Visiting the parks around the Castle and the Municipal Hall

Prague Travel Blog

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Prague Castle from across the river
It was rainy and warm, one of those days when the humidity matched the temperature (and not in a good way).  We walked across the Charles Bridge and up the Castle Hill to find breakfast.  That's not hard to do since Prague has little outside cafes everywhere along the street.  The hard part is picking one.  Also everyone (in the tourist areas) speaks English and all menus seem to have English subtitles.  Did I mention that gelato stands are everywhere?  Frequent stops for coffee or a beer or gelato are a necessity in Prague, especially for recovering after walking up the hill to the Castle.
a statue on Charles Bridge
 
We watched the changing of the guard at noon in the first courtyard and walked around the north end of the building to reach the 2nd courtyard and ticket office.  The A ticket that lets you into everything is good for 2 days.  Since it was a hot, humid afternoon and the Castle was massively crowded (there was a 2 hour wait to get into St. Vitus Cathedral), we went into the Royal Park, sat on benches and watched people go by. 
We also read the plaques by the trees and discovered that the Black Locust (an American tree) was so popular in Czechaslavakia that it is the State Tree.  The trees in this park are huge, many over 150 years old.  Walking east through the park brings you to the Royal Summer Palace and even farther east brings you to a restaurant on the brow of the hill overlooking Prague.
the Vlatava river seen from the Royal Park
  Of course, we got a seat on the restaurant terrace, had a beer and watched boats on the river.  It's a beautiful view and you can even watch a balloon that  gives rides over the city.  (The terrace on the hill is even higher than the ballon reaches and the terrace serves beer.)
I had wanted to see the Municipal House last time we were in Prague but didn't get tickets in time.  This time we went early to get tickets for the English language tour.  It turns out that was our only chance to see it even though we'll be in Prague for 3 days.  People arriving just after us were turned away because the tour was full and wouldn't be repeated for 2 days.  If you like architecture from the late 1890's you just have to visit this building, especially the Lord Mayor's Hall decorated by Mucha.  Of course I took lots of photos but they just don't do justice to the harmony of the building's architecture.  This tour, like the concert, was a "must-do" for me to get the feel of the city.
Prague is definitely a "walk-around-and-enjoy-yourself" city.  We did our best to comply, there was shopping followed by a dinner of duck, pork, cabbage and dumplings at a cafe in the main square .  It was a long day so we slept for 9 hours straight afterwards.
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Prague Castle from across the river
Prague Castle from across the river
a statue on Charles Bridge
a statue on Charles Bridge
the Vlatava river seen from the Ro…
the Vlatava river seen from the R…
we watched the changing of the gua…
we watched the changing of the gu…
the Royal Park
the Royal Park
the Summer Palace in the Royal Park
the Summer Palace in the Royal Park
the restaurant in the Royal Park
the restaurant in the Royal Park
a ride in Prague - there are peopl…
a ride in Prague - there are peop…
detail from Municipal House
detail from Municipal House
Muchas designs for the Lord Mayor…
Mucha's designs for the Lord Mayo…
Prague
photo by: vulindlela