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Discover Prague with Urban Adventures

Discover Prague with Urban Adventures

CZECH REPUBLIC, DESTINATIONS, PRAGUE

Traveling to a new city with a limited time frame can be a little overwhelming.  We had the good fortune of taking the Prague Discovery Walking Tour with Urban Adventures. They offer day tours with small groups and a local guide that specializes in the area.  This six-hour walking tour of Prague was a comprehensive overview of the gothic city.

Our tour began at 9 am in front of the Municipal Building, the most beautiful Art Nouveau gem in Prague. After a few minutes of wondering around among other tourists, we spotted someone with an Urban Adventure sign.  Our guide’s name was Tereza. There were 4 people in total in our tour, so the tour was completely personalized and was geared to our individual needs and interests.

The Municipal Building in Prague
The Municipal Building in Prague

After about 15 minutes, she showed us the only Cubist Building in Prague called the House of the Black Madonna. Apparently, it’s the only example of Cubist Architecture in the world! Best of all, she took us into the Cubist Building to the coffee shop for great coffee, pastries, and a sit down chat.

The House of the Black Madonna - Museum of Czech Cubism
The House of the Black Madonna – Museum of Czech Cubism
The Black Madonna Statue - Museum of Czech Cubism
The Black Madonna Statue – Museum of Czech Cubism

Wenceslas Square

From there we made our way to Wenceslas Square, one of Europe’s most famous and historical squares, where we learned from our passionate local guide about the decisive moments in recent Prague history, the Prague Spring in 1968,  the Velvet Revolution in 1989, and then the Velvet Divorce.

We quizzed our local guide on what she remembered about the “Velvet Revolution” in 1991 when the Soviet Union officially disintegrated and Czechoslovakia was given independence to govern themselves and abandon Communism. She was only ten years old at the time but she knew a lot about how the restitution changed the buildings and farms confiscated from the original owners. During the day, she talked us through the history of the 1968 Prague Spring, the first Czech President Havel, and the decision to let Slovakia leave the country to set up on its own (being smaller than the Czechs, the Slovaks were destined to be eternally out-voted by the majority, hence the decision to separate).

 Wenceslas Square Prague
Wenceslas Square Prague

Havelsky Market

Next, we took a stroll to Havelsky Market to visit some of the stalls that sold fruits, vegetables, and flowers grown in farms near Prague.  We stopped to sample local cookies, and bought some souvenirs. Our guide confirmed that the market has been around since 1232 (seriously!).

Havelsky Market Prague
Havelsky Market Prague

Old Town Square

We wandered into Old Town Square winding through the narrow alleyways and admiring the streets lined with magnificent buildings in different architectural styles, from Gothic to Baroque.  Once in the Old Town Square, some of the most prominent buildings around are the Old Town Hall (famous for its astronomical clock), the Týn Church, the Kinský Palace and the St. Nicholas Church.

Old Town Square Prague
Old Town Square Prague
Prague City Hall - Old Town Square
Prague City Hall – Old Town Square

Throngs of tourists gather in front of the astronomical clock every hour to witness the procession of miniature figures moving around.  We were just in time to witness it.  The whole show lasted about three minutes.  The astronomical clock is the oldest such clock in Europe.

Old Town Hall Prague (Astronomical Clock)
Old Town Hall Prague (Astronomical Clock)

Jewish Quarter 

The Jewish Quarter was high on my husband’s list of things to see in Prague. There are six synagogues that remained intact, and the Jewish Cemetery from the 15th century which may have as many as 100,000 bodies buried underfoot.  We walked through the Jewish Quarter but didn’t get a chance to go and see the synagogues on our tour.  We went back another day and spent some time inside the Jewish Quarter.  It was very moving to see all the names on the wall of the people that were killed and to walk through the Jewish Cemetery.

