Don’t pay for entrance to Museums in Prague

May 30, 14:15 Filed under recommendation

Prehistoric section in the National Museum As the beginning of another month is approaching, all museum-lovers in Prague can be more than content since it means they will save money. The first week of every month brings many special offers to the visitors of the main museums in Prague. I think this is good news for everybody, not only for museum-lovers.

Don’t you want to give it a try and visit some of those museums when the entrance is free? You have nothing to lose.

So how does it work? Every first Monday of a new month you will have a free access to the National Museum (green and red subway station Muzeum, lines A or C). Isn’t it great?

On first Wednesday of every month you don’t have to pay to see the Lobkowitz Palace in Jirská 3/1, not far from Prague Castle, featuring exhibits on Czech history. On this day from 3 pm to 8 pm you can also visit the National Gallery for free. It is located in Dukelskych Hrdinu 47, Prague 7. You can reach it by trams 1, 5, 8, 12, 14, 17, 25, 26 – station Strossmayerovo namesti.

On first Thursday of every month you can visit the Museum of the City of Prague or the Museum of Music, both free of charge of course. The Museum of the City of Prague is situated in Na Porici 52, accessible from subway station Florenc (yellow B or red line C). The Museum of Music is in Karmelitska street in the centre of Prague, on the trams 12, 20, 22, 23, station Helichova.

Every first Friday of the month, it is the best time to visit the Naprstkovo Museum, since you don’t pay a thing to get in. Naprstkovo Museum, which presents the old Asian, African and American culture, is in Betlemske namesti 1, not too far from the Old Town Square.

So save your money for something else and enjoy museums for free!

Restaurant for hearty eaters

May 20, 14:15 Filed under recommendation

Hungry at the beginning... Are you starving after walking through Prague all day long? Do you feel that no regular portion can fill you up? Do you love meat? Then there is a great restaurant for you! The restaurant is called Ambiente – Restaurante Brasiliero.

This restaurant offers a special service – you will not order your meal from a Menu, although you can, of course, but then you can visit any other restaurant in Prague. This restaurant is special in a way it serves the food. Waiters from Ambiente walk among the tables offering cuts of meat which they have just prepared on a grill. You can see the huge grill yourself so you don’t have to worry that the meat is not fresh.

They come and offer you all kinds of great meats – chicken of course, but I would recommend you not to waste space in your stomach with a meat that you can have anywhere. Wait for the Uruguayan beef, or for the delicious seafood, or the overwhelming hot pineapple!

In this restaurant, you can eat as much as you can!! You are not limited with one portion only. When you have tried all the meats, there is another round, and another and another … As long as your stomach is not completely satisfied.

The waiters come in short intervals, offering more and more great meats. And as you eat more and more it seems that they are quicker and quicker. That is why you have this special paper circle in front of you – the green side means: “Fill my plate” while the red side means: “I am taking a little break”.

We need a break! You can spend in this restaurant all afternoon or all night, if you wish, for one price only. You don’t pay for the amount of food you have eaten. Isn’t it great? Well, it is not particularly cheap, that is to say, but it is fun. You feel like a king – everybody jumps around you and brings you more and more of appetizing food.

One person pays 565 CZK (465 CZK if you pay by 6 pm). This includes all starters, salads, side orders and of course all the meat. It doesn’t, however, include the drinks.

This restaurant you will find not far from the Wenceslas Square, in street Na Prikope 22, best reached by subway Namesti Republiky (yellow line B). They are open daily from 12:00 to 24:00. Another one is not far from Old Town Square, in street U Radnice 8/13, open daily from 11:00 to 24:00.

Good advice at the end: Make sure you don’t wear anything tight when you go there!

Morbid exhibition?

May 17, 14:01 Filed under recommendation

Have you heard about “Bodies … The Exhibition”? No?!? Then you are probably the last person in the whole Czech Republic. This unusual exhibition has been the main topic of discussions not only in television but also in Czech Parliament! Yes, even Czech politicians have the urge to comment on it. Some people want to see this exhibition closed. But don’t you think this is the best advertisement? Anyway, what is so controversial about this exhibition?

