La Putyka, an Unforgettable Show

Tourists ask me all the time what to do in Prague but when it comes to shows and entertainment for English-speaking tourists in Prague, they face one particular challenge. The language barrier. Despite all these wonderful shows in Prague theatres, the language barrier makes it impossible for tourists to enjoy them properly. As an experienced tourist guide from Prague, I always want to recommend something special, something I would enjoy myself. Recently, I saw an excellent show to visit in Prague, for both the locals and non-Czech speakers. Primarily visual with very little or no spoken word, it is the ideal entertainment for tourists coming to Prague!

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

The show La Family is performed by a group called Circus La Putyka. But don’t expect anything like a circus in the traditional sense. Instead, remember Ernest Hemingway, who once said you could write a novel with only six words: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Hemingway wanted his readers to use their own imagination and that is exactly the basic concept of the La Family show. The performance is surreal, almost Dadaistic and there is no real storyline to follow. So, it is entirely up to you to interpret it.

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

The show is full of great visual effects and acrobatics. My favourite part was when one of the artists stepped on the trampoline and started doing moves in slow motion. I was also stunned by the number of artists on stage at the same time. I counted nearly 20. The show is diverse in terms of languages, too. I’ve heard Czech, English, Italian and French. And this is exactly my main point: you have no reason to worry about whether you’ll understand the actors. Me personally, I speak only two of these languages.

Foto: HN - Lukáš Bíba
Foto: HN – Lukáš Bíba

If you are into hip stuff, you’re going to love the space where the show is performed. Its Czech name “Jatka 78” stands for a “slaughterhouse” as the the whole area used to be one. Before I tell you a little bit about the history of this amazing place, let me first describe the atmosphere. The walls are not perfectly white, implying this space used to have a completely different purpose. The former slaughterhouse was closed after 100 years of operation and in 1983, it was turned into the Holešovice Market. Today it is known as Little Hanoi. There are countless stalls, restaurants and shops at the market run mainly by the Vietnamese, the largest minority of immigrants in the Czech Republic. If you decide to see a show in Jatka 78, I suggest stopping for a meal in the excellent Vietnamese restaurant Phang Trang, which serves really amazing Vietnamese food. There is a good possibility that this visit might turn into one of the highlights of your entire stay in Prague.

Christmas tree light up in Prague will be special again!

There is one event, which all citizens of Prague truly love. Not even they get out of their warm and comfortable homes, but they will take their whole families just to see it. I’m talking about a traditional light up of a Christmas tree at Old Town Square in Prague.

The tree is going to be first lit up on 26th November at 17:30 and is going to be 31 meters tall and its age is estimated at around 70 years. If you can’t make it on time, don’t worry, because this is not the only time the Christmas tree is going to be lit up this year.

vanoce

In the past few years, the city of Prague, has been concerned about terrorist attracts and it changed its concept about lighting up the tree, which makes it even better for tourist who want to see it. Two years ago, there was one big event when the Christmas tree was lit up at a certain hour on a certain day. In the new concept the tree is going to be lit up every hour between 17:30 and 20:30 until 6th January. As a citizen of Prague, I do not really understand why the authorities are so concerned about terrorist attacks, but new era requires better precautions, so we all are going to be safe and sound.

1280px-christmas_prague_2005_5645

As a spectator, you might get cold while watching the Christmas tree being lit up. I’m mentioning this, because the tree is literally surrounded by traditional Czech Christmas market and you could help yourself with some warm mulled wine, tea or punch. My personal favourite is warmed almond mead. But the alcohol is not all what Christmas market offers. You could buy yourself a nicely decorated gingerbread or a handmade Christmas tree decorations and baubles.

Processed by: Helicon Filter;

It is important that Christmas market have got something for everybody, including the music fans. Every year, there is a stage by the Christmas tree where children choirs and various musicians perform Czech Christmas carols. You might hear carols like Good King Wenceslas. Even though this is English Christmas carol, the story is linked to Czech saint Wenceslas I. from 9th century.

