It was the Wednesday preceding Good Friday of April 2014 when I received a call from my friend (pictured above – far left) saying, “It’s Easter weekend, we’re hiring a car and going to Prague and you are coming too”, and all I remember saying was “Cool, I’m in”. Then the realization hit me that this, in fact, was going to be my first vacation in Europe which would also strengthen the desire to travel as often as possible.
Good Friday was here, and leaving Ingolstadt quickly behind us, the SEAT Ibiza was pushed to its limits on the famous Autobahn, galloping its way across the Bavarian countryside. Four hours later, along with some cultural banter in the car, we had arrived in Praha, a romantic old city with red-tiled rooftops which serves as a gateway to Eastern Europe.
What does Prague offer? :
- Free Walking Tour: A comprehensive guide to the city, its history and culture, this tour will take you around the Old Town of Prague and covers all the important sites, giving you a good orientation of the place. Meeting Point is in front of the Astronomical Clock.
- Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock: Walk through the Old Town square and explore the stalls offering local delicacies and the legendary Pils beer. Watch the clock (the oldest operating astronomical clock in the world) ritual on the hour and climb the clock tower to get the best view of the city.
- Charles Bridge: Walk across the most famous bridge in Prague, which is covered with sculptures across the Vlatava river.
- Wenceslas Square: With the National Museum standing at one end, walk through this historic square which will lead you to the Old Town.
- Prague Castle & St. Vitus Cathedral: The Gothic Cathedral of St. Vitus lies within the huge Castle Complex which is also the official residence of the President of the Czech Republic.
- The Lennon Wall: Hidden away from the glamour of palaces and cathedrals is a stretch of wall which is covered with artwork dedicated to John Lennon and lyrics from the Beatles. A modern twist to the Old Town of Prague.
Other Sites: Dancing House, Jewish Quarter, Vyšehrad, Church of Our Lady before Týn, Petřin Hill & Park.
Once we got the sites out-of-the-way, there was only one thing left for us to do, end our first vacation with a party, and Prague has something in store for everyone with its famous Pub Crawl traversing through the Old Town. The crawl, reasonably priced between 20-25 Euros, incl. of their famous “Crawl With Me” tee-shirt, ends on the banks of the Vlatava river at Karlovy Lazne which is the biggest multi-storied club in Central Europe.
Delicacies: Being a vegetarian, I survived mostly on Fried Cheese and some remarkable pastries such as the Trdelnik, which is a grilled pastry topped with walnuts and sugar. Leading the table for the highest beer consumption in the world, the Czechs have some of the best beers including the Pilsner Urquell (the world’s first Pils) and the Kozel brand of beers.
Getting There: Prague is easily accessible by Road, Rail and Air from all major EU Cities. Major bus companies offer a lot of connections with affordable prices from all over Europe.
Places to Stay: The area around the Old Town Square boasts of a large number of hostels which are perfect to meet fellow travelers, and also all the major sites are around 10-20 minutes by foot.
Personal Recommendation: The Mad House Prague located at Spálená 102/39, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia.
Prague has lots to offer for every kind of traveler with a variety of museums, galleries and bars. Wandering along the old streets with moss-covered cobblestones, one can’t help but wonder how life would have been in the days gone by when the streets were full of horse driven carriages, the remnants of which are still available to this day as a tourist attraction.
Until the next destination – Na zdravi 😀 !