I have no idea why we chose Prague of all places in Europe to go to for the first time. Regardless, I am so, so, so glad we did. Prague was the second country to go to on our trip[…]
and it was also the first country I have been to where English wasn’t the first language. I was originally a bit worried about this as we stepped onto the bus to head to our hostel, the voices over the speaker announcing each stop made absolutely no sense. In the end, English is known by a majority of people. We luckily had a couple of ladies who were willing to point us in the right direction a couple of times.
Spending one week in Prague
The stunning city of Prague
When we hopped off the tram in the square, we were absolutely fascinated. Not that Ireland wasn’t fascinating, but this was different. To me, it was like I was walking in a fairytale (okay that sounds a bit ridiculous, but it’s true). Just look at it!!
Staying in the Castle District
We were staying a two minute walk away from the Prague Castle, therefore (somewhat a downside) tourist central. The biggest positive about staying in tourist central, is that everything we wanted to see was within walking distance. Another downside, is that we didn’t end up leaving this district. We stayed between the castle and old town which served to be a great spot to hit all of the tourist and some non-tourist attractions.
With this being our first backpacking trip, my first out of North America, we were bound to make some mistakes that we have definitely learned from for the next trips we take. Some of our mistakes include:
- Who doesn’t take advantage of the FREE walking tours?! Especially when you are travelling on a budget. They provide so much information, information that would take your time researching in Google when you could be out experiencing it first hand! APPARENTLY, we valued our sleep a lot – most of them left in the morning, and we are not morning people.
- Unfortunately, we didn’t make it too far out of Old Town. We found that there was so much to see there, so we spent a lot of time exploring.
- We did not do any research on Prague before hand. This means that we didn’t have any knowledge of the extensive history Prague has to offer.
The John Lennon wall held such a great atmosphere. We happened to be there on John Lennon’s birthday, there were people with candles and a couple of guys playing some Beatles songs on their guitars. The Beatles – bringing people together for so many years, it’s amazing!!
Prague Castle delight!
Walking around the castle, was a highlight (alright, it was the first ‘fairytale’ castle I’ve ever seen so of course it was). Despite the crowds there was just so much to look at! It is more of a ‘palace grounds’ type of castle. My suggestion would be to go at night. You can expect there to be no crowds, and you can get some excellent night photography!! Only downside, you can’t get into St. Vitus Cathedral or other portions as they close earlier. The view spot from the castle also provides a nice view at night. Something you shouldn’t miss if possible!
Our favourite daily stop
Almost every day, for the week that we were in Prague, we went to the same Cafe called The Green Stove. It is just up from the castle (and our hostel). It is located at Úvoz 169/6, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana near the castle. For 100-150 kc you can get a beer (or pop) and a Panino aka. Panini. The cafe is owned by a family and has about 6-8 tables. In addition, you can also get coffee (of course) and desserts.
If you go to Prague, and you are looking for some wicked views, I would suggest going to the Petřín tower, it is worth it to go up to the top and enjoy the views. We ended up hiking up to the tower (I have no idea how we found the way we did). You can walk through the park, which is really nice. If you are looking for another place with fantastic views is the giant metronome. There are a lot of locals there drinking beer, and families flying kites.
Prague “Need to Knows”
If you are looking for some quick notes and an overview visit the Czech Republic page on my website. You can visit it either by clicking on the link or visiting the destinations page