Vanocni trhy 2006 - If someone read this, write me e-mail

There is another tradition you might love to see as well. Celebration of Saint Nicolaus day. This happens on 5th of December. People will get dressed up as devils, angels and Saint Nicolauses and on the evening they will head into the city centre of Prague as a triplet. The idea behind is to scare little kids. If the kid was not behaving well all year long and it was annoying its parents, then they might pass it to the devil, who puts them into massive sack and take it to the hell with him. There is also possibility that kid was good and in that case, the kid will receive some sweets from angel and Saint Nicolaus. I do remember being so scared as a kid as I never was good all year long.

mikulas_a_cert_v_praze_5

I hope you are going to embrace idea of Chrismassy Prague and you’ll add it onto your travel list. In case you would like to learn more about Prague, book a tour with Think Prague and we’ll make sure you have the best possible experience.

Festival of Freedom: an insight into Czech national identity

If you happen to be in the historical centre of the city of Prague on 17 November, you will probably come across all kinds of art performances, crowds of celebrating people, omnipresent street vendors offering refreshments and many different cultural events. And no, this is not one of these festivals you are used to seeing in large European cities. 17 November is an important day for the Czech Republic and this year, it will be commemorated by various celebrations within the Festival of Freedom.

praha_narodni_trida_demonstrace_2012_dav_lidi

Before describing the festival itself, let us go back into the complicated past of our country that made this date a national holiday and an inseparable part of Czech national identity. 

First, let us go back to 17 November 1989 in the communist Czechoslovakia.  The fall of the Soviet Union seemed inevitable and from 1988 to 1989, several anti-regime demonstrations, which would have been unthinkable just a few years earlier, took place in Czechoslovakia. The date 17 November had already been an important date in Czech history. It commemorated the tragic events of 1939, when the Nazis executed nine Czech students who took part in anti-Nazi demonstrations. In 1941, the date was designated as the International Students’ Day, becoming the only date of international importance with Czech roots.

praha_19891122-419-02

On 17 November 1989, in the tense atmosphere created by the ruling communist regime, the independent student organization STUHA held a commemoration service on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the closing down of Czech universities by the Nazis. However, the more radical students wanted to express their opposition to the communist rule on the occasion. The whole service was supposed to take place in the Prague quarter Albertov and its organizers got official permission only under the condition that the commemoration march would not head into the city centre. From the very beginning, people chanted anti-communist slogans and after the official programme ended, a part of the march decided to continue to the centre of Prague. About 10,000 protesters were surrounded by two police cordons on Národní třída and viciously beaten. The next day, news of the brutal police crackdown quickly spread all over the country.

photo: svobodnymonitor.cz

The events of 17 November were key in terms of mobilising the Czech people and finally resulted in the transition to a democratic political system. In the following days, a general strike was declared and mass demonstrations took place all over the country. Everything climaxed on 29 December 1989, when Václav Havel was elected President of Czechoslovakia at Prague Castle, becoming the first non-communist head of state after 41 years.

vaclav_havel_2014_vaclavske_namesti

This year, the streets of Prague will host the 2016 Festival of Freedom on this important day. The programme, which includes concerts, discussions, marches and other activities, was put together by several civil society groups. Important Czech personalities will also participate in the festival taking place on sites that witnessed the events of November 1989, such as Národní třída, Albertov, Wenceslas Square or the Charles Bridges. 

www.festivalsvobody.cz
photo: www.festivalsvobody.cz

As the name suggests, the Festival of Freedom is a celebration of freedom as one of the basic values of our national identity. Sadly, we have seen our current president repeatedly trampling on fundamental freedoms in the last couple of days. This is also one of the reasons why I believe it is important to value freedom and celebrate it with dignity. So, if you happen to be walking through Prague on 17 November, do not hesitate to light a candle with us on Národní třída and commemorate our struggle for freedom. It is definitely not a celebration exclusively for Czech nationals but for all people from around the world, who consider freedom to be the cornerstone of civil society.

