See Prague in a different light…

This cozy, contained capital city will delight you to no end—as long as you can stay away from the tourist mobs. Prague attracts thousands of tourists round the year, and if you go in the summer, especially in August when the Czechs are mostly all on vacation, you might think that the beauty of the city is there just for the gaping tourists. But if you know the right spots, you can avoid the crazed crowds and see Prague in your own peaceful way. The guidebooks tell you to go Charles Bridge and eat some over-priced goulash, but don’t be like everyone else! See Prague in a unique, back alley way, see it like the locals see it. Hop on and off the trams (make sure you have a daily or weekly transportation pass first) and see where you end up, watch the people around you. The further you get outside the center, the more chance you will have to get a deeper insight into Czech culture and how the locals really live in this gorgeous city. If you see a shadowy little storefront marked with the word “Antikvariat” go inside. You will discover a wild array of antiques and used items, ranging from books to records to stamps to furniture to jewelry to kitchen gadgets from way back when.

One big tip—stay away from the major attractions like Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and the Clock Tower on Old Town Square. If you really want to see them, go at night or very early in the morning. Charles Bridge, and the view from it, is absolutely gorgeous at 4 a.m. in the summer, when the sun is just waking up, and no one is around except for maybe a few passionate photographers, setting up their tripods.

Petrin Hill, at the Ujezd tram stop, is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, but the hill is large enough that you won’t keep running into others and can relax in shade of the abundant cherry, pear and apple trees. Halfway up the top, stop and sit for awhile at the Petrin Café that offers you one of the best views in town. An even better space for taking in the aroma of Prague is Letna Park, the largest park in the city complete with a stunning view of the Vltava River and the city beyond it…and don’t forget the beer garden either for a real glimpse of Czechs enjoying life–in nature, with friends at the table, a beer in hand and canine companion nearby.

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