The newspaper, which has been operating since the middle of the 19th century and which owns 132 Pulitzer Prizes, praised the metropolis on Thursday for the successful and at the same time well-timed reconstruction of the monuments. Among them are the Kunsthalle Prague, the National Museum or the State Opera. The newspaper also highlighted the exhibition of the Retro Museum in Kotvo or Prague’s bakeries, pubs and public transport.
Two years ago, Prague, the 14th largest city in the European Union, was a place frequented by tourists who, with some notable exceptions, were preferred to locals in the historic center. That changed during the covid-19 pandemic, when tourism slowed down. In this way, the people of Prague could begin to return to the places that had previously been reserved for them in the center.
“Restaurants had to improve their marketing and reach the residents of Prague, for example, via social networks. In addition, it was also necessary to partially change the structure of some meals and adjust the operation,” explains Jan Valenta, who runs the Taste of Prague server with his wife Zuzana, informing foreign visitors where to go in Prague for quality food or coffee.
As soon as the government restrictions around the coronavirus were loosened, the people of Prague began to discover new locations in their city. Among them is, for example, Čapadlo on the Smetana embankment below the Slavia cafe. This offers its visitors not only refreshments and relaxation with cultural activities, but also an unusual view of Prague Castle from the level of the Vltava River or, in winter, the opportunity to skate on an outdoor ice rink.
Back in time at the Retro Museum
In addition to the positive benefits, the pandemic also had a negative impact on Prague’s gastronomy. “People were used to lower prices in restaurants. They can’t imagine how expensive raw materials and labor have become during that time,” the Valents tell the couple. The couple also stated that there are about a third fewer foreign guests visiting Prague businesses compared to the time before the pandemic.
The New York newspaper also praised Prague for the reconstruction of some monuments during the restrictions. In addition to the Kunsthalle Prague, the National Museum and the State Opera, Salmovský Palace at Prague Castle also counts among the successful repairs. It houses the National Gallery. The baroque Clam-Gallas Palace in the historic center should reopen this year. The newspaper also praised the Retro Museum exhibition in the Kotva department store. On it you can see everyday necessities from Czechoslovakia from the 1970s and 1980s. The exhibition offers collections of clothing, furniture, interior design, various packaging and collectibles.
Among the most interesting
But it’s not just about reconstruction. Prague also plans to build new cultural stands. In May of this year, for example, the construction of the Vltava Philharmonic was approved. According to the design of the Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), it is to grow on the left bank of the Vltava in Holešovice. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said about it that there is no such building in the city yet, and the place it will be located will live from the river level to the roof.
The fact that Prague is among the most interesting cities in Europe is also confirmed by Melissa Joulwan – an American living in Prague who runs the travel podcast Strong Sense of Place. “It’s fun to watch the architecture in individual Prague neighborhoods – you always find something beautiful or interesting,” she told The New York Times. Last but not least, the American newspaper also praises bakeries, pubs and public transport. “People who are not used to public transport are surprised at how easily one can move around Prague. Individual places are not far from each other thanks to it,” adds Joulwan.