The “Bodies … The Exhibition” is an exhibition which has no analogy because it is presenting REAL, skinned human corpses, some of them sliced into halves and thirds! But this is not all – some corpses are arranged in poses such as a soccer player in a mid-kick! Is this moral?

The answer is not easy and it depends on whom you ask. Some say that this is nothing else but a freak-show which is not ethical at all. They also question whether the corpses, which come from China, are not bodies of executed prisoners. But others will praise it as being the best educational opportunity which can’t be missed.

This exhibition will illustrate the ravages of disease and poor lifestyle choices much better than any book in the world. Maybe after seeing the blackened lungs of a smoker placed near the pale lungs of a non-smoker, you will want to quit your bad habit forever.

This extraordinary exhibition is not only for students of medicine. It is for everyone who wants to know a bit more about the thing we call human body. It is not only informative but also fascinating exhibition. You will find it in Lucerna, not far from Wenceslas square, best reached by tram 4, 9, 14, 24.

Controversial Eye above Prague

May 5, 14:52 Filed under recommendation

New building of the National Library in Prague Prague is famous for all the architectural styles you can find here – Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and other style sometimes in one street. The city is not so known for its modern architecture though. The Dancing House is probably the only one. This should change, however, with the new National Library being built on Letna Hill.

“Eye above the City” is a name of the winning project for the new National Library of the Czech Republic. The new library should be finished in 2011 and is estimated to cost 2 billion CZK. But the price is not the only controversial issue here.

The winning project is miles off from being conservative. This new library is probably going to be the most futuristic building in Europe. It looks like a huge green-purple jellyfish with a big glass eye overlooking the city. It reminds me of the film Flubber from 1997 starring Robin Williams. When I first saw the winning project, I thought of a big green slime. Sorry, but I can’t help it.

The new library, also called the “octopus”, divided locals into two camps. Some residents say it is going to ruin the historic district of Prague, others say that Prague needs more from contemporary architecture. Whether you are on one side or another, the Eye above Prague is the winning project and its realization is only question of time.

So it looks like the architect, Czech Jan Kaplicky, can be content since his main goal – to attract non readers as well – seems to be accomplished. For Jan Kaplicky, his “octopus” is going to be his first building realized in his home country. He is more famous abroad. His perhaps best known work is the futuristic Selfridges building in the English city of Birmingham.

If you are interested in seeing the new National Library before its realization in 2011 visit the exhibition called The Eye above Prague in Klementinum gallery, not far from Staromestska underground station (green line A) – Krizovnicka 190, Prague 1. You will get to see not only the winning project but also other projects that took part in this international competition. The “octopus” was not the only extraordinary project. It is really worth seeing!

This exhibition runs till May 31. Open is from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7 pm. And the best information at the end – the exhibition is for free!!

Don’t miss exotic butterflies in Prague!

Apr 23, 17:54 Filed under recommendation

Exotic butterflies in Prague Botanical Garden Of course I am talking about the exhibition of exotic butterflies in Botanical Garden in Prague, to be more precise in Fata Morgana Greenhouse. And it is really worth seeing because you are walking among those flying beauties, and they may even sit on you!! It is fantastic! Have your camera ready!

Fata Morgana is not a typical greenhouse – it has not only the hot and humid section, but also a dry semi-desert section and a mountain section. For only 90 CZK (children and students for 45 CZK) you will take a tour around the world – you will stop by in dry Australian bush, in Madagascar, Polynesia, Africa and other countries.

You get to see not only the marvelous butterflies, but also tropical and subtropical plants, meat-eating plants or romantic waterfall. Butterflies are not the only animals you will come across – tropical fish and frogs from South America are also very nice.

Those butterflies that are now awaiting you in Fata Morgana feel at home in Africa, Philippines, Thailand, South and North America.

You will probably not have better chance to see exotic butterflies in Prague any time soon because Prague is located in temperate zone, so meeting an exotic butterfly is a real specialty to locals. So hurry up! Exotic butterflies are here for you only till April 29!!

To get there, use subway to the station Nadrazi Holesovice (red line C), then bus number 112 to the station “ZOO Troja”, and then just follow the signs for “Fata Morgana” or “Botanicka zahrada”. Open is daily from 9am to 6pm.