5 great museums to visit in Prague

Museums in Prague, the Czech capital, typically have the country’s most valuable artefacts in their collections. Once you enjoy the city tour or in case of bad weather, you might want to look for some other attractions that will make your trip to Prague fun. We have chosen 5 museums for you, in which getting bored is not an option!

Public Transport Museum in Střešovice

Once you arrive to Prague, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to get anywhere you want. The city has a great public transport network: 3 metro lines and buses and trams that will take you all around the city. Tram no. 22 will take you to their predecessors, which transported passengers in Prague in the past decades. The permanent exhibition of the Public Transport Museum counts more than 40 unique historical vehicles. History lovers will also enjoy the exhibited historical documents, plans, old tickets and photographs related to transportation in Prague. Definitely a cool experience for everyone who enjoy being on the road!

muzeum_mhd_tramvaje_t3_8084_a_6149_zepredu

LEGO Museum

The most attractive museum in Prague is definitely the National Museum but as it under reconstruction at the moment, we will not send you there. However, what we can do is offer you a great alternative! What about seeing the National Museum in its LEGO version? It was built using 100,000 bricks! Sounds like a childhood dream, doesn’t it? You will also see a model of the Charles Bridge with 1,000 LEGO tourists. Whatever your age, you will surely enjoy the world’s largest LEGO museum displaying breathtaking constructions built from the all-time favorite colorful bricks!

02

Museum of Communism

Even though the Czech Republic is geographically a part of Central Europe, many people from all around mistakenly associate it with Eastern Europe. This may have much to do with the fact that our country was under the influence of the communist Soviet Union for much of the 20th century. Politics, art, architecture, sports… everything was governed by the Communist Party. The fascinating Museum of Communism will take you back into the time of secret police hunts, censorship and mass media propaganda and show you what everyday life for the Czechs looked like under the communist rule.

museum-of-communism4

Jewish Museum

One of the best preserved Jewish Museums in the world consists of five synagogues, the Robert Guttmann Gallery, Ceremonial Hall and the renowned Old Jewish Cemetery. The moving exhibition reminds the visitors of dark times in the history of Prague when the local Jews were aggressively repressed by the Nazis. More than 77,000 holocaust victims are commemorated by inscriptions on the walls of the Pinkas Synagogue. If you are interested in the Second World War and the history of Jewish people living in Prague from the first time they settled here to the present, then this is the right museum for you. Our friendly guides will gladly share their knowledge of this dark part of our history with you.

jewish_quarter5

Beer Museum

Anyone coming to the Czech Republic will immediately notice that Czech people are true beer lovers. Many foreigners agree on the fact that there is a good reason for that as our beer is simply really tasty☺. We should consider it a significant part of our culture. So why not visit the Prague Beer Museum? You will explore tens of different beers and much more! Don’t expect to just look from one exhibit to another – the museum is also a cosy pub where you can try all the different brands yourself. Don’t forget to say “čau” or “na zdraví“, which means “cheers” in Czech, because beer is mostly about getting together with friends and having a good time!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

How to spend a great summer in Prague

Happy July! With the warmer weather, Prague transforms into a lively city with a plethora of outdoor activities and festivities for locals and tourists to enjoy. Summer is the ideal time for a visit as it’s about being outside as much as possible. In other words, Náplavka, farmer’s markets, parks, wine tastings, and beer gardens are all yours.

13589119_10153540291927553_1675831313_o
Prague Castle.

Without a doubt, Pražské Náplavky are the hottest events of the summer in Prague. Wine and cheese tastings, barbecue evenings, farmer’s markets, live music, and others are in their full swing as long as the weather permits it; every weekend and most weekdays.

July 5 and 7 – On the waves of MLP.

A literary event will take place on both days from 6 pm where poets and writers alike will be presenting their works. The Spanish writer Alejandro Pedregosa will be reading from its debut novel Un Mal Paso. The best part? There’ll be tango later and you need two for that, so bring your favorite person with you.

