Falling in Love With Prague

I fell absolutely in love with Prague.

It was the first place where I felt like we really took full advantage of our three days there.

On the four hour train to Prague from Berlin, we ended up sitting with two 18-year-old Canadian guys who had just graduated from high school. They were happy to meet Americans who didn’t make fun of their accents. We were happy for the entertainment for the trip.

We arrived in Prague around 3 p.m. and headed to our hostel which was very easy to get to from the train station. While Prague’s public transportation is very extensive with metros and trams, it annoyed me that it didn’t list the places it was going. In other cities we’ve been to so far, there have been electronic monitors listing all of the stops the tram/train was heading or what station we were at when it stopped. But Prague didn’t have that on all of the trams so it made it a little more difficult to get to where you wanted to go.

We went the wrong way on the metro when we first got there but luckily I realized it after only one stop so it didn’t take us much out of the way.

I also made the stupid mistake of buying us a 72 hour tram/metro pass. Pretty much in every city so far we’ve used the public transportation countless times so I thought we’d save some money by getting a 3 day pass instead of a one time use. We used the freaking tram twice. Once to get to the hostel and once to get back to the train station to head to Munich. Such a waste of money. But lesson learned. Don’t buy more than you need until you know!

When we got to our 26 bed, all female dorm, we were hangry. If you’re not familiar with that term, it means you’re so hungry you’re angry. We literally locked up our backpacks and headed out the door in search of a supermarket where we could buy some snacks.

Prague is insanely cheap. For $11, we got two bottles of wine, three baguettes, a thing of strawberries, a case of six giant water bottles and a large thing of cheese. I couldn’t believe! All of that would have been $40 in London or New York. OK Prague, I’m going to like you.

Except when we got back to the hostel, we realized the six giant waters we had bought were sparkling, not still. Nothing was in English so we just sort of guessed. I tried shaking them all to see if I could figure it out but they all looked the same. In retrospect, we were kind of stupid because we should have bought the bottles with the blue labels instead of green. But oh well. You win some, you lose some. Although we usually lose.

After curing our hanger, we decided to crack open one of the bottles of wine and see if we could meet some people in our room. We talked to some 19-year-old girls from New Jersey for awhile and met an Aussie girl named Karah who was traveling alone.

She told us there was a group of people upstairs in the lobby getting ready for a pub crawl and we should join. We were pretty tired from our trip from Berlin but decided we should suck it up and be social. When in Prague, right? We’re here to make some friends!

The pub crawl was the famous Clocktower Pub Crawl that many people had told me about. For $21, we got two hours of open bar that included beer, wine, cocktails, absinthe, shots, everything, as well as a free drink at each additional bar.

The first stop with the open bar was so smokey. I’m not used to people being able to smoke in bars so it was a little off putting and I had to get used to it. My clothes reeked the next day and I didn’t even pack my tank top in the main compartment of my backpack because I was afraid it would rub off on everything else.

We met lots of people on our pub crawl including two really sweet American girls and two crazy Aussie girls. The Aussies informed us they were on cocaine and were chain smoking the entire night. They kept going to the bar and getting trays of shots and handing them out to everyone. It was a little scary honestly. We didn’t know whether to let them fend for themselves or watch over there. Pretty much everyone on the pub crawl was keeping an eye on those two because they were in desperate need of it. But we were so happy we met them because they told us about Innsbruck, a little town on the Austrian Alps. We’re heading there soon and it sounds fantastic.

Our Canadian friends from the train also joined us!

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Each additional bar we stopped at was pretty dead. First of all, it was a Thursday night. And second of all, apparently Prague’s night life doesn’t start until about 1 a.m. That’s much too late for these girls. The pub crawl guides told us the last club would be much fuller but it was already 2 a.m. and we needed food.

We ended up heading to KFC (embarrassing, I know) with Karah and heading back to our 26 bed, all female dorm.

The next day, Chels and I got up early and grabbed a coffee at a fancy little cafe around the corner. Even though it was fancy, it was still cheap! Really loved that about Prague.

Then we took the free walking tour through our hostel. Pretty much every hostel we’ve stayed at so far has had a free walking tour (just have to tip the guide) but we’ve never taken advantage. Which is sort of silly because we’ve basically done our own walking tours but without getting any of the history or information about what we’re seeing.

It was a three hour tour which was quite long but it took us by everything we’d want to see anyway and also gave us a sense of where in the city we were. We absolutely loved it. We learned so much about Prague and it’s history! We went inside churches and other buildings that we would normally just walk by so it was very interesting. We’ll definitely be taking a free walking tour at any of the stops coming up that have them.

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After the walking tour, we walked across the Charles Bridge with our Aussie friend Karah and Brenden, a guy from San Francisco.

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We walked over to the famous John Lennon wall.

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And then headed back to the hostel. On our way, we stopped at this adorable little beer garden right on the river. There was a guy playing the guitar and singing (in English!) and the beers were only $2. Seriously. If you’re poor like us and want to go to Europe, go to Prague!

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Sightseeing really takes a lot out of you. I am used to sitting behind a desk all day, only moving to get lunch. Three hour walking tours and three hours of exploring cities on our own and I’m pooped. So a nap was very needed before dinner.

