The train journey from Berlin to Prague was rather eventful. My mother called me to tell me final university grade so the people in our carriage were all waiting in suspense to hear the result. Looking back, it was a rather surreal experience but it definitely got the lovely folks in the carriage talking. Just as she was about to tell me the results, there was bad signal and the line. I was desperately trying to ring her again, shaken with nerves. I eventually found out I received a 2:1 in my BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree. I was so emotional! That aside, it was an awful train journey as it was really hot and stuffy and it was hugely delayed. When we finally arrived in Prague, we found our hostel – Sokolska Youth Hostel, put our bags down, quickly changed and then went out to PARTAYYYY.
We went to the Rodeo Skolska Club, which was a convenient 5 minutes walk from our hostel. We were pleasantly surprised by this cocktail lounge as the music was right up our street – really fun dance tunes from the 80s and 90s. I really liked the fact that no tourists were there as it seemed very popular with the Czechs. What was really different was the fact that everyone was smoking inside!! It was the first and best night out in our entire interrailing trip.
Day 1: Castles and Bridges
The first day we went to see some important tourists sites, including the Petrin Hill, Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and Prague Museum.
Excited and still buzzing from the night before, we started our day by walking up to the Prague Castle. Dating back to the 9th Century, this castle has been the home of many bohemian kings and is where the current President resides. We didn’t fancy going inside, but for a nominal fee, you can explore the insides of the largest ancient castle in the world.
We then walked down to Petrin Hill for the best panoramic views of the city. Petrin Hill is a lovely green space west of Charles Bridge, near Prague Castle in the Mala Strana area. To get to the top, you could either hike or take a funicular (or do a combination of both). There are three stops, Ujezd at the bottom, Nebozizek in the middle and Petrin at the top.
We hiked up and the walk itself takes about 30 minutes – it’s a bit steep but walking through the woods and trees as your climb is a pleasantly quiet experience. Petrin Hill rises over 130m above the Vltava River, making it the perfect place for the stunning view of the city. Historically, the hill was covered in rocks, which were later used to build the city. In 1360, the Hunger Wall was put up as a medieval defensive wall to protect the town from invaders. We day we went was so nice and the hill was full of both locals and tourists enjoying the beautiful weather. took many pictures here before walking down the hill towards Mala Strana
We then walked across the Charles Bridge to see the stunning statues and views of the Vltava River. King Charles IV commanded its construction in 1457 and it was completed at the beginning of the 15th century. At the time, it was the only bridge across the Vltava river before more were built later on. It is decorated with 30 baroque-style statues of Christian saints. There were also many Artisans scattered across the bridge which were entertaining.
The weather then turned for the worst as it went from a sweltering hot day to pouring it down. We decided to grab some lunch – shamelessly having some Indian food in a mall to curb our food cravings for rice. As it was still raining, we decided to take shelter and visit Prague City Museum. This museum was a great place to see this history of Prague and there were a variety of items going back hundreds of years. The main thing to see if the model of Prague, which fill a whole room. Unless you are really interested in Prague history – this museum didn’t really excite me at all.
We finally took a bus back to the hostel. We met some lovely Irish girls in our dorm who told us they they were going to the Drunken Monkey pub crawl. We decided to join them and it was just such a fun night out. We met so many lovely (and crazy) people there and we danced until the early hours. It was one of those nights out which i wouldn’t forget in a hurry.
Day 2: Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock
We were very tired from the night before, bit still forced ourselves to get up, have some breakfast, pack our rucksacks and then go on the walking tour. We wanted to know a little but more about the old town and the history behind the Astronomical Clock. We actually fell asleep standing up whilst on the walking tour – i guess thats what happens when you go on a walking tour with hardly any sleep. Hannah and i laughed so much at how that was even possible!
Old Town Square:
This is one of the prettiest places of Prague and is often filled with the Christmas market in the winter and food stalls.
The Astronomical clock:
This is a medieval astronomical clock that was first installed in 1410. This makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world and the oldest one still operating. Be sure to arrive a few minutes before the hour to watch the performance. I wont spoil the surprise, but you wont be the only one watching it as hundreds of other tourists will be huddled together to admire the display.
The Church of Our Lady before Tyn:
This church is one of the most preeminent symbols of Prague’s gothic style, with a long and eventful history. Located in the Old town square of Prague, you would not be able to miss this church with its two Gothic towers dominating the square. If you take a closer look, you will notice that these twin towers are not identical. One of them is a bit more solid than the other. Legend has it that this represents the stronger side of the family, the man.
This is where we left the walking tour and decided that sleeping in a park would be a better option. It was only when we woke up an hour late to find the tourists have left the park and we were now surrounded by homeless people taking their afternoon nap. We thought that it was probably a good time to go to our next stop – Krakow.
We stayed in a standard 8 bed female dorm in Sokolska youth hostel for 2 nights. Even though it was in a very central location and near a metro. I would stay here again, only If every single hostel in Prague was fully booked. I am not a fussy person when it comes to hostels. But I still have nightmares when I think about the bathroom. First of all, the light switch is outside – so if someone accidently switches it off, and you are too British to shout out that you are inside – you are stuck having a shower in pitch black. That aside, it was very unclean – to the point where I felt like I needed to have another shower after having a shower. It didn’t help that there was such a creepy man that NEVER went to sleep – just rocking in an arm chair in the living room – staring at the door. It was freaky. Apart from that, the bunk beds didn’t fall through, which is good.
Do you have any questions about travelling to Prague that I didn’t answer? Be sure to leave them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible 🙂
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