How to Visit Prague

A day in "The City of a Hundred Spires."

Get up early and make your way to the city centre in Prague 1. Make sure your eyes are covered before you witness the Old Town Square for the first time. Your eye is going to want to go everywhere, and it doesn't really matter where—the Church of Our Lady before Týn, The Astronomical Tower, the cobblestone-lined streets, the merchants selling trdelník near the statue of Jan Hus. Mentally prepare yourself to enter a fairy tale.

E.R. Pulgar© 2016

E.R. Pulgar© 2016

You're going to want to wander—trust me, that's coming. But you have a few stops to make first. Near the Old Town Square, make your way through the streets near Karlova by Malé náměstí (which means 'small square.") Notice all the little shops, even the ones with puppets (which are a thing in the Czech Republic; it's actually not even that creepy). Make your way to St. Jilji's Church; if you've watched Amadeus carefully, you'll remember this is one of the locales in the film. You'll remember it was one of the most beautiful. For the briefest moment, feel like Mozart.

E.R. Pulgar© 2016

Stop by Cafe Ebel, and get a red espresso. It's a milk-based rooibos tea, imbued with the slightest kick of espresso. It'll wake you up, and it's a good light alternative to a traditional Czech meal. Prepare your stomach for the bomb you're about to drop into it. No matter how much you eat, it's about to expand.

Leave the coffee shop and seek out a traditional Czech restaurant: you'll find these delights everywhere, and you might as well indulge. Beef goulash. Pancakes. Pilsner Urquell on tap. You can get any of the other Czech beers, but this is the best. Either way, they're less than a dollar. Vegetarians, I'm sorry to say your options are limited, but they're no less delicious or decadent; try the smažený sýr and get back to me.

E.R. Pulgar© 2016

Prepare yourself for a long walk; after the feast you just had, you'll need it. Whatever you do, don't head to the Charles Bridge. Believe me when I tell you to save that experience for later. Walk to the bustling Wenceslas Square, named after the patron saint of Prague. Enjoy the metropolis stretching before you, the long streets that lead to the National Museum. There's an amazing record store near the north end, hidden in a little street beneath the shadow of the museum. Find it, and then take the metro to Prague 3. You'll be tempted by the tram, but you'll get your moment, trust me.

Prague 3 is a quick pit stop; there's not really much to do there save the strudel window, hailed by U.S. Travel Channel host Samantha Brown as "the best hot apple strudel in all of Europe." For less than $3, get yourself an authentic, fresh-made apple strudel made by a Czech man through a little window; unless you know where to look, it's hard to miss. Get to the nearest tram stop en route to Prague 7. Enjoy the flaky, foot-long goodness on the tram as you pass Prague Castle, and a glittering view of the Vltava River.

E.R. Pulgar© 2016

The sun should still be high in the sky, and the strudel will keep you energetic. Head to DOX Gallery, for a taste of Czech contemporary art. Walk around Holešovice, really come to understand why it's called "the Brooklyn of Prague." Head to a potraviny (essentially a Czech convenience store / deli) if you want, but assuming you ate the strudel, you won't want another snack. You'll also want to hurry up; the sun is setting in an hour, and as nice as nearby Letna Park is, you'll want to make a run to Petřín Hill.

Head back to Prague 1. Get off near Petřín, and run up the winding hill's pathway. Run, race the sun, and get a lovely view of the Old Town as the sun sets, a fire over the Czech capital. Feel the wet grass under your hands, don't really regret that you're ruining your boots.

The sky should be dark violet at this point. Start making your way back down to the street as the lamplights begin to turn on. Pay a visit to the Church of Our Lady Victorious; even if you're not religious, you'll want to get a close look of the Infant Jesus of Prague, one of the city's most treasured relics. Who knows, maybe he'll grant you a miracle.

E.R. Pulgar© 2016

Leave the church, and, finally, glimpse upon the Charles Bridge at night. Take in the crisp night air, the sparkling Vltava River, the tourists taking pictures of the statues of saints. Walk and, for a few minutes, just take it all in. You'll hardly be able to believe it's real, so remind yourself that it is before walking across a fantasy.

E.R. Pulgar© 2016

Save tomorrow for Prague Castle, the clubs, the gallery near Veletržní palác, the iconic John Lennon wall. Prague is full of stories, and every new day should be treated as such. Keep that in mind as you get lost through the winding alleyways and the cobblestone streets of Europe's most beautiful city.