July 9 and 16 – Farmer’s Markets. Everyone’s favorites are on throughout July and August. Local produce, fresh fruit, and vegetables, handmade soaps, wine, bread are just the beginning of the list of what you’ll find at Náplavka’s farmer’s markets. You can  have your usual morning java and it’ll be freshly brewed by the riverside. Or if you fancy a glass of wine, don’t be shy. Weekend at the markets by the river – it’s the best of the best of what Prague has to offer.

To see what’s on this summer, have a look at Pražské Náplavky.

Riegrovy Sady.
Riegrovy Sady.

Beer Gardens

Czech Republic and beer. Beer and Czech Republic. There is nothing more synonymous than these two things. And for a good reason. It’s well known that the beer is good but it’s also cheap and in the summer little shrines pop up all over the city. Hello, beer gardens! From Letná do Riegrovy Sady to Narodní Pivovar to Pivo a Párek to the Beer Museum you can have the best beer in the world almost on every corner. You’ll never not know where to go for a beer.

Parks in Prague

Spending afternoons off in the city’s countless beer gardens is a national pastime. Parks all over Prague bloom with green trees and flowers; become crowded, and generally the most favorite places to spend free time at. Riegrovy Sady, Letná Park, Kampa Park, Stromovka, and Petřínské Sady are the most popular of parks in Prague. The suntanning spot in Riegrovy Sady with the city’s panoramic view is a definitive favorite.

Kino. Cinema.
Kino. Cinema.

Open Air Cinema

A relatively fresh concept in the capital, outdoor cinemas are gaining popularity with increasing number of locations around Prague. Stalin, Tiskárna ve vzduchu, MeetFactory, Nákladové Nadrazí Žižkov, and Žluté Lázně are just a few on the list that have recently stretched out the screens and started showing a range of beloved classics: Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To check out what’s coming up, visit GoOut.

Photos by Sara Tomovic.

Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents – Last Day in Paradise

Manes Exhibition Hall
Mánes Exhibition Hall is a traditional part of Prague’s cultural life. It’s dramaturgy includes exhibitions of leading figures in both Czech and international art spheres, it gives opportunities to many young artists and also hosts historical and retrospective exhibitions. The building itself was designed in functionalist style by architect Otakar Novotny and completed in 1930, replacing old Štítovské Mlýny that were torn down. It connects Masaryk’s embankment on the right bank of Vltava River, with the famous Slav Island and borders with historical Štíkovská water tower. The first exhibition that took place there was Hundred Years of Czech art 1830 – 1930 fallowed by many events that helped to establish it’s renown of a prestigious exhibition hall. In the period of 2013 – 2014 the hall went through complete reconstruction and today is used for many other cultural activities – lectures, projections, workshops, auctions, thanks to newly installed modern equipment. Last week it hosted an exhibition of Pasta Oner, one of the most striking names in current Czech art scene.
 
Pasta Oner
Pasta oner is a pioneer in graffiti and street art in Czech Republic. His real name is Zdeněk Řanda and he started with graffiti when he was just 13 years old. He used to be know as a leading figure in Prague’s writer scene, but throughout his more than 20 years of working, he began to direct his pieces more and more into galleries and exhibition halls more than on the walls of building and trains. During last years he took part in 30 collective exhibitions and made 3 of his own. He strongly aims towards individualism and being provocative and his personal handwriting is widely recognized as very original and inimitable. Most of his creations are acrylic paintings, hanging paintings and technologically complex spatial objects, plastics and installations, as well as large format paintings in ambitious public spaces.

Mánes Exhibition Hall and Pasta Oner presents - Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise
Last Day in Paradise puts his traditional topics of reflecting fortune, sex, luxury and other hedonistic pleasures into context of his personal position inside current modern consumer society, growing cybernetism and fast information, which made it even more provocative than usual. He makes fun, but he also acknowledges being part of what he’s mocking. The expositions contained things like giant golden lollypops falling from a tree, Mickey Mouse coming out of an egg or giant cross with flashing neon “Welcome” and “Open”. All the pieces were from this year. The exhibition met large success as Pasta’s name is widely recognized not only among young people today and there will certainly be a new one in not too distant future. We at ThinkPrague will keep you informed, whether it will be one in Manes Exhibition Hall or one by Pasta Oner.

