Taking a detour: Prague Castle

Prague Castle at night
Photo by Martin Krchnacek on Unsplash

Ever since I started on my RV transition, I’ve been exploring ways to earn income on the road. I really enjoy writing, so I’ve started looking for freelance blogging and content writing gigs. I’m not able to replace my current income yet, but I’m building my portfolio and gaining experience writing about several new topics.

Below is an article I wrote about Prague Castle in the Czech Republic. I found the writing gig at Textbroker, a site for aspiring writers who want to make a little change (literally “change”) and build their writing portfolios. The client was seeking a 450-500-word article about a travel destination “worth seeing.” I’ve been to Prague Castle, so this article wasn’t that hard to write . . .

Front entrance of St. Vitus Cathedral

Prague is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Any first-time visitor to this breathtaking city should plan to see Prague Castle, a beautiful stronghold that sits high on a hill. Prague Castle is an iconic symbol of the history, people, and institutions of the country. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see for its gorgeous architecture, rich history, and Bohemian charm.

Prague Castle, also known as Castle Quarter, is a walled complex of churches, palaces, halls, gardens, and statues. Construction of the Prague Castle first began in 870 with the Church of the Virgin Mary. Other buildings followed—the Basilica of St. George, St. Vitus Cathedral, the first Bohemian convent, a 12th-century palace, among others. The castle has been home to Holy Roman emperors, Bohemian kings, and presidents of former Czechoslovakia. Today, the Castle Quarter houses the office and home of the President of the Czech Republic. It’s also host to many concerts, dinners, and other cultural events.

St. Vitus Cathedral
Photo by Matthew Cramblett on Unsplash

There is so much to see within Prague Castle. After all, it is the largest ancient castle in the world (almost 750,000 square feet). It’s a good idea to do a little research and know ahead of time which points of interest you want to see. To start, I recommend St. Vitus Cathedral, a magnificent testament to Gothic architecture. The Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Prague and is the Czech Republic’s largest church. The lines to get in can get long at peak times, but they’re worth it, especially if you’re into royal tombs, Gothic naves, and saintly relics. Another must-see is St. George’s Basilica, the oldest building within the castle walls. King Vratislaus I of Bohemia established the church in 920. A convent was built inside the Basilica in 973, which now holds temporary exhibitions.

If you get your fill of churches, head to Golden Lane, a row of cute little houses where the Castle’s alchemists and servants used to live. Many of these former residences have since morphed into souvenir shops and bookstores. Franz Kafka lived in one of the homes from 1916-1917. Also, if you’re visiting in the summer, check out the Orangery located in the Royal Gardens. There you can find many tropical fruits and plants growing in the glass greenhouse.

Tourists in Golden Lane

Prague is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe, and a day at the Prague Castle will make your visit complete. The Castle is located above Prague’s Lesser Town area, and you can get there by tram or on foot. If you decide to walk, prepare for an uphill hike, but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city. Before you head to the Castle, be prepared for any security checks or searches of your bags. Also, the complex is part of a no-fly zone, so leave your drone in your hotel room. For tickets and tours, and for more visitor information, please visit the Prague Castle official website.

View of Prague from the Castle

As I was writing this, the draft began to take on a certain organizational pattern:

  • Attention-getter, or why this destination is a must-see
  • Some historical background, but not too much to bore the reader
  • Highlights about the destination, points not to miss
  • Call to action–how to get there, what to bring, what to prepare for, what to do and not do

Perhaps this would be a good general template as I attempt other travel articles. Or would a different structure work for other types of travel articles (e.g., sites mainly for shopping, restaurants). Are you an experienced travel writer? What do you think of this approach?

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