Saturday, January 9, 2016

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is a picturesque city with stunning, intact, heritage architecture. As with all our travels we like to flaneur; taking in the sights, sounds, and even smells of the urban life as we wander the streets, and Prague is an especially nice place to do this. In addition to the architecture, there are many parks, squares, benches, and public art to enjoy. We came to Prague with only a few items planned on our itinerary; vegan food and contemporary Art; we were not disappointed with either.

Our Prague stay started with arriving via a short flight from Amsterdam, which we had spent two nights in to break up the travel (on our way out of Europe we spend a week in Amsterdam). We normally take the metro to our accommodations but the Airbnb host offered to arrange a taxi for a reasonable fee. Our Airbnb was wonderfully located next to metro and tram stops, shops, and vegan friendly dining. We love Airbnb as it allows us to pick a place based on price, location, amenities, sights, lively neighbourhood etc so I always opt for a property in a central area, near metros, and vegan friendly dining (the happycow veg dining directly helps with this). The other benefit is it almost always cheaper than a hotel and since we opt for apartments, they are larger and have a kitchen as well.

As mentioned already, just wandering the streets you will stumble upon countless historic buildings and interesting architecture, including a great number of grand churches. We explored several of the recommended sites including Old Town Square, the astronomical clock, Charles pedestrian bridge, Dancing House and the castle. We also spent time window shopping the antique stores and enjoying the open air Christmas markets selling trinkets, and food, decorated with lights and festive displays. We also went to the Kolbenova flea market, best described as a garage sale crossed with liquidation world, a gun show and a butcher. This interesting article captures some of the experience; The Ultimate Guide To Kolbenova In Prague, Europe’s Weirdest Flea Market.

We explored some terrific museums including the fantastic Brave New World exhibit at Dox Museum. It was a little further from the centre but worth the trip. A well curated exhibit in a great space. We also enjoyed the Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali and local contemporary artworks on display at the Gallery of Art Prague. The National Technical Museum has an extremely large and varied collection including a particle accelerator, vehicles, vintage household technology, toys, chemistry, printing, mining, astronomy, time measurement etc etc. We spent several hours exploring the exhibits and cold have easily spent several more. We also stopped into the small but informative Museum of Communism.

An unexpected museum we stumbled upon was the Apple Museum and it was amazing! The museum is dedicated to the history of the Apple computer company and Steve Jobs. There is an expansive and amazing display of vintage Apple products including the original Apple 1 computer. The entire space is bright, well thought out and a great experience. Some unique aspects include Steven's food Cafe - vegetarian raw (all vegan except honey) featuring foods Steven liked, Integrated USB chargers in Cafe to recharge your iPhone/iPod, wifi, and iPad based Internet terminals. The experience was enhanced with some of Steve's favourite music playing in the lobby and Cafe, the voice over if Steve Job's commencement speech in the exhibit, apple air freshener, Macintosh Apple tree in the courtyard and super cool, and sleek subterranean bathrooms. The museum was an expected highlight of our visit to Prague. When travelling you never know what you'll find!

For Prague photos see:

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