Prague, Czech Republic
Squeezing this blog post out in the midst of a few crazy months! I admit I’m a little frantic these days as I have a few deadlines approaching – and not just for our wedding (which is finally hitting me how much planning there is to do for it…). I’ll be away from home every single weekend until mid-September – how crazy is that! Hopefully all will settle down by October, but I suppose you never know with us…
We just came back from an extended weekend in NYC – my first weekend where I was actually able to stay and enjoy NYC things in the year since we left. Since we had to go on a Friday to get our *marriage license* (!), and had a few wedding errands to run on Sunday in upstate NY, we were able to catch up with a few of our friends and enjoy the city that we (still somewhat) call home. It reminded me of all the things we’re missing in Boston (arts & culture, diverse food, unlimited things to do, fast-walking people!), and made us recognize that the things we love about our life in Boston can also be found anywhere else (having our own house, our respective jobs, everyday life together..!). But, I suppose it’s the things you do for a good education for these few years, until we’re finally able to buy a house in a city we want to settle down in.
Anyway. Prague was the second stop on our European trip last month, and while there was a bit of a snafu with recovering my DSLR photos, I realized that there were plenty left that were not overwritten. So you will have to be satisfied with my limited photos here 🙂 Enjoy!
M had wanted to visit Prague for a while for a myriad of reasons – not least of which was the defenestration of Prague and its role in the Thirty Years’ War. As Prague is also known as a fairytale city, I was happy to oblige a visit – and we spent 3 magical days in the city. Prague is relatively cheap compared to other parts of Europe, so we were able to get a nice AirBnb to ourselves for only $150 for three nights. There’s not really public transportation from the airport into the city, so we did hire a driver to show us to our Airbnb and had to take Uber back to the airport when we left. One note is that most places don’t take Euro, even though the Czech Republic is in the European Union.
Prague is pretty tiny, so we were able to visit all the main sites relatively quickly. Highlights included going up to the top of the astronomical tower – although the clock itself was under construction – wandering Old Town, and visiting various museums. The only museum that was disappointing was the City of Prague Museum – while not expensive, it’s a bit out of the way and didn’t have any information. Prague Castle has a much more holistic summary of the city’s rich history. We did go to a classical concert based on a flyer someone handed us on the street – while I’d heard it was a tourist trap, we figured how bad could classical music in Eastern Europe be? Sure enough, it was at a beautiful venue (the Klementinum), and while the music wasn’t high-brow classical, we still enjoyed some popular Dvorak.
That evening, we took a little paddle boat onto the Vltava River and enjoyed the sunshine. It was wonderful seeing the various bridges from a different perspective, and get closer to the swans that add to the romance of the city.
Our second day was spent almost exclusively at Prague Castle – we walked across Charles Bridge and up unending stairs to get to the Castle. There’s a cheap trolley/metro that gets you all around town as well, but we took it as an opportunity to see the city. Be sure to set aside a whole afternoon for Prague Castle – there’s actually a whole set of palaces & museums to visit, as well as a cute set of houses where Kafka used to live! Tickets were around 20 euro, and M splurged for an audio guide for another 20 euro – which wasn’t really worth it as all the signs around the grounds had plenty of information.
Our last day was spent on less-touristy parts of Prague – we returned to Prague Castle to visit the Lobkowicz castle (which had amazing views and a whole music room dedicated to Beethoven – since the Lobkowicz family was a patron of the genius himself!), and then spent an afternoon frolicking around Petrin Park. There’s a tram that goes up the huge park, and various sites of interest once you get there, including a beautiful rose garden, a hall of mirrors, the lookout tower, and olive tree groves.
In our free time, we loved eating our way through the city – highlights included local beer, goulosh (although Hungarian goulosh is better in my humble opinion), and ice cream in tredelnik. Overall, a quaint city with various interesting parks – and perfect to just spend a few days in (any longer and we would’ve been bored).