Prague was a great destination for an Interrail stopover with dog in tow and a top city break destination. Prague in the Czech Republic was our next Interrail stop for us after a great time in Bratislava.
A client of mine had moved to the UK during the uprising known as The Prague Spring and had told me of many stories while refreshing me with various Pilsners to discuss the old country. Also, I had mostly heard great things about Prague mainly from people who went there for boozy party weekends rather than to enjoy the scenery, history, food and culture.
My research and reading work from other bloggers ensured I knew it would be a fascinating stop for me. Being somewhat dog-friendly is a prerequisite for me and the city ticked many boxes.
The Czech Republic is a Central European nation who was formerly part of Czechoslovakia. It is a popular destination for tourists and has a great history and love of all things beer.
We were arriving at sunset and the horizon all the way into the city was fantastic to look at, not great for photos due to the trains needing a good window cleaner.
We arrived at the very nice Praha Hlavní Nádraží train station which had a shopping centre just off the platforms and was all very modern. We needed some cosmetics and a drink so navigated the hustle and bustle with the dog and got supplies.
We had planned to get to the accommodation by tram and chose a stop to alight next to Vrchlického sady, a park just outside the station. The plan was for a potty walk with the dog before checking in and let the boy have a run after the train ride. The park was nice and served its purpose.
Prague has a big tram network throughout the city, we had to learn quickly about buying tickets for our ride. Apparently you pay for a 30-minute ride at the machine then travel away for that duration. One alighting you scan tickets then the 30 mins starts then. This was more than ample for us to reach the destination rather than getting a day ticket. The dog was fine travelling on the trams in the city with a lead and muzzle, more info…
This was a budget stop and opted for a stay at Chili Hostel located near The Vltava River and old town area of the city. There were a massive variety of options for a stay for normal people but we were limited due to needing a dog-friendly venue. Next trip we may fly over for a midweek break to finish exploring so may opt for somewhere a bit more upmarket and treat ourselves.
We found Prague to have a variety of dining out options including pubs and restaurants. We ate out on a few occasions the most notable being a traditional Czech meal at Pod Vysehradem. We also ate out a value self-service restaurant in the old town area on a night out, which was cheap and cheerful. Most other meals out were street food snacks.
We found that many of the eateries and pubs in the city were pet-friendly including Konvikt a traditional bar and restaurant
Drinking beer was a constant theme throughout our visit we visited many bars and stuck with various Pilsners on our hydration breaks. Beer is a way of life in the Czech republic and they sure have some fantastic options. Also enjoyed some absynthe for the first time in over a decade.
I had a great look around the city, first was an evening wander up the river and into the old town area while visiting a few bars with the dog in tow. The city had a great vibe in the evening and was quite vibrant for a Thursday night.
I got up on my own early to have a look around the streets and sights anticipating it to be quiet and get some photos without crowds and hoping maybe to get some sunrise shots. Prague delivered and was very quiet and enjoyed the pre-sunrise and following few hours seeing the main parts of the Old Town. The city seemed to get busier around 10:30 am.
Later in the day, we all went out with dog in tow to all enjoy the sights together, I had figured out my bearings and managed to show us round without the need for maps. An early morning scout with or without the dog is a preference of mine for a few reasons. After the old town, we headed across the river to see the castle, the Franz Kafka museum and anything else we come across.
I created a post dedicated to all Prague Photos from my visit well the good ones.
What To See and Do in Prague?
The Jubilee Synagogue is the youngest and also the largest in the city. Jubilee Synagogue is also known as the Jerusalem Synagogue due to its location on Jerusalem Street. The pretty Synagogue was built in 1906, it was designed by Wilhelm Stiassny and named in honour of the Silver Jubilee of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. Visitors can come in and admire the building or just enjoy the pretty exterior. The synagogue has been a constant place of worship since opening except for then the Nazis occupied the country.
The facade and form of the synagogue are stunning and instantly draw you in to have a look at the interesting design and colours. The design is a blend of Moorish Revival and Art Nouveau, with horseshoe arches on the facade. The Mudéjar red-and-white coursing of the stone facade is particularly pretty. Inside, the Moorish elements are overlaid with brilliantly painted Art Nouveau patterning. This is a real treat for those that love art, architecture and history.
The famous Astronomical Clock or mediaeval tower clock is located at the southern side of the Old Town Hall Tower. The Old Town Hall is located in the very special Old Town Square in the historic centre. The clock was first installed in 1410, which makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating.
The clock mechanism has three main components the first being the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details. Statues of a variety of Catholic saints stand on either side of the clock. And The Walk of the Apostles, when the clock strikes the hour between 9 am and 11 pm, the procession of the Twelve Apostles sets in motion.
The clock is fascinating and a real crowd draw on the hour when the clock kicks into action. Early morning is a great time to get close and personal to look at the detail of the clock.
The Half-mile long Wenceslas Square is located right at the heart of Prague and is particularly vibrant in the evenings. Also known as Václavské náměstí, is 14th-century square with the National Museum at the far end. The Square has a statue of St. Wenceslas and is lined with a variety of shops, places to drinks & hotels. Looking up the Square to the Národní Muzeum is particularly impressive at sunrise and if lucky the square is pretty quiet.
The Statue of Saint Wenceslas or Pomník svatého Václava is located at the Eastern end of the square. This bronze statue depicts Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia on horseback and was started in 1887 and completed in 1924. This is a very impressive sculpture and is a popular meeting spot and landmark.
The Národní Muzeum or national museum is visible from the whole of Wenceslas Square and located towards the iconic stature. The museum was founded in 1818 and is home to natural history and Czech history exhibitions.
Head of Franz Kafka
The Head of Franz Kafka that also known as the Statue of Kafka is an outdoor sculpture by David Černý depicting Bohemian German-language writer Franz Kafka. The impressive statue is installed outside the Quadrio shopping centre not far from a handy launderette.
This is a kinetic sculpture which is 11 metres tall and made of 42 rotating panels and very interesting to watch. Each layer is mechanized and rotates individually making it quite a show. It is located on the street so free to see and dogs are welcome to look if not scared by the movement.
There is another statue of Franz Kafka in Prague, this one by artist Jaroslav Róna. This one is relatively new being built in 2003, it is located not far from the Spanish Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Prague.
Exploring the city of Prague in 2 days is nigh on impossible but we saw some great parts and are keen to return again.