If you have been planning a trip to a place that you have never been to before – be it a far off land in Europe, or a nearby country like Myanmar where you can go on a budget, or not veer far off and pay a visit to the northern most part of India, Srinagar, or any place that you zeroed in on after doing a fair but if research on the internet, the most important advice that we can start off this article with is this:
DO NOT make up your mind after just watching the pictures of the place on Instagram. This advice is coming from personal experience. We have nothing against Instagram at AlThingsLife, but people polish their pictures of the places they go to by using filters on Instagram to such an extent that you may feel like you have come to a totally different place than what you saw in pictures. No kidding.
Prague – Modern, Historical, and Green
If there is a place in the world that does not betray the pictures you have seen of it on the Internet, look no further than Prague
In terms of natural beauty and splendor, there may be places in the world that are equally bewitching or even way more appealing than the capital of Czech Republic, but as a whole package that gives you the old world charm of its idyllic streets, the wonderful and historic architecture, the magnificent evenings over Charles Bridge, there are probably no cities that rival Prague.
Places of Natural Beauty in Prague
To begin with the more natural sites in Prague, we would mention the fairy tale town of Český Krumlov. Thanks to its picturesque character and history, UNESCO has a place for it as a World Heritage Site.
One of the standout features of this place is the Renaissance era architecture, and there are festivities organized every year at this place, which include a chamber music festival and a river marathon.
You can also pay a visit to the Punkva Caves. This is one of the most stirring and stunning cave systems that is located in the Moravian Karst and can be reached in about 60 minutes from Brno.
The City and the Old Town Prague
This is where Prague stands out from the rest. Like I mention earlier, you can find places with natural beauty, the symmetry in Greens, waterfalls and mountains or even prettier asymmetry in all of those features, but no city in the world has managed to maintain itself in a way that Prague has.
Whether it is the historical Old Town Prague with its quaint streets, cobbled roads, medieval and timeless clock tower or the uber-developed Wenceslas Square that is home to the business and cultural communities in the New Town of Prague or the bewitching Charles Bridge that is a whole world unto itself within a few hundred metres, Prague is a fairy tale city, if there ever was one.
One of the very important features of Prague is the amazing connectivity by the means of buses and metro rail that can be used for every corner of the city to every other corner. You don’t have to walk miles if you don’t want to.
Welcome to the renaissance city, Florence.
Florence and Prague have much in common, to an extent that I wouldn’t recommend that you cover both cities in a single trip.
However, for the same reason, I’d recommend you do visit both places on separate trips that may be a year apart. Let’s say you visited Prague and fell in love with its old world, charm, new world slickness and natural beauty. Now, if you are like me, you would feel the urge to revisit Prague but don’t feel like spending so much money on just seeing the same place twice. For such conundrums, Florence is the perfect follow up option to the Prague visit.
There is one big difference though, the connectivity within the main Florence city by the means of transportation system is not as great as in Prague. You may have to walk miles even if you don’t want to, unless you have deep pockets for taking the atrociously expensive cabs.
That said, Florence isn’t huge, and it’s pretty easy to explore all that you would want to just by walking and still not feel tired at the end. There is a lot to explore, though, with its idyllic views, out of the world experience of taking a stroll over the Ponte Vecchio bridge, renaissance architecture, serene and picturesque greens and so much more.
Cinque Terre, Italy
A whole new world unto itself, Cinque Terre strings up several old and idyllic seaside villages, each of which stands out on its own with pristine coastlines, colorful houses, aesthetically charming vineyards, and old-world-style fishing boats. The food and the local sauce, Pesto, is one of the many unforgettable features of Cinque Terre.
I had visited one of the white-sand beaches on Cinque Terre – at least I think it was white-sand, has been a long time since.
Where in Cinque Terre
Riomaggiore is the one place that’s always on top of the list of the visitors to Cinque Terre. Apart from the quaintly worn-down architecture in the vilage, the sunsets in Riomaggiore are second to none in winsome beauty, and the botanical garden places you right in the middle of a paradise made of colors.
Amsterdam’s Outskirts – Slotterweg
There were very few cities in the world that look pretty outside their pictures, Amsterdam is one of those rare gems. Al the places around Amsterdam Central – 9 Streets, Red Light Area, the lake, Dam Square, and more places that you can check out and make your own mind up about.
That said, even though Amsterdam is a wonderful city in itself, some travelers may find it a little too commercialized for their liking. However, it still is completely worthwhile to explore the city, but I’d strongly recommend staying in Sloterweg – at a 40 minutes distance from Amsterdam Central.
Sloterweg happens to be largely a residential place, but one that gives you enough doses of cross-country exploration with its windmill, developed but deserted roads, green cover, small lakes that can be seen not only after every few miles but also in the backyards of some homes. I tell you that much.