing good luck … just rub the big toe on the left foot. I’m not sure it works since I haven’t yet won the lottery, but based on the shine it is obvious many people over the years must believe it’s true!

Republic Square

Republic Square in Split, Croatia
A view of Prokurative (or Republic Square) in Split, Croatia

The Venetian-style Republic Square is the main gathering place in Split and host to The Split Festival held every July showcasing Croatia’s finest singers and musicians.  Commissioned in the 18th century, the architecture of Prokurative (or, Republic Square) was inspired by Venice, Italy’s St. Mark’s Square making it notably different from the rest of Split’s Romanesque style.

Republic Square in Split, Croatia
View of Adriatic Sea from restaurant at Republic Square in Split, Croatia

The courtyard also has wonderful bars and restaurants to relax while enjoying the views of the Adriatic Sea.

Split Green Market

Split Green Market in Split, Croatia
The Split Green Market in Split, Croatia

Walking along the Riva near the Diocletian Palace, we stopped by Split’s Green Market. The scent of fresh flowers mixed with the colorful fruit all sold by local vendors is not to be missed. And what better way to make your hotel room or Airbnb more enjoyable than with a fresh bouquet!

Green Market in Split Croatia
A local vendor proudly shows a bouquet of flowers offered at the Green Market in Split, Croatia

Sports & Events

Split, Croatia
Team University of Split celebrates at the 19th International Rowing Regatta in Split, Croatia

Split is also host to a number of events throughout the summer months including the annual International Rowing Regatta that takes place in front of the Riva Promenade and concludes on the steps of the Diocletian Palace

Croatian Navy Orchestra in Split, Croatia

as well as numerous art and music concerts (many free to the public) such as this evening concert by the Croatian Navy Orchestra and klapa Sveti Jurassic (Navy Ensemble) on the square of the HNK Split building.

Where To Stay

Planning a trip to Split, Croatia? Check out our recommendation here on where to stay.

 

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Bratislava, Slovakia

Finding A Hidden Gem Along The Blue Danube

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia
The Danube River, Bratislava Slovakia

Johann Strauss’s “The Blue Danube” may conjure up the vision of a beautiful waltz in Vienna, another hidden gem lies along the Danube River in Slovakia. While the Danube is not actually blue and Vienna is 80km west, there is good reason to add Bratislava, Slovakia to your itinerary, which is exactly what we did.

From Prague, we took an early morning RegioJet train to Bratislava.  We decided to book a Business Class cabin (€31.80 roundtrip) which is the perfect way to enjoy the 4.5 hour morning ride in the comfort of adjustable leather seats with headrests and our own table. There is a power socket for each seat as well as free Wi-Fi. Since each compartment seats only four people we easily enjoyed the selection of Italian Illy coffee, espresso, lungs, latte macchiato, cappuccino as well as Ahmad Tea or fresh mint tea – all served complimentary!

Situated on the border of five countries – Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Austria and Ukraine – Slovakia has become a popular tourist destination.

For many years, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were combined as Czechoslovakia, a part of the Soviet Union’s Eastern Bloc. However, in 1989 the two countries ended the communist rule during the Velvet Revolution and peacefully dissolved Czechoslovakia. Slovakia became an independent state officially called the Slovak Republic with Bratislava as its capital.

Today, Slovakia is a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, the Schengen Area and NATO.

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle in Bratislava, Slovakia
The Bratislava Castle overlooking Bratislava, Slovakia

Overlooking the City of Bratislava and situated high above the Danube River, the Bratislava Castle was built in the 9th century and was the site for the crowning of eleven kings and eight queens. Today, this landmark is a popular attraction for its spectacular views of the city below as well as its exhibitions from the various Slovak National Museums.

Bratislava Old Town Square

Bratislava, Slovakia
View of the Bratislava Main Square and Old Town Hall in Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava’s Main Square dates back to the 13th century. Today, it is the site of festivals, concerts and the annual Christmas Market. In the center of the Square is the Maximilian Fountain surrounded by the Old Town Hall that houses the Bratislava City Museum featuring the interior and original furnishings from the municipal court.

Slovak National Theatre

The Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, Slovakia
The Slovak National Theatre

The Slovak National Theatre is housed in two separate buildings, the oldest of which is pictured above. Opened in 1886, the Neo-Renaissance structure features a unique 2,532 light chandelier.

