Old Town Square. It’s old. It’s a square. It’s right next to the NYU campus. This iconic square attracts tourists like dollar pizza attracts college students. Even with its proximity to campus, you may find yourself avoiding it just to avoid war flashbacks of Times Square. For those of you who want to take in the sights but minimize your time being asked by tour guides if you want to party tonight, then this is the guide for you.
The Astronomical Clock
It’s pretty easy to ignore the clock since we walk past it literally every time we head to class and New York has trained us to keep our eyes glued to the ground. But when we actually chilled for a second and checked out the clock, it was kinda cool if you like puppets and watching time pass very slowly.
Disclaimer: We have no idea what this statue represents or why it’s important. It’s a pretty large and grand-looking statue in the middle of the square, though, and worth taking a gander at even if there are no plaques in English that explain what exactly you’re looking at. According to Wikipedia, “The huge monument depicts victorious Hussite warriors and Protestants who were forced into exile 200 years after Hus, and a young mother who symbolizes national rebirth.” Cool.
The Food Stalls
So, ya like ham? Then you’re gonna love the giant chunks of ham being roasted over an open fire. If that’s not your jam, there are also crepes, hot wine, and trdelnik, a cinnamon dessert often served with ice cream that may or may not be Czech. Maybe it’s Hungarian? Either way, it’s delicious, and worth trying at least once.
St. Nicholas Church
We have no idea what this church was supposed to represent but it sure was pretty. It doesn’t look like you can actually go in, so I guess we’ll never be good enough for this city.
The Book Tower
Located in the public library, this is technically a five minute walk away from Old Town Square. When we were trying to catch a glimpse of this void created of stacks of books, we felt bullied by a group of Czech middle schoolers at the library who seemed very cool and in the know. It works by optical illusion, using mirrors at the top and bottom to make the book tower look infinite.
There are plenty of things to see around Prague, so whether you spend 10 minutes or 10 hours walking around Old Town Square, just be sure to avoid eye contact with the street performers; they can smell your fear.