If you remember one year ago I was in Central Europe. I spent few days in Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest but I totally neglected Czech Republic from the trip. One year later, I decided to stop there for the first time ever. After spending 5 days in Berlin, I took a train for 4h30min to Prague where I stayed almost 4 days. Prague was a surprise once again as I was expecting it to be more like its sister city Bratislava but no… It is different. Beautiful buildings, lot of history and you hear it everywhere… “Slovaks wanted to split from us”!
Czechoslovakia as it is used to be 22 years earlier, Czech Republic is now a Central European country surrounded by Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia. By being an EU member, Czech Republic feels very westernised. I got a little feeling of being in an ex-Soviet state but the people made me feel like it’s a country just as open-minded and democratic as Germany.
When I first arrived in Prague after a 4h30min train journey from Berlin that costs me 35 euros, I walked around the city centre. First impression… lot of tourists. A lot I wished I stayed in the train to Bratislava or back to Berlin. But I can’t blame them, I am one of them coming to see Prague. Well, seeing Prague is something I think I have successfully accomplished!
I have walked several times around the Old Town Square which is the main spot of the city. I found the very famous Astronomical Clock and St Nichols Church. Getting lost in the Old Town was very common but I enjoyed it, the streets are quite large compared to Italian or Moroccan Old Towns. After few hours walking around, I finally met someone to hang around the city. It was Sylvia, a traveller from Malaysia on her first solo trip to Europe, we had a great time! We have climbed up to Prague Castle that is another architectural beauty, unfortunately, I didn’t get inside but I still loved walking around it.
The view from Prague Castle over the city is stunning. I stayed there for few minutes to enjoy it but also to rest from the long climb to the top! We finished our walk after reaching Charles Bridge one of the most famous bridges in Europe. It is indeed beautiful and walking over it feels very special. However, I wish it would have been less crowded.
I stayed at Hostel Orange, very close to the Old Town. I met some travellers with whom I went out at night to explore Prague’s nightlife. We walked at Charles Bridge at night as well, a walk that I enjoyed once again! I actually only walked around there, Prague is fairly small so I never used public transport when staying at the hostel. I will use the word walk again (I’m trying to find another one!) but I took a Free Walking Tour on a sunny Monday afternoon. The guide was very nice and answers all questions, I was with a small group so she gave us full attention.
The Free Walking Tour took me to some touristy places that are slightly away from the crowds. My highlight of the walk was probably the John Lennon Wall which I had in mind before coming to Prague but totally forgot about it once I arrived. It is a very expressive wall. It was the power of the Czech people who have been through so much repression and censorship. This wall was their space to express themselves and denounce the regime until they got their freedom from communism. During my visit of the Museum Of Communism, I saw a very emotional video of Prague’s protests against communist regimes which shows the rough times the city and the country have endured.
Usually I feel like few days in a city are not enough but I think I was satisfied with my 4 days in Prague. It is fairly small but I would still like to go back. I would not visit in the high season but it’s now on my list for winter as I believe it would be very beautiful under the snow!