My memories of visiting Prague are a mix of being very hot, my skin turning slightly pink, discovering I am really not a fan of Pilsner and just generally experiencing the fairy tale like beauty!
I was told that we were in Prague during some of the hottest days they had ever had and I can definitely believe that. The city was one of those places that are so beautiful and so completely different from the boring old UK that it is hard to believe they are so close to home and not a world away.
With the mix of (hopefully still) a very favourable exchange rate, beautiful summer weather, inexpensive food and drink and, to mention it again, the fairy tale setting complete with castles, spooky churches, and dramatic bridges, Prague is the ideal destination for a short summer break and it has definitely inspired me to properly explore Eastern Europe one day.
(As a side note, I should mention that the battery in my camera died before I made it to Prague so most of the photos were taken on a phone camera circa 2010 so apologies for any lack of quality or variation in images.)
Forget the astronomical clock, this is probably the one thing you absolutely must visit in Prague. The statue-lined Charles Bridge was very busy but also very beautiful, especially when silhouetted against the darkening sky, as you can see. Just remember to keep an eye on your possessions and try not to get dragged along with the crowds. Also, be sure to get a look at the Charles Bridge from the other bridges so you can take it all in at once.
When we visited the castle it was a sweltering day and as we didn’t want to miss it we decided to get off the bus taking us there at the bottom of a hill which we then ended up having to walk all the way up in the blistering heat only to discover that the bus, obviously(!), stops right in front of the castle. Do not do that! Otherwise, do enjoy the great view of the city below and explore the castle itself.
I would also like to recommend the hostel I stayed at, mostly because of it’s punny name – the Czech Inn. It was a very inexpensive hostel but probably the nicest that we stayed in on this first long Europe trip. The Czech Inn was very close to a tram service straight into the city (I love trams) and offered very good breakfast options with even a pancake maker if I remember correctly! I have managed to source out a lot of very nice, modern hotel like hostels that don’t break the bank on my explorations and I will recommend more of these as I continue with this series.
Old Town Square
Similarly to our mistake with trying to find the castle, finding the Old Town Square was also a bit of a failure as we wandered around following the map to find it for a while only to be told that we were already standing in the square. The most well known feature of the Old Town square is the famous 15th century Astronomical Clock which you should of course see in order to get that all important Prague touristic photo, if you are into that sort of thing.
A few other things that I think are worth a visit to in Prague include the John Lennon wall mural. I found this wall covered in graffiti and art inspired by Lennon and the Beatles really interesting, however I do think some of it has been painted over and destroyed since I saw it.
Something which I didn’t do but which some people may want to, is to see the city by hot air balloon as I remember seeing lots of these in the sky when I was there. Finally, I must mention the wonderful, hearty Czech food – lots of goulashes and dumplings and strudel and all yummy, filling things perfect for hungry travellers!
So, that was Prague. To sum it up in one word …. fairytale.
Next – vibrant Vienna!