The International Folklore Festival was taking place while we were in Prague, how lucky is that? It reminded me a lot of Krakow’s festival. Couples, men’s groups, and little kids perform dances and play instruments in traditional clothing. There were of course food stalls and vendors selling chocolates, trinkets, breads, and sausages.
This was the perfect place for me to buy souvenirs. That’s one thing as a backpacker that many people say you have to stop doing- but I can’t. When I’m on a plane home after a big trip abroad, all I think about is giving all the gifts away I purchased. My parents always have to open theirs before we even pull out of the airport parking lot. One thing to buy in Prague: those little dolls that are inside of each other, “nesting dolls”.
Highlights of Prague
Free walking tour. Unlike the boring one in Krakow, this walking tour showed me all I needed to know about Prague, plus some! They work with a pub-crawl, which I’m usually not up for because they’re often lame, but our couchsurfing host’s friend was a tour leader. She gave us a discount we couldn’t pass up.
views from above!
check out the preztels on each table. Yum!
After our walking tour, we went on the pub-crawl and it was actually a lot of fun. 10 bucks got us all the vodka, beer, and absinthe we could down, plus free cover at the biggest club in Prague, which has 5 stories, each playing a different type of music. (PS: working a pub-crawl or free walking tour is a great way to stay on the road. You make commission and you don’t have to be local, you just have to speak English.)
On the walking tour, we saw the National Museum in the town square, which looked just like the one in Berlin! The original town hall is only half a building now. Some overrated tourist sights like interesting statues and the astronomical clock that everyone hovers around until it strikes the hour, the 12 apostles march around, and Christ comes out of a trap door.
We went into an old church with a gross old arm hanging from the ceiling; it’s the hand of a thief from the 1400’s. The Jewish quarter was gorgeous, and the Charles Bridge offered stunning views of the castle and city. There is a massive metronome on top of the hill where Stalin’s statue used to be. A memorial called Anna Chromy Il Commendatore, for the premiere of Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 1787.
church with the severed arm
The story behind the Revolution Keys is one you won’t forget: The Velvet Revolution in 1989 which brought down the end of the communist rule. There had been many student protests around this time, but during this movement, crowds on the street in unison jingled their keys in the air meaning goodbye to the leaders, and that they were unlocking new doors.
Bohemian Bagel is what happens when two American guys decide to open a bagel shop in Prague. They are only in Czech Republic and remind me so much at home that I ate there two times, and would have eaten there more! Their turkey bagel had a third bagel layer in the middle- it was huge. Check out this travel guide to foodie Prague to see all the best local places to eat.
The proximity to Cesky Krumlov means that you MUST take the time to go there! Just three hours by bus, you can explore a bohemian fairy tale land of castles and bears. The bus is only four euro, it served hot chocolate, and played Malibu’s Most Wanted; I mean how could it get better?
love the colors of the buildings, strangely like the beach houses in South Carolina
Make sure you leave an afternoon to not be a tourist. Stop sightseeing and hang out at a beer garden or do some shopping! Although Prague is such a big city with many tourists coming through, I still felt welcomed and had a great time out at local bars and restaurants.
200 shops, could I be happier?
How cute is this? Huck would never. he’d run in and destroy the store. Like, just now I made cookies- he jumped on the counter somehow and ate them. no joke!
Worst of Prague: food poising that kicked it just before my flight to AMERICA. That’s right a transatlantic flight with food poisoning. Europe’s way of punishing me for leaving I guess. Beware of supermarket pre-made sandwiches. They have expiration dates… and you should read them.
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Prague has been on my bucket list for a long while and still, I haven’t made it – and it’s really not so far from London! Maybe this summer…
Anyway, I really liked the story about the Revolution Keys – and that structure looks amazing!
Oh you should definitely make a trip! Save time to stop at Cesky krumlov “the last bohemian town in Europe” while you’re there. its just 2 hours from Prague and one of my favorite places, complete with a castle!
I want to go to Prague in April and can’t wait to explore the city. With this post my wanderlust has even increased :) thanks for your tips!
Oh great! You will love it!
I love your articles and I am glad you had fun in Czech Republic. Just one thing. Those “dolls” you bought in Prague are actually russian “matrioschkas”. I have no clue why they sell them in Prague so much as this souvenir has no connection to Czech culture. So you joined bunch of confused travelers who bought it here. :))))
Hahaha! That is so funny- I bet there are a lot of souvenirs I bought that mean nothing to the culture :( gullible! Thanks for letting me know!
Just found your site via a comment you made on the Goats on the road blog. Very good blog and great pics and layout. Although I’m 55, I still dream about breaking free and hitting the road as an old hippie. My wife and I have traveled quite a bit and plan on doing some “woof”ing or house sitting soon once we get our daughters through college. BTW, heads up to others on the little nesting dolls in Prague. We were there last summer and after agreeing to the purchase, the showowner was very nice to pack them up for us for travel in a little box. After returning home, we discovered that we only had the largest one, with nothing else inside it! I like to think that there was a mixup, but my cynical side tells me the rest of the dolls were back on the shelf to sell shortly after we left.
Oh my gosh what a rip off! Thanks for sharing that. I hope you get to do your traveling!
Really glad that you visited our country :-) and also my study place … great to hear that you enjoyed it. It this time i am trying traveling around the usa ( and the world)
Your travel blog is really great ..
Thank you for inspiration
TAKE A CARE
Enjoy traveling the USA and more! Hope you have a blast :)