ASE travel writer and photographer Carol Santora reports from Prague:

Prague is on everyone’s bucket list, as well it should be. What a beautiful and interesting city.

Our first view was the Charles Bridge (c.1357) which is wonderful both day and night but especially striking at nighttime. The glittering lights shine across the water and highlight the many statues that embellish the walls. We stayed at the beautiful Rocco Forte Augustine Hotel – convenient and elegant.

Our first walk encompassed the Old Town and Jewish Quarter, viewing the historic synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery. I was most moved by the Ceremonial Hall of Funeral Brotherhood. Along the walls are listed the victims’ names of the Holocaust; most stirring was an exhibition of drawings made by children in the Terezin concentration camp. It is essential to visit the Strahov Monastery (c.1140) in the Castle district and to book a VIP tour of the library including the Philosophical Hall and the Theological Hall. Here you can stroll this great Middle Ages library with its ancient books and artifacts. The entire Prague Castle complex is fascinating but the St. Vitus Cathedral with its towers, stained glass windows and Neo-Gothic architecture is breathtaking.

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Strahoy Monastery Library

The Mala Strana is the place to stroll among charming restaurants and shops. So many things to see – we loved going up Old Town Hall with its magnificent animated clock and, again, an amusing bugler! Lovely, colorful view! Puppetry has a long tradition in Prague and there are many shops with intricate and droll puppets. We had fun visiting the National Marionette Theater and then creating our own puppets to bring home!

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Puppet Store

There is some incredible cuisine to be sampled in Prague. The Blue Duck on Mala Strana specializes in just that. Not previously a duck lover, I was converted! Our second favorite was the new La Finestra in Cucina in the Old Town; the lobster pasta is divine!  The Bakeshop in Old Town is the best place to snack.  We were reluctant to leave….

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View from top of Old Town Hall – Mala Strana

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Prague Castle at night, by Carol Santora