When was the last time you felt Wonder? Capital W wonder, like the kind you felt as a kid, when a stick and a pile of leaves were really a giant paddle and raft, the grass, a river, and a great-escape plot was playing out in your backyard.
In adulthood, we don’t allow our daydreams to become indiscernible from reality like this, and instances of Wonder can be few and far between. One perk of being an adult, however, is that we have more access to travel, which makes recapturing some of that exuberant childhood perspective achievable.
With some of the biggest and oldest monuments in the world, Prague fosters that make-believe wonder like few other cities. The cobblestone squares and spiking gothic architecture make you feel immersed in a classic fairy tale, when witches cursed princesses to sleep and Sundays were spent buying groceries from pushcarts with a wicker basket in tow.
Once considered the capital of historical Bohemia, Prague makes buying into this whole fairy tale narrative easy. The city is home to the largest ancient castle in the world, and there’s a church decorated with over 40,000 actual human bones (fairy tales always have a sinister side).
Through a Medieval lens, you can amble across the Charles Bridge over the longest river in the Czech Republic, dotted with local artists’ stands of scenic sketches and musicians with unusual instruments. About a 10-minute walk from the bridge is Old Town Square: Look up and admire the architecture, stopping in front of Old Town Hall to see the hour strike with marching apostles on Prague’s astronomical clock, which has roots dating back to 1410.
If you’re lucky, you’ll pass a food cart selling one of Prague’s local delicacies: fried cheese. Typically made with Edam cheese, the dish—sometimes in sandwich form—is common throughout the city and available at unassuming stands and sit-down restaurants alike.
While daytime wandering evokes history’s gothic past, nightlife in Prague blasts you back to the present...if not the future. Underlit buildings keep the haunting but magical vibe steady, while people head out to places like Karlovy Lazne, a famous five-story nightclub that boasts being the largest of its kind in Central Europe.
From spinning in cobble-stoned streets and taking in all the sights to eating fried cheese off a street cart, you’ll be living out a fantasy when you visit the Czech Republic’s capital.
Here are 20 photos to help your daydreams of a Prague adventure take shape.