Moving on to Prague, Czech Republic! I immediately fell in love with this city. There were rolling hills and colorful old buildings with loads of history behind them and my goodness was it cheap! Which speaking of, on this map, I included a money exchange spot. Something you’ll notice the second you walk the streets is that there are money exchanges EVERYWHERE. However, my tour guide, a Californian who moved to Prague 6 years earlier, recommended this place and said it was the safest and they won’t rip you off! Go anywhere else and they will! Prague is known for ripping tourists off. I 100% did at the train station – gave 40 USD, got 6 hundred and something back but then I went to this other exchange and I gave 40 USD and got 8 hundred and something back aka GO HERE AND NO WHERE ELSE – sorry for the aggressive all caps, just trying to save you.
Also, speaking of trains, it’s time for my tiny train story! This one was probably the most ridiculous or funny, however you want to look at it. As usual, I arrived at the train station super early just to make sure I didn’t have to go through anything weird or got lost or just had a mental breakdown. So I’m there, sitting around and finally the train pulls up. All of the seats are already taken and there are a TON of people getting on. So I ended up on the floor, thinking I’ll sit here for a couple stops and it’ll empty out, it’ll be fine. Well that never happened. I ended up on the floor for 5.5 hours with about 20 other backpackers. To make matters worse, the train also stopped somewhere in the middle of Germany for some reason. My butt and my entire legs were numb when I got up in Prague and I felt like a newborn calf trying to get off the train but hey, funny story to share now! Lesson learned: you may end up on the floor but at least you have new friends to share it with and won’t get kicked off. Also, download plenty of Netflix to your phone, that way you can easily pass the time and forget about your numb body.
As I was saying though, I instantly loved Prague. And there is so much to see and learn here! I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t see the Astronomical Clock (they were doing some upkeep on it) however, my tour guide also said this was Europe’s number 3 most disappointing attraction – he acted out each of the characters surrounding the clock and I just about cried I was laughing so hard. But, nonetheless, it’s still something you have to see because why go to Prague and not?
A favorite of mine was the Prague Castle though. The walk up there is BRUTAL. It was nearly 100 degrees the day I went with not a cloud in the sky so you can only imagine how much I was sweating. However, there is the cutest little cafe in the south gardens that has incredible ice cream for only 1 USD. I got some when I first arrived and then got myself another for the walk back down 🙂 As for all of the exhibits, trust me when I say it’s worth the money to go inside. My personal favorite was St. Vitus Cathedral – it’s absolutely stunning and even if you don’t like the rest of the exhibits, the Cathedral makes up for all of them.
I also absolutely loved Letná Park (be warned it’s a little bit of an uphill hike to get there) I walked around for about an hour then made my way to the beer garden (they also have a great cider!) which provided an incredible view of the city along with dollar beers. See, I wasn’t kidding when I said it was cheap! However, they only take cash so make sure you’ve hit up the money exchange before heading here!
Prague was one of the few places I actually needed cash – while most restaurants and stores took card, a lot of the beer gardens, street vendors and markets only take cash. And you’re most definitely going to want to get a trdelnik with Nutella inside, a Prague hot dog and some souvenirs so make sure you have the cash to do so!
Last tip for Prague, head to the Charles Bridge super early in the morning if you actually want some nice photo ops. While during the day and at night you’ll get street performers, there are so many people milling around you will feel extra claustrophobic. However, if you are brave enough to go at night, you’ll get to see some really great musicians like this band who ironically played one of my favorites while I was trying to push through the millions of people.
If you’re in Prague for an extended period of time and want to get out of the city, make your way to the Terezin Concentration Camp. This one is very unlike the others because it was used for propaganda and hosting the Red Cross for visits. AKA it’s a bit “nicer”. Sandmen’s has a great option for this! Also check out Kutna Hora, home of Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel adorned with human skeletons.
Food & Drinks
Sights To See
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Prague, Czech Republic