Prague’s Alternative Attractions…

Prague’s Alternative Attractions…

zizkov-tv-tower-prague's alternative attractions

 

Most tourists that visit Prague are often only here for a couple of days. They are either on a stag or hen do, a romantic long weekend away or on part of a group tour that stops in the city for 1 or 2 days before venturing off to neighboring cities in Poland, Austria, Germany or Slovakia.

Prague is a relatively small city and most visitors often stick to its historical center. A stroll around the Old Town and Josefov, a walk across the Charles bridge to Mala Strana and Prague Castle pretty much covers the highlights and essential “MUST SEES” of the city, and is do-able in the couple of days they are here. Not many venture off the beaten track to some of the cities hidden treasures, of which, Prague is full of. So here are some of Prague’s alternative attractions..

Žižkov Tower

Voted the world’s 2nd most ugliest building, the Žižkov Tower rises over Prague 3 district and can be seen from most of the city centers tall buildings including the Old Town’s Clock Tower. This “unique” Zizkov Tower was constructed over a period of seven years between 1985 and 1992 pre the Velvet Revolution. Architecturally brutal and high-tech, with a height of 216 metres (709 feet), the Zizkov TV Tower dominates Prague’s skyline.

zizkov_babies_tower

 

Currently, most tourist maps and guides of Prague’s attractions don’t include the tower – an indication of the pride, or lack of, that the locals hold for this out-of-place and imposing edifice. I am able to see this monstrosity from my living room window, and I must admit it is rather an eye sore. So your probably wondering why I have included it on my list…?

Prague has many spots that allow stunning panoramic views of the city, including Prague Castle, the Clock Tower in the Old Town Square as well as the Petřín Lookout Tower, a small replica of the Eiffel Tower that looks over the entire city. Normally, these vantage points are chock-a-block with tourists, understandably so, as these sorts of opportunities give you spectacular vistas and photo opportunities, and also an instant appreciation for the “lay of the land”, Not so in Žižkov. A series of observation pods allow a 360 degree view of Prague. Binoculars are available, and you can move about freely between the capsule like enclosures.
If you’re an art fanatic you’ll also want to take a trip to the tower. Prague artist David Cerny designed the “crawling baby” sculptures as a temporary installation but they have now become a permanent feature on the tower. From a distance they purely look like black blobs hanging off the building, but on closer inspection (standing underneath) you can see they are fiberglass babies crawling up the side of the tower.

TIP ALERT: For a perfect evening head up the tower just before sunset for a great view across the city, and dine in the towers restaurant, 66 meters above ground for some fine dining and a beautiful night-time vista. For reservations click here

Kafka’s Statue

Franz Kafka Statue Prague Czech Republic

 

Sticking with the art theme, perched on the edge of the Josefov Quarter is this suitably bizarre and cerebral statue of Franz Kafka, depicted sitting on a headless man’s shoulders. Track down the statue in Dušní Street, where the author used to live, and pay your own tribute.
TIP ALERT: You can visit the statue whilst you explore the Josefov Jewish Quarter. Its free of charge to see the statue (it’s literally on the street), but if you want to see the various sites in the Jewish Quarter you might want to purchase the combined ticket from the Jewish Museum that lets you into most sights. Adult/Child 480/320Kč

Church of Saint Thomas

saint thomas augustine prague-in-church

Situated in Mala Strana this beautiful church has some of the best examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture and frescoes in the whole of Prague. Filled with gold statues and beautiful carvings, this is one of the most beautiful churches I have had the pleasure of being part of. Situated next to the Augustine Hotel, the church is also part of a monastery, of which part of the hotel now owns and has built into. It’s worth a visit if you are in the area. It’s a stone throw away from Charles Bridge and St Nicholas Church. Entrance is free.

TIP ALERT: If you’re visiting during the weekend be mindful that there will be several masses held, especially on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings. Please respect that people will be attending mass and will not want flashing cameras going off during the service.

