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Best of Eastern Europe pre-tour Prague

I would love to hear from those of you who have taken this tour and have suggestions for pre-tour Prague. My family has already arranged to spend one day visiting Terezin. We will have another full day on our own to explore, plus one partial day prior to the tour meet up, and 3 evenings. What were your favorite non-tour experiences?

Does it make sense to hire a private guide or join a walking tour for any of the time, since the tour itself includes a walking tour of Old Town as well as a visit to the Castle? Are there areas of Prague or specific themed walks that are not included in our tour experience that we could explore this way?

Thank you!

Posted by
644 posts

If I had another free day before starting the tour, I probably would have gone to Kutna Hora. Sounds like an interesting place to visit and relatively close by train.

Within Prague itself, I really enjoyed the Museum of Communism. Some very interesting Soviet era exhibits.

Posted by
1948 posts

We went to Kutna Hora and after visiting the bone church and St. Barbara's, we took a tour of a silver mine. I found it on-line and pre-booked our tickets with a timed entrance. (If you don't find it PM me and I will dig out my journal) If you are claustrophobic, it is not for you, but otherwise, it was very interesting.

Posted by
4700 posts

Kutna Hora was one of those places I missed on my first visit to Prague so made sure to visit the second time - and I guess my expectations were too high, because it was a bit of a let-down. Like most tourists, I was attracted to Kutna Hora by the bone church in Sedlec. While the church was very interesting and unique, it was a lot smaller than it looked, and given the effort to get there from Prague, I'm not sure it was worth it, unless you want to do more in Kutna Hora than just that.

Prague is a lovely walking town and really charming. The "highlight" of Prague for me was just being there, wandering around and soaking it up. Having an extra day just to hang out there at your leisure is not a bad thing at all, especially there. Although it's gotten really touristy now, I still love it. I think the old town square is my favorite in Europe.

Posted by
1910 posts

My husband and I took the week long city tour of Prague way back when. One of the day trips included in the itinerary was to Kutna Hora and I agree with everything Barbara and Eric say. The Bone Chapel was interesting, certainly unique and even though I am one of those afflicted by claustrophobia and waited above, my husband really enjoyed the tin mine tour. He brought back several wonderful photos of what I missed. He did also say I probably wouldn't have fared too well in the narrow spaces, low ceilings and the dark! He knew me so well.......

Posted by
468 posts

Thank you for these suggestions! We will be visiting Cesky Krumlov prior to our arrival in Prague, and making a day trip to Terezin, so I am inclined to want to spend our other pre-tour days in Prague itself. I will definitely keep KH in mind for a future visit.

Walking around the Old Town and just drinking in the city sounds very appealing, and I will do some reading on the Museum of Communism. Additional suggestions are welcome as well.

Thanks!

Posted by
4700 posts

If you are jet lagged and find yourself awake at 5AM some morning, consider going out on the Charles Bridge (if you are staying close by) at daybreak, when it's EMPTY. By mid-morning through the evening, the lovely bridge is mobbed with tourists and people selling stuff. If you have an interesting daybreak sky (orange a few times I've been in Prague), you'll see photographers out there though! But it's quite a contrast so early to when the bridge is so busy later.

Posted by
558 posts

Before our tour started, we toured the Jewish Quarter on our own; I believe others on our tour hired a private guide for the Jewish Quarter. Also, we were lucky that a free concert by the Czech National Orchestra was being given the evening we arrived in Prague, so we went to that and walked through Old Town some on our own to get the feel of it. My husband really liked the Museum of Communism; I thought there was some good information , but too much just reading.

Posted by
120 posts

I arrived two days early in Prague for that tour and was so glad for the extra time in the city. I'm sure your day trip to Terezin will be interesting, but I would encourage you to spend the other day exploring more of Prague. It's a beautiful city and there are lots of things to see and do that you don't do with the tour. I will add another vote for the Jewish Quarter. I spent an entire morning wandering around on my own exploring the various synagogues and the cemetery and I would love to go back. It was a very moving experience. On my other free day I did the Mucha Museum and the Museum of Communism. Prague is also a great place to check out a concert or opera. I went to several of those during my free time.

Posted by
11250 posts

It's hidden, but if you go under Pre Tour on tour page's website, you'll see this:

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Prague that we will not be doing as a group (see the guidebook for details): the museums of Prague's Jewish Quarter, Museum of Medieval Art, Mucha Museum, Municipal House, Havelská Market, National Museum, Toy and Barbie Museum, boating on the Vltava River.

Of those, I highly recommend the Municipal House if you have any interest in Art Nouveau; note that you need to pay to take a tour, as the best parts aren't visible for free. For me the Jewish Quarter was a bit of a let-down as it was so hyped, but it's still worthwhile. Note that it takes several hours to see even at a rapid pace, and if you take your time, you could spend much of day there. I really liked the Jubilee Synagogue (Jubilejní Synagogue) with its mixture of Moorish and Art Nouveau styles; it's not in the Jewish Quarter, but is included with your ticket to the Old-New Synagogue which is in the Jewish Quarter. The Mucha Museum is very good, and is small so it doesn't take long to see.

I agree with the suggestion to go to the Charles Bridge as early as possible before the crowds - you can see what it's supposed to look like when all the vendors and crowds aren't there. I also agree that with all its eye candy, just walking around Prague is a great thing to do.

Posted by
1604 posts

A blog I enjoyed reading prior to our trip last spring was bbqboy.net. I may have heard about it on this forum. I printed out the post called "Prague's most scenic walk" (Letna beer garden to Strahov Monastery) and we followed it and really enjoyed that day. Having beautiful weather made it especially worthwhile.

Posted by
210 posts

Here are somethings I did on my free time.......just walked around (captivating city).....drank some beer......Black Light Theater (it does sell out)......Jewish Quarter......St. Nicholas Church....... more adult beverage...........ate lunch at Municipal House......Lennon Wall......Mucha Museum......go up into the Astronomical Clock Tower (great views of Prague).......even more adult beverage (lol)..........if, not on the RS walking tour, trace steps of the Velvet Revolution.......non-toursity classical concert........

Great City. Have fun!

Posted by
10 posts

One of my best memories of Prague is taking a ghost tour, it was a hilarious experience. At has been several years so I am not sure if they still happen. Each evening a costumed young man or woman with a lantern would show up in the area around the astrological clock offering the tour. My understanding was they were actors from a local school. It is not to be taken seriously, the stories are interesting and the “special effects” had us all laughing and looking for ghosts.

Posted by
14241 posts

If you want to visit the Jewish Quarter (highly recommended), there's a ticket that includes nearly all the sights. Don't skip the cemetery, it's very interesting . . . and very old. What day does your tour start? The tricky part is that the sights are closed on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, so Sundays are usually pretty crowded.

Posted by
1 posts

We experienced the Best of Prague and Budapest tour last Fall. We arrived only the day prior to our start date and did a Food Tour (Taste of Prague) the afternoon we arrived. Great way to ensure you find a good meal your first day! It is a walking tour too so we were able to settle oursleves into the city a bit (although we never really figured out those winding streets.) We did Terezin the day the tour started... Good full day activity! Have a great trip!

Posted by
19 posts

Terezin has two parts - the Stone Fortress and the actual area of the ghetto (which is freaky and strange). You do need to go to both and neither really needs a guide. In the ghetto part, there are numerous areas to walk to and places to enter. I suggest them all. That said, Prague is awesome and simply wandering around is great. If you get tired of the crowds in the main area, a walk up and down the Wenceslas Square area is also a great idea. When you get tired, take the tram - it's either the 12 or 22 that meanders through the main areas of Prague.