If you’re wondering if we made a spelling error on the title of this blog, we didn’t! One of the first things we learned when planning our visit to Prague was that the country is no longer called the Czech Republic. They are now called Czechia, not to be confused with Chechnya, although it is confusing. Apparently the name has to be submitted to the UN for final approval, but you’ll notice on many search engines they’re already using the title Czechia.
Day 1-4 – Prague: Rain, Rain, Go Away ♫
We were so looking forward to visiting Prague. Everyone loves this city. There’s a strong European influence, beer everywhere, and a much cheaper price tag than surrounding neighbours. What’s not to like?
First of all, it was Easter weekend. Not that there’s a whole lot we could’ve done about that, but we knew that our accommodations were going to be expensive and a challenge to book. We had tried to book with pretty much every single hostel or hotel that was close to the city centre, but they had all been booked up months in advance. We ended up at Hotel Penzion Praga ($86 CAD/night for private room including breakfast), which honestly wasn’t that bad, but it was really far from town and they only had internet in the lobby. I know we are so hard-done by. The other annoying part about the holiday was that numerous businesses were closed over the weekend.
We were immediately overwhelmed by how busy the city centre of Prague was. We decided to hit up a few spots highlighted by other bloggers that were in areas away from the huge crowds. Most of these spots were across from the Charles Bridge, which you can’t miss as it’s the one with all the tourists, musical performers, and statues.
On our walk we checked out John Lennon’s wall. It was raining and freezing so we didn’t stay here long. Here’s a good article explaining the significance of this wall. We continued on to grab supper at Ferdinanda, serving local cuisine in a cool cellar. It was finally Kik’s time to try goulash and dumplings.
With our bellies full and bodies warmed-up, we continued our self-guided tour to the Dancing House Hotel, which is also nicknamed Fred and Ginger. We feel if we had any idea about architecture we would probably appreciate a lot of these buildings more, but we were more in the mood to check out the local beer halls.
Double Whammy, Cold & Rain
We didn’t have much luck with the weather in Prague. It was like being in Vancouver during winter. Yuck! Cold and rainy, talk about your buzz killer.
Still, you’re not in Prague everyday so we bundled ourselves up and headed out on a walking tour. We tried to continue on with a few other things after the tour, but it just wasn’t pleasant. Clair was about to cry (Clair: I was completely frozen and Kik was LITERALLY trying to make me eat a peanut butter wrap in a bush to “shelter” me from the rain) when we went up to the Prague castle, so that put an end to our day. Pro-tip – If you visit the Prague castle, enter by the garden located behind known as Chotkovy Sady. It’s a beautiful walk leading up to the castle, not very busy, and you can avoid the line-ups.
Luckily, come Sunday we were able to check into the Clown and Bard Hostel ($48 CAD/night for a private room). This was located in such a cool neighborhood! The hostel was pretty quiet because we’re assuming everyone had gone home from the long weekend. We were given some good suggestions by the host for things to do in the area. Our hostel recommended dinner at a restaurant called U Sadu and it was pretty good. Clair literally ate deep-fried potato balls stuffed with cheese. They even had NHL playoff hockey playing! What’s not to like?! Be warned though, everyone smokes in the restaurant. After basically smoking three packs of cigarettes, we decided to head back to the hostel and avoid the rain.
Another cool thing was that on the way to this restaurant, we couldn’t help but stop for a closer look when we noticed a massive tower with giant steel babies crawling on it. Prague has some seriously interesting pieces of art around the city.
This post is quite short because we didn’t do everything we wanted to in this city. We tried to brave the rain, wind, and hail but we are also getting a little tired (aka lazy) at this point in our trip. We spent a lot of time in cool coffee shops, drinking mulled wine and trying to dry out shoes. We’ll have to come back to Prague one day to do this right.
Berlin, here we come!