Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is equally as beautiful as Paris. It has a thousand-year history. Also, the beer? most excellent in Europe.

The 1989 Velvet Revolution, which liberated the Czechs from communism, left behind a gem of a city for Europe to stand alongside historical giants like Rome, Paris, and London. It should come as no surprise that a large number of tourists from around the world have flocked to the area. On a hot summer day, it could feel like you’re sharing Charles Bridge with half of humanity. Even the crowds cannot diminish the beauty of the 14th-century stone bridge, the hilltop castle, and the gorgeous, languid river, the Vltava, which served as the inspiration for Smetana’s Moldau symphony, one of the most hauntingly beautiful works of 19th-century classical music.

Although Prague’s art galleries may not have the same allure as the Louvre, Bohemian art still has much to admire, from the luminous Gothic altarpieces in the Convent of St. Agnes to the luscious art nouveau of Alfons Mucha and the magnificent collection of 20th-century surrealists, cubists, and constructivists in the Veletrn Palác. Prague has a variety of beautiful buildings, from the sensual elegance of art nouveau to the chiselled cheekbones of cubist facades, to the towering verticals of Gothic and the exuberance of baroque. The strange and witty sculpture of David Ern punctuates Prague’s public places.

The world’s best beer recently improved. The Czechs have a long history of crafting some of the best beers in the world, dating back to the 1842 invention of Pilsner Urquell. However, a number of regional Czech beers and microbreweries that are satiating a resurgence in interest in traditional brewing have equaled and even surpassed the internationally renowned brand names Urquell, Staropramen, and Budvar. Czech bars have never before offered such a variety of beers; names you’ll now need to learn include Kout na umav, Primátor, ntice, and Matuka.

The labyrinth of cobblestone streets and secret courtyards in Prague is a haven for wayward wanderers and constantly entices you to continue your exploration. You can find historic churches, unexpected gardens, adorable cafes, and vintage taverns just a few blocks from the Old Town Square with nary a tourist in sight. The city’s ability for exploration is one of its greatest thrills; neighbourhoods like Vinohrady and Bubene may reward the urban explorer with a variety of unforgettable cameos, from the setting sun reflecting off church spires to the notes of Dvoák drifting from an open window.


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