Central Europe Highlights – Part 2

Prague, Czech Republic

charles bridge + prague.jpg

The Charles Bridge is possibly one of the most beautiful bridges I’ve been on, especially when walking across it at night as you can admire the city’s lights. It is a historic bridge that is nearly 600 years old, built to cross the Vitava river in Prague. It can be a bit difficult to appreciate as it gets crowded with tourists though. I revisited the bridge in the morning and it was less crowded. During the day, there are quite a few musicians playing along the bridge, making it a good place to just stop for a while and enjoy the music and scenery.

charles bridge at night + st vitus cathedral.jpg

In the midst of the Prague Castle lies the St Vitus Cathedral which is by far the most impressive Gothic cathedral that I’ve seen. It’s huge and definitely worth visiting the interior to see the nave and stained glass but sadly I didn’t have the time as I was part of a tour. I was only able to see parts of it through the entrance. It’s possible to walk from the Charles bridge to the cathedral but it’ll take you about twenty minutes.

Bratislava, Slovakia

One of the most worthy visits in Bratislava is walking around the Old Town. It’s beautiful but small, with prices probably hiked up due to status as a tourist attraction. The historic buildings are well maintained and there are Bratislava statues which are found all over the town. It adds a modern but slightly strange touch to the historic center. One hidden treasure was a local honey shop located on Biela street which has a variety of pure, flavored and local specialties on offer. We stumbled across it while ambling our way around the town. There’s free sampling as well so make sure you visit this shop!

Budapest, Hungary

parliament hungary.jpg
The parliament building is simply breathtaking at any time of the day. It is illuminated in the evening by a golden glow to give it a magical quality.  It’s highly recommended to embark on a cruise along the Danube river to view this spectacle. The parliament interior furnishings is equally stunning with a lot of history and beauty behind it. The tour is interesting and kept short due to restricted access to many parts of the building.  Note: English tour tickets for parliamentary access are in high demand and need to be booked at least a day in advance.

fisherman bastion.jpg

Overlooking the Hungarian parliament is the Fisherman’s Bastion. The name is derived from the fact that it was protected by the guild of fishermen during the Middle Ages. The bastion is made up of seven lookout towers which provide very beautiful panoramic views of the city and the Danube River. Tip: Some balconies require an entry fee to be paid but if you arrive before 9am, there is no fee to go up. Always best to visit this place early in the morning as it can get packed with tourists quickly!

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