Prague, Czech Republic.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself thinking about how blessed I am to be able to see and experience all this new sights, sounds, smells.
Magnar and I took a trip to Prague in May to celebrate our 7 year "togetherness" and here are my 7 thoughts on it, off the back of my head.
We chose Prague because neither of us had been there before, our tickets via Norwegian Airline was only 500 NOK return, and the hostels cost us very little. Prague is also just a mere 2 hour flight away, so it fitted our weekend getaway perfectly!
1. Its breathtakingly beautiful.
I have actually never ventured towards Eastern/Central Europe before, so I had no idea how magnificent their country is! It's so untouched, so beautiful. Those red tile roofs, and those little waterways, stunning.
2. It's cheap
I was told by some friends prior to going that I am to be surprised by how cheap things are in Prague, and I am not just saying this because I live in Norway and everything is overpriced here, but Prague is cheap. A meal at a "fancy" restaurant costs something in the range of 300,- kr (60 USD) and that includes both drinks, starters, and desserts.
The first restaurant we were at we paid 200 CZK for lunch. That's little under 80,- kr!
Hotels were also much more affordable that I could have imagined, and they are a plenty such that you can pick and choose as you wish. We stayed in Mosaic House which I'll write about later.
I can see why if you're a backpacker, you'll choose to come here. You'll get so much more bang for for your buck.
Everything is relatively cheap here, in comparison to most other European destinations.
3. Cash country. Plastics not as widely accepted.
Being that they are not as "modern" as most European counterparts, if you're intending on travelling to Prague, cash will be king. So be prepared!
There are however lots and lots of banks at almost every corner, so getting cash isn't really that big of an issue. But we Norwegians, love our plastic so it's still a bit weird having to carry around cash.
The rumours are true. Beer is cheaper than water. So drink up folks. I am no beer connoisseur so, I cannot really judge if it's any good.
If I had to give a "beer review" I would say that the beer in Prague is much easier to drink as it is not as strong. :)
5. Prague is a pretty small city
Prior to coming, I was trying to decide and debate within myself where to stay and unbeknown to me, it wouldn't matter anyways since Prague is a little quaint. You can probably walk to most destinations pretty easy. So it doesn't really matter where you stay.
The city felt relatively safe as it is pretty packed with tourists alike.
In addition to that, the trams runs pretty much all over the city, all the time. I couldn't read the tram maps, since they were a little unorganised, but I am lucky I have Magnar to sort that part out.
6. The city itself, is the attraction.
If you've travelled around Europe a little bit more you'll see that Prague maybe doesn't have that much to do. Museums were sparse, and to be honest, pretty mediocre - bad. So, if you're looking for that Parisian/American type museums, you'll probably be disappointed.
The only museums that is worth going to is the Technical Museum of Prague. That museum is one of the best technical museums out there. I know Magnar really enjoyed it.
7. The food is pretty bad.
I don't know how to put this in a nicer way. But personally, I think Czech food must be some of the worst I have ever tasted. And being a "foodie" this was a huge let down. We tried all the restaurants off the top of Trip Advisor/local recommendations, all the same. Blah.
Maybe it's something I just have to get used to? But the flavours just weren't for me.
The best restaurants I ate at was a Mexican and Malaysian, and we only ate there because by day 3 I was starving.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Prague is actually as far east as I have ever been in Europe and it's a great starting point to exploring the rest of Europe. It was modern, at the same time still rich in it's culture, beautiful beyond words, but honestly, I cannot imagine going back.
At least not right away.