Czech Republic

IMG_2958Whilst in Czech Republic we visited the country’s capital and largest city – you got it right, PRAGUE! Prague has a massive population of a whooping 1.2 million inhabitants!  Did you know it is actually the 14th largest city in the European Union? Prague has many great landmarks and cultural experiences to offer, and there are plenty of websites that you can visit if you need a help in hand planning your trip. Click here for the main website.

We arrived in Prague on the 7th September. The hostel we were staying in wasn’t in the thick of the city, we actually had to get off the train at a “local” train station. Which was almost completely derelict and we were we questioned by the train guard ifIMG_2854 we were certain that this was the correct stop. Our hostel was still a good 20 minute walk away from the train station. During the journey there it became apparent that not many travelers passed through this part of Prague as we consistently got funny looks from the locals and pointing fingers from the school children. Nevertheless, when we reached the
hostel although it was essentially in the middle of nowhere, inside it was appealing to the eye. There was a free swimming pool and sauna, a communal room equipped with computers, pool tables and vending machines and outside volleyball. Both Elle and I would highly recommend staying at this hostel, it was called Plus Prague… This company had hostels in various places throughout Europe and we stayed in one of them in Venice. Click here for the hostel link.

On our first day in Prague we didn’t really do much because the previous day we had such a hectic day scaling Berlin. We spent the day settling in and making use of the facilities in the hostel. We went swimming, and may I say the pool was absolutely freezing!! So, we were only in the pool for about 20 minutes, and warmed up in the sauna. Once we had got changed, we went out to explore the local area. It was quite a small community so there wasn’t much to do. We planned to go out for a meal, the first restaurant we went in had a bowling alley upstairs in the establishment, but when we walked in it was foggy with thick smoke because in Prague it is still legal to smoke inside! After being so used to smoke-free restaurants back in England, it was unbearable. Fortunately, we found another restaurant that was absolutely delicious. I can’t remember the name of the place, but it would be hard to forget how delightful it was. It was great for the price too! For 2 meals and 4 drinks it was only 600 Czech Koruna, which is about £18.

We made some great friends at this hostel; especially a guy called Denny who was originally from Paris but had recently moved to Prague to study for University. He was staying in the hostel until he found an apartment to rent. We bonded with Denny over smoking weed, and we smoked with him for two nights and had some great conversations. We found out that he’s traveled and lived in various countries, and he’s only 22!

DSCN3597On the second day, we took a 50 minute walk to the Old Town Square. Which is reputable for good reason. However, there are plenty of scam artists in the center, which we fell victims to. I was taking a photograph of a snake, and the next thing I knew I had some guy coming over to me with a 6ftIMG_2971 snake, and before I had time to hesitate it was already around my neck. Thankfully I don’t have a phobia of snakes, so I thought it was a great opportunity to take some pictures. Elle also got some photos taken with the snake. Before we knew it, the guy was demanding 400kr for taking pictures!! Considering we were on a tight budget, we had only taken out 200kr, but he wouldn’t settle for anything less. So, we had to give it all to him, what a rip off! After this situation had dispersed, yet another guy came over to us asking if we wanted to try the segway for free. Obviously after being ripped off, we couldn’t pass up on the offer. It was amazing, but extremely difficult to use. If you already know how to use a segway or you’re a fast learner I would definitely recommend going on a tour.

Walking just outside of the the Town Square we came across the Charles Bridge which is a famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river. Once again filled with hucksters and cartoonists. A great tourist attraction, filled with opportunity to sell goods.

IMG_2963Just a little further up we knew that the Prague Castle was near. Little did we know it was up over 2000 steps! But, my goodness was it worth it. The view from the top was breathtaking, you could see the whole of Prague from where we were standing. The pictures aren’t as great as seeing it in real life, if only we had a better camera. After taking in the views, we were on our way to the Prague Castle when we were fortunate enough to witness the changing of the guards from start to finish. Which was an impressive experience. It is free entry to go into the Prague Castle and it was stunning inside. Definitely worth going to visit if you ever find yourself in Prague. We returned back to our hostel a few hours later and had an early night as we had to be up early the next day day to continue our trip to the next country.