The MadHouse Guide to ‘Non-Touristy’ Prague (For Tourists)
Full disclosure #1: (Good) tourists will find their way to all of these places, with or without this list. In the age of the internet, ‘hidden secrets’ don’t tend to exist, so a more accurate title would be something like, “The MadHouse Guide to Places Tourists Should Visit Once They’ve Seen Charles Bridge, Old Town Square and the Prague Castle”, but that just doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely. In our humble opinion, you really shouldn’t come to Prague and skip the ‘touristy things’ just because they’re touristy – after all, you’re tourists! All of Prague’s main cultural highlights are popular for a reason and 100% worth seeing. However, once you’ve seen them you’re free to explore the rest of the city.
Full disclosure #2: To be honest, our favourite way of seeing Prague is eating and drinking our way through the city, but we’re going to try REALLY hard not to let this blog devolve into our favourite places to down pints…we’ll see how we go.
Memorial to the victims of the Heydrich Terror
This semi-hidden memorial is tucked away the the basement of the church where Czechoslovak paratroopers hid out after the attempted assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (the high-ranking SS officer who was nicknamed The Butcher of Prague due to his brutal nature). The front room has a detailed description and timeline of events of ‘Operation Anthropoid’, and then in the crypt behind they have a memorial to several of the paratroopers who hid out there.
Yes, Prague Castle is THE castle, but the castle complex in the southern part of the city (Vysehrad) has a lot going for it in its own right. First, way fewer people visit it, so you can get some much-needed breathing space. You can walk all around the old castle walls which gives you stunning views of the city. Along with a beautiful cemetery and church, there’s also a lesser-known beer garden with killer views. Need we say more?
Anyone else ever wish they were Belle in that scene in Beauty in the Beast where the Beast shows her his library? Well, your wish is our command. There are two beautiful libraries in the city – Klementinum and Strahov. Even though they’re the look-but-don’t-touch kind, if the thought of ogling old books and globes gets your heart going, either one of these should satisfy that urge.
Prague has a lot of galleries for those artistically-inclined, ranging from contemporary to classical, but for those wanting something a little different, look no further than the Magical Cavern. Czech surrealist artist Reon Argondian converted an old house in Petrin park to a 3-story, cave-like dwelling that is filled with his colourful, out-of-this-world paintings. Entrance is only 70czk and includes (unlimited!) alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) drinks that are scattered throughout the gallery.