Museum that you will love!

Apr 6, 14:42 Filed under recommendation

Extraordinary musical instruments in Orbis Pictus exhibition Are you one of those who do not really like visiting museums? Is it boring for you? You have to be silent, serious, and, hey, don’t touch anything!!!! Well, forget about museums like that! There is a fun interactive exhibition right now running in Czech Museum of Music. It is called Orbis Pictus and it is nothing like regular museums!!

The name of the exhibition may help you to see the point of this exhibition. Orbis Pictus, which can be translated as World explained in pictures, was a textbook written by Czech thinker, philosopher and educator Jan Amos Komensky in 17th century. What is so special about this book is that it was written specially for children and is considered to be the first picture book for children.

Komensky was well known for his ideas about educating children – he thought that teachers should use audio-visual techniques in the classroom. Nothing new, you may say, but back then it was revolutionary idea!

The exhibition Orbis Pictus takes many of Komensky’s ideas. Visitors can not only touch but are also invited to participate on playing the musical instruments!! And it is to say that the musical instruments are rather unusual, such as the water organ in the central part of the exhibition.

Every day, visitors turn this museum into one great symphonic orchestra. Apart from sounds, most of the instruments can also produce colors, lights and shadows!! This exhibition will be loved by any child but it is well-suited for the whole family.

The museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm. From 6:30pm there is sometimes an additional musical program for everybody with a valid ticket for the exhibition. The Czech Museum of Music is near Helichova tram station (trams 12, 20, 22, 23). But hurry up, the exhibition runs only until April 30!!!

Don’t tease the pickpockets in Prague!

Jan 8, 17:54 Filed under recommendation

Beware of pickpockets Prague is the capital city and at the same time the biggest city in the Czech Republic. Because of its beauty and magic it attracts thousands of tourists every year. Impressed tourists, however, tend to pay more attention to the historical buildings and forget all about their belongings. It is therefore no wonder that Prague is attractive not only for tourists but also for pickpockets! That is why you should always think of your bags and purses at all times!

Try not to tease the pickpockets! What do I mean by that? First of all, don’t walk around carrying a bigger financial amount. Secondly, don’t have your wallet within grasp for others. And always keep and eye on your handbags. Try to avoid crowds if possible. But if you find yourself in a crowd, hold your handbag to impede its opening or snatching. Don’t be an easy victim for them!

You should be more careful in the streets near tourist attractions and in crowded public transportation – notorious are trams number 22, 23 and 9. And never change money on the street since you will probably get ripped off.

So, to sum up – anytime you see a crowd put a hand over your bag and hold it a bit tighter or have your bag where you can see it all the time. For example, when I am in a crowded tram or subway, I wear my backpack on my stomach.

So don’t let the pickpockets spoil your vacation and be more careful! You never know when you may come across those people. But if you are wise enough they will have no chance!

Great Season for Visiting Museums

Dec 28, 15:12 Filed under culture

Bedrich Smetana When it gets cold and windy outside or when it rains or snows, which happens a lot in winter, the best is to slide into a café for a hot tea or coffee and wait till the weather gets better. Or, in order not to waste the whole day, you can visit a museum! There are tons of them in Prague! For example there are two museums of music in Prague! And that is only what I know of!

Why do you think there is more than one museum of music in Prague? It is because Czechs love music. There is an old saying from the 16th or 17th century which goes like this: Every Czech is also a musician. And it is more or less valid till today. Almost every Czech can play some musical instrument because Czech children often attend musical courses after school. Maybe some of them will become composers of such fame as Bedrich Smetana, Antonin Dvorak or Leos Janacek.

The Czech Museum of Music, which is open from Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 6 pm, presents not only a large collection of musical instruments, but also other valuable sources illustrating the history of Czech and European music. You can listen to the historical instruments in nearby headphones. Concerts are often held here as well.

The location of the Czech Museum of Music is in the former Baroque church of St. Maria Magdalena, in Karmelitska Street 2, built in 17th century. If nothing else, the renovated building is worth seeing. You can reach it when taking tram 12, 20, 22 or 23 to the station Helichova. It is not far from the Charles Bridge.

The Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments, which is on Hradcanske Square 12, is near the Prague Castle. They present a unique collection of the orchestrions, street organs, gramophones, music boxes and more rarities from 1870 to 1940. The exposition is accompanied with the demonstration of the instruments. This museum is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm.

Romantic night-walk in streets of Prague

Nov 19, 12:46 Filed under recommendation

Beautiful glints on the river Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic in the very heart of Europe, is a truly romantic city that touches everybody’s heart. In fact, Prague is a synonym of romance for many people. Alongside Paris and Rome, Prague belongs to romantic destinations for special occasions such as marriage proposals, wedding ceremonies or honeymoons. That doesn’t mean that I want to force you into marriage! This article is not only for about-to-be-engaged couples or newlyweds. It is for all who love romantic walks. Whether you want to undertake this alone, with a good friend of yours or with your special someone, that is totally up to you.

Prague rates as one of the most beautiful cities in the world mostly because of its architecture and atmosphere. Prague is full of magical scenic views, historical sights, winding cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, old-fashioned street lamps, charming gardens and many other romantic places inviting everyone to enjoy it. It is really fortunate that Prague has managed to survive the destruction of both World Wars, as well as Nazi and Soviet occupation almost unhurt! So now the beauty of Prague is here for you to enjoy it! Let the allure of Prague enchant you and your loved one!

At night, Prague is even more romantic and beautiful than during the daylight! Do you doubt this? Do you thing it is not possible for Prague to be even lovelier than as it is now? Just wait till it gets dark and see!

Starting by the National Theatre, when it is dark out, I would fully recommend you to walk along the river Vltava towards the Charles Bridge. You will have the chance to marvel at illuminated Prague Castle together with the Charles Bridge. And believe me, at night it is even better! Have a look at the river how it glitters with all the lights! I love this sight!

Bridge Tower at night Continue slowly to the Charles Bridge and than across. Charles Bridge at night is with one world – wonderful! There is less people that during the day and that means you can fully enjoy the charm and spirit of Prague! It is really romantic and you get to see not just the magnificent view of Prague Castle itself, but the National Theatre, as well as St. Nicolas Cathedral and other bridges across the river Vltava! I would vote it the most romantic place in Prague, maybe even in the world!

And don’t forget the Old Town Square – which is a wonderful place as it is, but wait till you see it at night when all the lights are on! Here the pure romance begins! You so have to see the Prague Astronomical Clock, Church of St. Nicholas, Old Town Hall and Tynsky chram all lighten up! It is marvellous! Not to mention that it is not at all as crowded as during the day, so you have almost the whole square for yourself!

And final advice for the gentlemen – to create the perfect atmosphere, buy your lady a flower! In Prague florists, flowers are not expansive, and it will definitely impress every woman! Let those moments in Prague be unforgettable!

Beautiful autumn in Prague

Nov 5, 06:55 Filed under recommendation

Prague Castle from the bank of the Vltava River in autumn Autumn can be very romantic. Together with spring it is said to be the most romantic time of the year. Provided that it is warm and sunny, of course! In this case there is nothing better than to have a nice outdoor walk. Then you can fully admire the beauty of changing leaves!

Autumn colors are among the best nature can create. Formerly green leaves turn into brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. In the Czech Republic, there are four seasons and thus you can admire this brightly colored autumn foliage even in Prague.

The National Theatre in the autumn sun Probably the best is to start the walk by the National Theater, crossing the Vltava River there by going over the bridge (called Legii). You will approach a hill called Petrin.

Vltava River with Petrin Hill above Petrin Hill is 318m (1043 feet) high. To reach the summit and the Observation Tower, also called Little Eiffel Tower, take the funicular up Petrin hill from Ujezd street in Mala Strana. Funicular is part of Prague’s public transportation so one ride costs you 20CZK. And it is worth it. You will have a nice view of Prague Castle on the way up. Alternatively, you can climb the hill. It may take you 30 minutes but I would recommend you to walk the way down and not up since the hill is fairly steep.

Petrin lookout tower in Prague When you are up, don’t forget to visit the Little Eiffel Tower offering panoramic views of Prague. On the way down you will be passing through gardens and apple orchard. It is a pleasant walk.

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