A magical medieval castle. Awe-inspiring Gothic cathedrals. Zigzagging cobblestone streets. That's Prague.
The capital of the Czech Republic is a wonderful walking city where you will feel the history as you stroll around the Old Town Square and cross the pedestrian Charles Bridge over the Vltava River, or tour Prague Castle, the Franz Kafka Museum and the Old-New Synagogue. Prague also is finding fresh roots in rejuvenated neighborhoods, new art galleries and an elite restaurant scene. One of the most unexpected pleasures in walking around the city was admiring the fashion displayed in the shop windows. Tres chic. And very fun.
And two words about the beer in the country where cities were brewing in the 12th and 13th centuries: Try it. Well-known is a trio of Czech beers — Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser Budvar and Staropramen, refreshing on their own or with food. Also worth the koruna are other flavorful beers such as the popular Gambrinus and Kozel.
As in most European cities, you will find the most tourists there in the summer months and during holidays. My husband, Martin Frobisher, and I chose September, when the lines were not as long and the temperature hovered around 60 degrees.
We took the train to Prague from Berlin, relaxing on the four-hour-plus journey. We were met at the train station by a driver from the Design Hotel Josef, a modern, conveniently located hotel, where the service could not have been better, the rooms were stylishly minimalist and the breakfast buffet featured breads and pastries from the Josef Bakery among its many offerings. From Prague airport we had a stress-free EasyJet flight to London Gatwick, where we spent the night at the airport hotel, Hampton by Hilton, and flew home to Tampa International in the morning nonstop aboard British Airways.
Jeanne Grinstead, Times staff writer