Staring at the deceased listed in one of the Synagogue's in the Jewish Quarter Prague
Staring at the list of deceased in one of the Synagogue’s in the Jewish Quarter Prague

Josefov’s Old-New Synagogue is the oldest synagogue still in existence in Europe, built in the late thirteenth century.  All interior furnishings are originals.

Old-New Synagogue Jewish Quarter Prague
Old-New Synagogue Jewish Quarter Prague
Jewish Cemetery Prague Graves
Jewish Cemetery Prague Graves

Charles Bridge 

We walked towards the Vitava riverside and descended a stairway until we were completely underneath.  We hopped aboard a replica of a 19-th century sailboat, and cruised up and down the Vitava River and around Kampa Island for 45 minutes.  Once on the boat, we were offered Czech beer, lemonade, or a hot drink.  Our captain explained in detail what the buildings were and the history behind them.  The short boat ride gave us a totally different perspective from the water of this beautiful city.

The Vitava River Cruise under Charles Bridge
The Vitava River Cruise under Charles Bridge
A view of the Charles Bridge from our Vitava River cruise
A view of the Charles Bridge from our Vitava River cruise
A view of the Mill and Karma Island from our Vitava River Cruise
A view of the Mill and Karma Island from our Vitava River Cruise

The Charles Bridge that crosses the Vitava River was rebuilt in 1342. When the original structure was washed away in a flood, King Charles IV replaced it with the one that stands today. Back in medieval times, this was the main pedestrian route linking the Old Town with Mala Strana, and then onto Prague Castle.

Charles Bridge Prague
Charles Bridge Prague

The bridge is decorated on each side by 30 baroque statues, some of which are said to give you good luck.  I rubbed all of them, so we’ll see.  The bridge is lined with tourists most of the time, and kept occupied by interesting performances and makeshift souvenir stalls along the bridge.

On the Charles Bridge, one of the Baroque Shrines that people rub for good luck
On the Charles Bridge, one of the Baroque Shrines that people rub for good luck
 Baroque Statues on the Charles Bridge Prague
Baroque Statues on the Charles Bridge Prague

Kampa Island / Lesser Quarter 

We walked acrossed Charles Bridge in the direction to the Lesser Quarter and then walk down the stairs to Kampa Island.  It’s Prague’s biggest island and considered the Venice of Prague.  The island is filled with museums of modern art, old mills, parks, restaurants, and it’s where you can play tribute to John Lennon.

It’s also where you find three giant oversize bronze baby structures by David Cerny – an internationally famous Czech sculptor.    Kampa is simply a place that you cannot miss!

Artist David Cerny - Baby Structures in Kampa Island Prague
Artist David Cerny – Baby Structures in Kampa Island Prague
Old Mill Wheel Kampa Island, Prague Czech Republic
Old Mill Wheel Kampa Island, Prague Czech Republic

John Lennon Wall

In the 1980’s, Czech youth painted a portrait of John Lennon on this wall in Prague, now called The John Lennon Wall along with song lyrics and inspirational quotes. Despite attempts to cover the graffiti, art continued to spring up until the Knights of Malta (current owners of the wall) gave up trying to get rid of it and let the painting continue into the evolving project it is today. Layer upon layer of sharpie and paint on the wall have come to represent peace, love and freedom – and it’s a really awesome thing to see.

The John Lennon Wall in Prague
The John Lennon Wall in Prague
Standing in front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague
Standing in front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague

We went to a marvelous local restaurant in Mala Strana which translate to (Lesser Quarter), called Restaurant Malostranská besede where we had a traditional Czech meal (beef or chicken) goulash with bread dumplings with fabulous Czech beer.  The place lacked tourists and seemed to be a favorite of the locals; we appeared to be the only non-Czech in the room.

Lunch at Restaurant Malostranská besede
Lunch at Restaurant Malostranská besede

After lunch, we jumped aboard a local tram that took us uphill to the Prague Castle. Prague Castle stands out from the top of the hillside.  It’s the world’s largest castle complex and we were told no visit to Prague is complete without wandering through its magnificent structure.  They were right!

