Prague, which escaped the bombs of last century’s wars, is one of Europe’s best-preserved cities. The Czech capital’s nickname is “the golden city of a hundred spires.” And beyond its striking facades, it’s an accessible city with a story to tell and plenty to experience.
The city is filled with exuberant architecture and slinky with sumptuous Art Nouveau. With music spilling into the streets and colorful pubs serving up some of the best beer in Europe, it’s a city thriving with visitors.
I just spent a week in Prague capturing the magic of the city in a new TV show. (Producing a new series is a two-year project. And we’re just finishing things up. A dozen great new shows will debut nationally in October.)
I enjoyed touring the city with our Prague audio tour. It’s the newest tour on my free Rick Steves’ Audio Europe app, and it was a delight to simply stroll through the city with a recorded narration so I could focus my sensory energy on just being there with a steady stream of information pouring into my ears. The tour works great, but I want to tweak it by adding some Czech music during the walks so it can be played from start to finish without pausing.
Prague is the best-preserved Baroque city in Central Europe (where most big cities were bombed flat in WWII). Its castle stands high above the Vltava River, and everything seems designed to wow the visitor.
While filming in Prague, I connected with old friends (like tour organizer Lída and leader of the greatest little street orchestra in Europe, Josef). They were both featured in our first show on Prague from 12 years ago, and we brought them back for this new show. Palling around with friends like Josef and Lída, I’m reminded how connecting with real people is what carbonates your travel experience. Whether leading our tours or helping travelers with our guidebooks, it’s the people — like Lída and Josef— that make the experience rich and memorable.
While in Prague, I dropped by my son Andy’s apartment. I expected a simple little flat. But it’s a lavish top-floor-under-skylights pad with sleek furniture, an inviting hammock, and all the comforts a block behind the National Theater. He crashes here when he’s in town, and pays his rent (and a little more) by renting it out on Airbnb at other times. (For the latest on Andy’s student tour company, see wsaeurope.com.)
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s an old clock! I love this scene on the main square in Prague at the top of the hour, when everyone gathers to see the crude little mechanical show that the astronomical clock puts on.