Prague Zoo

Prague Zoo Czech Republic Polar Bears

 

If you have a day spare or are visiting the city with your family Prague Zoo is a great alternative to wandering around the streets all day. Situated just outside the city center it is easily reachable by public transport or a taxi. From March to October it is also reachable by steamboat. The trip takes 75 minutes and is an exciting way to start your visit. Highlights include Elephant Valley home to around 12 Elephants, an Indonesian Jungle with orangutans, various monkeys, tropical birds and Komodo Dragons! There are also Polar Bears, Big Cats Habitat, Lemur Island, a large pavilion of Gorillas including a big Silver back and an African Savannah, filled with Giraffes, Zebra, Meerkats, Lions and other African animals.

There is plenty of things to do and see for the entire family as well as various shows and talks about some of the animals. There is even a petting farm for the young ones.

TIP ALERT: Entrance for a family of four is 600Kč. Adult/Child 200/150Kč.

Prague Zoo is open daily all year round.

Time period Opening hours
April, May, September, October 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
June, July, August 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
March 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November, December, January, February 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden

Riegrovy Sady’s Beer Garden

 

OK so it’s not an actual attraction but it’s definitely a “go visit” place, especially during the summer. The Czech Republic is one of the world’s biggest producers of beer so its only right that while your here you indulge in a “local delicacy”…! On any given day with nice weather, Riegrovy Sady’s Beer Garden is packed with thirsty drinkers of all shapes and sizes; Czech, tourist, and expat alike. With a large projector screen, 3 different kinds of beer on tap, cocktails, wine, grilled food, and enough space for over 1000 visitors, it’s hard to not be happy here.

TIP ALERT: Centrally located within the charming neighborhood of Vinohrady, Riegrovy Sady’s Beer Garden can be reached by any transport that connects to Náměstí Míru or Jiřího z Poděbrad, which are both a short walk away. Bus 135 stops at Na Smetance, which is very close to the main entrance of the park, and tram 11 stops at Italská, which is also close. Riegrovy Sady’s Beer Garden is opened from April to October.

Like Be the first one who likes this post!
Share:

10 Comments

  1. May 23, 2014 / 2:07 PM

    Great post. I like the crawling babies on this “ugly” building. I am sure there are uglier buildings around the world than this one. 😀

    • Samantha
      May 23, 2014 / 4:37 PM

      I think it’s ugly to me because I can see it from my window every day and it ruins the skyline a bit. The babies are just weird, they have punched in faces and a night they look terrifying if you stand below the tower! 🙂

  2. May 23, 2014 / 4:33 PM

    Interesting article – I missed all of these when I went to Prague! I’d have liked to have seen the statue of Kafka (did see his house though).

    • Samantha
      May 23, 2014 / 4:38 PM

      Ah I haven’t seen his house yet. I walk past the statue most days as I live in the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Maybe next time you’ll see it 🙂

  3. May 27, 2014 / 1:47 PM

    I’ll be visiting Prague for the first time this summer, and reading this made me really excited! The tower sure is ugly, but I really want to visit it. I totally forgot that was in Prague, so thanks for reminding me! 🙂

    • Samantha
      May 27, 2014 / 2:53 PM

      Go visit it! It’s views are pretty amazing just its a bit of an eyesore in my eyes. Quirky indeed but it doesn’t really fit in with Prague’s fairy tale skyline!

  4. May 27, 2014 / 2:31 PM

    Great post. I love that ugly building, really quirky! And I think I’d love to visit the zoo and beer garden as well. Thanks for showing a different side of Prague!

  5. July 7, 2014 / 11:35 AM

    We’ll be in Prague on Monday, will definitely be going to that ugly tower! It looks great, plus we were looking for an uncrowded place to see the views – thanks!!

    • July 7, 2014 / 11:39 AM

      Ah fab! Let me know if you want me to show you around anywhere! The ugly TV tower is a great spot for a view across the city and so is Petrin Tower. Since the weather looks like it will be hot hot hot the beer garden near the TV Tower is great spot and you can watch the sunset over the city from the park its located in.

  6. January 27, 2016 / 3:15 PM

    Hello! Thank you for this great article. Also love the discussion about the “ugly building”. Samantha is quite correct among the Prague Tour guides you often hear that the Žižkov TV Tower was voted as second ugliest building in the world by some travel magazine – first being Opera House in Baltimore:) But ugly or not, it is part of the Prague skyline now, so we have to take the best of it – rotating restaurant, observatory gallery, mini-golf, ice-skating ring during the winter and near by non-touristy Jewish cemetery 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *