After saying our goodbyes to the city of Berlin, Emma and I boarded the train to Prague in the morning and set off on our next adventure. The train ride was really smooth with beautiful views of the hillsides and rivers along the way. Although we were both really exausted and ready to pass out on the train I managed to stay awake for a little while to soak in the beauty of the countryside. Prague has been on my list of places to visit for quite a while, especially because my Grandmother’s family was from the Czech Republic, and being over in the U.K. this year for Uni, I found it the perfect opportunity to visit.
Upon our arrival, it was actually really easy to find the hostel, and knowing the two of us if we were able to find it free of hassle, anyone can! It probably helped that the place we were staying was just a short tram ride or about a 15 min walk away from the main train station, and the website gave us very specific instructions. We booked a ten bed room at Hostel One within walking distance to the city centre and the Prague Castle if you don’t mind taking on the short trek up a hill. The front desk attendants were very positive, welcoming, and wanted us to feel included in all of the activities that the hostel had to offer. I think that this would be a great fit for anyone looking for a great social setting to meet fellow travelers from all around the world as it is a very friendly environment with people looking to have a good time. I will say that if you aren’t very interested in partying or you’re easily intimidated by bold personalities, this place may not be for you . . . Think of the portrayals of frat houses on tv and then mesh that with the stereotype of a college Eurotrip and you’ve got Hostel One (Okay maybe that’s a little extreme, but you get the point). It has a great youthful energy, but I’m going to be completely honest here and say that since Emma and I were looking to have full days exploring the city, partying was not our main agenda so we were caught off guard when we were constantly peer pressured to go down to the bar and start drinking. I guess this shouldn’t have come as a surprise though as we discovered that in Prague, beer is cheaper than water! We weren’t too bothered by it though because I know that people were just trying to make sure we were having fun and sociallizing with all of the other residents and I think it is great that everyone else was enjoying themselves. It was really good place to stay in terms of meeting people because the hostel set up different activities each day that you could go on as well as several free dinners cooked throughout the week for visitors to enjoy, providing us with a great time to socialize and get to hear other people’s travel experiences and advice. I’ve still even stayed in touch with a couple of the people that we met on this trip, some of the perks of modern technology haha (Hello from the States if you are reading this! Here’s what you missed when you were nursing your hangovers) Our first full day in Prague, after trying to plan out what to do, we decided to take a walk around the city to get a sense of where everything was and see where our feet took us. We ended up walking down the main shopping street which was near one of the museums in the city and a row of vendors from the Easter markets.This museum was in the midst of a renovation but it still looked lovely on this gorgeous day.A photograph of the main promenade of shops taken from the museum steps. As you’ll notice later on, the old part of the city is just past the end of this street off in the distance.Here is a group of musicians that were playing Bohemian folk music at the market.
As we made our way through this portion of the Easter market, we heard these musicians playing really beautiful Bohemian music traditional in the Czech Republic. I don’t know if it was my Czech heritage or what, but I kept wanting to go back to this area, the music was drawing me in. Emma kept telling me you just want to go back to the shopping area to hear the Bohemian music! The Easter festival was full of aromas of delicious looking food and a nice array of sweet treats.
The “Old Town” of Prague looked like it was taken straight out of a storybook! It was absolutely charming and I think that the Easter markets only enhanced the fairytale appearance of the city. In addition to all of the food that the vendors had to offer, there were people selling beautiful hand painted eggs that graced all of the trees displayed in the square. Emma and I both bought one as a small souvenir to take as a memory of our trip, and I think these would make a perfect unique gift for someone, although I always feel a bit torn about wether or not to purchase souvenirs for friends back home. On one hand it’s thoughtful, but then again it’s kind of just a reminder for them of the adventure that they missed out on. Anyway, back into the Prague blog . . .That evening we had an early dinner late lunch at the market where Emma insisted that I try the Czech sausages since she’s a vegetarian and had to forgo a lot of the traditional food served. Needless to say it was worth it! For our proper dinner, we took advantage of the free food that our hostel had prepared so that we could hang out in the kitchen and possibly meet some new people and afterwards we decided to relax in the tv/lounge area to figure out what we wanted to do later that evening. Oh and I must mention that the hostel had tea and coffee available at all times, this is important to mention because it kind of became part of my identity to have a cup of tea in hand at all times haha. Shortly after making my nightly cup of tea and settling into the lounge area, we were joined by a group of lads on holiday from the U.K. who were very friendly and definitely made for some entertaining stories to tell when reminiscing about our Prague adventures. Later that evening, we decided to venture out into the city centre to get drinks with some of the people staying in our room and get to know some new people who hailed from the U.S, Canada and even all the way from Australia. After wandering around town for a little while, we ended up sitting near Charles Bridge to admire the beautifully lit up city and people watch during the busy nightlife.
On our second full day in Prague, we decided to go on one of the free walking tours that start around Old Town and end up near Charles Bridge. Free walking tours are a perfect way to get oriented with a new city and learn a bit about the history and culture of the place you are exploring. If you are traveling solo, this offers another great opportunity to meet other travelers finding their way around a city. Here is one of the buildings that we walked past during the tour, and while it may just look like any other ordinary building, it actually was built using the unique guidelines of cubism which was a popular style of art during the early 1900’s until the 1920’s. A classic street in Prague.Here is the clock tower in Old Town Prague. People gather around the clock at every hour to watch as the clock gears shift and the figures on the sides move ending in a golden rooster crowing. Although it is definitely built up to be more epic than it actually is, the fact that this clock is still fully working makes it well worth the watch!A sculpture representing the Czech born author Franz Kafka and his famous novel “The Metamorphorsis.”A Synagogue in Prague.
Following the tour, Emma and I walked up to the Prague castle to get a view of the entire city from up on the hill and also because when in Prague, you have to pay the castle a little visit! It was a fairly easy walk and if you want to see some fantastic views of the city, I would definitely recommend making the trek up the hill, after all it’s free exercise!
And then, my camera battery died because I had forgotten to charge it the night before . . . but at least you get a taste of what the castle grounds were like and it allows for a little mystery for people who have yet to see the intricate architecture, I mean photographs do not really do it justice. For our final hours of the day we took a walk to visit the famous John Lennon wall and past another love lock bridge which have become quite popular in many different cities these days.
Sometimes it’s fun to wander around and see where you end up, especially when a lot of the main tourist destinations are swarming with people. Who knows, you may find a neat little area that you wouldn’t have before if you had planned everything out and were on a set schedule. We had a lovely last night out in Prague and were able to spend some time talking to people we had met in our hostel before departing in the morning. I really loved adventuring through the city and seeing such a different part of Europe than I had ever been to before, and my thirst for travel makes me hopeful that I will someday make it back in the future. Next stop the country where the hills are alive with the sound of music!
Until next time,