Czech Republic: Prague – Lesser Town; Malá Strana
The Lesser Town, Malá Strana, clusters around the foothills of Prague Castle, across the Vltava River from the Old Town
St Charles Bridge
Most people will access the Lesser town across the iconic St Charles Bridge, which crosses the Vltava River. As a consequence, this bridge is often packed with people making it difficult to get that cute shot. The best way to see the bridge when not full of humanity is to go out early in the morning. I managed to drag myself out of bed before 6 am and set out for the St Charles Bridge and it was beautifully quiet. Most of the activity was young married couples getting their wedding photographs – which I did find quite entertaining!
The Lesser Town (Malá Strana) is extremely picturesque with its ancient burgher houses, quaint side streets and St. Nicholas Church, one of the finest examples of High Baroque architecture in Central Europe, this massive imposing green dome and the Catholic church have continued to look over and protect the Lesser Town for centuries.
At its heart is the Baroque Lesser Town Square (Malostranské náměstí). Here, and all-around in the cobbled side streets, there are small shops to browse, churches to explore and traditional Czech pubs and restaurants to discover; including some with fine views over the river.
The Lesser Town is a lovely area to stay in. It is quieter than the Old Town and the New Town, particularly at night. To wander through the almost deserted, lantern-lit streets during the evening is an utter delight, affording visitors a real sense of olden day Prague.
Malá Strana is dominated by Prague Castle which stands high on the hill overlooking the whole of Prague. It is a brisk uphill walk to reach the castle but it is well worth the effort. From the balcony adjacent to the castle you can look across the red tile roofs or Prague towards to Old Town with its beautiful buildings and numerous church towers and steeples. Outside the main entrance of the castle is a stunning square lined with many buildings featuring spectacular architecture.