Why It’s So Easy to Love a City Like Prague

Prague was my final stop as I capped off the adventurous 10-day backpacking in Eastern Europe. The truth is, I would've loved to stay longer in Prague as there was just too much to see with so little time. Indeed, it's a city that's so easy to love. Here's why.
As I left Vienna that kind of treated me coldly weather wise, I headed to Prague with the hopes of a warmer temperature. Instead of taking a bus though, which I already did twice for Budapest-Bratislava and Bratislava-Vienna via Flixbus, I traveled by train from Vienna to Prague since its travel time is the same as taking a bus anyway, which is roughly 4 hours.

Also read: Things To Do in Budapest, Hungary

What I like about traveling Europe is its convenience. Though I was a first-timer to take an intercity train in this European region, I was able to book a train ticket easily online. ÖBB, an Austrian railway company, is one of the many trains that serve a Vienna-Prague route. As a tip, it's best to buy the ticket ahead of time and online as Prague is a top tourist destination that may quickly run out of train tickets especially during summer in Europe (June-August).
As expected, it was all comfort and cleanliness inside the train. The only setback was that it arrived an hour late, which to me, was quite unheard of knowing that public transportation is efficient and punctual in Europe. Unfortunately, on that day, there was a huge accident on the tracks, which in turn affected several train trips. That being said, I realized that there's no way to compete with mishaps and that it just happens!
Despite the late departure, I arrived Prague just in time for sunset. From the Praha hlavní nádraží station. Prague's central station, I took a metro to then transfer to a tram. When I asked around to find the tram stop, I caught myself lost in translation, realizing less people speak English and only know Czech, the official language in Czech Republic.

Luckily, I have a former workmate, Kat, who’s been living for years in this beautiful city. She gladly hosted me, fed me, and helped me in every way she can.
Back story: Ten years ago in the Philippines, Kat and I were workmates in an IT company. Ever since, I know Kat as that girl who fell in love with Prague after traveling there as a tourist. How I look up to her because she amazingly worked ways to live and settle in a city she loves.

What to see in Prague

There are so many places to see in Prague. The city in almost any side is beautiful. To me, I'd describe Prague as like those you see in fairy tale books, or like a huge themed park with real castles on cobble stone pathways.
First up, I went to climb the Prague Castle, a castle complex on top of a hill. When one goes to see the Prague Castle, it's not just about seeing the castle alone because there are several points of interest. While there's no entrance fee at the main gate, fees apply in some attractions. One of which is the access to the castle, which has different entrance fees depending on the circuit or part of the castle you'd like to visit.
This is a Gothic church called the St. Vitus Cathedral, which is probably the most eye-catching attraction within the complex because of its size. Entrance is free.
Be sure to catch this breathtaking view when in Prague. The uniformly orange-roofed houses are so amazing as they're collectively beautiful from an uphill. This view deck is the perfect spot for panoramic views of the city. While several restaurants offer dining-with-a-view, there are also free spaces for the viewing public.
Prague is probably known best for this Charles Bridge, which is, aside from being overly populated (I got dizzy after I passed through a swarm of people), a historic bridge that witnessed several battles and triumphs during the 19th century. The bridge sits on the Vlatava River, which connects the Malá Strana (Lesser Town) and the Old Town.
At the end of the bridge, Prague Old Town is within walking distance. Similar to other European cities, the Old Town serves as the center where the buildings, houses, and streets have been kept as they are centuries ago.

As a tip, spend more time in Old Town as it's a huge area to explore. However, it's not the best place to get a cheap deal with shopping (souvenirs) and dining. Accommodations also tend to be more expensive in Old Town than in other districts in Prague.
This is the Church of Our Lady before Týn, a Gothic church that I find very unique for its antique look. Somehow it reminded me of the castle in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Osaka, Japan.

Also read: When in Japan: Tokyo Disneyland

Also in Old Town, the Astronomical Clock is one of the oldest functioning gigantic clocks in the world. It's mounted on one side of the Town Hall at the Old Town Square where people usually wait and watch the hourly clock presentation called the “Walk of the Apostles.” It's just a short show, but it's also interesting to observe at the people who anticipate the show.

How to move around

To be straightforward, moving around Prague could get tricky in the sense that the station names written in Czech aren’t easy to read and some even spell very alike to add to the confusion. What I did was, I bought an unlimited transportation card for all trams, metros, and buses in Prague. Tickets can be bought from the machine at any station. To me, it’s a good way to save in expenses so that in case of a wrong station or having to take a short ride from point A to point B, the unlimited rides come handy.

24-hour ticket: CZK 110
72-hour ticket: CZK 310

Meanwhile, there are also timed tickets with unlimited transfers to one direction (i.e. not allowed to return to the origin) on a given time frame. For example, on my way to the Prague-Ruzyne / Václav Havel Airport, I bought the 90-minute ticket where I took a tram to the Nádraží Veleslavín station first, then transferred to bus 119, the dedicated bus to get to the international airport. It usually takes more than hour to reach the airport coming from the city center.

30-minute ticket: CZK 24
90-minute ticket: CZK 32

What do you love most about Prague?



Why It’s So Easy to Love a City Like Prague Why It’s So Easy to Love a City Like Prague Reviewed by Shelly Viajera Travel on 1.9.19 Rating: 5

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