Ranjit Shergill lets us in on three lesser known things to do in Prague, from eating doughy sweet pretzels to admiring its many creative sculptures.
Prague is known for a number of different things. Its Bohemian historical buildings are neatly lined up on picturesque cobbled streets, it has an ornate cuckoo clock that has been ticking for centuries and the majestic UNESCO world heritage site, Prague Castle, towers over everything atop a steep hill. It's also host to many a stag and hen party and as such, wherever you board your flight from, you’re likely to find extrovertly-clad betrothed ladies and gents on the plane with you. And it's no wonder they arrive in their droves - Prague’s nightlife is electric.
But aside from all that, there’s lots more to enjoy in the city. Ranjit Shergill rounds up three must-sees that’ll suit culture vultures and foodies alike.
1. Try the Pilsner
The world-famous Pilsner beer is everywhere in Prague and be it a bar or shop, it's typically the first beer listed on the menu. There’s even a famed restaurant aptly named Pilsner, near the old town, where you can tuck into traditional Czech cuisine such as Goulash soup and smoked meats along with a well-earned pint. If you fancy a pilsner on a night out, join one of the city’s many bar crawls. You’ll be taken to a plethora of joints like the five-floor club Karlovy Lazne, located within a 15th century building overlooking Charles bridge. With the area’s best musicians and artists playing, you’ll feel truly part of the local scene.
For those who prefer to sip beer in a more laid-back locale, take a historical beer tour. These guided tours also include a visit to a bar in the old town where famous politicians chat over Czech delicacies. And if a stein’s not enough, you can glug down Prague’s finest craft beer in jug sized glasses. Now that’s what we’re talking about.
2. Visit the Peeing Fountains
Prague’s sculptures are a little hideous but fascinating nonetheless, not least David Cerny’s peeing fountains. Tourists gather everyday to see these statues which are surrounded by the outline of the Czech Republic. There’s little or no rationale as to what these statues represent, but it certainly attracts curiosity and bewilderment from passers-by. The figures can also be paused by anyone who wishes to send a text to the number marked beside them, resulting in the statues showing the text for all to see. It definitely gets attention any time of the day, so make your text a good one - the funnier, the better.
Other creative statues include the Narod Sobe Navzdy hanging off the city’s theatre resembling a man peeing over the city. Nice. There’s also a very novel sculpture at the Futura gallery where curious souls can enter its rear end to view the faces of local political figures in all their glory.
3. Eat all the Pretzels
For those with a sweet tooth, satisfy your cravings with a visit to the old town square, where a plethora of snack stalls tempt you to give up that diet. The one item that’s consistently on offer is ‘Trdelnik’- a pretzel shaped pastry smothered in a sugar and walnut mix. Tourists drool as the doughy shapes bake on glowing spindles. While you chomp on your Trdelnik you can soak up the atmosphere while jugglers and dancers do their circuit. All-in-all, there's plenty of treats for all the senses.