We spent a good amount of time in Malá Strana (“Lesser Town”), both because it was where we stayed during the non-business part of the trip, and because it is a pleasant place to spend time, conveniently located between Old Town & Prague Castle.
Malá Strana metro station
Upon leaving Charles Bridge, you’re thrust out into the street where tourists outnumber vehicles by a considerable margin.
Entering Malá Strana from the Charles Bridge
Most of the shops near the bridge sell tourist trinkets and should be skipped, but it’s fun to store- and people-watch nonetheless.
Malá Strana sidewalk
Just north of the bridge, in the courtyard to the Kafka Museum, stands an unusual fountain:
“Piss” by David Černý
It is difficult to conceive of anyone daring to create such a fountain in the states – not only do these figures pee, while swinging their hips to and fro, and their members up and down, but the pool they’re peeing into is shaped like a map of the Czech Republic (upside-down in the photo above)!
I didn’t notice at the time, but according to the artist’s website, the pee’ers spell out quotes from famous Czechs, and a text message can instruct them to write something else.
A typically-long metro escalator
Prague’s excellent Metro connects Malá Strana with Old Town and other points east, and features long escalators, like many of the city’s stations. When they are out of service (which only happened once on my 2-week visit), you get a fairly good workout, especially if you’re rushing to transfer to another train!
I was impressed with Prague’s Metro system – it quickly and easily connects many points of interest, and above-ground, trams service the rest of Central Prague (buses are confined to the outer reaches of the city).
Prague Castle & St. Vitus Cathedral at night
Being just down the hill from Prague Castle, Malá Strana has great views up to the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral and the long buildings of the castle proper.
The hotel we stayed at – very nice
Our lodgings at Hotel Constans were delightful, located down a narrow cobbled street by the US embassy, and plenty near to the restaurants and shops of Malá Strana, but not too close.
Břetislavova, the narrow, cobbled street our hotel was on
Although bustling during the day, this area of Malá Strana was peaceful and quiet during the night, an ideal place to stay in my book.
Path into Malá Strana from Petrín Hill
Just up the hill from the US embassy is a path & stairs leading to Strahov Monastery and Petrín Hill.
Fill in the bubble
These silhouettes were apparently part of a larger exhibit – I wonder what they were thinking/saying?
US Embassy door detail
The US Embassy itself is a grand palace of a building, with beautiful carvings on its doors, but of course is not open for visiting unless one has business there.
Apparently Franz Kafka spent some time here. Since Kafka, although a German, not a Czech, spent so much time in Prague, I attempted to read a compendium of his works. Sorry Franz, but you’re not for me.
I quite enjoyed our time in Malá Strana, and would wholeheartedly recommend staying there, as opposed to the other districts in Central Prague. It’s interesting, lively, yet there are plenty of places to get some peace and quiet.
- Part 1: Vysehrad
- Part 2: Vysehradsky hrbitov (Vysehrad cemetery)
- Part 3: Karluv Most (Charles Bridge)
- Part 4: Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square)
- Part 5: Letecke Muzeum Kbely (Czech Air Force Museum)
- Part 6: Stare Mesto (Old Town)
- Part 7: Staromestske namesti (Old Town Square)
- Part 8: Prazsky orloj (Astronomical Clock)
- Part 9: Josefov (Jewish Quarter)
- Part 10: Vltava River
- Part 11: St. Nicholas Cathedral (Chram sv. Mikulase)
- Part 12: Wallenstein Palace (Valdstejnsky palac)
- Part 13: Kampa Island
- Part 14: Mala Strana street art
- Part 15: Petrin Hill
- Part 16: Mala Strana <– You are here
- Part 17: Mala Strana house signs
- Part 18: Strahovský klášter (Strahov Monastery)
- Part 19: Schwarzenberský palác (Schwarzenberg Palace)
- Part 20: Toy Musuem
- Part 21: St. Vitus Cathedral gargoyles
- Part 22: St. Vitus Cathedral (exterior)
- Part 23: St. Vitus Cathedral (interior)
- Part 24: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), I
- Part 25: Prazky Hrad (Prague Castle), II