Perfect filmmaking destination in the Czech Republic? Bohemian Paradise!

In the years of 1990’s, the Czech Republic has been considered as one of the top destinations for filmmakers. Low production costs, professional staff and beautiful scenery, that sounds great even to foreign productions. Recently, there are big competitors in Europe as attractive filming locations. Namely Hungary or Greece provide distinct tax incentives, however, Bohemian Paradise is still a fairytale place, literally. Countless classic movie stories loved by children and adults, too, have been shot right among breathtaking sandstone rocks area, just 50 kilometers far from Prague. As well as numerous US films shot after 2000’s.

Image credits: sometravels.com

The first nature reserve in the Czech Republic magnetizes tourist, climbers, artists and all nature lovers by its splendid rock towns, chateaux and green hills. You could see the paradise in movie scenes of Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman, Hellboy with Selma Blair casting, Brothers Grimm with Matt Damon or Beautician and the Beast with Timothy Dalton starring. The frequently visited gothic Kost castle served as a backdrop while making of Hannibal Rising. Stunning Prachovské rocks can be found in The Last Knights where Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman act.

Image credits: expats.cz

Just a step from the rock town area, you find yourself in the city of Mladá Boleslav, which is home to ŠKODA Auto Company, currently owned by Volkswagen Group. The local former prison gave place to Tom Cruise while shooting some scenes for Mission Impossible 4. What an event in Czechia, some of his die-hard fans were standing in front of a prison for over 11 hours, just to see him getting out of car!

Image credits: prague.eu

Nowadays, the Bohemian Paradise Film Office supports the local tourism by promoting the region via movies. They help to filmmakers in all ways, from searching for attractive exteriors and chateaux interiors, arranging the accommodation or assisting while transporting, to providing services in marketing and public relations.

In additon to Hollywood movies, one of the most popular Czech cartoon characters lives in the Bohemian Paradise, too. It is nothing but a Highwayman Rumcajs and his family, created by significant Czech writer Václav Čtvrtek. The favorite cartoon series takes place in the forest situated in Jičín area – a part of the paradise. That is how this destination has contributed also in the Czech culture.

Image credits: cestovani.idnes.cz

The gorgeousness of this story-book destination could be described also by adrenaline sport fans. High rocks serve as a favorite spot to climbers. These who are not equipped with climbing gear can enjoy adventurous walking tour on staircases built right in the rocks. Last but not least adventure sports buffs come every summer to support Kozakov Challenge longboard riders. The Kozakov hill, placed under the lookout tower is one of the destinations of World Championship in Longboarding. That is truly no chance to get bored in this well-preserved area, surrounded by forests.

Since we have been charmed by a place personally, we had to put together a guided tour around the Bohemian Paradise for foreign friends, who would like to see the pure Czech nature. Easy day trip with nice views to the landscape is a great way to discover the country from different point of view, compared to Capital Prague. With Tom Cruise or not, you will certainly turn your video camera on while seeing that picturesque scenery!

4 best spots in Prague for families

Are you planning a family vacation? Looking for things to do for all ages? And want an unforgettable family vacation? Prague has plenty to offer for families, including a zoo, museum and mirror maze. Below you can find the destinations that will be sure to pique your interest.

Toy Museum 

This museum is situated at the Prague Castle near the Golden street. The Toy Museum covers two floors with seven rooms. There is an extensive exhibition of unique toys at this museum. It houses antique toys including traditional Czech toys as cars, planes, motorcycles and trains. On top of that, there are teddy bears, robots, steam engines and a collection of Barbie dolls. This place is well worth a visit for children or adults. Besides, there are many places nearby for visitors to get food and drink they like. If you visit this Museum, you will spend a great time with your kids.

