Top Cities to Visit in Central Europe-Prague and MunichRuss Bily
If you’ve read my previous articles, you probably already know that traveling through Europe can be cheap and costly, fun and breathtaking, and our tourists enjoy it so much!
In my previous articles, I wrote a lot about the capitals and major cities of Eastern and Central Europe, and the most interesting places to visit. I also gave recommendations on the best ways to travel and the most comfortable means of transport. If you want to know how to travel to Europe with kids, where to go with them, or if you would like to go shopping, or partying, or try something from national cuisine, but don’t know the best places for it, please read my previous blog posts.
In this post, we continue to walk along the streets of medieval Prague and modern Munich.
So, what you can see in Prague and Munich? About this and much more – read further in my new article. Ready for a little trip? Well, then go ahead!
The Medieval Charm of Prague
Have you already been to the Czech Republic? If yes, then, of course, you want to return. If not – I envy because the introduction to a small, beautiful and insanely interesting country is ahead.
Prague is the luxury of imperial Vienna and the modest charm of Budapest. Here you can find everything: both medieval charm and panel houses on the outskirts. In this amazing city, it seems time has stopped, or such a category as time does not exist at all!
What should you expect from the Czech Republic and Prague in particular? First, a special architecture that has no analogs. Mainly, it’s unique Prague’s Gothic. And the symbol of Prague’s Gothic is the majestic Pražskýhrad, and the St. Vitus Cathedral is the peak of Gothic architecture, located in Pražskýhrad.
So, let’s start! Pražskýhrad is the largest active castle complex in the world. It is listed in the UNESCO list and the Guinness Book of Records. Since the X century. this is the residence of kings. Today it is the official residence of the head of the state. In St. Vitus Cathedral, the Czech rulers were crowned and buried.
To learn more about Pražskýhrad, you can read my article “5 Recommendations of What You Can Do in Prague”, in which I recommended to walk along the Charles Bridge, admire the architecture of Old Town Square, watch an Astronomical Clock performance, enjoy a classic performance in Prague National Theatre, visit the smallest street in Prague, climb the Petřín Hill, and watch Prague from the Observation Tower.
From Pražskýhrad, let’s go to Hradčanské námĕstí, admire its palaces, and go to the observation deck to enjoy the crazy view of the red-tiled roofs of the capital. If you want to see Prague in all its glory, it makes sense also to climb to one of the viewing platforms of the city to enjoy the opening views: for example, from Pražskýhrad or Vyšehrad, from Petřín Hill or the Old Castle staircase.
Then we go down Nerudova street to Malá Strana. Further, by the church of St. Nicholas (Kostel svatého Mikuláše) on Malostranské náměstí, and we are on the Charles Bridge.
The Charles Bridge… The visit card of Prague. The medieval bridge connects two Prague districts – Stare Mesto and Malá Strana. Plunge into the atmosphere of ancient Prague, walking along the bridge accompanied by the tunes of street musicians, looking at its famous sculptures, and, of course, do not miss the opportunity to buy a souvenir from local artisans and artists. It is strongly recommended to come here as early as possible (preferably even before 8 am), as there are a lot of people here in the day time.
Wenceslas Square… The longest square in Prague and the real architectural encyclopedia of the Czech capital! Once upon a time trams ran along it, now it is half pedestrian. Here you can find buildings in the style of Art Deco, Futurism, Baroque, Orientalism, Cubism, and Constructivism. So this is a unique place for both connoisseurs of architecture, and for the tourists. On the square, there is a monument of St. Wenceslas – the patron of the Czech Republic, the National Museum (Národní museum) and many shops and restaurants. It’s always crowded here. Near the monument to Vaclav, there are rallies, excursions begin, appointments are scheduled.
On one of the old streets, Karlova street, we advance to the Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí). A large number of attractions are concentrated here: the Týnskýchrám, the Old Town Hall (Staroměstská radnice) with a viewing platform on the tower and the famous astronomical clock, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas (Kostelsv. Mikuláše), House “At the minute” (Dům U Minuty) with a painting sgraffito. The square itself is surrounded by houses with facades of various styles.
Further, your route lies along the famous street Celetná to the Powder Tower (Prašná brána), passing through the gate of which you are leaving the Old Town (Staré Město). For a long time, this monumental building in the Gothic style was used as a storehouse for gunpowder. In the XIX century, a reconstruction was carried out, which determined their present appearance.
In the evening you can go to a concert (about the concert halls of the capital written here) or stroll through the evening Prague, dine in a posh restaurant or sit in a good Czech pub. By the way, you may try some tasty national food from any street vendor in Prague’s Wenceslas Square. There are dozens of these street vendors lined up, and they are open 24 hours.
Related: Prague Private City Walking Tour
Munich, the City of Contrasts
Traveling in Bavaria, it is worth knowing about the Bavarian ticket (Bayern ticket). There are several types of it. You can buy a ticket for one day (valid from 9.00 am to 3.00 am for all types of public transport in Bavaria). Here is a good step-by-step instruction on how to buy it in the machine.
In addition to the usual public transport, don’t hesitate to use bicycles and Segways. And of course, all the tracks are equipped, and rental offices are throughout the city.
I suggest starting your tour from the Karlsplatz square, where the hiking trails start, and where the most impulsive fountain in Munich is located.
