Two days in Czech Republic
This is my fourth time in Europe, although is the first I actually do a EuroTrip, as I like to call it. I stayed for a summer in Nice back in 2004, then in 2012 I lived four months in Valencia in autumn, and last year I made a 10 day trip through Italy in spring. So I decided this winter I was going to visit 8 different countries in 17 days!
First stop: Prague, Czech Republic.
Maybe it’s silly, but ever since I watched that Vin Diesel Movie XXX I wanted to visit Prague. My boyfriend Albert and I arrived after long hours of connecting flights from Cancun. We were tired but really excited! As soon as we came out from Prague’s airport we were freezing, the temperature was 5ºC at 1pm. We took the 191 bus that took us straight to the city. It was a nice road through the hills.
After a short walk from the bus stop we were at our airbnb booking, a spacious room with high ceilings and nice decoration, I liked it a lot! I always recommend using airbnb, most of the times is cheaper than hotels, plus you get the chance to have a local vibe of the city you’re visiting.
Prague is a small city where there’s no need to take any transportation, just a short walk will take you to all the most important places.
We started our tour by crossing Charles Bridge, the famous historical bridge that crosses Vtlava river. It was constructed in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, the bridge is 516 meters long by 10 meters wide. The views from this bridge are astonishing, surrounded by statues, I could almost feel like I was living in a medieval time, I was so excited I felt goosebumps. I was finally there!
We continued to walk into the Old Town: narrow streets filled with tourists and lots of small shops. Definitely my place to be in. As the night was getting colder we suddenly saw a small stand selling hot wine, we hesitated for a second but tried it. It was wonderful! We even went back to have another one.
We reached Prague’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410, it is one of the oldest clock of this type in Europe and the only one that still works!
We got to Old Town Square, the heart of the city. Once a thriving market, is now a pedestrian area, ideal to relax, and enjoy the views of the surrounding buildings: The Tyn Church with gorgeous gothic spires, The Old Town City Hall, The St. Nicholas Church with its white facade, and other Baroque and Renaissance buildings.
We started to walk back passing by the Rudolfinum Art Gallery, Jan Palach Square, Lesser Town Square, Saint Nicholas Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady Victorious. It was a lovely evening. After all that walking we were ready to sleep.
Next morning I was very hungry, so we went to Savoy Cafe, a famous brunch cafe our airbnb host recommended, when we got there it was full so we couldn’t get a table. Then we went to Lounge Cafe, where same thing happened. We walked around and couldn’t find anything! I was feeling frustrated and hangry until we found a cafe that I didn’t like that much, portions were small and not that tasty. My advice: book Savoy Cafe on advance.
I enjoyed walking up the hills to reach Prague’s Castle, the view was getting more beautiful with every step! We were pleased to arrive on time for the changing of the guard. Then we payed 250 CZK each to have access to the main areas of the Castle. We really liked Saint Vitus Cathedral, I always tend to enjoy the architecture, which has a gothic style with gargoyles and high spires. Albert on the other hand, enjoys watching antique paintings, the Cathedral had many. We both enjoyed the stained glasses.
Another part of the Castle we were fascinated to see was the Golden Lane, which is a collection of tiny houses, all brightly painted, in a narrow street. Some showcase how people used to live there, other exhibit medieval armour, weapons and textiles.
After the castle we were heading back towards Old Town Square, when we saw Palladium, a Mall that claimed to have more than 200 shops. We had a look inside and we were shocked by its size! Five full stories of shops, it was a really big shopping mall! It reminded me of Eaton’s Centre in Toronto, Canada.
We had another walk through the Old Town and I bought a famous donut-cone filled with chocolate, strawberries and whipped cream. Food porn!
Our time in Prague was over, we covered almost all must-see’s! In the morning we passed by the Dancing House, which I was eager to see! It reminded me of MIT’s Stata Center in Boston.
Next stop: Berlin, Germany.