I was determined to try goulash in Prague. I was told that even though that’s technically a Russian dish, it is very popular in Czech. Their culture is heavily influenced by Russia and Germany.

The Jersey girls in our hostel told me about a pretty cheap Czech food place around the corner so we headed there with Karah and Brenden.

Beer is huge in Prague. Like it’s cheaper than water or soda or even tea and coffee! It’s nuts. When we sat down at our table, instead of them bringing us waters, they brought us beers. And shots. It was a little strange!

The food was delicious and I was starving. I tried the goulash which I really liked while Chelsea had a traditional pork dish. Everyone shared their meals with each other but not this girl. I was too damn hungry to share my goulash! And I licked up every last bit of it.

I hate when people take photos of food but for the means of this trip, I will be!

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I really didn’t want to go out that night. I know some people don’t believe me when I tell them but we are not here to party. We are here in Europe to see as much as we can and learn and grow from our experiences. The Jersey girls in our hostel told us that they had been there four days already and hadn’t seen a bit of Prague because they were so hungover every day.

Sorry, but that’s not exactly my idea of backpacking. No thanks. One night of pub crawling was enough for me.

But we decided to be a little social so we grabbed our second bottle of wine and hung out in the lobby bar which was full of people and was quite fun. I was just not having it though so at midnight when Brenden and Karah headed for the famous five story club, I grabbed my jacket and walked with them so I could see Prague all lit up at night.

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The next day Chels and I met up with our Canadian friends from the train for brunch. We had a giant meal and mimosas for only $10!

No matter what country I’m in, I can always find brunch πŸ˜‰

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We kept calling them our little brothers which they didn’t exactly like. I thought that we’d meet more backpackers my age but pretty much everyone we’ve met has been quite young. Like under 21. Maybe more 24-year-olds have their crap together than I realized!

After brunch we had set aside some time to do a little planning for our next stop. We had planned on going to Vienna but hadn’t heard too many positive reviews. Most travelers we’ve met said it was just another city and they wouldn’t recommend it.

We tried for about two hours to figure out accomodations for Innsbruck, the spot on the Austrian Alps that the crazy Aussie girls had told us about. Anything cheap was already full and the rest was far too expensive so we decided to stay in Munich instead and just take a day trip to Innsbruck. So that’s the plan for our next stop! It’s really nice that we can just make last minute decisions with our Eurail pass. Although it does make accomodations a little more expensive, it makes it much more spontaneous and enjoyable.

After booking accomodations for Munich, we headed for Prague Castle which is way up on a hill on the other side of the river.

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It took a lot of stairs to get up there, but the views of Prague were amazing!

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We meandered back toward our hostel, checking out little side streets along the way and stopping to take a few photos along the river.

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There is also a famous lock bridge in Prague, much like Paris, where couples can go and place a lock together for “eternal love” or some lovey dovey crap. Not sure if this one or Paris came first. Also heard that Carrie and Big from Sex and the City were the ones to start it in Paris…also not sure if that’s true.

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Then it was time to eat again! It felt like that was all we did in Prague. We’ve been skimping on food due to our low budget so we had to splurge while it was so cheap! The hostel restaurant was offering a free drink with your first meal so we met Karah for burgers and beers in the bar. My free beer was .5 liters and bigger than my head! Not bad for a free drink.

There was a large group of 20-something guys from England who were there for a bachelor party. The bachelor who was to be married wore costumes the entire weekend. He came over and sat at our table, dressed as a french maid. They all had been drinking all day. We actually had seen them earlier wrestling in their underwear outside our hostel.

They all kept daring each other to do things and one guy squeezed lemons in the bachelor’s eyes. It was crazy! They were from Newcastle, England which apparently has a reality show called “Jordy Shore” (spelling?) based there and it’s a lot like “Jersey Shore” in the states. And they all sort of seemed like they could be on that show πŸ˜‰

One of the guys with them fell on the stairs and cracked his head open so the entire party took him to the hospital. I really hope they made it OK because they were all incredibly intoxicated and the paramedics had very shaky English.

When 90s music started to bump, we headed down to our 26 bed dorm to do some packing and charging of our electronics for our trip the next day to Munich.

It’s pretty exhausting moving around so much. We pack, unpack, pack, unpack, all the time. We’re definitely getting a little more used to it but it is draining. We’re spending four nights in Munich, the longest we’ve spent anywhere yet, so we get a little bit of a break.

Prague was our favorite place so far. We actually did some activities, learned a ton about its history and got to splurge on lots of yummy food due to the cheap prices. I hate going back to a place because there’s too much in the world to see but I’d go back to Prague. It had the perfect mix of gothic, medieval looking architecture with a city feel. Hey, maybe I’ll even live in Prague one day! I could be a millionaire there!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. What a lovely post to read and the shots are simply spectacular…Prague is such a beautiful city…

    1. What a nice comment. Thank you so much Pankaj! I took most of these photos on my iPhone 5 but a few were taken on my Sony Nex-5T. Prague really is lovely.

      1. Wow!!! The shots are really good for a phone camera…I have been to Prague many times and its architecture is spectacular….

  2. olettasemple says:

    I was in Prague for 5 weeks and I absolutely loved it. I went to all the places that you visited. Your shots are amazing!!

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