London & Prague recommendations

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NoGambleNoFuture
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London & Prague recommendations

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:13 am

I'm going to be heading to London and Prague in a few weeks for work and it's going to be my first trip to Europe. I'll be in each location for two full weekend days and will have 2-3 evenings in each spot during the week as well to get out and about.

Any and all suggestions on places to go, things to see, and can't miss items would be greatlyyyyyyy appreciated.

rcsracing
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by rcsracing » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:14 am

I can't help with London, but I've been to Prague. You can do most of the main stuff by foot if you're anywhere near the old town.

Things to see -
- Old Town Square - one of my favorite town squares in Europe so far. Jan Hus memorial, astronomical clock. Tyn church, etc.
- Charles Bridge - a few minute walk from the square, wonderful views and architecture. Quite busy. I try to see it early in the morning.
- New Town - if you are here, I highly recommend the Rick Steve's walking tour of Prague (available on smart phones through the app). Stick in the headphones and follow the tour that starts at Wenceslas Square).
- Lennon Wall - just across the Charles Bridge, just a few minute walk from there. Read up on the history of this, it's an important relic of the rise against socialism.
- The castle (taxi / shuttle to here). Worth a visit, but would be #5 on this list.

Places to eat - I avoid the main Old Town Square. Most anything off of the primary tourist route is better food and better prices. Usually smaller venues. As an expat, I do crave a good American type steak once in a while. George's is the place for that, a bit pricey but worth it.

The Rick Steve's stuff is excellent for this. I use the app for the walking tours and offline maps. The books have been a great reference, as well as a location based Wikipedia app like Inquire by Tamper.

-Ricky

Valuethinker
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:17 am

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:I'm going to be heading to London and Prague in a few weeks for work and it's going to be my first trip to Europe. I'll be in each location for two full weekend days and will have 2-3 evenings in each spot during the week as well to get out and about.

Any and all suggestions on places to go, things to see, and can't miss items would be greatlyyyyyyy appreciated.
We have had many long discussions re London, here, do a search.

One thing. Walk up river from opposite Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge. From the South Bank walkway you get a view of all of London. You can also hop across the river and visit St. Paul's (there's a direct footbridge) and stick your nose in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern (directly opposite-- and it's free).

tigermilk
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by tigermilk » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:15 am

It all depends on your interests. Haven't been to Prague but I have been in London a few times. The architecture alone is enjoyable, but if you like war related stuff the Imperial Museum is fantastic. Art? National Portrait Gallery is a favorite as well as the National Gallery for art in general. More historical? The Museum of London was a real nice visit. And a visit to Westminster Abbey is second to none. Our last visit to London, there was a free organ concert at the Abbey. Talk about incredible. Beautiful setting, fantastic pipe organ, .., Also, the Churchill War Rooms are worthy of a visit.

It goes without saying to hit up a pub for a pint and fish and chips. Always wanted to attend a Premier League game, but the schedules didn't align.

cherijoh
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by cherijoh » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:38 am

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:I'm going to be heading to London and Prague in a few weeks for work and it's going to be my first trip to Europe. I'll be in each location for two full weekend days and will have 2-3 evenings in each spot during the week as well to get out and about.

Any and all suggestions on places to go, things to see, and can't miss items would be greatlyyyyyyy appreciated.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of walking tours since they give you the opportunity to absorb the history and notice the architectural details you miss on a bus tour. London Walks has been around since well before my first visit to London in the 80s and I've done several of their tours. They post a schedule of tours and you simply meet the guide at the designated tube station at the posted day and time. The guides are all local experts on their particular tour. This is a good thing to have in your back pocket if the weather is fine.

FedGuy
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by FedGuy » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:36 am

I second London Walks. I've taken a number of their tours and, while there were a couple over the years that didn't quite meet my expectations, the hits far outnumber the misses. Their Jack the Ripper walking tour is justifiably one of their most popular.

Topic Author
NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:43 am

Thanks all for your feedback and suggestions thus far - greatly appreciated! I definitely plan on walking everywhere and am not opposed to 10+ miles assuming the weather cooperates.

TravelforFun
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:49 am

Prague is an awesome place to visit. Beautiful people and city, cheaper than western European countries, and easy to get around. We loved it there.

