JOIN US IN AN INTERVIEW WITH JÁJA JIROVA FROM PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC!
Jája is a 28 years old girl from the Czech Republic. She grew up in a suburb of Prague close to the forest and nature. She is based in Prague but soon will move to Australia to start a new adventure. Her main hobbies are photography, travelling, music, hiking, yoga, and cooking. On social media she is known as Prague Dreamer. On that website, she writes stories from her travels and shares her love of photography and nature.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. It is a very historical city with thousands of monuments and a unique combination of architectural styles.
Prague is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The historic city center with a unique panorama of Prague Castle which is the largest castle complex in the world is a UNESCO heritage site. You can also find here many modern places including parks, music, and different events. It is also a great place to party and socialize.
Which is the best time to visit Prague?
Prague is beautiful during May and June when everything is blooming and the temperature is pleasant. Also, the winter time is very special if you don’t have a problem with cold weather. During winter it looks like a city from a fairytale.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of Prague?
If you are in the middle of Prague and you have time, I definitely think the best choice is to walk. You can see many nice streets and changing architectural styles – from historical to modern. But if you are in a hurry the best transport is probably a tram or subway. It is very easy to use and it is impossible get lost.
From the airport you can hail a cab but it is usually very expensive. I prefer to use airport bus which takes you to subway.
Which are the top 3 must visit places in Prague?
Prague is a city with a long history. So it is expected that you are actually interested in history. Here is the three most visited;
Prague Castle which is a castle dating from the 9th century. This castle includes Gothic Cathedral, National Gallery, gardens, vineyard, old halls, and other sculptures and buildings. You can do a tour – The Royal Route – which is very famous and the oldest route from New City of Prague to the Old city of Prague. During this walk, you will see, for example, Old Town Square (with a medieval astronomical clock from the 15th century), Clementinum, Old Town Bridge Tower, Charles Bridge Lennon’s wall and finish at Prague Castle.
Petřín which is a hill in the middle of Prague with a lookout tower. This park is a nice place to spend a day, especially in May. You can find here a mirror maze, a rose garden and the lookout tower. You can also use a funicular if you don’t like walking.
Strahovský klášter/Strahov Monastery was built around the 12th century and it is the oldest monastery in the Czech Republic. The most interesting place in this complex is definitely the Library. This library contains over 200,000 books, from which 1500 pieces are incunable (first edition).
What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from Prague?
Karlštejn Castle large Gothic castle from the 14th century is one of the most visited castles close to Prague (around 30 km). You can see the representative rooms of Emperor Charles IV, chapel of the Holy Cross, Lapidarium and so on.
Kutná Hora is city located 80 km from Prague and it is part of UNESCO World Heritage. You can find here a Roman Catholic Church named St. Barbara’s Church from the Gothic Era. The most interesting place is probably The Sedlec Ossuary. The ossuary is located in the underground of an old church. You can see there, for example, a chapel created from old bones. The whole ossuary contains around 60 thousand human skeletons.
Another interesting city is Český Krumlov. Unfortunately, this city is about 3 hours from Prague. However, it is definitely worth a visit. You can find here a Castle from Renaissance and Baroque Era. The Old city Center features houses from the 15th century many of which are available as accommodation. The unique thing in Český Krumlov is the revolving theatre in Castle Park. You can buy a ticket and I guarantee it is a special experience to see for example Rusalka (the Water Nymph from Antonín Dvořák) under thousands of stars.
If you prefer nature then you should visit Český ráj/Bohemian Paradise. This protected landscape area is around 100 km from Prague. You can see a complex of sandstone rocks which have been shaped by water, erosion, wind, frost into unique shapes.
Which is the most celebrated holiday in Prague?
After Christmas and Eastern time it is probably the wine festival – during September. During this time you can taste many types of Bohemian and Moravian wines, for example, young wine. You can also see Moravian traditions like old music and folklore costumes.
What is the most loved local food, savory and sweet of Prague? Is it a vegetarian friendly city?
Czech food is very specific. If you want to try typical Czech cuisine you should be prepared for very heavy meals. Typical food is some sauce with dumplings and meat; schnitzel with potato salad; beef goulash; marinated cheese; or roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut. An unusual phenomenon is a sweet main dish like for example Curd’s dumplings with blueberries or Žemlovka. The best and cheap restaurant in city center of Prague is Havelská Koruna (street: Havelská 501/21 a 23).
If you prefer modern cuisine you can find many restaurants with healthy but delicious food. Also, you can find many restaurants with International cuisine. Prague is also vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Where to head for shopping in Prague?
Well, I am not a shopping person. But if you love it, there are many shopping malls. If you would like to spend big and love labels, then you should visit Paris street. If you prefer second hand items, you can find many whilst walking outside. The weekend and food markets are very popular in Prague. They are located in Náplavka, Havelské tržiště, or close subway station Jiřího z Poděbrad. The flea markets are usually in Tylovo náměstí, on boat Avoid in Náplavka or in Továrna in Holešovice. The oldest flea market is in street U Elektry in Vysočany. You can find here unique products, however, you can meet there very ‘interesting’ people.
What is the local craft or speciality of Prague?
Typical crafts are alcohol named Becherovka, Bohemian glass, Bohemian garnet or Czech old puppets. You can buy it everywhere in Prague, especially in the Old city center. However, in Prague, you can find many Russian and Arabic shops which offer “traditional” crafts like matryoshka dolls which are definitely not Czech products 🙂
Which are the best streets of Prague worthy of taking a stroll on?
If you prefer history – Golden street at Prague Castle, Karlova, Celetná, Nerudova, Národní, Smetanovo nábřeží with a beautiful view. If you prefer more clubs then Dlouhá street or Krymská for hipsters.
Can you suggest a place from where one can get the best view of Prague?
I don’t know if it is the best but I like the view at Vyšehrad. It is a historical fort with old Church and Cemetery, but also with parks and pubs. And the view is very nice especially during a sunset.
Would you suggest any shows in Prague to drama, music or art lovers?
In Prague there are a lot of events. For example classical music in Rudolfinum, ballet in National Opera, drama in National Theatre. If you prefer modern things like life-music you can visit Forum Karlín, Roxy, Palace Akropolis, Lucerna. For art and art exhibitions you can find in DOX, Rudolfinum Gallery, Chemistry Gallery and so on. In summer you can go to the summer cinema in the middle of Prague and see your favourite movie under the stars.
Would you recommend any local apps for food, transport or hidden gems in Prague?
The best website where you can find all events like concerts, movies, parties, exhibitions, festivals and events for children is www.goout.net/en
As an app I can recommend Restu (restaurant reservation), IDOS (public transport), Old Maps Online (for historical fan), Pivní Deníček (for lovers of beer).
Do you want to give any suggestion/tip to tourists coming to Prague?
Prague is a very beautiful city. You can see a lot of historical things and you can enjoy a nice party time. Unfortunately, it is also a place where there are many tourists, so you can be easily robbed. I would recommend being careful in congested areas, on transport and in public places with a crowd of people. Be also careful in exchange offices and with taxi drivers. Never forget to buy tickets for public transport because this is a classic example of a problem for tourists (fines). And be careful of the alcohol, absinthe is very strong. Enjoy the time in Prague and in the Czech Republic 🙂