Feeling art in every detail
Last year we finally had a chance to go travel abroad together in Europe which was always a dream, so much history, so much art we had been craving to see for so long, we had no doubt when the time came to buy the tickets and just go! Our goal of this trip was to experience art, in every detail.
We started in Prague and then Český Krumlov to Vienna, and here are some highlights and pro tips which will hopefully be helpful to you if you also plan to go.
Old castle and Little quarter (1.5 days)
- St. Vitus Cathedral + Prague castle
When set foot in Europe, we couldn’t be happier and so excited to see how they are going to offer, but at the same time, the jet lag is real! we really had a hard time to get to sleep, so instead of trying really hard to keep in bed, we decided to start the journey very early. I will say it becomes our way to handle jat leg now.
We head to the most famous cathedral – St. Vitus Cathedral, which is right next to Prague castle, the place opens at 8am. However, the line is pretty long already before they open the Cathedral at 9am. so I recommend coming early and getting good shots while it is still relatively empty. There is some incredible gothic architecture you will be immediately amazed by.
Every corner is a fierce monster standing, guarding the cathedral. Once you enter the Cathedral you will feel the very solemn atmosphere, especially every step you take closer to the front. The paintings change dramatically by style and painter, since the cathedral carries the story of the city behind it, from Gothic to Neo-gothic, from Mucha to radical modernism. The ebb and flow of political state is also visible from feudal medieval Europe to communism and the modern Czech state.
- Prague castle
After the Cathedral, a walk around in the castle is a nice treat. If you are interested in the historic part, you may start with the old royal palace. Take a look at those royal and noble had ceremonies and tournaments. If you like art, you can also go into any museum just around the castle, in our experience, there are not as crowded as to see the cathedral. Btw, we recommend renting an audio tour guide, in general, the whole place only has simple introduction signs so if you want to dig more, it’s definitely worth doing it.
- Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička)
It is a street situated in Prague Castle, Czech Republic. Originally built in the 16th century. Golden Lane consists of small houses, painted in bright colors in the 1950s. The street originally had houses on both sides, but one side was demolished in the 19th century. Today the lane is a part of the small and big castle rings (i.e. a fee must be paid to enter), while there is free entry after the Prague Castle interiors close. Many of the houses are now souvenir shops, you may find some unique puppets and crafts, although the price is not cheap at all, quite different than anywhere else. and there is a museum of medieval armory within the former 14th-century fortification accessible from Golden Lane. I will say here is quite a picturesque area you may like to take some time here, recommend to spend 30 mins to an hour.
- Sternberg Palace (Šternberský palác)
An absolute jewel, “hidden” in plain sight between the more popular attractions of the castle. Sternberg Palace is one of the noble residences, surrounding the Prague Castle. Its outstanding architecture and rich decoration make it an important example of the High Baroque style. National Gallery in Prague uses the Sternberg Palace for exhibitions at the present. The palace can be approached from the Castle Square. However, the way leading to the gate is so easily missed, not to mention the giant gate seems closed all the time, you will have to open it yourself. But it’s our favorite art gallery in Prague, no visitors at all surprisingly! and you can enjoy the one of the best collection of master artworks. from ancient Greece to Rome, Goya, Rubens and El Greco. After this visited, we were completely satisfied!highly recommend it! you will spend at least good 2 hours here.
- Royal garden of Prague castle
The originally Renaissance garden founded in 1534 became one of the few quiet places in the center of Prague. The garden is located on the site of old medieval vineyards. Royal Garden was commissioned by the Habsburg Ferdinand I. From the owners he gradually bought old vineyards beyond the valley of the Brusnice stream and had a Renaissance garden laid out here, which later became famous for its rare botanical specimens and the exotic plants gained from distant countries. From the very beginning, there were situated a number of buildings serving the entertainment of the nobility: the Ball Game Hall, the Royal Summer Palace, the Lion Court. It’s a nice garden you can walk and breathe the fresh air here, a pleasant place to recommend spending an hour at most.
- Starbuck at Prague castle
well… I know it sounds ordinary to say Starbucks in Europe… But, the Starbucks at the Prague castle has its own charm somehow, First, the location is really great, they are just at the front of the castle, higher than any other buildings there, so you can see the whole city from here, a nice spot you can take a girl on the rooftop pictures. Second, get a coffee after the whole day walking around is such a treat, believe me, you will like it!
- St. Nicholas’s church
This one is also an easy to be miss great spot. after the palace, you will follow the steps going down to the city (Little Quarter). There are lots of beautiful houses that you may be got attracted by, however, there is St. Nicholas‘s church just around the corner. The time we visited was hosting a mass, so we go to the side found the tower entrance. you will have to buy a ticket to go up to the top of the tower, once you enter the tower, you are just accepted a challenge! they don’t have much light, and spiral plus super narrow steps are non-stop… feels like you’ve been put under a spell so that you have to keep climbing up forever. However, they do have some floors you can go in and see what those old monk’s life was like, the bed, the oven, the dining table, they present a true life look you will find very interesting. And in the end, you go to the balcony to take another look at the city. It’s quite a fun way to explore the ancient people’s life, I recommend it very much too.
wish you enjoy this post, more travel plan in Prague part two is coming up, stay tuned!
[UPDATE] Part II Travel in Prague is on the blog now! you can check it out here.