There was a nip in the air as we stepped out of the bus from Munich.
Still slightly inebriated from the copious amounts of beer had earlier in the day, we scurried out of the bus to collect our luggage, apprehensive for some reason, that someone else might walk away with our bags by mistake or intention. The ride from Munich had been a very comfortable one – DB runs a double-decker bus service twice or thrice a day – takes you through the German countryside (rather scenic in the setting sun, I caught glimpses of it between snoozing) at an average speed of 100 km/h (that’s sort of impressive if, like me, you’re coming from a place like India, where buses rarely go above 50 km/h without toppling over).
I’d never been to Prague before and had first heard of it as Party Central – an image that seemed far from reality as we stumbled across deserted streets on a Sunday night. The address of our guesthouse, Dahlia Inn, had seemed fairly straightforward – but as anyone arriving in a strange city after dark knows, paths and directions have a way of complicating themselves after sundown. Especially if you’re dragging a couple of heavy bags and there isn’t another soul around to guide you.
I was keen to like Prague – I’d heard so much about it and had missed visiting it when I was briefly living in Germany. So as the morning came upon us, we were dressed and eager to explore. The weather was to be loved too – clear blue sunny skies with just the right amount of chill in the crisp morning air. I won’t go into the details of where all we went and the significance of each sight (I’m going to show you some pictures instead) but Prague is very tourist-friendly with more than a handful of free walking tours to set you on the sightseeing circuit (now, free isn’t completely free, you’re supposed to tip the guide at the end of the tour but you get to choose how much to tip, depending on how pleased you were with your tour). We went with Sandeman’s New Prague tour (as I’d seen a few cities with them before – the guides are usually friendly young locals) and our guide, Tatiana, was a live wire for the entire 3 hours that the tour lasted. There are a whole bunch of other interesting (though standardized) tours on offer too – Pub crawl, Beer tour, Jewish Quarter tour, Terezin Concentration Camp, Kutna Hora and its very creepy Church of Bones, etc…
I’ve been told there isn’t a whole to lot to do / see in Prague beyond 3 – 4 days (we were there only a day and a half). But if you’re looking for a European city with its old world charm intact (in the historic centre, at least; the surrounding newer neighbourhoods are a little less prim and a bit more gritty) and a laid-back vibe, that isn’t too heavy on the wallet, you’ll love Prague.
Here are a few pictures from our walk(s) around the picturesque old town – oh, and a funny thing I noticed there – all the old buildings and statues were well-maintained and largely intact but all covered with cobwebs, dangling here and there!
If you’d like to see the sights of Prague by yourself and by foot – here’s a handy route that can be done over a day, or preferably, two days (be kind to those knees, people).