How often do you read the newspaper?
*time for you to think*
Don’t blame me for this. I know I should be the only one speaking in my articles but I cannot stop asking for opinions. Maybe just some of you noticed, but I had stolen the title for this article from a newspaper, and not only because I am going to speak about Prague but because they are a lot to say about it. So what about reading today’s newspaper? (Now it is the proper time you can say: ok, ok, you are the boss)
First page: GET LOST IN PRAGUE.
Are the journalists insane? How can they advise this? And why did they underline the words ‘architecture’, ‘beer’, ‘swan’ and ‘crown’? Well.. the journalists are insane only because they did not say “MOVE IN PRAGUE” instead of “GET LOST IN PRAGUE”. Everybody falls in love with Prague, it has something for everybody. Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, is officially my first favorite city I have visited so far and I still cannot decide why that. In other words, I am not sure if I am pleased to see an almost intact city in terms of aspect (it is one of the few cities that managed to save its appearance after the two WWs) or to drink cheap beer on an island in the middle of the city.
Second page: GET FAT IN PRAGUE.
…Because the Czech Republic has a very rich cuisine for cheap prices. The street food is also delicious in spite of the fact that the whole country is not even a little bit vegan-friendly. I was only a vegetarian the first time I visited Prague, so I tried the ice cream rolls(you can find them everywhere) and the marinated cabbage salad with potatoes and cheese and I have to admit that they were really tasty and totally delicious. In the restaurants, you will find especially bread soups, ribs, pork, beef, and dumplings. And of course, you have to match the food with beer (forget about wine when in the Czech Republic); you will see everywhere draught beer (which is really good too) or if you prefer bottled beer you can go for Pilsner Plzen (the best of the best) or for Kozel (if you prefer beers that are not so acidified). Also, you can try BeerGeek, a bar in Prague (Pivoteka), where they serve unfiltered, hoppy, floral, spicy, herbal, malty, toffee, burnt, sweet, sour, bitter, body, dry, linger, citrus(and so on)beer.
But don’t be selfish on Prague! They are a lot of swans and ducks/drakes that wait to be fed right next to the Charles Bridge but don’t feed them bread or biscuits. I’ve recently found out that it is not good for them and they can develop a really bad disease because of it so I insist on you to try beans or cereals or things like this.
Third page: VISIT PRAGUE.
Ok, so we moved in Prague, we got fat, now what? Now let’s take walks. If you prefer the public transportation that’s cool too because in Prague there is a very developed traffic. You have buses from anywhere to everywhere, including Airport – Main Station (Airport Express line – AE) and they are all very cheap. For example, a one-day pass is around 3€ (80 koruna or something like this) but (and this is a serious but) right after you got into a bus, fasten your seatbelt, put your helmet on and pray because they have no speed limit and they really enjoy this. They are crazy drivers. If you prefer walking, the traffic will annoy you too because the traffic lights change way too fast (they stop after you have passed only a half of the crosswalk) but for me, walking works better. They are a lot of beautiful buildings to be seen and a lot of shops to be entered in by a tourist. After all, the showcases full of absinth and bohemian crystal, the souvenir shops and the ambulant musicians are part of the fairytale.
I think the best tip that I can give you is to visit this wonderful city during autumn/winter or during the night. For me, it was way better during the winter than the spring or summer because of the way that colors contrast. More than this, the city is not so crowded and you will be glad that you have considered my advice when you will wait only 20 minutes in a queue instead of 40 minutes.
Regarding must-sees in Prague, you have probably heard at least once in your lifetime about Charles Bridge (Karluv most) and about the proposals there. They say Prague is for lovers. They take a walk on Charles’ Bridge and then go down to the Lennon’s wall to hang a locker on a bridge through there. Isn’t this a cliche? I mean, don’t worry now, you will have a better time in Prague as an alone traveler, I promise. But I warn you to not get scared; they are everywhere! And yes, probably you will not have the best picture on the bridge if you visit it during the day but I insist on taking a look and carefully observe the statues. You will thank me later. From this bridge, you can go everywhere but do not miss the Pražsky hrad – Prague Castle which is actually a kind of buildings and cathedrals complex (try to book the tickets online).
Don’t miss John Lennon’s Wall either and reserve some special time for it; it is continuously changing. In 5 months, I have seen 5 different ‘faces’ of Lennon’s Wall. If you are looking for panoramic views you should check not only Prague Castle but Petrin Lookout tower with its resort, too. The Astronomical Clock is also a must-see but it is even better if you enter it and climb the stairs up for a nice view of the central square. Do not forget to bring a marker so you can sign on its wall up there. After you have finished with the main points, you can take a look at Dancing House in Prague 2, the new city (and go up, too), visit the Klementinum library, rated as the most beautiful library in the world, the historical train station (Hlavni nadrazi), the Jewish cemetery, the head of Frantz Kafka (a spinning art-work), the National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo), the Kampa Island and take a river cruise on Vltava.
Last page: RUN FROM PRAGUE.
The Czech Republic is a very cheap country, and Prague is not so different either. In terms of traveling, Prague is our paradise. It is in the middle of Europe and the railway company Ceske Drahy, which I sincerely recommend for its services and prices, has direct connections with cities like Berlin, Dresden, Wroclaw, Krakow, Warszawa, Wien, Bern, Zurich, Budapest, Bratislava and a lot of cities like Brno, Plzen, Cesky Krumlov, Karlovy Vary, Kutna Hora perfect for one-day trips (I will publish another article totally focused on one-day trips from Prague). So take a book (Reading suggestion: ‘Closely observed trains’ by Bohumil Hrabal – brings to life the last two weeks of WWII in Czechoslovakia) and say me ‘Bye!’, but not before taking a look at the biggest ‘DO NOT’ in the Czech Republic. Warm hugs!