5 reasons to visit Prague by a local
Prague is a special city, I already knew that before I visited this Czech capital for the first time. I have been living there for several years now and I enjoy the charm, history and nature on a daily basis. What makes Prague so special? For me, these are the 5 reasons to visit Prague.
1. The historic center
Did you know that almost the entire centre of Prague is on the Unesco list? The centre of Prague consists of 4 districts: the Old Town, Malá Strana (small side), Hradcanska (castle) and parts of the New Town. In these districts you will find buildings from between the 10th and 20th century. Really literally every building is impressive, all of the streets are authentic and details are abundant. You'll find just about every style of architecture, from Romanesque to Gothic, Baroque to Rococo and Neo-Renaissance to Art Nouveau.
Almost all of the buildings are remarkably well preserved and still in their original state. Not surprisingly, Unesco has decided to put the entire old town on the World Heritage List, this should never be lost! When in Prague it is a must to stroll through the narrow streets and passages, getting lost has never been so much fun! A guided tour of the Old Town is also recommended, so you can immediately get to know the beautiful historical sights of the city centre.
2. Number 6 safest country in the world
Commute to your hotel in the nighttime, enjoy the nightlife without danger, not having to watch your back for pick pockets all the time, this is Prague! The Czech Republic is the sixth safest country in the world. You will feel this immediately when you walk through the city or travel by public transport.
There is a certain peace and safety in the air. The Czechs may seem grumpy on their own, which we may not blame them for because of the recent repression of the communists. But nothing is solved by force. You can really go out safely anywhere on the streets, at any time of the day or night.
3. Why is the beer so good in Prague?
Since I have lived in Prague, Czech beer has definitely become my favourite beer. In a pivovar (brewery) or beer room in Prague you can taste the best beers. But what makes their beer so special? The Czechs serve their beer from tanks (tankova). This beer comes fresh from the brewery, delivered in tankers. The tankers bring the beer to the beer rooms with a specific pressure and temperature. This way, your beer does not see any air or light during the entire process.
All necessary to guarantee the best quality. Also, the beer is not pasteurized, like they do with most lager beers in Western Europe. Pasteurization of beer means that the beer is heated (about 60-90 degrees Celsius), for about 30 minutes. This kills the bacteria in the beer and makes the beer last longer. Which really is a shame, because that way you lose a lot of taste! In the Czech Republic, beer quality is more important than quantity, so enjoy your beer in Prague and Na Zdraví (cheers!).
4. Prague is a green city
56% of Prague consists of forests, nature reserves, parks, vineyards and public gardens. During your visit to Prague it will be worth your while to visit one of the many beautiful parks and gardens, away from the hustle and bustle. Recommended are: Stromovka (park), Wallenstein gardens (only in the spring and summer months), Letná (park), Riegrovy sady (park).
Many of the parks offer beautiful beer gardens, which are crowded by locals in the summer. It is also beautiful to walk through the parks in autumn, but cycling in Prague is also a fun way to explore the parks.
5. Local markets, a world famous zoo and much more!
What makes Prague so unique compared to certain other cities, is that there is literally something for everyone to do! In recent years the economy of the Czech Republic has been doing very well and this is reflected in everything. The Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in Europe and Prague is a very rich area. You can see that huge investments are being made in culture and people. Everywhere in the city there are very nice things to do and you see plenty of new developments. It is very affordable to visit museums or the opera, enjoy the wild nightlife or to sit on the terrace. You name it and Prague has it!
The government ensures that everything remains very affordable and accessible to everyone. So you can spend a day at the zoo (the number 4 in the world), for about 7 euros per person. Also try the Farmer's Market on Naplavka (riverfront quay) on a Saturday morning and discover local products and delicacies. No one needs to be bored in Prague!