I took my first day of holiday to spend a “long” weekend in Prague. I’ve wanted to go for a long time now, even more so every time a friend tells me about how gorgeous the city is. The flight was reasonably priced (240Sfr roundtrip), so after thinking for a week or two I decided to go ahead with it. Similar to Dublin, I originally booked a room at a hostel but then decided to stay more comfortably at a hotel instead. I stayed at Vintage Design Hotel Sax, a cute boutique hotel that I highly recommend to anyone wanting to stay at somewhere inexpensive, clean and located conveniently.
Prague is a very walkable city. I lived west of the Vltava River, and it took less than 15 minutes to get to any of the bridges. Charles Bridge is in a class of its own. I spent 30 minutes walking across the bridge, when a normal un-distracted person would probably take 3. The views are stunning!
East of the river
Facing the west
Part of the gorgeous city centre
It would be really nice to eat outside when the weather is warm
A fisheye view of Prague Astronomical Clock
I spent a few hours exploring the Jewish quarter. I think it is most definitely a must-see attraction. Any site that serves as a reminder of the atrocities of the past should never be skipped – it is only in remembrance that we learn from past mistakes and hope that history never repeats itself.
The Jewish Museum had some interesting exhibits.. one particularly heartbreaking section of the building houses children’s drawings from the Holocaust period. Seeing the way that children depicted the tragedy in their lives and the way they used art as a coping mechanism.. I felt the exhibit offered a unique perspective and was really moving..
This is the old cemetery, where up to 100,000 people were buried
After walking around the Jewish quarter, I went up the Old Town Hall Tower for a 360 degree view of Prague. The ticket was really cheap (I believe about the equivalent of 2EUR for students) and the views were stunning. I wanted to go back to take some sunset photos but didn’t have time..
The Old Town Square
The Prague Astronomical Clock – especially beautiful at night when the numbers and hands glow in gold
Back on Charles Bridge in the evening.. The light at the bottom of the photo is actually a ferry – I didn’t notice it moving when I was taking the long exposure. It gives an interesting effect!
On the next day, I visited the Muzeum Gastronomie (Gastronomy Museum) because I love cooking and eating and can always appreciate a good meal (who doesn’t?).. but I was pretty disappointed. The entrance fee was cheap from what I remember, but I don’t like museums that don’t show original artifacts or at least give you insight that you can’t just easily look up on Wikipedia, y’know? I enjoy coming out of a museum feeling “enlightened”, but I left feeling frustrated instead.
After the museum, I headed to Kutna Hora to see the infamous Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel “decorated” with the bones of upwards of 70,000 people. Creepy, but I like creepy and interesting things. I looked up the trip online, but I was wrongly informed that the bus leaves from Florec, the main bus terminal where most international routes stop at, but that is no longer true. And because of that I wasted a whole morning.. the bus actually leaves from Háje, which is the very last stop of the red line.
Once I arrived (it took about 1.5 hours), there were no local buses running because it was a Sunday.. so I had to walk about 20 minutes to the ossuary. There were no signs whatsoever, so I had to ask 3-4 locals until I found my way. Looking back, I would recommend taking the train instead. The cost is about the same, and the train station is much closer to the ossuary than the bus.
Some of the many many bones used to decorate the church. I spent like.. 15 minutes inside the church and 3 hours in total traveling from Prague to Kutna Hora and back. If you don’t have a lot of time, this isn’t something I would REALLY recommend since it does eat up about half your day.
Charles Bridge at night
I was able to do some shopping during the trip, and I really enjoyed the malls.. Every time I see a North American-like mall, I just miss them so much.. Why can’t we have those in Switzerland?? It’s not like we don’t have the space for it..
This is the John Lennon Wall, which has been graffiti-ed on since the ’80s with colourful images and pro-peace slogans
From the pictures I’ve seen of it online, it changes every few weeks or so, with people stopping by and leaving their own temporary mark
And another one!
Overall, I loved loved loved Prague!! It was a lot more touristy than I had expected, but it was a pleasant surprise for me because I felt safer that way.. I was told that I had to be careful about my camera and shouldn’t hang it around my neck publicly, but the moment I saw hordeeees of tourists, I was like.. Nahhhhh.
Overall, my impression of the city is really positive! It’s so romantic and gorgeous, really worth visiting, especially for couples :) I normally hate to compare, but after visiting Prague, it really reaffirmed my position about Paris and how it’s an overrated city. Prague, imo, is so much more beautiful, charismatic, fun, and romantic.. ok there I go with the Paris bashing again. I’ll leave this on a pleasant note – DO give it a visit! You won’t be disappointed. It’s a really nice city to just walk around aimlessly, there is eye candy everywhere. It is that beautiful. See for yourself :D