Last weekend I spontaneously decided to make a short trip to Prague – In this post I’d like to show you some impressions and share the places we’ve visited. You will like this post if you are a) into moody city and street life photography and/or b) are a broke twenty something, thinking about going to Prague for two days and wanting to have an idea of what to do. Or c) you are interested in the short stories I will tell you about Prague.
Only if you are really mad about traveling you would take a bus at 7 am on a Saturday morning. So did we and arrived in Prague via Flixbus at around 11:30. From the main bus station (metro station Florenc) the city center can be reached within 30 minutes. Tipp: You can buy a map at the tourist info center and exchange money next to it or on the way to the center – if you are like us and arrive totally unprepared.
This part of the journey was marked by two or three people asking us for money – to buy a bus ticket, to call, just for having. I never know how to act in such a situation since you don’t know the background of the person and the gravity of their need etc. Do you have a master solution for that?
The streets are amazingly crowded, especially in between the the Old Town Square and the famous Charles Bridge. So don’t expect to get from A to B quickly. Looking up pays off – then you’re offered this great view of building or the famous Prague astronomical clock.
I don’t remember much of those places and buildings though, because all I saw were selfie sticks, the backs and feet of the people around me and other cameras trying to catch the same moments I did. Traveling is sometimes frustrating, too.
We left the Charles Bridge behind and walked towards the The Legion Bridge (Most Legií) which is on the way to our hostel called Equity Point. I can highly recommend this place because of the cheap prize, room size and free breakfast. The beds were quite shaky though – people who like moving in bed will not feel very comfortable, just don’t move, ok? You don’t need to sleep anyways because in only ten minutes you are in the city center and ready to explore Prague.
We had quite great food in Prague. My favorite place was not “traditional” – the pricy and tasty hipster place called Standard Cafe in Karoliny Světlé 321/23. For a soup, tea and baked camembert I paid 150 czech korunas, which is not even 6€. Hummus, coffee, juice and panini-breads cost around 220 – 8,50€.
Here we met all the hipster circles of Prague – and by met I mean we were looking at them from time to time. Because talking to a group of people in a cafe is for me still a creepy thing to do, since I don’t have a point to start the conversation and don’t know what to say. Still, we enjoyed the time here a lot and spent hours chatting, eating, watching people and looking at the moody photo portraits on the walls.
These sweet things are rather Slovak then Czech. They are called Trdelnik – a rolled sweet pastry found on every corner in Prague. Definitely worth trying even though they look and smell better than they taste.
We enjoyed them in a small cafe under the Charles Bridge while watching the ladies who prepared them: It’s a lot of work to roll out the dough and up the metal thing, rolling them in the sugar-caramel-cinnamon mass, keep watching the rolls, putting them into a box until it’s full and all this ongoing without break for about twenty minutes.
On top of that every two minutes chaotic tourists would come over to buy from these women, so they patiently, but still pissed, had to tell everybody “Please buy inside”.
The Saturday night fever made us walk for an hour, constantly getting lost, to meet a guy from Couchsurfing and to see the city on the way – we had dinner in a place called Pivovarsky Klub in Krizikova 17, directly opposite the main bus station.
Here you will be offered a lot of meat and a lot of beer, but also other things in case you are a vegetarian. It’s for sure a good place to try out Czech cuisine and to meet some unfriendly waiters.
I had the impression tourists are super hated here. But honestly, I would be pissed as well if every night of my life stupid tourists speaking exclusively English would come to my place asking me the most dumb questions like “explain the beer sauce to me”. So, be nice to your waiter and try some Czech words, they’ll appreciate.
What really caught our eyes were the faces of the people. Somehow many of them looked sad or at least like they had a lot of tough things going on in their lifes. Maybe they were tired, maybe it’s another way of wearing a face in public, maybe people are really less happy, outgoing and/or smiling. We don’t know and there was not enough time to get to know them – I still didn’t figure out how to start conversations with locals. Do you have a good tip for that?
Our only night we spent in the metro (because walking back to city center was definitely not an option) and later in the hostel. Like school girls we would sit on the bed and talk late into the night – so unfortunately we missed all the nightlife in Prague. As our couch surfing guy told us, there are many bars that turn into clubs at night and generally the city offers a lot of great places to go out – I found a great overview for you here.
In the morning we went to explore the Charles Bridge, to find a book shop and the John Lennon Wall on the other side. My very personal learning points from the Charles bridge:
- It’s less crowded at 10 in the morning compared to the afternoon.
- Everything sold here is at least 25% more expensive than anywhere else.
- While walking on the bridge you don’t even realize it’s a bridge and not a street – it’s super stable and wide.
- You will maybe meet this incredible musician there.
- The views are incredible, but another more funny activity is to watch other tourists going crazy with selfie sticks and cameras.
The John Lennon Wall was great for taking some pictures and learning some life lessons: “Carpe diem”, “Be naked” and “Thanks mom and dad”.
Our last stop was a view point next to the Castle – very close the Malostranska station of the green subway line and reachable within 10 minutes walking. We always got lost, this time though there were so many people following the same route, that we found it fast. By the way, an amazing map I can recommend you is the USE-IT map of Prague with useful tips by locals.
On the way to the top we found a cafe with a view and while talking about Prague being very kafkaesk and drinking hot wine we saw the transition from daylight to night (perfect time last week 16:00 to 17:00).
Cities tend to look similar from above, did you notice? I am not talking about the buildings, but the feeling you get. Everything is so small and unimportant, you can look far and not much movement is happening. And Prague made us a little bit sad, maybe the wrong first impression?
And that’s already it. Two days are a short time but in Prague they were spend to the full with a lot of views, thoughts, talks and walks. If you liked these stories of Prague and want to stay up to date – subscribe to the automatic e-mail newsletter on the right or like my page on Facebook.