Book Review of the Week: Prague Day by Day

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

 As a Special Bonus, Frommer's will give a copy of Prague Day by Day: 18 Smart Ways to See the City, to a randomly drawn commenter on this article. Post your comments - you might win!


Prague - hip, political, great food and beer, history - what more can you ask of a city? My graduate advisor was from Prague, and I've always heard such incredible things about this city.  My dad was in Prague recently and he was very happy to be there among the history, music, and food.  When we got a copy of Frommer's Prague Day by Day: 18 Smart Ways to See the City to review, I was too excited!

The cover has great maps on the inside - you know it won't get lost or ripped.  There's also a little heavy-duty plastic pocket in the back cover, holding a map and with enough space for tickets or other miscellaneous travel items.

Chapters of the book include:

12 favorite moments
the best full-day (or 2 or 3 day) tours
best special interest tours (Kafka, Communist Prague, etc.)
best neighborhood walks
best shopping
best of the outdoors
best dining
best nightlife
best arts and entertainment
best lodging
best day trips and excursions

and tips for the savvy traveler. Truly, this is a guidebook that explores the best of Prague!

I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with the author, Mark Baker, about Prague and writing this book. Here's what he had to say...

WE:  Please tell us about your book, Prague day by day...

MB: Prague Day By Day differs from traditional guidebooks in that it is built around a series of walking tours, hence the "Day By Day" -- with the days being built around specific tours. There are tours for visits of one, two or three days, as well as tours built around specific interests (like Franz Kafka, for example) or if you are nature lover or traveling with children. The concept is to help you get the most out of your visit depending on the length of your stay and what you really want to see. Each tour is built around a series of numbered stops and has an easy-to-follow map so that you can't get lost (unless you absolutely want to).

As a resident of Prague I chose the tours and sights to incorporate both the "must-sees" on a standard sightseeing tour with some insider knowledge. I tried to find a tone in the writing somewhere between competent tour guide and irreverent, even slightly jaded local. I hope some of the humor comes through.

WE:  What led to your interest/background in Prague?

MB: I was a student in Eastern European history at Columbia University, so I have always been interested in this region. I moved to Prague in the 1990s because this was the most exciting place to be back then. I stayed because I really enjoy the size and pace of the city. For many years I was a radio correspondent for American station Radio Free Europe, which is still based here in Prague. Three years ago I left that to concentrate more fully on a freelance writing career.


WE:  Your research for this book must have been fun! What were the highlights?

MB: The funnest tour to put together was the "Communism" tour -- taking people along the route of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, as well as some of the most significant events of modern Czech history, such as the 1948 Communist coup, the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion and the 1989 anti-Communist revolution. It's that contrast of the dark and gray Communist past with today's incredibly lively, colorful city that gives Prague its depth.

WE:  Do you still find new places in Prague? Or are you so familiar with the city that you are busy exploring old haunts?

MB:  The walking tours forced me to actually walk through the city again with open eyes. I normally bike or take the tram or metro, so I wasn't aware of all the little hidden things to see along the way. For example, I wasn't really aware of (or didn't remember) how green the part of the city called Mala Strana is with all of its public parks and gardens tucked away behind big baroque gates. It was fun to discover this (again).

WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

MB:  Only that I hope readers of the book are able to follow the tours comfortably as they are laid out and that they be sure to send feedback (positive or negative) so that we can improve the book in future editions.


WE: Thanks so much, Mark! I have always wanted to go to Prague - reading these walking tours and talking with you about it has only strengthened that desire.  



Interested in purchasing Frommer's Prague Day by Day? 

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Please leave a comment on this book review to be entered into a random drawing for a copy of Prague Day by Day, courtesy of Frommer's. Comments left until 11:59pm Monday, September 15th, will be accepted.

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Comments (3)

  • Tom Voigts

    15 years 2 months ago

    I was in Prague for two days a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Frommers Guide was wonderful in that it gave me a good understanding of what is there and how to get to it.  The city is not good for automobile traffic, so walking tours is the best way to really get a good feel for the city.  We walked to the Old Market area and saw things that truly enlightened us as well as letting us have a good time touring.  Getting to the castle thru walking is the only way to do it, as it isn't easily accessible for those with mobility difficulties.  But you get to see how things were and also get a feel for the people.  I have to say, there were lots of tourists there from the world over, all enjoying the sights.  Frommer's Guide book was invalualbe as always.

  • Sam Pounder

    15 years 2 months ago

    Guide Books are a great way to discover new places to visit.  This guide book looks to be a great reference for getting the most out of a vacation to Prague.

  • Dr. Jessie Voigts

    15 years 2 months ago

    Congratulations to Tom Voigts, our randomly drawn winner of this week's book review, Frommer's Prague Day by Day. Happy reading!


    Jessie Voigts


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