I had no idea Prague was going to be so beautiful and charming. I expected medieval churches and castles, but was pleasantly surprised by the bright pastel buildings and quaint cobblestone streets that surrounded them. It is this contrast between gothic and nouveau, light and dark that made Prague especially enchanting to me. Not to mention almost everything you do, see, and eat feels like a steal (The Czech Republic uses the Crown, not the Euro, and the exchange rate is crazy good)!
Prague can easily be seen in two days, although I would have gladly stayed longer if time had permitted (darn work). Once again, I was lucky enough to travel with my friend's travel company (FlorenceForFun) in exchange for taking some promotional pictures. Seriously, how could I say no?
On our first day in Prague we focused on the sites east of the river -- Wenceslas Square (where I indulged in some Starbucks), the Old Town Square and astronomical clock, the Church of Our Lady Before Týn, the Jewish Quarter (which had the most incredible cemetery), and the Powder Tower.
After our walking tour, we stopped for lunch at a 550-year-old beer hall (U Medvidku Beer Hall) where I ate my body weight in potato and cabbage dumplings (I don't really like beer, but if I did, I hear this is the place to try some traditional Czech beer). As much as I loved Prague, I must confess I really hated that smoking is still allowed in restaurants.
After an exhausting morning of sightseeing, I broke from the group and made an afternoon cappuccino stop on the terrace of the U Prince Hotel, which had the most amazing view of the Old Town Square, astronomical clock, and the giant 14th-century gothic church. I spent the rest of my day just wandering down cobblestone alleys and photographing the candy-colored buildings (I was lucky enough to have intermittent blue sky). By six the light was gone and my feet were done, so I rested a bit in my hotel (the Fusion Hotel is excellent and I highly recommend it) before I rejoined the group for dinner at another great local spot, Kolkovna Savarin. Stay tuned because Thursday I will be sharing day two!
Is Prague on your wanderlust-wishlist?