A Travellerspoint blog

Last day, visiting Malá Strana


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Today would be a bit more relaxing and less walking long distances then we did the previous days. We went from our hotel towards St. Charles Bridge, on foot. Prague has lots of interesting buildings, not all famous but they're pretty sights to see. We also walked by the dancing house.

We crossed the bridge into the oldest part of Prague. The first few streets are still very crowded, but the farther you move in the less it gets. A lot of people go for a visit to the castle, it's all the same way. We walked up towards the part with the art galleries and the shops and a lot of small streets you can get lost in :). It's like you're visiting another Prague. There are souvenir shops etc but with the old cobblestone streets and old houses and buildings and such it gives an entire different feeling then let's say Wenceslas Square. For lunch i had the delicacy of the pork knuckle. I didn't know what to expect but it was actually really good. After spending most of our day there we didn't have enough time/energy to visit Petrin Hill, so we will have to do that next time we're there. Because i'm sure we missed a lot of other things worth seeing as well.

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Posted by Astreia 09:15 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Prague Zoo


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Prague Zoo is pretty easy to visit. It is on the outside of town, so you need to go there with transport. The public transport system is really good. You take the right metro line to Nádraží Holešovice station, hop on the bus, and you're there. There already was quite a waiting line before the cash registers, and we were there like 10 min before opening time. It does go pretty fast though, so we were in fast enough.

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The park itself is big, you get a map to get around on your own but there is some sort of route you can follow. The exhibits are big with enough space for the animals living in it and plants and trees and pools and such. Also outside the exhibits there was attention to detail. It's a very neat, tidy park. There are also several stalls so you don't dehydrate or go hungry, which is also very important. And there is a cable cart. Use it! Even if the waiting line is a bit long. We didn't and we regretted it about halfway our climb up.....The park is big enough for a day trip, so it's well worth the time and money.

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Not much to tell, but a lot of pretty pictures ;)

Posted by Astreia 09:15 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged prague Comments (0)

Prague's most famous


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We went towards Wenclaster Square, as our start for today. This is a very nice, very long street with a long square in the middle and shops on the side, and no cars. Like the Barcelona Ramblas, but way better.

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On we went over the square, towards the Old town (city centre), towards the Astronomical Clock. From there on we went on to the Old Town Square. It was nice and busy there. We visited the Church of Our Lady before Týn. You couldn't take pictures inside, so i don't have any, unlike some others i do respect those kind of requests. It is well worth visiting! It is an amazing beautiful church.
From there on we visited the St Nicholas church on the Old Town Square, and from there on we moved to the Jewish Quarter. We didn't buy the tickets for all the synagoges, but did see them from the outside. And then there is the Old Jewish Cemetery. Impressive, i don't know what else to say, it's something you have to see for yourself.

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We went for lunch and after that we continued our walk.
We went to Powder Tower. We even climbed to the top (tickets to buy inside). It has very steep stairs, they were a bit scary. It is really small too, so not much room for two-way-traffic. But the view is really nice. From that pooint on we went to the National monument at Viktov, which is easiest to do by metro. It also is quite a climb through a park. But unlike other parts of Prague not crowded, so you can really take your time walking around, sitting on a bench if you'd like, before you reach the monument.

After walking down and back to the metro station we went on to Vyšehrad. Unfortunately when we got there, there was a wedding going on so we didn't see the inside of the church, but we had time enough to look around the rest of the place.

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After that we were pretty tired so we went back to the hotel, freshened up and went out for dinner, at a restaurant called Starometska, on the Old Town Square. It was a tip a friend of us gave before we left. It was worth it. Yes it is a bit more expensive for sitting outside at the old town square in the middle of Prague, but it was really nice. Soup in bread. Never had that before.

Posted by Astreia 09:15 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged prague Comments (0)

Arriving in Prague


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We have arrived in Prague, after a short flight from Eindhoven Airport. We got a taxi to the hotel, hotel Brixen. It was outside the city centre, but on a walking distance and close to a metro station, I.P. Pavlova in case we didn't want to walk too far.

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So first we decided to take a walk, just to look around a bit. The city itself is easy to navigate with a map. We walked towards Bethlehem Chaple and saw a few nice parks on the way. We went. Nice to see they had loads of info charts, even one in Dutch. It is a small church but beautiful in it's simplicity. There also was a small exhibiotion in the building about the history of the chaple.

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From the chapel we took off towards the St. Charles Bridge. Pretty much the most well know point in the whole of Prague. There are several food and souvenir shops, and also a few nice restaurants/cafes that give a wonderful view on the bridge and the river.

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We crossed the bridge, enjoying the view, artists and a lot, i mean really a lot of people. After that we had our first local delicacy, the Trdelnk. WIth ice and strawberries. And it was yummy. And probably so full of calories a days worth, but who cares ;)

Try it really. It's a very big cone of happiness

Try it really. It's a very big cone of happiness

We walked along towards Prague Castle. It was quite a climb though, we knew it was up, but not that it was this much, this steep up. We made it and were rewarded with a splendid view over Prague. And a square with al sorts of nice buildings, a few stands and live music. The queue for the castle seemed pretty long, but it only took like half an hour to get in.