Image credits: myworldshots.com

Prague Zoo

This zoo is one of the most visited zoological gardens in the Czech Republic. It is situated near the Trója Chateau in Prague. At this zoo, there are 5000 animals and 650 species such as penguins, gorillas, turtles, sea lions, lions, tigers, suricates, flamingoes and elephants. Your kids can find a number of fun play areas. By way of illustration, your kids would appreciate the petting zoo, the train ride and the short chair-lift there. If you want to explore more the attractions nearby, perhaps renting a car will tempt you. You can visit the Trója Chateau or Prague Botanical Garden.

Image credits: zoopraha.cz

National Marionette Theatre

This National Marionette is situated in the Old Town neighborhood of Prague, Czech Republic. It is a must see in Prague. There are true gems of artistic craftsmanship. You will find out world-famous pieces, including Don Giovanni, The Magic Theatre of the Baroque World – Orfeo Ed Euridice. The puppet theatre is suitable for kids. There are also  many activities geared to every age group, for instance the Marionette show and the Puppet Gala Performance that is a mix of the puppeteers’ finest works. You will like this place if you are particularly one of those puppet lovers.

Image credits: panoramio.com – Dimitris Gikas

Mirror Maze

The Mirror Maze is located on the Petřín Hill. It is one of the famous attractions in Prague. This beautiful spot is fun for all ages. There is a room full of mirrors inside this Mirror Maze. If you go there, you will experience unique activities for yourself. You can see infinite reflections of yourself. You can even find shaped mirrors that would reflect you in different funny way. To be more precise, your appearance will change in crazy ways. Moreover, visitors can take photographs in this Maze. Therefore, if you want to keep your children happy and relax, this is the best place.

Image credits: wikimapia.org

Bonus Tip

Boost you children’s knowledge and curiosity in Letná museums.

There is a great combo of two amazing museums that you can visit in Letná area. Both National Technical Museum and The National Museum of Agriculture have many interactive parts that are just perfect for entertaining your kids. Once your visit to the museums is over you can walk just few hundred meters and visit beautiful Letná gardens where you can have a refreshing drink during summer.

Eager to find more ideas on what to do with your kids while visiting Prague? Check out this article with dozens of tips.

Prague nightlife is something you have to experience on your own.

Feeling bored? Feeling withered? Desperately needing to take yourself for a ride that will pump some fresh blood in those dusty veins? Or are you an advanced party-pro that is just thinking what might top-up his majestic enjoyment list? Well for both instances, ThinkPrague has the same correct answer. Prague nightlife.

Modern Prague Clubs in the heart of a beautiful historic city

A thing that is really not a common sight. Prague nightlife districts are set among some of the most astonishing monuments central Europe has to offer. As you wonder among areas filled with well mooded partying people, keep your eyes wide open! Some of the most fascinating sights are even more magical during the night. Not to mention they work well with alcoholic beverages that you get for the wonderful prices Prague nightlife offers. J.

Snímek obrazovky 2016-05-27 v 20.49.56
There is something for everyone. Absolutely.
Even though not as big as some of the world’s largest cities Prague has a colourful spirit and we at ThinkPrague say it’s nightlife is a wonderful example. Fancy a hip hop or R’n’B? Disco or House? Popular music is it for you? Than you literally have zero chance of not bumping into a perfect club that will accommodate your musical needs. The entire city is filled with classy places like DuplexRadost FX or James Dean. That’s where most of you joy-seeking visitors tend to find refuge. Modern electronic music also has a solid foothold in Prague Nightlife for many years. Atmospheric places like MeetfactoryRoxy or Cross Club invite great foreign dj’s at regular basis and their production tends to keep up with the top-o-the line European music establishments. From classic drum and bass to modern Berlin-guided techno, every week there is something happening that will be a must-see in your preferred corner of modern electronic beats. Rock and Rock ‘n’ Roll had been a part of local culture since dissidents were playing smuggled Rolling Stones LPs at secret gatherings before the fall of communism. And they are very much alive in Prague Nightlife even today. If that’s what you are after make sure to visit Prague clubs like Vagón or Klub 007. The spirit of the older days is kept there very preciously.

Snímek obrazovky 2016-05-27 v 20.49.09

It’s cheap. Very cheap.
It’s not important if you’re coming for stag party or honeymoon, nightlife prices in Prague are among the lowest in Europe. Compared to other major cities such as Paris, Berlin or Vienna, you are in financial heaven here. Entries to clubs, drinks, food, cabs… you name it. Everything you need to enjoy the ride is very likely to cost you a lot less than in your hometown. And for such a low prices there are tons of fun to be had. But on top of that all there is one thing that makes Prague one of the wonders of the world: Beer is actually cheaper than water! It sounds crazy but it is true. One of the perks of Czech culture, it’s always more economical to have another pint than to experiment with sobering.
Why saying you’ve seen everything after experiencing Prague nightlife is not a lie
Can’t get lost with nightlife guides!
If you are afraid of roaming an unknown city at night and on your own, we don’t blame you. However ThinkPrague offers you an easy solution. Get to know the city first with our experienced guides! There are tours practically for everything, even for nightlife districts with experienced nightlife guides. You can join up with a large group of other visitors or even have your own guide that can take your private stag party to a whole new level and explore various areas!
 
So if you think it through and through I’m sure you will come to the same conclusion as we did. Prague Nightlife is a thing you need to experience!

Want to go Into the Wild right now? Just take the bus.

From 2001 to 2013, the population of Prague’s suburbs increased more doubled. The reason for that is quite obvious: who wouldn’t like to live with their family in nice natural environment while staying close to the city centre, where you have a well-paid job? However, this urban sprawl is not only about building family houses. It is necessary to take into account all the related services, such as water and electricity networks, infrastructure or waste management. Then you also need schools, healthcare facilities, shops and restaurants. Moreover, lower taxes in the suburbs compared to the city centre attract companies and businessmen. As a result, more and more industrial warehouses of all kinds, new factories and large shopping centres are being built on places, which used to be green…

According to the Prague Institute of Planning and Development, the city will not continue to expand in the following years. The goal is rather to renovate existing unused areas also called brownfields. A perfect example of this is the DOX Centre of Contemporary Art situated in the Prague district Holešovice. The abandoned factory was reconstructed into a multi-functional building, where contemporary art, architecture and design are exhibited. The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture ranked it among the best architectural projects in the world. Instead of destroying the original landscape by building another new complex, an old one was cleverly reconstructed. How cool is that?

Image credits: http://coolczechguide.com/cs-CZ/Place-3915/DOX

If you live in the centre of Prague, you are happy to have at least a balcony with flowers or a park nearby to compensate for the lack of greenery around. But nothing is black-and-white and there are undoubtedly pros and cons when it comes to living in the Czech capital. All the amazing social events, fun activities and breath-taking architecture are in sharp contrast with the hectic lifestyle, busy traffic and grey urban environment.

Image credits: http://www.parkpruhonice.cz/index.php?site=en&p=zamek

The good news is that within spitting distance of the city centre, you will find the fairy-tale Průhonice Chateau surrounded by a picturesque park. The local fauna and flora invite all those who like to spend time outside for a nice walk along streams and meadows. All exotic and local plant species are dispersed over the area so that the walk is magical all year round. This Czech National Historical Landmark is also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List, which inspired us to put this beautiful place on our list of ThinkPrague guided tours. It is a quick and easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and go into the wild.  In the second part of the tour, there will be time to visit the Prague Environmental Education Centre Toulcův Dvůr

Image credits: http://www.toulcuvdvur.cz

Just at the imaginary border of the city, you may explore a farm with cows, sheep, horses, goats and chickens. It also includes listed buildings, such as the old stable, where both children and adults can get into closer contact with the farm animals. It is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the surrounding countryside. You can also buy fresh herbs and other local products. No car noise, no rush, no crowds. Instead of impersonal industrial zones, only forests and meadows as if you weren’t even in Prague. So despite of being in a capital city with more than a million inhabitants, countryside and beautiful views are within your reach. Thumbs up for all similar projects preventing Prague from looking like a successfully completed SimCity!