TWO DECADES AGO, I lived in Prague for nearly a year during a study abroad program. And although it was already a tourist destination back then, I was shocked to see, on a recent trip how much tourism has really taken over the city. I yearned for the Prague I once knew and I only had 48 hours to try to find it. I set out to find what might turn out to be only memories.
Prague is a city of Gothic spires, where Baroque and Cubist architecture mix among cobblestone streets. But walking now through Old Town (Staré Město) across the Charles Bridge (Karlův most) into Lesser Town (Malá Strana), you sometimes have to fight your way through throngs of tourists and hawkers selling cheap souvenirs — walk just a block or two outside of the main thoroughfares, and you’ll find beautiful uncrowded sites without the crowds.