When I was planning my trip to Europe this summer, I had the option to go with a couple of friends on a tour that didn’t include Prague or go solo on a tour that did include Prague, and other cities that the other tour didn’t include, actually. Obviously, I chose to go with the latter. Yes, I went solo! Although I was with a tour group, but okay, that’s a different story. A couple of people have told me, including my mom, that when you go to Europe, you must not miss Prague.
And they were right! I decided to come up with my own little write-up why I think Prague is a must-see when in Europe for those who have yet to embark on a trip to Europe and are iffy about whether or not to visit the old city of Prague or for those who aspire to one day, visit the beloved Praha. So, why do I love Prague?
1) The Old Townsquare makes you feel like you’re in a fairytale. My mom described it to me once as ’the real Disneyland,’ although Prague is of course more beautiful, realistic and even more massive. Kyra and I were actually imagining how it was back in the day when modernization had yet to be talked about.
2) The small pedestrian roads leading to streets with the most colorfully painted buildings. You could just walk around and never get tired. Two of my tourmates and I lost track of time cause we were enjoying walking around too much that when we finally sat down in a restaurant, we only had about 10 minutes to gobble up everything we ordered.
3) And of course, small roads lead to little hole-in-the-walls and this was one we discovered during our first night in Prague – Cafe Mike’s, which we decided to pronounce as Mik-ah rather than the typical American pronunciation.This little hole in the wall served extra delicious food and although we had to consume everything in a matter of 10 minutes, we still enjoyed it and we were actually planning to go back the next day, but ended up elsewhere. Might I add that we were surprised how everything was so cheap.4) The way the sun hits the buildings when it reaches midday is beautiful. 5) The view from above. Prague is such a sight to see, specially from the Prague Castle estate. Across the bridge, up the hill, you’ll get the best view of Prague one could ever get.Even the estate alone was such a pretty sight6) The churches. Well, I realized that if you’re in Europe, all the churches are must-sees.7) Hidden gardens. That’s one of the pros of taking a tour and having a tour manager who knows the best places to go to (he gave us a tip for Rome that saved us so much time and again, for another post!!). We were going downhill from the Prague Castle and went through a few small roads, if I remember right, and ended up in this beautiful (I’d like to call it) secret garden, just like the movie!!
8) The kids. Okay, this might be a little biased because I love kids but I swear, I was going crazy taking of pictures of most of the kids I passed, but it wasn’t only in Prague that I was acting like such a stalker, taking snapshots of all the cute little kids; although I have no idea what the signs they’re holding up mean. I tried google translate, but as usual, it failed to translate. There was a marathon around the town square when this photo was taken though, so it must’ve had something to do with that!9) THE FOOD. I don’t know how else to explain it. Well, let’s put it this way. I’m not one to be adventurous when it comes to food when I travel (of course, I expected I would in Italy, but that’s a given). But when we were in Prague, we went crazy! I had to pay extra for the Buffet Lunchtime Cruise, which was optional, but no regrets here! Czech cuisine is extra, extra delicious! And the fact that we were cruising the Vlatva River while indulging in it was such an experience.
10) Shopping. The photo below was taken inside a Mango clothing store! Aside from having beautiful interiors, everything is cheap there. Not just in Mango, but in H&M, Zara, New Yorker–you name it. I’m not one to act like an expert, but from what I’ve experienced, the best place to go shopping in Prague is on Wenceslas Square. It’s a whole strip of clothing stores (like Champs Elysees in Paris, but a little more low maintenance), and it’s even cheaper to go shopping there than in Hong Kong! And might I add, that all the other things are also incedibly cheap–transportation, food, and so on. I don’t think you can say that about any other place in Europe, since it’s pretty expensive to shop, let alone, live there.11) The restaurants. How fantastic was it that they provided us with a heater and blankets? We were thinking if we should stay indoors or bask in the cold instead, but the blankets and the heater made it easy for us to choose the latter. I can no longer stress enough how delicious the food was (in EVERY restaurant we went to in Czech).12) Most of the must-see attractions are within walking distance. We were wandering from place to place, across the bridge, down the hill, up the hill; you could see the best sights on foot.13) It’s okay to get lost. Tried and tested. Full story here.
Conclusion: So should you Czech out (see what I did there) Prague when you’re in Europe? A BIG FAT DEFINITE YES! There are so many reasons to go and see the beautiful city, but I leave it up to you to discover your own reasons. Also, spend when you’re there. Like I said, it’s crazy cheap and you could help out the city since I remember our tour manager saying that tourism is the only industry sustaining them.