Citytrip: Prague

Last week I went on my first holiday without parents. Eline and I spent 5 days (Monday 9 July - Friday 13 July) in Prague! It was an amazing week, mostly filled with sightseeing as we both wanted to see as much as possible of the city.

Our bed!

We arrived at our hotel at around 13:00 on Monday, and luckily our room was ready so we left our suitcases there. The hotel was amazing, we stayed in the Red and Blue Design Hotel, all rooms there have either a blue or a red theme. From the hotel it took about 15 minutes to walk to the Charles Bridge, so we spent Monday afternoon exploring the city.

Trdelnik.. omnomnom (:

On Tuesday the real sightseeing started, this was also the day our 4 day Prague Card started. In the morning we took a 2 hour bus tour through the city, which we got for free with our Prague Card! The bus took us through the most important parts of the city and we were given half an hour to walk around Prague Castle. As half an hour is by far not enough to see the highlights of Prague Castle we decided to just stroll around a bit and come back on Wednesday. After the city tour we went to the Old Town Square where we ate Trdelnik, a sweet bread which is baked on a rod. We then climbed the tower of the Old Town Hall, from which we had a gorgeous view over the city. This is also the tower at which the Astronomical Clock is located, so at 14:00 we went down to watch the Apostles coming by (this happens every hour). After this we walked through the Old Town to Josefov, the Jewish Quarter. We decided to not visit the Jewish museum and cemetery as this is quite expensive and we were on a budget trip after all! I do really want to see the museum sometime so I have a reason to come back to Prague. Instead we went to the St. Agnes Convent, to which we got free entry with our Prague Card. The building was impressive and there is an exhibition of Medieval art which I found quite interesting although I am not a huge fan of art.

The view from the tower of the Old Town Hall

Wednesday was another busy day. We woke up and left the hotel early as we wanted to walk up to Prague Castle before it got too hot and busy (it was a very warm week!). At 10:00 we watched the changing of the guards, and it was already quite busy. We then went into Prague Castle where we got free admission to the St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George's Basilica, the Golden Lane and the Old Royal Palace. I especially found the St. Vitus Cathedral very impressive - it is so big and elaborately decorated, especially the windows. Around noon we walked back down for lunch and a bit of a rest. Wednesday afternoon we took the funicular up Petrin Hill, which was very close to our hotel. I had heard of Petrin Hill in 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' by Kundera but it was very different from how I imagined it to be. It is a lot larger than I thought it would be. We walked around at the top (we didn't go up the small Eiffel Tower as you had to pay for this and it was very busy), and after enjoying a gorgeous view of the city we slowly walked back down.

In the St. Vitus Cathedral, look at the windows, they are so elaborately decorated!

On Thursday we walked to Vysehrad (we only used public transport to get from the airport to the hotel and back!) where we saw the oldest round building of Prague, the rotunda of St. Martin. We also went into the casemates, in which there is a big vault in which some of the original statues from the Charles Bridge are kept. These statues date from around 1700 so they had to be then of the bridge to prevent them from breaking/wearing. As we walked back down to the city I felt sick - which really disappointed me! For this reason I enjoyed this day a lot less than the previous ones. We then went to a metro station (of which I forgot the name) which, according to Eline's guide book, has one of the longest escalators in Europe - of course we had to go see this with our own eyes! We looked down the escalator and it definitely was very, very deep. After this we went to the Dvorak Museum, about Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, which unfortunately I couldn't enjoy very much because I was still feeling sick. But the museum building was really, really nice! We then slowly strolled back to the hotel.

St. Martin's Rotunda in Vysehrad

On our last day (Friday the 13th.... I tripped on the street and cut open my knees - ouch, nice souvenir!) we went to the Wallenstein Palace, which houses the Czech Senate and art exhibitions. We had a look at the exhibition of works by Schikaneder (who I had never heard of before but that doesn't matter) and then walked around the gardens. We spent the afternoon doing the most cliche thing you can do while on holidays: souvenir shopping! I love shopping for souvenirs haha. I always get my parents a bottle opener so of course I got them one from Prague as well, this time with a corkscrew and a small knife. For my dad I got a small bottle of Absinth, a typical Czech alcoholic drink with 70(!!!)% alcohol. I got my brother a beer glass (this was originally Eline's idea actually), as he has just turned 16 and really likes beer - it says 'Czech me out'. For my my mom I got a box of chocolates with pictures of Prague on the wrappers. And of course I couldn't forget myself - I bought myself a little notebook with a picture of the Old Town Square.

At the Wallenstein Palace

All in all we had a great trip, I really enjoyed it and I really want to go on a city trip with Eline again - she's a great companion if you want to see a lot (and of course she's generally a great companion)! (: And actually we didn't spend that much money, during the trip I spent less than 100 euros and that includes dinner, lunch, souvenirs, transport to and from the hotel and the odd entrance fee we had to pay. This was also thanks to Eline's discovery of a mall very close to our hotel, which has both a Tesco hypermarket (yes there is Tesco in Czech Republic! Why not in The Netherlands?) and a food court! We ate at the food court 3 times, where you could get a main course, drink and dessert for less than 10 euros (and it was generally good food!). For the trip itself (4 nights, including breakfast, return flight and a 4 day Prague card) we payed around 250 euro per person so I think we were very lucky!

Have you ever been to Prague?

P.S. All photographs were taken by me, please do not use them without my permission!

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