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VictoriaF
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Feb 08, 2017 12:26 pm

I've been to Prague for a week in 2002, a week in 2010, and a visit in 2016 with local people. I like Prague, the Czech Republic, and my Czech friends so much that I am studying the Czech language. Right now, I am doing it on my own, but in April I will be spending 2 weeks in Prague taking an intensive language course.

Prague is an excellent city for walking. It's one of a few European capitals that has survived World War II intact. The Munich Agreement is considered a disgrace of Western nations trying to appease Hitler's Germany but one end effect is that Prague was not destroyed.

When you are in Prague you'll easily find the main attractions. Plan your visit to Prague Hrad to minimize crowds, before summer holidays if possible. When I am not with local friends, I like taking "free" walking tours of European capitals; in Prague it's http://www.neweuropetours.eu/prague/en/home# . To be clear, these tour guides expect gratuity and offer other, not free, walking tours. But they work hard to earn your business and the trips are very rewarding. I took these tours in Madrid and Berlin. In both cases I enjoyed them so much that I paid for several additional walks in each city. These tours usually involve a lot of walking and cover history, politics, literature, and alike. They attract more active and intellectual audience than typical tours for tourists.

Enjoy your stay in Europe,
Victoria
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student5
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by student5 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:50 pm

When in London try a very British Square Pie. I've not been able to find anything as good here. The pastry and the meat quality make a huge difference. http://www.squarepie.com/ Enjoy!

AerialP
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by AerialP » Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:02 pm

Two suggestions, in my belief both under-reported and both extremely satisfying:

For Prague strongly consider visiting the Mucha Museum. Alphonse Mucha was probably THE mastermind of the Art Nouveau movement and has an incredibly compelling body of work. His imagery is considered quintessentially Czech, even having been on the old koruna banknote currency. Not expensive and it will perhaps only occupy an hour or so of your time, but I predict you will leave with a full heart.

For London strongly consider visiting the Wellcome Collection. It's free-of-charge and I pop through every time I'm in London for not just the temporary exhibits but to revisit the permanent collection. Often jaw-dropping and, it bears repeating, free entry!

Safe travels!

mbres60
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by mbres60 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:19 pm

When we had two days in London in 2015 we took the Hop on Hop off bus theoriginaltour.com. We got off at the Tower of London and took a tour with a beefeater. It was wonderful. We also went to Westminster Abbey. The bus drives by all the major highlights and you can get off wherever you want and when ready just wait for the next bus.

SheReadsHere719
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by SheReadsHere719 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:47 pm

For London: I recommend the Rick Steves guidebook. He has some excellent self-guided tours through the larger museums that give you the ‘best of’ highlights without having to wander all day. You can walk + take the Tube to everything listed below.

Museums:
*Tower of London & the crown jewels
*Tate Modern
*[window] shopping on Jermyn Street
*Westminster Abbey
*Churchill Bunker
*National Portrait Gallery
*British Library treasure room

Eat & Drink:
*Borough Market
*high tea @ Fortum & Mason
*Gordon’s Wine Bar
*Spuntino
*Boisdale of Belgravia

Enjoy!

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Peculiar_Investor
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:52 pm

We went to London in November 2014 and stayed in the Coventry Garden area. It was well situated to walk to all the major attractions, such as the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, etc. We found Visit London - London Trip Planning | Visit A City a very helpful planning tool and have used Visit A City: Create Your Personal Travel Guide to other trip planning.

When we planned our trip we had no idea of the significance of Remembrance Day 2014 in London. Here is what the Tower of London looked like in November 2014
Image
and the back story In pictures: The poppies at the Tower of London - BBC News
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ZeroWealth
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by ZeroWealth » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:23 pm

There have already been some great recommendations for London, though I want to specifically call out the Verger guided tour at Westminster Abbey.

For £5 you get a wonderful 90 minute behind-the-scenes look at the Abbey, the best money you'll spend in London by far and you'll come away feeling humbled and awe-struck at the number of individuals who have the Abbey as their permanent resting place.
"I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be." - Douglas Adams

mouth
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Re: London & Prague recommendations

Post by mouth » Wed Feb 08, 2017 6:41 pm

For Prague, if you like very fun but small bars with creative drinks, great mixologists, and a very speakeasy feel, check out Anonymous Bar. It can be hard to find, but that's the point :)

I'll be there in May and with a planned stop-over city the week before; London was one choice, Germany being the other. So this post is literally perfectly timed :O

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