The view over Prague is very nice from up there. Once you go through the main entrance you enter the courtyard/garden, which is free. After that you can go on towards the buildings that are build inside the walls. You have the castle, the cathedral, and several other buildings. To visit these you need to buy a ticket. There are two or three sorts of tickets, so you can choose if you want to see everything or just a few buildings.

We bought a ticket for entrance to St. Vitus Catherdral, Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica and the golden lane. In my opinion the huge St. Vitus Cathedrall, the first building you see inside the walls, is definately worth a visit. The grand majestic, very decorative cathedral is beautiful. The Royal Palace is the opposite, very impressive, but very simple. The ceiling is wonderfully decorated, everything else not so much. St Georges basilica is really small compared to the cathedral, and a bit more simple decoration wise, but still worth a visit. The golden lane was the least part in my opinion. I mean it's nice that there are still these small houses, but after you see one you really don't need to see all of them. After that it was the same way down. But it was a bit easier then up. For the ones that don't want to walk, there are taxis available towards the Castle, ut there are always some stairs you need to climb. Just not so much.

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In the evening we had dinner at a restaurant called The Bistro. It is a really nice restaurant, with delicious food. Best thing is they grow a lot themselves (the herbes are planted in the patio where you can eat for example). The food has great taste. And they have good wines and are really helpful in choosing the right one for you. Coffee is good too there. Fun thing also was that at the end of the meal we got a shot of Becherovka on the house. It was nice to try. I bought a bottle a few days later in the supermarket to take home.

Posted by Astreia 09:14 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged prague Comments (0)

Beautiful views, from Tibidabo Hill to Placa d'Espanya

large_938978_14619196877080.jpgIglesia del Sagrat Cor , upper partWe bought a 2 day ticket for the Hop on bus, so we had our transportation for today. Metro is a good option as well, but now at least you see something while going somewhere. We decided to visit Tibidabo Hill today for our first stop, it was 3 or 4 stops so it wasn't a long ride. From the bus stop there were two, or actually three ways to get to the tram that got you to the top of Tibidabo Hill. First there's Tramvia Blau. But check the times, it only rides each day during summer, it wasn't riding today. It's only on saturday and sunday for now. No idea what a ticket costs, but seeing what a short ride it is, maybe consider if it's worth it. Second option is the bus, that's what we did. Bus 196 stops a little up the street from the Tram station, you can't miss it.large_938978_14619196899931.jpg And you can walk, but we didn't want to walk uphill so bus it was. If you do want to walk, just follow the tram track, it's just one way up.

Once up there (maybe 10 min by bus) there was a little square with some restaurants and the entrance to the Funicular that brings you to the top of Tibidabo. I read there is a path and you can walk up there as well, but it's quite a way up. Soooo after our second ride we were there. And the view is wonderful! If you like ocean views, go! There is a restaurant. an amusementpark, it's not huge, but it's fun to see, and then there is the church. It actually are two churches, with an entrance dowstairs and one upstairs. The lower one has more decoration then the one on top, but both are beautiful in their own way.large_938978_14619197004272.jpg And of course up the stairs the view is even better. In case you haven't noticed, i like high places with awesome views over city/sea.

After a while and a lot of pictures we traveled downhill (with the funicular) and from there we walked back to the bus stop. We decided we could walk along the route instead of hopping on again, also because we wanted to take a few pictures. We went to Sarrià (the next bus stop) on foot, and sought out a little reasaurant/panaderia to have lunch. Sarrià once was separate from Barcelona, but it became a part of Barcelona as it expanded over the years. Really nice to have a look around there. After that we walked on and saw another beautiful church at a cozy square. No idea what it's called though.large_938978_1461919737222.jpg

From there we walked to our next stop, a monastery we saw along the busroute. But it's not on the side of the road and we couldn't make pictures, so we decided to go there. It's a little walk from the bus stop, and a bit up, there are signs pointing the way. The monastery is really huge, not very decorated on the outside, but beautiful still. From there on we walked back to the bus, got on and stayed there untill we stopped at Diagonal, and then moved on to the red route. Our next stop then was Placa d'Espanya. A huge square where a lot of main roads come together. The Font Magica is located close to it, and you can see The Palau Nacional from a distance. We didn't see the Font Magica in action, another reason to go back. It's a few minutes walking and quite a few stairs to get up to the Palau, but worth it.large_938978_14619197598405.jpg There is a museam located in it but it was closed on monday, so we looked around the rest of the park, which is part of Monjuic hill. The building itself and the statues and everything around it, it's worth staying there a while.

Before we went to the hotel we went one more time to Placa de Catalunya, and from there on to the Sagrada Familia as it was the closest stop to the hotel. We got one last frappe cappuccino from Burger King. Those are really yummy. And normally i don't go to Burger King unless i'm at the airport, but i make an exception for this ;) We would be flying early the next day, so we did a little souvenir shopping and then went back to the hotel.

It was great being there in Barcelona, we will probably return, at least to see the Sagrada Familia in full glory, maybe more often because there still is a lot to discover. And it just is a lovely city.

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Posted by Astreia 17:00 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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