New Town

Prague Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Charles Bridge at night - the castle is in the background.
So, after spending the night sleeping on the floor in Stansted airport, reaching Prague was a bit of a relief!  The places we were to visit on this trip were completely new to both of us, so trying to understand Czech and getting our head round the Koruna were a little intimidating as we tried to wrangle a bus to town from the airport.  Luckily, we encountered our first 'Travel buddy' - a man we named Simon (we never did find out his name) who gave us some bus tickets and tips for our travels.  At this stage, both of us were a little wary of strangers, but one thing I can honestly say about this trip was that it proved how much you can trust people!  In six weeks, we only had one or two occasions to worry (more about which later.
Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)
..)  Anyway, good old Simon pointed us in the right direction, and after lugging our massive backpacks around for an hour or so, we made it to the New Town and our hostel.  We stayed in Miss Sophie's, a hostel I would thoroughly recommend - for first time hostel-goers like ourselves, it was a wonderful way to start the experience!  We ended up in a 3 bed room, sharing with an American named Justin, who was really cool and easy to get along with - like I said, the perfect hostel-initiation!  We were soon to discover that not all hostels were like this, hehehe.

After getting all excited about the New Town and nearly getting run over by a tram, we saved the Old Town for the next day.  I must admit, I was a little worried that all of Prague would be like the New Town, and not what I expected at all!  What a relief it was to see the amazing statues lining the Charles Bridge, the beauty of the water, and the imposing sight of Prague castle perched above the red roofs below.
The castle...again
  THIS was what we were after!  After navigating our way through loads of tourists, we made it to Castle Hill and some fantastic views of the city.  We never actually made it into Prague castle, as it was a little expensive and the queues were enormous, but just seeing it from the outside was enough for me!  Back across the river, we eventually found the Old Town Square (a repeating pattern, you will probably notice, is us getting lost :p)  Unfortunately, the World Cup was on, so some of Prague's most beautiful architecture was hidden beneath garish banners, balloons and a giant screen.  Grr!  When we made it back to watch a game, however, the atmosphere was fantastic! 

I would highly recommend seeing the Jewish quarter: though we had issues finding it the first time, we stumbled across one of the old synagogues late one night and it was fantastic- if it weren't for a tour group taking pictures, I wouldn't have even noticed it was there!  One thing I loved about Prague was the architecture - the old and the new, the Gothic style of the Charles Bridge and the castle compared to the New Town just three metro stops away.
Damn the World Cup! The Old Town Square.

Another way to get a good view of the city is to climb Petrin Hill.  Though we could find no paths, there is definitely a way to get up there!  Aim for the Petrin tower.  On our way up, we met a friendly Mexican guy, Juan Carlos, who was travelling by himself, and we ended up going out to dinner with him and Justin to a fantastic place called Pivovarsky Dum (The House of Beer) - it's in the New Town, near Miss Sophie's, and the menu is in Czech.  Perfect for the more adventurous among you!  Czech quisine seems to be mainly meat, gravy, and some bread-dumpling things, very simple but quite rich!  Good to balance out the whopping 4 litres of beer shared between those at our table :)

There are lots of ways to get to know a city: at the beginning of this trip, we took the metro to lots of places and considered getting a boat tour, but for backpackers, I think the best way to get around is on foot.
This was taken before we'd even started it! The House of Beer.
  Actually, even if you're not backpacking, I still think the best way to get to know a place is to walk around it!  Anyway, Prague is a fantastic city of charm and character and I will definitely be making it back there at some point!  Next time, I will be making it to the Charles Bridge for sunrise and hopefully going sometime in the winter, I think it'd be a great time to go!
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Charles Bridge at night - the cast…
Charles Bridge at night - the cas…
Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)
Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)
The castle...again
The castle...again
Damn the World Cup! The Old Town S…
Damn the World Cup! The Old Town …
This was taken before wed even st…
This was taken before we'd even s…
The opera house.  Pretty!
The opera house. Pretty!
251 km (156 miles) traveled
Sponsored Links
photo by: vulindlela