Prague Castle/ St. Vitus Cathedral

Prague Castle on the hillside in the distance
Prague Castle on the hillside in the distance
Prague Castle grounds, and a view of St. Vitus Cathedral
Prague Castle grounds, and a view of St. Vitus Cathedral

Inside the complex, we wandered around a little before going inside St. Vitus Cathedral which dates back to the 14th century.  It’s the largest and the most revered cathedral in the country.  Apart from religious services, coronations of Czech kings and queens have taken place here.

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle
St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle
Inside St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague
Inside St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague
Our tour ended in St. Vitus Cathedral, where you have some free time to explore the Prague Castle gardens or other local spots in the area.
Prague Castle Gardens
Prague Castle Gardens
The day was a blast. The other couple was a little like us and they also seemed to have a sense of humor and a real interest in what life in Prague was like.
Group Photo with our guide Tereza - Urban Adventures Prague
Group Photo with our guide Tereza – Urban Adventures Prague

I want to thank Prague Urban Adventures and, especially, our guide, Tereza, going the extra mile to show us Prague in a comfortable, interesting and personalized way. I highly recommend Prague Urban Adventures to anyone planning a visit to Prague. I will always have good memories of my tour in Prague thanks to them.

Disclaimer and Facts:  Although, I was a guest of Urban Adventures on this tour opinions are my own.  The Prague Discovery Tour cost $68.43/Adult and $56.67/Children.  The tour is a six hour walking tour, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes.

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

28 Comments

  1. anna
    November 19, 2016 at 8:36 pm
    Reply

    I love Prague!! I’ve been twice but I wouldn’t mind another year! This seems to be a great way to cover all your bases to see everything.
    anna recently posted…Best Places to Stay in Siargao | Top Hotels & HostelsMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      It was our first time and we loved it! I would definitely go back in a heartbeat.

  2. Vicki Louise
    November 20, 2016 at 12:54 am
    Reply

    I loved the Walking Tours in Prague – but I hadn’t heard of one that included the Lennon Wall (which we spent a while looking for!) It’s great they cover all the highlights and the extra bits too. Sounds like a great tour.
    Vicki Louise recently posted…What to Expect on an Overland Safari in AfricaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 20, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      It was a great tour! We walked all around the city, and got to not only see some of the historical sites but a few local favorites.

  3. Karla
    November 20, 2016 at 5:10 am
    Reply

    I absolutely loved Prague. I enjoyed my time here. We visited the Lennon wall too.
    Karla recently posted…Photo Tour in Bushwick with New York City Tours & Photo SafariMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 20, 2016 at 9:10 am

      The John Lennon Wall was one of my favorite things about Prague. It’s so colorful, and I love seeing some of the graffiti on the wall.

  4. Heather
    November 20, 2016 at 10:27 am
    Reply

    Prague is such a picturesque city to explore! While visiting Prague a few years back, we went on a guided tour that wasn’t so great- the group was way too large and there was a lot of standing around and wasting time. Your tour with Urban Adventures looks way better. I like how a boat tour through the canal was also included, what a cool way to see the city!

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      I’m not a big fan of large group tours. The tours with Urban Adventures are small with a maximum of 12 people. I think it makes it more personable with less people.

  5. Elaine J Masters
    November 20, 2016 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    Walking tours are one of my favorite experiences in a new city. Have always wanted to see Prague and especially now the street art. Those babies!! (Nice job of cropping out the crowds in front of the clock!)

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 20, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      I was amazed by the number of people that crowd around the astronomical clock to see the three minute show. It’s a beautiful clock!

  6. Annie
    November 20, 2016 at 6:20 pm
    Reply

    I absolutely love markets. And an since the Havelsky Market is 800 something years old, I bet that would be a unique experience!
    Annie recently posted…Can Travel Actually Help the USA After the Election?My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 20, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      The Havelsky Market is in the center of Prague, and it’s hard to believe it has been around for so long. We enjoyed walking around the market a little and seeing some of the goods that the vendors were selling.

