I feel like there are some incredible cities in the world that don't get enough credit and Prague is definitely amongst them. When people fantasize about a trip to Europe they might picture eating gelato by the colosseum or sitting at a cafe sipping pinot noir by the Eiffel tower. They want to see cobblestone streets and "European Architecture." Buildings where you can place yourself within a different era and be whisked away into a different reality from your everyday life. Although there is no colosseum or Eiffel tower in Prague, there is no denying its quintessential "Europeanness." It is truly like stepping into a different century, and it's far more reasonably priced than a time machine. Here is an account of my whirlwind time in Prague and hopefully it can help you plan your own journey to this magical city!
Arriving in Prague
I arrived via train and that in and of itself was a mini adventure....but that's a story for another time. The main train station (Praha hlavni nadrazi) is centrally located and well within walking distance of most of Prague's main attractions. Luckily I was staying in a hostel right off of Old Town Square, so it was only about a 15-minute walk away. If you are arriving via airplane, the airport is about a 20-minute drive outside of the city center. Here is a good article about how to arrive from the airport.
Accommodation in Prague
Whenever I travel alone, I love to stay in Hostels. In my opinion, it is the easiest way to make friends to explore with, plus it somehow feels safer staying in a room with other people. This time around I stayed in a place called Prague Square Hostel. You can't beat the location, it is right off of Old Town Square and steps away from the famous astrological clock! But, if you aren't about hostel life, Airbnb is always a great option and there are some amazing hotels as well!
I passed out as soon as I got to my hostel because I was so exhausted from not sleeping a wink the night before due to an Oktoberfest/German train misadventure in Munich....but I did manage to wake up at around 6:50 to make it to the Opera at 7! (I know, so cultured). I saw the Opera Fidelio, *FUN FACT* it was the only Opera that Beethoven ever wrote. I had purchased the tickets in advance and I knew I would regret sleeping through it, so I put on some red lipstick, and cute shoes and ran out the door. You don't have to get too dolled up to go out to the Opera these days, although it definitely makes it more fun....but I digress. The show was INCREDIBLE and I highly recommend going while in Prague. The theater is a historic gem alone, but you get to see a world-renown show/cast for a fraction of the price compared to other major European Cities. I sang Opera in University, so I have been in love with it for a little while, but even if it isn't your thing you should expand your horizons and go anyway! That's what travel is all about right?
And then it was when I woke up the next morning that my magical Czech day began...
I was planning on waking up at 6 am to do some early sightseeing, but my exhaustion caught up with me and I didn't start my day until 9 am....Oops! I befriended one of my roommates and we went to breakfast together at Café Louvre, which was beautiful, delicious, and very reasonably priced! I got the Czech breakfast because...well....when in Prague right?
Next, we raced from breakfast to catch the 11 am free walking tour! The tour we went on was about 2 hours and we covered a lot of ground! The photos don't do too much justice to the tour, but it was wonderful!
I love to go on free walking tours when I am in Europe, they aren't totally free because they are tip-based, but I feel like this leads to more enthusiastic, fun tour guides because they are working for tips! They are cheaper and more laid back, plus you cover a lot of ground and it's a fun way to make new friends.
After the walking tour, we headed over to eat lunch at a place called Lokal. all the blog posts I read and people I met said to eat here, so I had to check it out! It didn't disappoint and I of course got the goulash and a classic Czech beer. It was crazy busy at lunchtime, but you are able to make reservations in advance, so I suggest you do this if you have your heart set on eating here. This place is also known for their fried cheese, which we got as a starter and it was amazing.
Now in a food coma, it was time to walk it all off by walking up the hundreds of stairs to Prague Castle....though exhausting, the views were MAGICAL!!!
The castle area was very cool and most recommend going with a guide. We were too lazy to do that so I just downloaded a self-guided tour on my phone and we explored ourselves, but next time I will probably use a guide...We also went pretty late in the day, so things were beginning to close! In other words, don't do what we did at all and look at when things close/get a guide...learn from my mistakes!