This is a very special and unique time to be in Europe in summer. Always the busiest season for tourism with packed attractions, restaurants, lines everywhere and sky high prices, this quiet summer of 2020 will be one for the books. We spent a beautiful summer Saturday seeing some of the classic sights of Prague with no lines, no crowds, no one speaking English, Russian, or Chinese heard anywhere (!!), and much lower prices for food and drink than usual. It’s lively here, but was so much more relaxing and enjoyable than navigating the hordes. No sign of any polar bears, giant bubble wands, or overpriced Old Prague Ham.
The Prague main railway station is usually full of tourists with kids and lots of luggage in tow. Not today.
We need to get some errands done in the shopping centre adjacent to Náměstí Republiky. Here we see the Powder Tower and Municipal House.
An older tram going through Republic Square.
An empty street leading to the Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square). You can hardly believe that it’s right around the corner.
We’re in the Square and it is really unbelievable that it’s a Saturday on a long weekend in July.
Prices are coming down, too. That’s 38 Kč for a pint of beer – about $2 Canadian – directly adjacent to the Old Town Square. In recent years it was 3 times the price.
We have some delicious pizza at a place we’ve been a few times before.
Although we accomodated Elinka’s request for lunch, she still doesn’t want to pose for a photo.
There’s literally no one here. The impressive cathedral is Church of Our Lady before Týn.
It’s the top of the hour and there are lots of people watching the Orloj (600 year old clock) do its thing. It’s a little busy.
This is how it usually looks at the top of the hour. I took the previous photo from a place that was basically in the center of this one looking the other way (towards this cameraperson).
This narrow street leading to Charles Bridge is a place that you can’t usually see the street surface at all during daytime hours.
Lots of discounts at restaurants and bars. Mostly 20-30% off posted prices, or some had adjust menus entirely. I saw as much as a 50% discount off food at a cafe inside the Castle. Places that had no discount offered were devoid of customers.
Classic view of Pražský hrad (Prague Castle) from Charles Bridge.
A marionettist on the bridge plays some fun songs that kids passing by very much enjoyed.
Big change from the wall to wall people you’d usually see. It’s noon now. Next, we’ll climb up the tower at the end of the bridge.
A nice view of where we just came from.
Up we go to the Prague Castle on an empty staircase.
St. Vitus Cathedral
We’re back at the Old Town Square. We’ll go inside Tyn Church next.
We respected their request to not take interior photos, so here’s a stock photo showing what it looks like.
We wander over to see if there are any good tables for a drink before heading home. We get a table directly in front of the Orloj with no crowds just by showing up !! It’s 3:45 and still no people – remember the crowds from the stock photo earlier?!
We pass through Na příkopě, one of the most expensive shopping streets in Europe. Empty.
This is the Metro concourse of the Praha hlavní nádraží. Again, deserted.
These two are pooped after a lot of walking – 17000+ steps!
Back in Pardubice I thought I’d take a photo of this bike parking tower at the train station. There are only 11 parking spots at the station but room for 1000+ bikes including 200+ in this enclosed, automated parking facility. You just line up your bike in a track behind those doors in the bottom and it’s whisked away.
What a treat it was to be able to experience one of the busiest tourist cities of Europe in a relaxing manner. Usually after a day like this you’d be totally exhausted and frazzled from navigating crowds. Wouldn’t it be nice to see what Venice, Rome, Paris, etc are like these days…