Prague – Day 2 – Prague Tour by Legendary Tours & Old Town Hall Tower

October 7, 2019 (Last Updated: June 29, 2020)
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view of a large open city square from a tall clock tower

For our first full day in Prague we definitely wanted to arrange a guided tour to cover the main sights around the capital city. After much research I selected the All Inclusive Prague Tour offered by Legendary Tours, and many of my sister’s co-workers traveling to Prague for the same conference jumped on board and booked the same tour!

view of a large church

One of the main reasons I opted for this particular company is that they use a vox system (headphones) so you can hear the guide even if you get separated or wander away for photos (hello, that’s totally me!). They also include a 20-minute tram ride, 50-minute river cruise, bottled water, and lunch with a beer.

white sign with black text

The one thing that was advertised on their site as an inclusion that wasn’t really offered (at least to us) was the welcome tea or coffee. I’m sure if we had asked they may have offered us a drink but we had just eaten breakfast and drank coffee before arriving so it wasn’t a big deal. The meeting point was at the Tourist Information office adjacent to Coffee Factory (hence the offer for a free morning beverage).

interior of a cafe with superheros painted on the far wall

Our guide Irina was fabulous! She was super friendly and knowledgeable, and began the tour with a stop at the Church of St. Ludmila in the Vinohrady district. It was built in honor of Ludmila, grandmother to Good King Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia and Moravia. Ludmila’s story is a sad tale. She was strangled to death by order of her daughter-in-law Drahomíra who didn’t like Ludmila’s influence over her son, the king.

A church with large window on the front of a building

view looking up on the stone facade of a church

vaulted ceiling in a large church

interior of a large church with vaulted ceilings

elaborately painted walls and ceiling in a church

We boarded tram number 22 headed to Prague Castle, a hilltop walled complex featuring a palace, 3 churches (including St. Vitus Cathedral), and a monastery. Since 1918 it has been the seat of the president of the Republic (they fly a flag on top of one of the buildings to designate whether or not the president is in the country), and hosts an hourly changing of the guard ceremony, with a larger ceremony with fanfare taking place daily at noon.

3 soldiers marching through a tunnel

3 soldiers in blue uniforms in front of a tunnel

2 soldiers in blue uniforms in a changing of the guard ceremony

a small city square filled with people

a flag on top of a building
The president is in da house!

a large old stone cathedral

closeup of a gargoyle on a church

close up of a large round picture window on a church

the massive church at Prague Castle

a large stone church

closeup of a clock on the exterior of a large stone church

A group of people standing in front of a church
A group of people in front of a church

a metal figurine on a gate
The gates depicted all the astrological signs. This one is Aries!

a gate in front of a large wooden door

A stone sculpture in front of a building

ornate detailing on the exterior of a large church

soldiers in blue uniforms marching in a line

soldiers in blue uniforms marching through a square

closeup of a row of soldiers in blue uniforms

A group of people watching a ceremony with soldiers

The tour was supposed to include a visit inside St. Vitus Cathedral (I confirmed this via email in advance) but unfortunately our tour was on a Sunday so there was mass in the church while we were at the complex, and it would have taken way too long for our group to wait in line to enter once mass was over.

closeup of a church with a green dome

a view of buildings with red roofs stretching into the distance

A view of a city with large buildings in the background

After checking out the panoramic views from the hilltop, we headed to lunch at Tavern by Seven Swabians (U Sedmi Švábů).

the entrance to a medieval themed restaurant

The super dark interior made photography a challenge, but we enjoyed the medieval decor and the food!

interior of a dark medieval themed restaurant

a large candelabra with lots of melted wax dripping from it

a suit of armor with a fake rat sitting on the shoulder

a glass of beer on a wooden table

light shining through a glass of beer

4 glasses of beer clicking each other over a table

We had pre-ordered lunch with Irina before leaving the tourism office. Our options were chicken with potatoes, beef goulash, omelet or salad. Most of us ordered the beef goulash, and it is important to note that Czech goulash is vastly different from Hungarian goulash, which is more of a thin soup with meat. Czech goulash is more hearty, a thick stew served with boiled bread dumplings. It was delicious! The gravy was perfectly seasoned, and the fluffy bread dumplings were perfect for soaking up the sauce. The meat was quite tender as well. We really enjoyed it!