St. Michael’s Gate

St. Michael's Gate in Bratislava, Slovakia
St. Michaels’s Gate

The 51m high tower of St. Michael’s Gate is the last preserved gate of the Bratislava medieval city fortification. The Gate’s foundation was laid some 700 years ago and once served as an entry into the city. The statue of St. Michael and the Dragon sits on top of the Tower. Surrounded by shops and restaurants, the Tower features the Museum of Weapons and City Fortification, an exhibition from the Bratislava City Museum.

The Church of Elizabeth (Blue Church)

The Church of St. Elizabeth (Blue Church)
Blue Church Sanctuary

Opened in 1908, The Church of St. Elizabeth, commonly known as Blue Church, is a Hungarian Secessionist Catholic Church consecrated to Elisabeth of Hungary. The art nouveau building is a popular tourist attraction for its sky blue facade and mosaics.

Sculptures & Statues

Walking around Bratislava, you will encounter numerous sculptures and statues – some historical and some quite whimsical!

Statue of Saint John Nepomuk
Statue of King Svatopluk in front of the Bratislava Castle
Cumil The Sewer Worker Bronze Sculpture

UFO Bridge (Most SNP)

Most SNP/UFO Bridge

Spanning the River Danube, the 431 meter Slovak National Uprising Bridge (often referred to as Most SNP or the UFO Bridge) was the first asymmetrical suspension bridge constructed in the world.

On top of the bridge some 95 meters above and looking like a spacecraft, is the Observation Deck and restaurant. From the Observation Deck, you have a breathtaking panoramic view of the city below and surrounding countryside.

We hope this article inspires you to visit Bratislava and the beautiful country of Slovakia!

 

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Prague, Czech Republic

25 January 2020 / Eastern Europe / Czech Republic

PRAGUE CASTLE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Ahh, Prague … The “City of a Hundred Spires”! What is there not to like about Prague? From its Old Town Square, cobbled streets, horse drawn carriages, beautiful architecture to the Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge spanning the Vitava River – it is truly one of Europe’s finest cities. We doubt you could throw a stone in Prague – or the entire Czech Republic – without hitting something historical!

Formerly known as Czechoslovakia, a part of the communist Eastern Bloc, the Czech Republic (also referred to as Czechia) and Slovakia once again became independent sovereign states following the peaceful Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union. Historically known as Bohemia, the Czech Republic of today ranks the 9th safest and most peaceful country in the world.

Although it is a part of the European Union, the Czech Republic never adopted the Euro rather electing to stay on its own currency, the Czech Koruna, making it a very affordable destination. However, this may not last much longer since the Czech Republic is legally bound as part of the EU to adopt the euro currency sometime in the future.

Prague is truly a walking city and one of the best apps we have found to help us get around is Mapy.cz, a free app available only on the App Store for iPhones and iPads. It is available in 16 languages and will guide you easily around the city.

Charles Bridge

One of the best known landmarks in Prague, the Charles Bridge is typically the first destination visited by tourist.

The Staroměstská věž Old Town Bridge Tower

Spanning the Vitava River, the Charles Bridge connects the Old Town with the Lesser Town. Construction began in 1357 under a commission by the Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.

On each end of the Bridge are two towers, the Staroměstská věž on the Old Town side and the Malostranská věž on the Lesser Town side.

Statue of the Holy Crucifix and Calvary

On the Bridge itself are 30 Baroque statues, one of which is the statue of The Crucifix and Calvary added to the Bridge in the 17th century.

Prague’s Old Town Square

Prague’s Old Town Square at night
Prague’s Old Town Hall & Tower
Jan Has Monument

Founded in the 12th century, Prague’s Old Town Square is the most significant square in the city. Dominated by the Jan Jus monument, it is surrounded by the Old Town Hall, the Church of Our Lady Before Týn, St. Nicholas, The Rococo Kinský Palace, the Gothic House, numerous shops and restaurants.

Although a popular attraction, you will find few locals who can afford the pricey shops or eating establishments that are directly on the Square. Venture a few steps down the side streets and experience where the locals shop and eat.

Astronomical Clock

The Riva Promenade seen at night

Located at the southern side of the Old Town Tower, this 600 year old medieval clock is one of the oldest functional astronomical clocks in the world. In addition to telling the time, it shows astronomical and zodiac information, the relative positions of the Sun and Moon, as well as a theatrical display of the twelve apostles that appear every hour making it one of Prague’s most popular landmarks.

