48 hours is not much time to explore a beautiful city like Prague so steeped in history. You will do a lot of walking for sure, and will surely include the hike to the castle. I stayed in the Prague Marriott which was in a fabulous location nearby to the downtown area, main square, and easy walking to many great restaurants.
Since most travelers and photoessays start with the square, castle, or astronomical clock, I decided to possibly surprise you with the naked babies of Tower Park! There are 3 of there and you can see in proximity to the building behind, they are quite large. Probably a good 8-10 feet long and over 8 feet tall. The park is a welcome respite from the busy streets and loads of tourists. Whilst I was there (on the way to the John Lennon wall), I saw a family and a few people walking their dogs.
I almost missed the Stalactitie Wall. My approach to Prague was to minimize late nights, and maximize early morning to catch some of the city waking up and missing the tourists at the major attractions. The second morning, I headed up to the Prague Castle to wander the area and take pictures, which was excellent. At 6 am there were barely a handful of people on the Charles bridge, and yet, the bakeries and patisseries were already open! How perfect is that?! With a nice coffee and some warm pastries, and virtually no one around, taking pictures from the bridge kept me occupied for some time.
After a couple of hours touring the castle and the many other areas at the top which dates back to the 9th century, I wound down the streets to find new adventures. Using Tripoto to find my way to the John Lennon wall, I noticed a number of folks walking down this street that seemed quite stately. After ducking through a pleasant water garden, and Wallenstein Palace opened before my eyes. Surprisingly there were only a fraction of tourists and locals here although it is sure to say that most had made it to the castle area that I had just fled. Get there early, because the hordes will not be far behind. This stalactite wall at the very back of the gardens. With some nice shade trees, one can sit for some time picking out the masks, animals, and monsters hidden in the artificial grotto.
Much has been written and photographed with respect to the astronomical clock, but it is incredibly beautiful and hard to fathom that it is over 600 years old. If you want to see this in action, you’ll find you are in good company. In the early morning, I could get some great pictures, but by 9am the crowd would be 30 people deep at least, with everyone vying to get selfies and couples shots in front of the clock. Seriously, if you like being stuffed shoulder to shoulder for 15 or 20min waiting for this guy to chime, then by all means, sleep in!
When I knew I had 48 hours, I was in a conundrum – I was confounded by the options I could get to for a reasonable price (from the UK where I had work) and the right location to get a decent ‘slow travel’ experience in only 2 days. Budapest, Croatia, or even going back to Berlin would have all been equally good choices, but the variety of Prague, my Marriott points, and a cheap flight finally closed the deal.
The sights in Prague are many, and I was very impressed by using Tripoto which allowed me to map my walks to points of interest, and add/drop places quite easily in/out of the itinerary. The other bonus of the Marriott was the supermarket right around the corner. Although one can eat fairly inexpensively in this beautiful capital city, I love having some extra fruit, water, and snacks (and bottle of wine). I did have some trouble with the fruit when checking out until an expat explained to me how to weigh it first, so I could afix the sticker for the checker to ring me up. It was the only time in my visit that I found the Czech people to be any less than gracious and helpful, but then again, it was entirely my fault and ignorance of the process during a busy time in the market.
I would definitely go back at a different time of year, maybe in winter during Christmas? I can only imagine what this wonderful city looks like covered in dreamy white snow. A black and white photographer’s dream.