July 29, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Brimming with beauty and charm at every niche and corner, Prague is one of those rare cities that will truly live up to its hype. Most visitors who stop at this city for just a couple of days on their round-Europe tour often regret not allotting more time to spend in Prague. As a placement student, with weekends free to explore the city at leisure, this is the perfect way to take in the wondrous sights without feeling rushed during weekends, while gaining valuable clinical exposure during the week.
With 3 courtyards and several spectacular buildings spread over an impressive 18 acres, Prague Castle is on record as being the largest castle area in the world. There’s a lot to see in this magnificent castle so be prepared to do a lot of rambling around at the Royal Garden, South Gardens, the Imperial Stables and the Ballgame Hall. That’s still only a small part of the castle. Don’t miss the Czech Crown Jewels, which are stored here along with several other priceless art relics.
Charles Bridge is another must-see on any trip to Prague. This is a Gothic stone bridge that connects Malá Strana or the Lesser Town with the Old Town. At the two ends of the bridge, there are two towers. You can climb up to the top of the towers at each end for a bird’s eye view of the two different areas.
The person responsible for this architectural marvel was Petr Parléř, the same architect who also designed the Prague Castle and the St. Vitus Cathedral, another stunning edifice. Construction on this bridge started in 1357 and it is said that egg yolks were added to the mortar to fortify the construction.
Built 600 years ago and known locally as Nové Město, the New Town of Prague was originally meant to serve as the primary commercial district of the city. Over the centuries it has retained its purpose and you can find several businesses, banks and hotels here. If that does not really pique your interest, what definitely will are the high end department stores, designer boutiques and shopping malls that are located here. There’s even an opera house, a museum and many movie theaters if you are craving some culture.
Vinohrady is a prestigious and elegant residential area of Prague that is worth visiting for its beautiful Art Nouveau, Neo-Gothic, Pseudo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance architectural styles. Constructed mostly between the latter part of the 19th century and the earlier part of the 20th century, these buildings have been beautifully maintained and restoration is done whenever necessary to preserve the amazingly beautiful array of colors and architectural detail.
You can spend hours just strolling the streets soaking in the sights, sounds and atmosphere of this fascinating city. For a completely unique experience, book one of the popular boat trips that leaves from Vltava and sit back and watch the sights as you sail by.