Travel Writing: Prague

Prague offers a feast of architectural delights, from the medieval hauntings of Old Town Square to the baroque stylings of buildings interwoven throughout the city. The general structure of this city, spiralling down from the castle and through the lesser town and out, can only really be described as beautiful, regardless of weather.

If you’re lucky enough to catch the sun, then a leisurely stroll alongside the river while munching on a sweet and traditional delicacy of trdelnik can brighten an already lovely day. If the changeable May weather sidles up to disturb your hopeful sun-tanning then never fear; a smorgasbord of museums and art galleries are tucked away around almost every cobbled street bend to feed your curious mind. If you’re searching for some history then the troubled Czech past while under communist rule is well documented in the Museum of Communism just off Wenceslas square; or, if medieval history is more intriguing to you, then the Museum of Medieval Torture found next to the Charles Bridge is well worth a trip if just to marvel at their collection of 60 different inventive and painful instruments. Of course, if you’re not in the mood to be disturbed and you actually went on this holiday to relax, then maybe an art museum is more for you. Veletrzni Palac has four floors of Czech and international art ranging from the classics of Monet and Picasso, to the plainly odd and abstract works of varying hilarity.

Visual art isn’t all Prague’s known for. Hosting a plentiful musical history, street performers are abundant – and unlike the ones off Buchanan street, they won’t just play Ed Sheeran. Mozart once said “My Praguers understand me”, and he repaid their respect with many a symphony; his famous opera ‘Don Giovanni’ premiered at the Estates Theater, and is still loved today. If you’re wanting to combine the operatic power of Mozart with puppets (I mean, why wouldn’t you?) then the National Marionette Theatre is for you, with the performance staged in the original Italian. And if you’re not feeling at all arty-farty and just want a good dance whilst completely off your face, then drink your way into drunken embarrassments in Karlovy lázně, the largest club in central Europe stretching over 5 floors.

All in all, Prague is a delightful city – which, unfortunately many people have already noticed, so be prepared to elbow your way through many a crowd of awestruck and selfie stick wielding tourists. The only consolation for this is that the whole city is prepared for British tourists too lazy to learn a new language (like me) with pretty much every sign being in English. The beauty, history, and art is enough to spark interest and love for all the nooks and twisting crannies this city has to offer. And now for the classic student review: pints for £1.10. Decent.

[Michaela Barton]

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