For an alternative route to Prague Castle, walk up the hill from Malostranská metro station and turn left into the Deer Moat along the Brusnice Stream. A pedestrian tunnel, spot-lit from ground level and detailed in brick, links the lower and upper gardens where ancient grounds and modern design merge in Zen-like harmony.
Angular and avant-garde, Czech cubism is eye-catchingly alive all over Prague from the world’s only cubist lamp post to entire villas. Prague’s first cubist building, built in 1911-12, is the House of the Black Madonna, which houses Prague’s stylish Cubist Museum. Sip coffee from cubist cups under cubist chandeliers in the museum’s Grand Café Orient before choosing your artistic souvenir from the Kubista store.
Ovocný trh 19, Prague 1
Feed the ducks on the River Vltava under the arches of the 14th century Charles Bridge where it joins the little-explored Old Town. The bridge was built on the remains of an older river crossing, the 12th century Judith Bridge. On the wall is a relief sculpture of Charles IV’s face, which marks the medieval water level.
The Art Nouveau, tiled interior of the Café Imperial, opened in 1914, remains a pinnacle of Czech artistic history. Its rich décor seduces visitors to stay for a coffee and a complimentary doughnut and often for dinner.
Na Poříčí 15, Prague 1
The golden-crowned, neo-Renaissance marvel on the banks of the Vltava is Národní divadlo, the National Theatre. It has been the pride of the Czech nation since 1881. The theatre hosts ballet, opera and drama, but skateboarders rule its courtyard.
Ostrovní 1, Prague 1
Before fast food and shopping, Wenceslas Square saw tanks roll and revolutions spark. Hunt out the memorials and imagine the victorious populace jangling their keys in 1989 to celebrate the end of communism. Czechs still gather here in front of the equestrian statue of their patron, St Wenceslas, and the imposing National Museum.
Beneath Strahov Monastery’s Paradise Gardens is a restaurant called Peklo, meaning Hell, where the svíčková beef in cream sauce is devilishly good. Mozart once tinkled the ivories of the church organ.
Honour fallen Czechoslovakian heroes in the bullet-scarred crypt beneath the Orthodox Church of Sts Cyril and Methodius. The surviving assassins of Nazi Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich were hunted down but committed suicide in the face of hundreds of vengeful Gestapo and SS soldiers. A chillingly matter-of-fact museum explains the events of Operation Anthropoid.
Resslova 9, Prague 1
For the best sunset panorama of the city, take the lift up Prague’s tallest building. Erected by the communists to public consternation, the 93-metre TV Tower is bathed in colour at night and features an installation of climbing babies by Czech artist David Černy.
Mahlerovy sady 1, Prague 3
A massive monument to Josef Stalin towered over the nation on Letná Plain but today politics takes a back seat to football, frisbee- throwing and beer drinking beneath the chestnut trees. Every path leads to the giant metronome where skateboarders slide, spin and flip. There are commanding views of Prague’s Old Town and Jewish Quarter.
Letenské sady, Prague 7
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