  7. Mags
    November 20, 2016 at 6:41 pm
    Reply

    Prague is definitely on my short list for next year. This looks like a really great tour.
    Mags recently posted…Learning to Let Go in ThailandMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 20, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      You definitely have to go next year! It’s such a wonderful city to see. I must of walked across Charles Bridge more than 20 times.

  8. knycx.journeying
    November 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm
    Reply

    Wow, a great summary to cover all the Prague’s essentials. What a fulfilling day to see so much iconic and amazing sites in Prague, thanks for the introduction! @ knycx.journeying

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 27, 2016 at 11:03 am

      It was a great way to see most of the sites in Prague, some which we went back and spend more time exploring later.

  9. Elena
    November 20, 2016 at 11:26 pm
    Reply

    Thanks for the tip about Urban Adventures. With so many tour choices available, sometimes it’s difficult to make a decision. It looks those 6 hours were well spent and covered a nice variety of landmarks.
    Elena recently posted…Flying with China Southern AirlinesMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 27, 2016 at 11:07 am

      I’ve been on many tours, and Urban Adventures was probably one of the better tours that we have been on. They were very thorough with explaining all the details and we enjoyed our time with our guide.

  10. Anne
    November 21, 2016 at 2:31 am
    Reply

    I loved Prague although I went just after it split. I would love to return and this seems like a great way to see the city. I especially would like to do the boat trip
    Anne recently posted…Escape For A More Blissful Manchester Spa Break In The CountryMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 27, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Seeing the city from the boat certainly gives you a different perspective. We really enjoyed our stay and hope to return some time soon.

  11. Vicky and Buddy
    November 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm
    Reply

    Wow, you really managed to do a lot in 6 hours! I’ve always wanted to visit Prague, and this seems like the perfect tour for people with limited time. I also love how personalized it was and that Tereza seemed so nice. I’ll definitely be checking out Urban Adventures when I finally make it to Prague.

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 27, 2016 at 11:13 am

      If you have limited time in Prague, the tour is one of the best ways to see all the sites. We spend three days in Prague and it was great because we got to spend more time in some of the sites.

  12. Bob
    December 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm
    Reply

    I loved Prague. A few years ago I spent about a month in Prague and would take the tram to town everyday and just walk around and explore everything. The river cruise is a great way to get a glimpse of parts of the city from a different perspective. It is a great base for some day excursions as well.
    Bob recently posted…You Don’t Have To Be a King To Party Like OneMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 4, 2016 at 9:22 am

      I would of loved to spend a few more days in Prague. It’s such an easy city to get around either on foot or on tram.

  13. Meg Jerrard
    December 4, 2016 at 5:08 am
    Reply

    I loved my time in Prague – one of my favorite cities by far. I agree that there’s so much to do here that it pays to take a tour – especially too because there’s so much history and fascinating stories behind each building, sqaure and cathedral. It would be a shame to leave Prague without having gained a deeper knowledge of the city’s secrets – it really changes your perspective when you have a knowledgeable tour guide 🙂
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…How to Choose Your Next Winter Sun TripMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 4, 2016 at 9:23 am

      We spend a few days in Prague wondering around before we took the tour. I wish we would of taking the tour first this way we would of been more knowledgeable on its history.

  14. Vyjay
    December 4, 2016 at 11:26 pm
    Reply

    Prague is charming with the typical old world charm so endearingly associated with many European towns and cities. I would love to walk around and explore the lovely place. The Lennon wall and giant sculptures of the babies are what I would love to see.
    Vyjay recently posted…Zen Moments on the Romantic Backwaters of KeralaMy Profile

  15. knycx.journeying
    December 5, 2016 at 2:36 pm
    Reply

    Wow, a great summary to cover all the Prague’s essentials. What a fulfilling day to see so much iconic and amazing sites in Prague, thanks for the introduction! @ knycx.journeying

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