Prague Castle

Prague Castle overlooking the Golden Lane and Vitava River

One of the largest complexes in the world, the Prague Castle has stood above the city for more than a thousand years. Constructed in the 9th century, it was the seat of the Bohemian kings and in later years became the official residence of Czech presidents.

Literally a city within a city, the Castle spans some 45 hectares (110 acres) and encompasses the royal palaces, government offices, St. Vitus Cathedral, fortifications, courtyards and gardens.

St. Vitus Cathedral

St. Vitus Cathedral
St. Vitus Cathedral Sanctuary

Founded in 1344 with construction taking almost 600 years, St. Vitus Cathedral is the center piece of the Prague Castle. The Cathedral contains the crypts of Czech kings, the tomb of St. Wenceslas, the Crown Chamber and Crown Jewels. If you’re in great shape, climb the 287 narrow, winding steps of the Cathedral’s 90m high Great South Tower for a panoramic view of the City below!

Strahov Library

The Strahov Monastery, founded in 1140, contains one of the most valuable and best preserved historical libraries in the world, the Strahov Library. Consisting of over 18,000 books, the library also features a unique desk with a compilation wheel used in compiling texts.

Baroque Theological Hall, Strahov Library

Established around 1673, the Baroque Theological Hall‘s ceiling stucco decorations were created by Giovanni Dominik Orsi, the Library’s architect with the ceiling fresco created by Siard Nosecký.

Prague’s Street Art

A walk down any street or alleyway and you will be met with some form of artwork. From beautiful museums, centuries old statues, elegant interiors of the myriad of cathedrals that dot the city, to whimsical sculptures and artwork, Prague’s art scene will not disappoint!

Statue of Kafka

Created by the artist David Černý, the 11m tall metal rotating sculpture of the head of Czech writer Frank Kafka is a popular attraction. Weighing some 39 tons, the 42 stainless steel mobile tiers start as a maze that rotate to align perfectly into a head. It is located next to the Quadrio Centre and directly above the Národní třída metro station.

Žižkov Television Tower

Standing 216m high, the Žižkov Television Tower remains controversial among Prague’s residents. Construction began in 1985 under the communist rule, but was not completed until 1992. One of the first things visitors will notice – besides the height – are the babies climbing up the Tower. The unusual artwork is a creation of David Černý, the artist known for the rotating Statue of Kafka. Be sure to take the lift to the Observation Deck which is located some 100m up and provides a spectacular panoramic view of Prague, the Old Town and the Prague Castle.

Prague Christmas Market

Christmas Market on Prague’s Old Town Square

Nothing says Christmas quite like being in the historical capital of Bohemia! Open from 26 November to 6 January, the annual Christmas Markets take place at Prague’s Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, the Prague Castle and St. George’s Basillica.

Food vendors are popular at Prague’s Christmas Markets
A blacksmith at work forging medieval weapons
A street performer in Prague, Czech Republic entertains tourists with bubbles

Bringing locals and tourists together, the Christmas Markets offer a little bit of everything to put you in the Christmas Spirit with decorative souvenirs, hams roasted on spits, klobása (barbequed sausage), trdelník (sugar coated pastry), gingerbread and so much more!

Traversing The City

While the Old Town, New Town and Lessor Town sectors of Prague are known for walkability, there are times when another form of transportation will be needed. These are our recommendations:

Prague Metro

A Prague Metro Station

The Prague Metro is a very efficient rapid transit system that is both convenient and inexpensive. Consisting of three color-coded lines (Green Line A; Yellow Line B and Red Line C).

The rapid transit system operates from 5am to midnight, seven days a week. Ask the front desk, concierge or host at your hotel/Airbnb to show which lines to take to the sites you want to visit.

Taxis/UBER

While taxis (both licensed and unlicensed) are plentiful in Prague, we suggest you never flag down a taxi on the street, rather find a taxi stand. Be sure to take note of the driver’s name and the 40/28/6 tariff is visible on the outside of the taxi representing the tariffs: CZK40 when you get in; CZK28 per kilometer; and CZK6 waiting time per minute. UBER also operates in Prague and is a good option, however, be aware that most European cars are small and will not accommodate a lot of luggage. If booking a taxi or UBER to the airport or train station, be sure to request a large car or van in advance.

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