Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Guide to Prague

Prague is magical city... The whole time I felt as if I was walking through a medieval fairytale, if only the tourists would disappear (I know that's hypocritical considering I am one). However, the first night I arrived in Prague (the night I was left to fend for myself) there were absolutely NO tourists. After checking into my wonderful hostel (Hostel Orange), I decided to wander around the city since everything in Prague is so close together...

The Old Town Square is virtually empty at midnight on Thursdays

After my short, solitary walking tour of the city at night, I definitely got my bearings down and was prepared to take on the city by day!

Here's a list of recommendations that I suggest you do/see/eat/buy/etc on your visit to Prague, as well as some things I WISH I could have done:

1. Eat at one of the many 24 hour fast food stands- They line Wenceslas Square and even though I didn't buy anything from the food carts, I have been told their sausages and fried-cheese sandwiches are to die for. Plus, McDonald's is everywhere...try something a little more unique when you get the late-night munchies

2. Buy a mini-astrological clock- Definitely a unique souvenir to Prague, and they look just like the real one. Also, you should see the real Astrological Clock! It performs every hour on the hour

The real clock

The mini clocks :)

3. Visit the Jewish Cemetery- or buy a ticket for the Jewish tour of Prague. You get to go in beautiful synagogues, and there is a wonderful museum dedicated to the Jews from Prague who died in the Holocaust. The cemetery is really interesting because bodies were buried on top of one another since there was not enough room in the ghetto to expand the cemetery, creating an oddly shaped hill in the middle of the city. Plus, some of the grave stones date back from the 14th century.

All of the red lines are the names of the 77,000 Prague Jews that died during WWII

The Jewish Cemetery

The Spanish Synagogue. Considered the most beautiful synagogue in Europe, but unfortunately you can't take pictures inside :(

4. Go to the Beer Museum Bar- This pub has around 35 different Czech beers on tap. The Czech Republic is the world's capital for beer (It even surpasses Ireland), and has some of the best pale ales in the world. If you like beer, you will love this place. If you don't like beer, this place will change your mind.

This was my personal favorite, but they also have Raspberry and Chocolate flavored beers that came a close 2nd and 3rd

5. Find your cafe- This goes for every city, but when you are wandering around on your own, take the time to scope out a little hole-in-the-wall cafe. There you will be sure to find great coffee, great pastries, great people, and a "hygge" filled atmosphere. My cafe in Prague is Kavarna Modry Orel (or the Blue Eagle Cafe).

Words cannot describe how wonderful this place is, but I can tell you it is a must-see.

Traditional, freshly baked Czech pastries

The coffee/tea bar

Truly "enchanting"

Homemade chicken stew with a caffe latte. Best foam in a latte I have ever tasted...she is a barista magician

An apple-chocolate cake...probably one of the best desserts I've ever had as well.

6. Go in the Strahov Monastery Library- And try the beer. The monks who live here have been brewing their own beer since the 12th century... it's safe to say that these guys know what they're doing. Even though I didn't have the time to try a pint, I wish I would have... and I wish I could have seen the inside of this gorgeous library.

What I got to see (The huge line should have clued me in)

What I didn't get to see inside...

7. Try this- I don't know what it's called, but it's sold on street corners almost everywhere. If you need a quick sugar high, this cinnamon-roll like thing is the perfect fix. So yummy

8. Take a day trip to Czechy Krumlov- or to Kutna Hora to see the cathedral made of bones!! Either way, day trips are awesome, especially for the Czech Republic since the landscape is gorgeous.

9. Go to the Lock Bridge and see the John Lennon Wall- For all you hopeless romantics, Beatles lovers, or aspiring graffiti artists...these two sights are well worth the visit. This street art gives you a little glimpse into Prague's renegade art scene. Buy a lock and mark your spot or just splatter some paint on the wall, either way you should leave your mark.

So many locks...

The Wall


"You may say I'm a dreamer..."

10. Bring bread to feed the swans- There are so many swans that hang out on the banks of the Vltava River. Another perfect way to relax your feet after a long walking tour would be to find a park bench and feed the swans. Just soak in a little bit of the city because before you know it, your trip to Prague will end too soon.

Of course there are hundreds of other things to see in Prague like the Prague Castle (whose lights that illuminate it at night were donated by the Rolling Stones), walk the Charles Bridge, do a Pub Crawl, and try the goulash...but these were definitely my highlights.

Up next: Budapest!!

Hej Hej,

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