Silvie gets on Tram 22 with her two daughters. They have just had lunch at Café Louvre, one of Prague’s most storied dining establishments. She moved to Prague from South Bohemia nine years ago.
If I have to choose between metro or tram, I’ll go for the tram every time for the views,” she says. “Especially up from Malostranská, it’s like a sightseeing tour.”
When the tram gets to Karlovo Náměstí, it takes a left, heading up the hill to the leafy district of Vinohrady, where Silvie lives. Originally covered with royal vineyards, the neighborhood is popular and hip; home to many expats, good restaurants and ethnic food shops.
“We didn’t know anything about Vinohrady when we first moved here, we just thought it was pretty and close to the center,” she says. “Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.” The gems to be seen from the tram here include the baroque Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola, built in 1670, and a quick flash in bright contrast of Frank Gehry’s Dancing House.
At I.P. Pavlova, there is a metro stop and another big passenger exchange. More people get off than on and the car relaxes a bit. The busy commercial area quickly turns genteel, with a farmers' market off to the right and then refined pastel-painted buildings lining the streets.
Vinohrady is anchored by the towering gothic St. Ludmila Church on Náměstí Míru. The name translates as Peace Square and the atmosphere is appropriate: the elderly sun themselves on the square, most happily relaxing with a dog by their side. At Christmas, there is a popular market here. Riding through, I catch tantalizing glimpses of possibility down every street. This is an area that demands you to explore her side streets.
Take me there!