Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Prague: "The Most Beautiful Large European City"

Agreement among most travelers is that Prague is the most beautiful city in Europe. The size qualifier exists, however, because large cities have certain advantages and disadvantages over smaller towns.
 
The top six most visited European cities are London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, and Prague. The fact that they are all large (all but Prague are over 3 million) and have a lot to see and do makes them ideal targets for tourists. Therefore, they have a distinct advantage over small towns that only have a few sights and nothing to offer in entertainment.
 
Some cities may have better known beauties or more historic significance, however, Prague holds claim to the most beautiful city due to the sheer expanse of its three downtown historic districts. Every building is an example of wonderful architecture and history.
 
All that changes if one strays too far. Get outside the tourist haven downtown and you will find yourself in the classic example of former communist block, gray, cookie-cutter apartment cinderblocks. The only possible way to describe Prague outside of downtown is UGLY. And therein lies the small town advantage.
 
Smaller towns may be less well known the world over, but they have the ability to be beautiful everywhere, and street for street, there are probably hundreds of towns more beautiful than Prague. Nevertheless, Prague is the most beautiful city of its class in the world.
 
Perhaps the ideal town would fall somewhere in between; big enough to offer a lot for visitors to do, but small enough to manage to keep a majority of the city picturesque. A top candidate in a lot of people’s opinions?  
Dresden. Unfortunately, it is off the beaten path, so not a lot of people know it is there.

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