After my interesting week travelling around Poland, which was filled with historical education, new friendships, Polish cuisine, lots of ice-cream and a few minor mishaps, I was riding into the Czech Republic with open arms hoping nothing would go wrong. It was the last country I was visiting on my 5 week trip, and even though I could feel myself tiring, I was so excited and determined to make the most of my last 5 days… and that I did.
I was based in the capital, Prague, which is known for its beautiful Old Town Square, pastel-coloured baroque buildings, Gothic churches, entrenchment in the history along with its other central European counterparts and the medieval Astronomical Clock which gives an animated hourly show.
It’s almost impossible to choose a favourite European city, and a lot is dependent on weather, who you meet, how long you have in the place, what part of the city you are based, but I honestly just fell in love with Prague. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever laid my eyes on, and I have seen a fair few beautiful cities now…
1. Old Town Square, 2. Church of Our Lady before Týn, 3. View from Lesser Town Bridge Towers, 4. Sunset at Mala Strana, 5. Dancing House
What to do-
- Old Town Square- Get lost in one of the most beautiful Old Towns.
- Dancing House- This is a 15-20 minute walk from Charles Bridge, but it’s a nice walk along the Vltava River. There isn’t anything to do here, except see the interesting architecture.
- Astronomical Clock- As I mentioned, Prague is famous for the Astronomical Clock’s hourly performance. Don’t have high hopes as it was built hundreds of years ago- it is cute though!
- Charles Bridge- The construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. Pretty impressive it’s still holding up considering how many people must walk across it daily!
- Lesser Town Bridge Towers- There are two towers on either end of the Charles Bridge, I picked the Lesser Town Bridge Tower for my viewing choice so that I could get the Town Bridge Tower in my picture as it is more impressive in my opinion. Entrance fee: 100 CZK.
- Mala Strana- One of the most historic areas in Prague, and most beautiful in my opinion. The entrance is right under the Lesser Town Bridge Tower.
- John Lennon Wall- Once a normal wall but since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles’ songs, and lots of other graffiti. I don’t really understand why this has become a “thing” in Prague, but apparently it has, so I checked it out and was very underwhelmed.
- Walking tour- I always say this, but every city has their own unique history and you can never be too informed!
- Prague Castle- Prague Castle is a castle complex dating from the 9th century. It is the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic. Prague Castle also offers some beautiful views over the town!
- Josefov (Jewish Quarter)- Is home to a few synagogues all in very close proximity to each other, the Jewish cemetery, Prague Jewish Museum, Kosher food options and Jewish souvenirs. You can get a pass which gives you entry to all the synagogues if you want to look inside.
- Petřín Hill- This is a relaxed park area, popular amongst the locals, and offers expansive views over Prague.
- Letná Park- This is a large park on Letná hill, which also offers views of the Prague Old Town. There’s also a delicious ice-creamery at the bottom of the park!
- Party at Vzorkovna- Nicknamed “Dog Bar” as there are real doggos waiting for a pat inside while you swing on skateboard swings or drink your brewed beer while chilling in a loft.
- Pub Crawl- I went on a pub crawl through my hostel and it was so much fun and an excellent way to meet new people, especially if you are travelling alone.
- Kutná Hora- This is a city roughly 1 hour by train from Prague. It is notable for the Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel adorned with human skeletons. I didn’t love this, but arguably, I had had 2 hours sleep the night before I went on this day trip so maybe I would have been more enthused any other day.
- Karlovy Vary- I didn’t actually go on this myself, but it is an option for you. It is a spa town, so could be a relaxing day for you if you’re tired of sightseeing.
- Český Krumlov- Ever since my parents came back from their first European adventure together last year and I saw the pictures from Cesky Krumlov I was dying to get there, and it did not disappoint! I took so many pictures I will write a separate blog post on this.
6. Lennon Wall, 7. Me at Letná Park, 8. View over to Charles Bridge, 9-10. Prague Castle
- When to visit- If you are visiting Prague in the summer months, be prepared for crowds. If you can help it, don’t visit on the weekend. I got in on a Wednesday and the town was busy, but not impossible to move through. I even managed to get some great pictures without people blocking my view. My brother got in to Prague on a Friday night and when we went back into town on Sunday together, we couldn’t even move! We left, and he had to revisit properly when I had left.
- Day trips- A lot of tour companies offer to take you on day trips to Kutna Hora or Český Krumlov. I don’t believe it is necessary as you can easily jump on the train or bus and make your own way there for a lot cheaper!
- Public transport- The trams around Prague are great. They take you anywhere you need to go and are pretty straight forward, and the public transport is very affordable.
- Getting to the airport- If your flight is at a reasonable hour, there are affordable buses to the airport. As my flight home was at 7am, I needed to be at the airport so I just used Uber, which is quite cheap and reliable in the Czech Republic. Here is a good site regarding how to get to and from the airport via public transport.
11. Exit of Prague Castle, 12. Mala Strana, 13. Lesser Town Bridge Tower, 14. Old Town Square, 15. A sweaty me at the Lesser Town Bridge Tower, 16. View from the Lesser Town Bridge Tower
What to eat-
- Ice-cream- Angelato ice-cream is situated at the bottom of Letná Park. Make sure you get a scoop or two to help give you the strength to walk up the hill or reward yourself when you come back down!
- Trdelník- These are the same delicious chimney cakes I found in Budapest, Hungary. In Prague they often add chocolate, ice-cream and/or whipped cream to their chimney cakes.
- Fried cheese- I didn’t try this as I was trying to be ~somewhat~ healthy by the end of my trip, but these were available in many restaurants in Prague and I am told they are a Czech delicacy.
- Goulash- Just like the schnitzel, goulash is available all across the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, but while the Hungarian version is soupy, the Czech version is a thicker stew and served with dumplings.
- Beer- Like Austria and Germany, the Czechs were crazy about their beer!
17. Letná Park, 18. Old Town Square, 19. Lennon Wall, 20. Synagogue in Josefov, 21. Sunset on Charles Bridge, 22. Locks under Charles Bridge
Originally, I had booked my hostel with Prague Square Hostel as it was located on the Old Town’s door step. However, as my travels progressed I realised I hadn’t really experienced the night life in many of these amazing cities and wanted to party in Prague. My brother isn’t really one for partying, so I decided to change my hostel to a well known party hostel, Hostel One Prague. I am really glad I did this as the staff were so welcoming, and also provided free dinners so you had a chance to meet other travellers as well. The only downside to this hostel was the location, as it was about a 10 minute tram ride to the centre of the town.