beef goulash stew with sliced dumplings on the side

a plate of beef goulash next to a glass of beer

After stopping for chocolate samples and purchases (weeeeeeeeeee!!), we headed across the Charles Bridge (I have much better pictures I will be sharing tomorrow), and then to the dock for our river cruise.

the interior of a chocolate shop with boxes of chocolate lined up

a sampling of chocolates in square plates on a counter

the interior of a chocolate shop

As it was only a 50-minute cruise it did not sail all the way down the river, but rather turned around shortly after the Charles Bridge. This was fine as it was still a great experience with wonderful views, and a much-needed break for our feet!

a large building with a row of flags on top
Rudolfinum, home to the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Galerie Rudolfinum, and also a shooting location for Spider-Man: Far From Home (rooftop terrace meeting between Spider-Man and Mysterio).

A large bridge over some water

a river lined with buildings

A stone bridge over a body of water

A small boat in a large river
That boat is named Bohemia Rhapsody!!!

a stone bridge over a river with a tower at one end

A small boat in river with a swan flying by

We continued onward through the Jewish Quarter, where
we spent a short time learning about its history, viewing a couple of
synagogues, and the 12-layers-deep Jewish cemetery.

A group of people walking in front a building

an old cemetery
Tombstones upon tombstones upon tombstones…

small shops on a street beneath a cemetery
The Jewish cemetery is 12 layers deep! See how high up it is from the actual ground?

a Jewish temple in a city

a city street lined with cars

a Jewish temple

A sign on the side of a building
Franz Kafka Square

We spent a final few minutes in Old Town Square just in time to see “The Walk of the Apostles” show at the Astronomical Clock which lasts less than 40 seconds and is SUPER anti-climactic, and yet people crowd around well in advance each hour to watch.

A person riding a horse drawn carriage in front of a building

A large brick tower with a clock on the side of a building

Everything in the tour was perfectly planned although I feel like some highlights advertised on their website were skipped (like the John Lennon Wall and the Estates Theatre to name a couple) likely because we ran out of time and she made adjustments as we went along. I obviously can’t share all the bits of trivia and history we learned along the way, but suffice it to say it was WELL WORTH spending our day with Irina. Having the vox system made such a huge difference to hear everything Irina was sharing even when walking through crowds. This tour was an amazing deal considering its quality and inclusions. Breaks were timed well, lunch at 12:30 pm and the river cruise at 2:30 pm. I would highly recommend it!

an elaborately painted vaulted ceiling
Vaulted ceiling of the Old Town Hall entryway

Our tour ended right in front of the Old Town Hall (Staroměstská radnice). We had planned ahead of time that we would climb the tower after the completion of our all-day tour. The tower is nearly 70 m (229 1/2 ft) high, with a panoramic viewing gallery located at a height of 41 m (134 1/2 ft). Admission for adults costs 250 CZK or 210 CZK if purchased online in advance via this site (about $9 vs $11 with today’s exchange rate).

view looking up an elaborate glass elevator shaft
The elevator up the tower

view of a group of people in an elevator, captured in a mirrored ceiling
Ceiling mirrors are fun for selfies!

The experience was totally worth it. It’s more than climbing the tower. Not only is it one of the only towers in town with an elevator, but you can also visit the historic interiors such as the Chapel of the Virgin Mary where you can experience the behind-the-scenes view of the Astronomical Clock apostles! I found this more engaging and interesting than watching the show from below.

view of red-roofed buildings from a tall tower

red roofed buildings in Prague viewed from a tall tower

Prague\'s red roofed buildings viewed from a tall tower

A view of Prague Castle with large buildings around it

a massive church with green domes

a large square in Prague, as seen from above

a large church viewed through a barred window

Old Town Square in Prague viewed from a tall tower

the entrance to a viewing area at the top of a tower
I cannot begin to tell you how many people didn’t walk in the correct direction even though there was this sign with a giant arrow pointing right! Ugh!

