Prague | Crowds, Castles and Climbs

January 5, 2016

Prague | Crowds, Castles and Climbs

January 5, 2016

One of the perks of staying in a hotel next to a shopping centre is that we didn’t have to go searching for breakfast. A few minutes after we’d left our room we were sitting with coffee and a croissant planning our day. Great start!

Once the plan had been hatched, we made our way to the nearby astronomical clock to climb the tower and make the most of the panoramic views. After weaving our way through the epic crowd, tickets were purchased and we joined the apparent hour long queue against the advice of the ticket seller. We’d been hoping that other people would be put off by the cashiers words of warning, and thankfully the queue was only actually about 10-15 minutes long. The views from the top of the tower were amazing, and we were up there for quite a while, though that was partly because of the annoying school group who kept pushing, shoving and waving their darn selfie sticks in my face.Aerial view of the Christmas market in the Old Town Hall Square, PragueView from the Old Town Hall tower of Church of Our Lady before Tyn.

Once they’d left it was much more enjoyable, and we stayed up there an extra 5 minutes to see the crowd grow for the astronomical clock before heading off to see the famous Charles Bridge. To say it was busy would be an understatement. There were people swarming everywhere, and although I’d heard it was busy I hadn’t expected anything like it.The crowd gathering to watch the Astronomical Clock on the hour.

Charles Bridge, Prague, as seen from the riverbank.

At each end of the bridge are two tower-like buildings, which you can climb. And my boyfriend loves to trek up those flipping stairs! So in we went, and I am 96% sure the building would not be open to the public in England. The staircases were wonky, wooden beams were randomly in the middle of the floor or low from the ceiling. And to get outside from the top you have to exit while still on the stairs. Anywhere with a sign that says ‘at your own risk’ always rings bells for me. While the views were brilliant and we did see an old style musical quartet serenading people on the bridge, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Old-style musical quartet playing music to people crossing the Charles Bridge, Prague.

The crowd crossing Charles Bridge, Prague
The less busy end of Charles Bridge

Onwards up the hill to Prague Castle, and we had to check a couple of times that we weren’t actually climbing Mount Everest. That hill is steep! We finally made it to the top, bought our tickets and made our way for St Vitus Cathedral, which is the cathedral to see in Prague. Unfortunately, there was a great deal of the church roped off, and we couldn’t even sit to appreciate the church. While it was impressive, it didn’t make it to my top 10 churches, so we continued on to see the Basilica of St George and Golden Lane. I actually enjoyed both of these way more, and only wish we’d gone earlier in the day as the castle was starting to close and we had to leave.St Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle

St George's Basilica, Prague Castle

Back down the hill we made our way back to Old Town Square for a bite to eat from the Christmas market there. Only problem was, it was a Saturday night and that meant yet more crowds. It was so busy we couldn’t even walk properly, and ended up trying to squeeze through whatever gap we could find. I’d had enough of huge crowds, and we made our way back to the hotel, where there was a smaller Christmas market we could pick up some food from. Looking for a nice piece of ham, we got absolutely ripped off for meagre chunk of meat. The only reason we didn’t end up paying more was because we only had a little bit of cash left.

Although we’d seen some great sights of Prague, we had truly had enough of crowds, cobblestones and overpriced food for one day, so made our way back to the hotel to recharge for tomorrow.

You can find the start of our mini-Europe adventure here, or if you missed yesterday you can find that here .


  • themauritiangeographer January 5, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    Haha “I am 96% sure the building would not be open to the public in England” – Health and safety procedures 🙂

    We were in Prague for a week during summer and there definitely were a lot of stairs involved. We basically said no more bird eye view after 5 days, but now that I think about it, they were certainly worth it!

  • Amanda Afield January 6, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Beautiful photos!! That’s too bad about the crowds and selfie sticks though.

  • Laura January 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Prague is one of my favourite cities – so glad you loved it too! I unfortunately didn’t make it up the towers, but your beautiful photography brought back some wonderful memories!

    • It is such a pretty city! If you do go back, I’d definitely recommend the Old Town Hall tower 🙂 there’s a lift too if you don’t want to take the slope inside.

  • kaybe610 January 6, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    beautiful photos of a beautiful city!

  • Claudia Suzan Carley January 6, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    I found Prague terribly crowded a year ago in September–and hot. I was thinking a winter visit would be less crowded, but it looks the same. Still, it’s beautiful and your photos are great.

    • Oh dear, December was very crowded and cold! I think it was only so crowded this day because it was a Saturday and the Christmas markets were out. I’m hoping at other times in the year it’s not so bad.

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