Category Archives: Czech Republic

A sum of Prague

Since I’ve been back in London I thought it would be a good idea to kind of make a list of things I learned that would be helpful to anyone ever going there. Just in case.

1. Don’t pay for Prague Castle. It’s only for “exhibits”. Honestly, we were more than happy with what we experienced without paying. You can walk the grounds and still go inside without paying a cent.

2. Eat the street food!!!! They don’t have anything super sketchy, they’re more like little stands. They were my favorite of the food I ate the entire time there. Trdelnick was my absolute favorite.

3. Do NOT get a taxi once inside the city. Do. Not. The city is small enough that you can easily walk everywhere. We walked into multiple hotels asking for maps until we got one that we liked, they hand them out like candy. They are the super touristy easy to read ones. Even though, the street names are not easy to say and remember (all in Czech) but there are basic massive landmarks all over that we quickly picked up on to figure out which way to go.

4. Speaking of walking, they walk on the right there. (Same as the U.S.) this thrilled me.

5. It’s a really clean city. I was actually astonished at how nice it was. As far as I know, safety wasn’t a big issue either.

6. Another thing when you’re walking- look around and look back! The architecture of the buildings in this city is insane and sometimes the backs are better than the fronts. Always remember to look behind you.

7. As far as food and everything else went I was told The Czech Republic was extremely cheap. It may be, but this was absolutely false in Prague. The prices were right around the same as the US. Which is nice compared to every other European city, but it’s nothing mind blowing.

8. When eating out- tips aren’t always included. The bill usually has in big print at the bottom if they’re not. They only ask for 10% usually if they do. We didn’t notice this for the first few places (to look) and I felt really bad after.

9. When you are going out to eat or drink, GET OUT OF THE TOURISM! The worst, most expensive, and all around bad experiences for food were in more of the tourist area. Walk just a little bit more out of the city and you’ll hit the real Czech areas that have fabulous food and drink. (Like the bar strip I mentioned in my second Prague post.)

10. Don’t drink the liquor. It’s ratchet and watered down. Okay, don’t even drink the wine. It comes from sketchy plastic bottles. I am 21 and at a drinking peak in my life and I couldn’t even handle the wine. This is a beer country and I suggest you drink it.

11. You don’t need much time in this city. You can easily see and do everything you want to in 2 days. (As far as being a tourist goes.)

12. They call Prague ‘Praha’

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Classic Prague Tourists

We woke up early to be the ultimate Prague Tourists and hit everything on our last day that we hadn’t yet. We started with the “Dancing building”. (In my opinion, this was actually super lame… It’s just new age architecture in this city with all of this old beautiful architecture, but it’s a big deal so we went.)

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Charle’s Bridge was next. The statues are beautiful and neat but the bridge was over run with tourists and locals trying to sell crap to tourists.

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We crossed over and walked around the “Lesser Town” where all the ambassies were that led up to the Prague Castle.

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This turned out to be my favorite part of the city. It was gorgeous and looked like it was straight out of a fairy tale. We even came across a “Gingerbread Museum”.

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Last was Prague Castle! We went into the chapel a bit and then up to the castle. The surrounding area was all beautiful too.

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The view was also killer of the entire city.

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Walking the Tourist path of Prague

The second day we were there it was Sunday, so due to that everything closed at earlier times. We did know where we were going though thanks to being lost the night before and did the tourist squares throughout the city.

We started with Wenceslass Square. You might as well go to Time Square. The street starts with this amazing old political building.

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After that it feeds into McDonald’s, KFC, and H&M, among a number of other international main brands. They had a couple of acts going on in the middle, like this…. I have no idea what it is.

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The street even ends in The New Yorker to sum up the street in one store. This seemed to be a big deal out front of it so I got a picture… I actually have no idea.

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At the end there are a number of streets that maze off going towards the Old Town. These are cute and off and on between souvenir shops, hole in the wall bars, and up scale bohemian crystal shops.

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The Old Town was definitely my favorite. It was beautiful. This is also where the famous Astronomical clock is. (Which the excitement of “the hour” is actually super lame, it’s just dolls up in a tiny window that pass by.)

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We walked along the river and over one of the bridges (not Charles, saved that and the castle for tomorrow).

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After that we went to the Jewish part of the city, “Josefov”. There’s a touristy-famous section with a cemetery and house from when it was a ghetto.

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We walked back towards the hotel and got dinner in the Old Town main square. The street food is a serious must.

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The night before we went to the bars in the tourist areas and it was TERRIBLE. So we did our research this time and found a semifamous street farther away with real Czech bars in Zizkov. It was fun even for a Sunday night. On the way there we ran into some amazing architecture and sights along the way. I have no idea what any of this actually is, but an adorable Christmas village? Ok.

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The “bohemian style” was the style of life in every bar in this bohemian country. I felt like the ultimate hipster. Dim red lighting, books, strange paintings, and cheap drinks. Most people spoke minimal English and usually just looked at us and said “Beer?” (The question mark was minimal.)

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Alcohol wasn’t as popular (and extremely watered down). So I tried the wine. It was rather garbage most places but I’m not picky. The last stop we saw them pour someone’s and realized it was coming from a sketchy liter sized, no label, plastic bottle. I don’t recommend Czech house wine. (Seriously, I paid the next morning.)

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Woke up in London, went to bed in Prague

My Thanksgiving break in Europe has begun!

I got into London in the afternoon and then proceeded to sleep most of the rest of the afternoon. We went out and I had my first proper drink in a London pub, homemade Earl Grey (tea) gin and tonic water.

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I woke up the next morning in London, it was surreal. Only the night before Nick divulged the secret of where my birthday vacation trip was to, within 12 hours of take off and I had no idea previously. We had to take the tube and a train to the London Gatwick airport to catch our flight to Prague.

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The flight from London to Prague was only about an hour and a half but Prague’s an hour ahead of London and with all the other travel included by the time we got into the city it was 5 and dark. It seems to get dark incredibly early here. We’re staying at the Brixen Praha Hotel. It’s a 10 minute walk from the main square and tourist area, so it’s pretty perfect.

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As soon as we dropped out stuff off and exchanged some money (1:22 exchange rate) we scoured the city looking for a bar that was playing the Arsenal-ManU game. After literally an hour we finally found this “sports bar” packed with fans.

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We tried to go to a restaurant for dinner that Nick’s friend strongly recommended with traditional Czech cuisine. After being heavily ripped off by a cabbie we got there and found out the restaurant was closed. Great. We got a meal at this (crappy) Italian restaurant (it looked nice the food just sucked) instead next door. The city of Prague is quite small and if you want you can walk everywhere. It’s just really hard: no grid system, all the road names are in hard czech, and the road names change at certain points along the same road. So after our taxi experience we said screw it and tried to hike back up to the main tourist area. We saw a lot of crazy beautiful buildings on the way back, despite sometimes doing circles and being beyond lost. We stumbled upon some famous ones, like Henry’s Bell Tower.

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The National Theater

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This cool plexi glass building next to it:

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The Bethlehem Chaple (which was actually super lame?)

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Along with a few other random fun streets and buildings…

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But my favorite is the Old Town Hall. We first saw it peeking up…
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The building turned up looking like the kingdom in Disney. It was beautiful!

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