a group of people standing at the top of a staircase with a green light
Red light, green light!

a small chapel interior with stained glass windows
The Chapel of the Virgin Mary

figurines of the Apostles behind a window
The Apostles in the Astronomical Clock

ornate decorations, emblem and wood paneling on a wall
The Old Council Hall

ornate furniture and emblems in a fancy room
The Old Council Hall

various emblems mounted to a wall
The Old Council Hall

a large open room with a giant painting on one wall
The Assembly Hall

a gold chandelier viewed from below
Chandelier in the George Hall

After descending from the tower, we were ready for some grub. We found Restaurace Tiskárna on the go thanks to a quick TripAdvisor search. Wow! What an amazing meal!

a city street

interior of a restaurant with letter blocks decorating the walls

a restaurant menu

closeup of a restaurant menu

text on a restaurant menu

closeup of text on a restaurant menu

a wine list

First of all, we shared an appetizer of bacon dumplings, a play on traditional Czech bread dumplings. They were unreal. The chanterelle and bacon sauce was PERFECTLY seasoned, not too salty at all. Just magical perfection.

2 bread dumplings with bacon and a brown sauce in a white bowl

My sister also got the porcini mushroom soup with kale, rice, peas, and bacon. OMG it was also really wonderful! Super comforting, and just perfectly executed. I’m needing these recipes!

rye croutons, mushrooms, and ham in a wide bowl

pouring soup from a small saucepan into a wide bowl

a bowl of rice and pea soup with croutons

My fried pork schnitzel was great. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, served with a unique cold potato and apple salad made with onions and sour cream in place of mayo.

2 pieces of fried pork schnitzel with a lemon wedge

potato salad with a side of greens in a wide bowl

a plate of schnitzel with potato salad in the background

My sister’s pork tenderloin with potato au gratin and buttered pea pods had a similar chanterelle mushroom sauce as the bacon dumplings, and was amazing.

roasted meat with potato gratin and snow peas over brown sauce

I tasted my dining companion’s deer loin served with marrowbone, mushroom ragout, potato latkes, and strong venison sauce. It was also quite splendid. With one bite alone I was in awe, and would definitely consider this for myself in the future if it were still offered.

3 pieces of roasted meat over mushrooms and brown sauce

My other dining companion opted for a local favorite, the roasted piglet knee with potato puree, and red onion with thyme honey on the side. I didn’t taste it, but he said the meat was extremely tender!

roasted pork knuckle over a soft puree with brown sauce

For dessert we made the mistake of sharing the caramel profiterole. When I say we made a mistake, I mean it was a mistake to SHARE. We should have said “to hell with our full stomachs!” and ordered individual profiteroles.

overhead view of a caramel profiterole on a white dish

That profiterole was clutch! Holy cow! It was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. From the thick sugary frosting with flecks of caramel on top to the luscious creamy caramel-and-vanilla-bean-laced filling. Wow wow wow!!!!

side view of a caramel profiterole on a white plate

Day 2 aka our first full day in Prague was a serious win on all accounts. We had an amazing tour with Irina which included highlights from all around town, we enjoyed incredible views both from Prague Castle and from the top of the Old Town Hall Tower, and we noshed on delicious Czech food including many classic dishes and an out-of-this-world dessert.

an empty white dish with 4 spoons

I can’t wait to share more of my Prague adventures with you all. Stay tuned for an action-packed day tomorrow when I walk nearly 30,000 steps around the city!

Prague – September 2019

Day 1 – Malá Strana (Lesser Town) & Amadeus Shooting Locations
Day 2 – Prague Tour by Legendary Tours & Old Town Hall Tower
Day 3 – Sunrise, Staré Město (Old Town), & Nové Město (New Town)
Day 4 – Kutná Hora Day Trip & Prague Night Views
Day 5 – Heydrich Terror Memorial, Petřín Hill & Tower
Day 6 – Vyšehrad & Prague Food Tour

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