'We shall never cease in our exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.'
The exploring never stops, not least at home. I won't be travelling for a few weeks yet, but I have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather and my new found summer holiday freedom to get to know Prague better. I'm a big fan of walking around and breathing in the atmosphere of a place, and this city is a great place to do this. Over the summer, I'm going to be walking a lot and getting to know some of Prague's prettiest neighbourhoods better.This is the first of a series of neighbourhood profiles that I will be posting, that will recommend where to go, what to see and do, eat and drink in each area.
TO SEE AND DO
After exploring Namesti Miru, one has but to pick a side street and walk along the wide, tree-shaded streets to stumble upon ornate villas, including the former residence of the first Czech president, Tomas Masaryk. Disconnect from city life in Havlickovy Sady: this is the second largest park in Prague, and a bit of a well kept secret. Stroll through the shady, atmospheric hills, admire the grounds of a beautiful neo-renaissance villa, and best of all, explore the spooky and romantic grotto. The grotto is a man-made cave complex with steps, small caves, and lookout points carved carefully out of rock.
If you feel like doing a little high end furniture shopping, or just getting some interior design inspiration and exploring the inside of the historic market hall, Pavilion, which was recently reconstructed as an exhibition/ furniture gallery, complete with a custom-designed chandelier and design coffee shop.
TO EAT AND DRINK
If you need a break from your exploration, stop in at one of Vinohrady's many charming coffee shops. My favourites include Coffee House, which has a lovely little garden for when the weather is good, and Anonymous Coffee, a stylized cafe with a twist. If you should find yourself near Vinohrady's border with Vrsovice, another Prague district, walk just a couple minutes more to the recently opened Krafarna on Ruska street. This little room is beautifully designed, and the ice lattes are as yet unsurpassed.