Prague Guide reveals some secret places

A few notable spots in the city center are a bit hidden but worth seeking

Janek Rubeš, known online as the Prague Guide or the Honest Guide, reveals some secrets in his new video (scroll down). No, it isn't a tabloid expose on local celebrities and politicians. It is a short list called Secret Places in Prague. The five-minute clip reveals what he calls hidden gems, hidden places and hidden treasures of Prague. All of them are near well-trodden tourist spots, but overlooked.

An early one he takes us to is a street near Prague Castle called Nový Svět, a winding street of time-warped buildings not unlike the Golden Lane, but these are still lived in. Be sure to look for the sign marking where astronomer Tycho Brahe lived at the House at the Golden Griffin. Nový Svět means New World.

What may not seem like a secret is the Old Town Bridge Tower on Charles Bridge, but in the basement there is a bizarre collection of items dredged from under the bridge during archaeological research. The items are not only historical bits of broken pottery and tools, but also modern cell phones, beer mugs and lost credit cards. Many items were found underwater in 2014. This gem requires a ticket, which is also good for climbing the 138 steps to the viewing gallery. The bridge marked its 650th anniversary in 2007, and research has been ongoing since then. 

Prague City Hall seems an unlikely choice, but it has a type of elevator that can no longer be built since the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004. The paternoster (meaning Our Father, as in the prayer) is a type of elevator with no doors. It also never stops. People simply have to jump on and jump off. The religious-sounding name is because the chain of elevator cabins resembles rosary beads, though some say it because many people pray before stepping in. When they were invented in 1877, they were significantly faster than elevators. The EU has banned them for safety reasons, but old ones can remain in operation under certain conditions.

Next stop is Skautský institut, a good place for cheap beer right next to Old Town Square. The cafe, upstairs in a building, has a good view as well, and an interior balcony with a free library. The institute is dedicated to Scouting, but you need not be a Scout to use the cafe. Evening hours are limited, though. The address is Staroměstské náměstí 4/1, and the entry is in the arcade next to Malé náměstí.

Rubeš quickly shows two more stops. V Kotcích street is always free of tourists, so you can get some nice photos of typical architecture, or a seflie actually all by yourself. The street once had a museum dedicated to communist leader Klement Gottwald, which closed rapidly after 1989, and historically was a fur market. Next stop is the world's only cubist-style lamppost, right off of Wenceslas Square on Jungmannovo náměstí. The lamppost was built in 1913 by architect Emil Králíček, and is right next to the an entry gate to Our Lady of the Snows Church. The gate, when open, now leads to the U Pinkasů summer garden.

For pool players, there is a hall on V Cípu street, also right near Wenceslas Square. Nearby down some stairs is Joystick Arcade Bar, with old-school video games and pinball machines — fun for those who remember the 1980s or hipsters who want to see all the fun they missed.

Rubeš simply shows the places he and his video team like. None of the places in the video paid to be mentioned. He encourages you to leave him tips in the comment section on the video's Youtube page for future episodes. Also, he is not actually a tour guide, so don't try to hire him to show you around.

More videos: PRAGUE GUIDE - Your honest guide for Prague (Prague.TV Video page)
More: The Prague Guide speaks out - Prague.TV, Living Like a Local 28.10.2016

Video on YouTube

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