Traveling through Eastern Europe: Prague

We are November and that means it starts to cool down more and more. The sun already sets quite fast and however personally, I like hotter temperatures more, I notice that these colder countries do have something charming as well.
Last year I began my 'winter tour' in Stockholm and I ended up in beauty in the amazing Iceland.
This year I start heading east and eventually I'll head up north again. I start my trip with a visit to Prague, the Czech capital.

The view over Prague from Prague Castle. It is well worth the many steps!

The view over Prague from Prague Castle. It is well worth the many steps!

Beautiful Prague

In Belgium it’s raining and storming. People tell me that I’m crazy when they hear I’ll be going to the Czech Republic. “It’s even colder there! Why don’t you choose a warmer destination?” – If I’m honest, the cold weather and darkness appeal to me as well. At least if it’s not for too long.

It takes a little more than one hour of flying before I land at Prague airport. Through GetYourGuide I arranged my airport transfer ($10 one way) and in about half an hour I stand in front of the door of my hostel.
Chili hostel is located close to the historic center of Prague and only costs $6 per night. Dirt cheap! Especially for European standards.

It’s still only noon and I’ve already travelled to one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Isn’t it amazing how easy you can travel from one place to another?!

With my camera ready, google maps on my phone and a big smile I leave my hostel. During the ride from the airport to here I was able to admire Prague already. It was unbelievable how beautiful the city was, and I’m clearly not the only one who thinks that. Hordes of tourists are shuffling by when I drive past some tourist attractions.

The 'Trdlo' is a delicious treat for when you're in Prague!

The ‘Trdlo’ is a delicious treat for when you’re in Prague!

Sights of Prague

Within five hundred meters from my hostel, I arrive at the first sight I’ll be seeing today. A lot of people have no idea that they walk under it, but a few meters higher hangs dangling a suicidal Sigmund Freud.
In the past, the funny statue was to blame for many anxious phone calls to the police. After all, you don’t see a statue dangling of a roof so very often…

While I was walking to the old city, I saw very much ‘unknown’ sights. The small, cute churches are quite unique. To me they look a bit like a mix between Russian and European architecture. I immediately recognized German and French influences, but the bulbous domes with their bright colors reminded me more of Orthodox Russian buildings.
While I was strolling through the historical center of Prague, my nose soon brought me to a neighboring, small market. The smells that rise from these stalls are not to be missed and soon I arrived at a stall where they were selling the specialty of Prague. The ‘Trdlo’.
It is perhaps the ancestor of the donut because, just as the American pastry, these sweets have a big hole in the middle of them. Personally I think the Trdlo is more tasty than the donut. I think you can relate the taste to a waffle but just a little… Different!
If you are in Prague (or the Czech Republic for that matter), you absolutely need to try this dessert!

The beautiful square of the old town was packed with tourists. The beautiful churches and the gorgeous astronomical clock attract a lot of spectators. This clock is the oldest working astronomical clock in the world. Every hour the clock puts on a little show, so try to make sure you are in time to see the spectacle!

The Charles Bridge of Prague. Wonderful to look at and wonderful to walk on.

The Charles Bridge of Prague. Wonderful to look at and wonderful to walk on.

The Charles Bridge

Almost as popular as the old city center is the Charles Bridge or Karluv Most. A beautiful medieval bridge which gives you a phenomenal view over the city. It connects the Old Town with the castle of Prague.
Across the bridge there are no cars allowed, so you can stroll around lazily while you take a look at the artwork of the many artists who are trying to sell their paintings and drawings.

On the other side of the bridge you’ll find the majestic Prague Castle. Well… not right away, because you still have to climb a little to the strategically located castle, but the climb is well worth it!
Be prepared to stand in line for a while, because everyone is checked thoroughly before they can enter the palace. Fortunately, the Prague Castle is completely free, with the exception of certain museums and attractions within the castle walls.
Personally, I didn’t bother to pay extra to see more churches or roads, because there already is so much to see in the free zone of the castle. It is better to keep your money for other trips.

One of these other trips could for example be the Strahov Monastery. It’s about five minutes away from the main entrance of the castle. There you’ll find a small church. The outside may not look very spectacular, but the inside definitely does. It costs 100 Czech crowns ($5) to enter and take photographs. On the second floor you can find what it’s all about: the beautiful library.
As so often with religious matters it might maybe be called a little decadent… The beautiful room is decorated with beautiful parquet, majestic bookcases and phenomenal wall and ceiling paintings. When you walk further down the hall -where you’ll find a lot of archeological objects- you can see another small library with incredible decorations and an extremely valuable collection of books.

You shouldn’t spend all your time in the monastery, but I definitely recommend going there for a bit. The library is really beautiful!

The Strahov Monastery has two gorgeous libraries. I immediately wanted to read a book afterwards!

The Strahov Monastery has two gorgeous libraries. I immediately wanted to read a book afterwards!

Everyone who regularly reads my blog knows that I always like to see a city from above. Sometimes that means I need to do a steep climb and that is of course no different in Prague… A couple of aching calves later I arrive at Petrin, a monument that makes me think of the Eiffel Tower.
From here you get a perfect view over the Czech capital, but if you want to climb just a bit higher you can also climb the tower itself.

In the meantime it started to get dark, so I decided to slowly head back down. I had to walk for a couple more kilometers until I arrived at the hostel after all… Along the way I made a small detour to the Lennon Wall and the Dancing House.

A full day of non-stop sightseeing can be exhausting and once I arrived back in my hostel, I dropped down on my comfortable bed to rest from all the walking.
Tomorrow I’ll go visit some more sights of Prague, but mainly I will take it easy… Because the day after tomorrow, I’ll be visiting my second city in the Czech Republic: Kutna Hora.

The exit of the Castle of Prague. Prepare to wait in line for a while if you want to get in!

The exit of the Castle of Prague. Prepare to wait in line for a while if you want to get in!

Some photos I took during my trip to Prague.

Some photos I took during my trip to Prague.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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