At the beginning of this year I had intended to have at least one post per day on the blog, but that hasn’t worked out so…oh well. I’ve taken a week off because I was in Prague for a few days over Easter. It was the first time I had left the country since two and a half years ago, so I was pretty excited, and I went with a few of my best friends. I’d never been to the Czech Republic before so there was plenty to do and I was looking forward to it, but is it a place I’d recommend?
Well, yes and no.
The most notable thing about the city is the architecture. The buildings are a combination of Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic architecture, and everywhere you look there’s an interesting landscape to be seen. The exchange rate is healthy, although that’s mainly with the attractions, which were cheap. The food and drink, at least in the city centre, were on par with most major cities so if you’re expecting a super cheap holiday you’ll probably be disappointed. Also, watch out for the easter market and make sure you read the signs properly because we got mugged by one of the market stalls. It was the first day we arrived and we wanted to sample some local cuisine. One of the stalls sold something called Haluska, which is cabbage, potatoes, and bacon. It seemed filling and it was advertised as 39 Kronas for a bowl, which is about a pound. But when I went to pay the guy asked for 300 Kronas, around ten pounds. And my face fell.
Apparently it was 39 Kronas per 100 grams, and that was marked by a small symbol next to the menu listing. should have looked harder. but man, that did not get the trip off to a good start. It wasn’t even nice and I couldn’t finish it. Such a waste of money. Speaking of Czech cuisine I wasn’t a fan. It’s very heavy with a lot of cabbage, potatoes, bread, and dumplings. Most local meals consisted of this combination and it wasn’t something I enjoyed. Maybe that was also coloured by the fact that I got food poisoning and basically lost one day of my trip.
But the attractions were fun. There was a zoo, and it’s become a tradition that wherever we go we have to go to a zoo. Prague is a pretty cool zoo with a good range of animals. It also snowed that day, and it was surreal to see Flamingos standing in a blizzard. The Sex Machine Museum was interesting, although I don’t think it’s for everything. An old erotic film was shown as well and that was strange to watch because it wasn’t erotic at all. The Kaleidoscopic cinema was one of my favourite things, it was pretty trippy. Glow in the Dark Mini Golf was probably my favourite thing though, it’s a bit out of the way and in a warehouse but the whole place is under blacklight and it was a really fun vibe.
We also went to Prague castle, which didn’t seem like a castle but more like a settlement. This was cool and there were a number of small museums. The cathedral was most impressive but I was hoping for, you know, an actual castle.
The public transport was good, although halfway through the trip they changed some of the stops, but it was fairly straightforward to work out (there were only three metro lines, which were much easier to understand than the London underground). The people seemed fairly friendly, although I didn’t have much contact with them outside of the service employees.
Overall I liked the city but it’s not one that spoke to me in the same ways as some others like Berlin or Rome did. I couldn’t see myself living there, and I didn’t get a sense of the identity of the city. Even though we went to a number of museums I don’t feel like I learned much about the history of Prague so while it was fun it didn’t make a lasting impression.