The city of Prague has existed since the 7th Century which, in turn, has left a rich cultural history of many twists and turns behind in its wake. Prague is a place that has always been on my to do list however, for various reasons, I have failed to get there until now. Admittedly, I only had some 12 hours there yet, it was more than enough time to get a taste of the delights on offer. Ideally, I think I would need three to four days here looking further ahead.
My flight from London Stansted was delayed by two hours which meant I didn’t arrive into the city until well after 11 pm on Wednesday night which left me with not much to do aside from being kept awake chatting to a Ukrainian student who was translating to a Russian lad in the room who couldn’t speak a word of English. He did give my Liverpool tattoos a firm smile and thumbs up mind. By 2 am, I was fit for bed so managed to knock up a few hours sleep before being out the door to explore at 6 am. The hostel was spacious, clean, modern and cheap too! Winning.
One of my favourite ways to explore a city is to simply wander on instinct and see what surprises I may find along the way. There is no better feeling as a traveller than turning a street corner only to find a magnificent sight waiting to greet you. Prague delivers many of these moments. The absolute highlight wasn’t the old town or The Charles Bridge. It was the Franz Kafka monument. Kafka was a former lawyer turned writer, passed away just one month shy of his 41st birthday on June 3 1924. He was unknown during his time on earth and rapidly rose to fame after his passing with a legacy of sublime journals and books that are still enjoyed to this day.
The monument stands at 11 meters with multiple panels rotating at different levels making it slightly tricky to catch Kafka’s full face at any given time. Thankfully, it was still only early in the morning when I was able to see the monument so there were no tourists around crowding the scene. That’s another benefit of getting out early. You avoid the heat as well as the crowds. Before this however, I had already wandered through the old town and Jewish quarter with minimal fuss. It was already quite warm by 7 am and there were quite a few bridal shoots going on as well as plenty of wannabe models posing in front of scenic backgrounds.
One girl surprisingly had another young lady snapping her on The Charles Bridge whereas all the other aspiring film and catwalk stars around were being snapped by seedy looking old men. I wonder exactly what it is these men promise these girls in the first place? The mind boggles! Still, if you are going to get snapped by a seedy old man running on viagra, what better place to do it then an incredibly stunning city like Prague?
Pretty much everything here is cheap. Accommodation, alcohol, food, transport and museum entries. I transferred £20 into 600 koruna’s which allowed me three meals, snacks, drinks, a numbers of beers and an airport transfer. In London alone, an airport transfer costs £14 so that’s a good indication that you won’t need a lot of money in Prague. Like all major European cities, Prague is full of dodgy “super markets” run by Asian families that charge extortionate amounts for basic supplies. It makes things hard if, like me, you want to steer away from rubbish food like McDonalds or Burger King late at night when the better eating spots have closed for the night.
With so much more to see, I’m hoping to return to Prague again with more time to fully explore the wonders on offer. Had I had just a couple more days here, I am certain it would have been non-stop fascination from strolling the many museums on offer or perhaps even taking in some live theatre or Opera. That’s the beauty of the lifestyle I lead. There will always be more opportunities for me to continue exploring and return to beautiful cities like Prague, one of the cultural capitals of Europe if not, the world!