The proud city of Prague
has one of the most impressive and engrossing histories of any city in Europe. If you're looking to see as much of it as you can without sacrificing the city's gastronomy and brews, you'll definitely want to dedicate a few days to exploring Lesser Town.
As the name suggests, Lesser Town is smaller than the districts across the Vltava River, but the vast selection of pubs, restaurants, and historic sights more than make the area worth a visit - and there's no better way to experience it than with one of our Prague vacation rentals!
History of Lesser Town
Lesser Town (or Malá Strana - literally Czech for "Little Side," referring to its location on the river) was founded nearly 800 years ago by King Ottokar. Over the centuries, its status as a royal town beneath Prague Castle drew in German and Italian merchants, artisans, and craftsmen, helping contribute to its unique sense of style.
A series of fires in the 15th and 16th centuries decimated much of Lesser Town, resulting in a massive surge in the construction of Baroque buildings. Visitors strolling the streets of this Bohemian town can admire the grandeur and dramatic architecture of Czech Baroque better than almost anywhere else in the city. With the rushing Vltava River to the east and historic, towering structures to the west, the scenery of this centuries-old district is nothing short of breathtaking!
Castles, Cathedrals, and More
Start your tour of the western half of the Czech Republic's capital
from Charles Bridge. The dark cobblestone structure links Lesser Town to Old Town in the east
, making it easy to cross between the two areas. The fact that it's lined with detailed statues and dramatic views of the Vltava is just a bonus!
Upon crossing over, a wide variety of sights await you by the riverfront. The avant-garde Sousoší čůrajících pánů fountain is just to the north, along with the exhibits of the Franz Kafka Museum. To the south is the modern art of the Museum Kampa, while dead ahead you'll find the remnants of the city's Communist era at Lennon Wall, with Beatles-themed art that served as a frequent thorn in the side of the regime.
Of course, no visit to Lesser Town would be complete without taking in the grand architecture that best showcases the district's rich historic traditions! Right on the riverfront is the Liechtenstein Palace, with statues and engravings that greet you as you head within. Further inside the city lies the incredible St. Nicholas Church, which took three generations of architects to complete. After taking a few photos of its gilded columns and jaw-dropping ceiling frescos, you can switch over to a more gothic style at the sprawling Prague Castle complex. It's just south of the dark spires of the St. Vitus Cathedral that houses the remains of Saint Wenceslas, and near a handful of other minor palaces and churches you'll definitely want to explore.
Delicious Cuisine in Lesser Town
No trip to Central Europe would be complete without a thorough sampling of delicious food and legendary brews. While Lesser Town lacks the concentration of gourmet that the more populated center of Prague boasts, it still has its fair share of top-tier restaurants. To the north is SaSaZu, which features the best Asian-style food you're likely to find in the city. Letná Beer Garden is also nearby, offering the opportunity to try Prague's legendary drinks while surrounded by calming leaves and stunning city views. Looking for something a little lighter? Head to Café Savoy on the riverfront and try their delicious coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries.
Work off your lunch with a stroll through the fields of Petřín Park, whose trails culminate in the dizzying heights of Petrin Tower. Taller than its counterpart in Paris, this Eiffel-esque tower features an observation deck for amazing city views! End the day with a combination of hearty food and unrivaled beers at one of the Lesser Town's many pubs. Whether you sip a pilsner at the newer Lokál U Bílé Kuželky or dine surrounded by the stone walls and suits of armor of U Sedmi Svabu, you're sure to have an incredible experience!
What are you waiting for? Book your incredible escape to Prague Lesser Town and stay in one of our comfortable vacation rentals!
Photo Credit: Traveltipy via Flickr