Just behind the square, there is the City Gates, the remains of the old city fortifications. Of Munich’s original four outer gates gave entrance to the city during the Middle Ages, only three remain the Karlstor, Isartor, and Sendlinger Tor. They date back to the fourteenth century.
By the way, Munich was badly damaged after the bombing, so many buildings though look old, but they are a remake.
The pedestrian street going through the Karlstor leads to the most famous square in Munich – Marienplatz. In the square, there are two town halls: old and new. In the old (white building in the center of the frame), a Toy Museum is located. The New City Hall is equipped with an elevator and is open to tourists. The most impressive view from the top is the view of Marienplatz.
The main attraction of the New City Hall is a clock. Every day at 11.00, 43 city hall bells begin to beat, and 32 figures (human height!) play a 15-minute performance for a crowd of onlookers.
Not so far from the New City Hall, the highest Cathedral in Munich Frauenkirche (99 meters) is located. It is forbidden to build anything higher than Frauenkirche in Munich. With apparent similarity, one tower of the cathedral is 12 cm above the other.
At the entrance to Frauenkirche, there is a “Devil’s footprint”. I once mentioned it in the article “9 Interesting Things to Do in Munich That You Will Remember for the Rest of Your Life”. There are several legends of differing details surrounding the footprint, but the basic story goes like this.
In 1468, architect Jorg von Halsbach made a deal with the Devil: the Devil would provide funds for the cathedral as long as it remained a celebration of darkness. No windows were allowed to be seen in the building. Upon completion of the building, the Devil entered the church to survey the outcome. From a vantage point in the vestibule, not a single window could be seen, even though the nave was flooded with light. The Devil was satisfied with the result, but as he stepped further into the church, he realized he had been fooled. Von Halsbach had designed the nave with columns that blocked the side windows from view, and a large central altarpiece covered the stained glass windows at the far end of the church. In a fit of fury, the Devil stamped his foot on the ground, leaving an imprint in the floor. He then left the church and transformed himself into a great wind spirit, which rushes around the church towers to this day.
Munich is largely unpredictable. For example, a very unusual monument in Munich is the statue of Bavaria. It is located next to the hottest place in Munich –Teresa Meadow. The world-famous Oktoberfest is held there.
However, you should not wait for autumn, as the atmosphere of Oktoberfest in Munich can be felt at any time, just go to the three-story beer restaurant “Hofbräuhaus” (Platzl, 9). Every minute at this restaurant 50 liters of beer is drunk. I don’t know h much pork knees and white Munich sausages are eaten, but waiters always run around the restaurant with huge loaded trays. It is indeed the most popular restaurant in Munich.
The next thing that may surprise you in Munich is the English Garden (Englischer Garten). The length of the park is 5.5 kilometers, but it is so cozy space, with green velvet hills and lawns, deep streams and waterfalls, beautiful bridges and beer gardens … Tourists love this park so much! At first glance, the English Garden is a lazy place. However, there is one place in it, which completely breaks the notion of universal relaxation.People surf there, and it’s incredible!
Munich, which first seems an ordinary European city, with each step, will open up to you more and more. Munich local people do not rush, they like to live! In the evenings the whole city is filled with music! Anyway, Munich is the territory of freedom.
You’ll finally understand this when going to the Olympic Park and Getto the Tollwood Festival. It is held twice a year, in summer and in winter, and it gathers about two million. It combines different types of modern arts with an enjoyment of life. The Olympic Park is located in the Oberwisenfeldmeadow, which at the turn of the XIX century was a military airfield.
The most famous palace of Munich is Nymphenburg (dates from the 17th century). This is one of the largest palaces in Europe. After walking around the palace, do not be lazy also to take a walk and through the park – appreciate the full scale of this grandiose building.
Besides entertainment, Munich’s palaces are must-see attractions: Nymphenburg Palace, Schleissheim Palace, the Residenz, the Alter Hof….For example, Nymphenburg is famous for its galleries of beauties: 36 women’s portraits of Stihler’s work.
If you’ll have time, I recommend you to visit the Schwabing quarter, also called “a bohemian quarter”, which was chosen by artists, musicians, writers and other creative people.Nowadays Schwabing is filled with striking sights and tempting shops. It is Munich’s avant-garde district and a magnet for locals and visitors alike thanks to its diverse range of drinking’s, gourmet restaurants, and intriguing boutiques.At night the area is transformed into an energetic entertainment venue and is home to many contemporary bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
For the detailed information about the most interesting places in Munich, please read my article “9 Interesting Things to Do in Munich That You Will Remember for the Rest of Your Life”.
Related: Travel from Prague to Munich
Such top European cities as Prague and Munich can give tourists a real journey through time due to the presence of many historic monuments. The atmosphere of the presence of antiquity attracts sophisticated connoisseurs of ancient culture.
In different parts of Eastern and Central Europe, you can see majestic churches and cathedrals, castle complexes and palaces, parks and gardens, nice restaurants and interesting quarters.
If you want to have a good time, relax, visit fairy-tale castles and just find peace, visit Europe. You’ll remember this bright, eventful trip for a very long time, and you’ll never forget these beautiful countries!
Steeped in history and packed with museums, castles and seasonal festivities unlike anywhere else in the world, Eastern Europe is the best place for a holiday.
If you are looking forward to going to Eastern and Central by a private car, our service with the local Eglish-speaking local driver can drive you to the destination in every season of the year and with a high comfort!