Ah Europe! I’m pretty sure everyone wants to visit this continent at least once in their lifetime, considering how full of beauty, magic, and wonder it is. It also features some of the world’s most extraordinary landscapes, people and experiences. But with so many beautiful and scenic cities to choose from, deciding which place to visit is difficult.
A couple of years ago, we visited Paris, Rome, Barcelona and Switzerland. They’re all amazing – rich in architecture, unparalleled history, amazing culture and much more. But this time around we decided to explore and swirl around of Venice and Prague.
Venice, in northeastern Italy, is often regarded as the most romantic city in the world. Its stone palaces seemingly rise out of the water, and the preferred mode of transportation is mostly on boats through canals – one can hardly see any cars or roadways.
Some main places of interest here are the Grand Canal, Rialto Bridge, and Piazza San Marco – popularly known as St Mark’s Square. You can spend your whole day there, enjoying the world-famous gondola rides with your family and friends; it was a truly amazing experience. St Mark’s Square is well-known amongst tourists as its mesmerising architecture and open cafés along the streets can fill anyone’s heart with excitement. One can also pay a visit to the many famous churches, museums and numerous food joints here.
My family and I stayed at the JW Marriott Resort & Spa. It was an exotic place, boasting its own private island in the Venetian Lagoon, with a complimentary boat shuttle that takes you to the pier near St Mark’s Square in 15 minutes. Also, the famous Rialto Bridge is just a 10-minute walk away.
Venice has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping; if you’re a brand lover then it’s a delight, as it features a whole range of luxurious brands. Noventa di Piave Designer Outlet is the perfect place to shop; you’re sure to find your favourite brands here at huge discounts. Placed in one of the most picturesque landscapes of Venice, along the Piave River, this shopping spot is also a favourite place to soak up the romantic atmosphere of the city. Luckily for us, it was just about 30 minutes away from our resort!
Our next stop was Prague (Praha in Czech), capital of the Czech Republic. The city is known for its Old Town Square, which is steeped in history, and boasts colourful baroque buildings and gothic churches. The medieval Prague Astronomical Clock is a highlight, and the shows staged here are definitely worth watching.
Set on a hill, Prague Castle is the city’s most prominent tourist attraction. The magnificent view from here is awe-inspiring. In addition to these, Old and New Town, Charles Bridge, and Wenceslas Square were also notable parts of our itinerary.
It seems like almost everything wonderful in Prague was built by Charles IV, including the iconic Charles Bridge. A walk on this bridge is really enjoyable – elegant statues, lovely views of the city, and the numerous vendors on the bridge are a sight for sore eyes! There was plenty of activity to entertain oneself; music, art, food, you name it. One can spend a whole day wandering on and around the bridge. The food offerings on either side of the bridge were absolutely delicious.
The city is full of restaurants, theatres and museums, and the architecture is amazing, giving it an undeniable old world charm. Our stay in the exclusive Barceló Old Town Praha, which is in Celetna Street adjacent to the well-known Powder Tower, was simply splendid! The extended gallery in our suite was more than we could have asked for.
Shopping in Prague was awesome, as the shopping centres around Wenceslas and Republic Square featured local designers as well as major international brands. The Old Town Square and the Lesser Town offered small boutiques, souvenirs, art shops and never-ending shoe stores.
Apart from that, Prague also has a great nightlife with its renowned clubs and eateries. If you’re after night culture, great beer, quality DJ’s or anything in between, then there’s plenty to keep you busy. All in all, our trip was an amazing ride with spectacular memories and experiences.