Aug 7, 2015

Picturesque Prague: Old Town Square

I came to Prague with almost no expectations. Sure,  I've seen the photos and videos and I know there are songs that reference it. But all those didn't quite seap into the brain of this traveller who doesn’t usually have a taste for city scape.

I think the only reason I had Prague on the itinerary was because I started from Paris and had to go a loop back to Paris after a few weeks, so Prague seemed like the most appropriate far east for me. 3 nights in Prague and here's my photo journey to share!

I sat through 11 hours of over night train from Cologne to Prague. I bought my tickets too late and had missed the sleeper couchettes I so much wanted. Needless to say, i was a little grumpy when I reached Prague. Didn't help either that I forgot to research the directions to my hostel and was feeling pretty stranded without internet.

But thank goodness the Praha Hl.n Station being a main station , was well equipped with everything to assist tourists. Food, water, toilets, information counters and Money changer were all available. However, I implore you to take caution when changing currency. Many Money Changer in Prague charges exorbitant commissions for their service and at 20% of commission, I'd say you're better off paying with Euros until you find a Money Changer that doesn't take commission. I changed SGD $270 and was charged 700 krons of commission, I got back only 3061 krons. Go do your research and you'll feel my heartache  ($sgd50 ommagardddd!!). The station also has Tourist Information counter at the basement where you can literally tell the staff your hotel and he will search the route for you. The staff then took a Metro & Tram map and circled the stops I should drop, very helpful indeed!

I stayed at the lovely Penzion & Sofi hostel (read my review by clicking here).  I arrived 9:22am but by the time  made it to the Hostel, checked in and bathed (hadn’t bathed since 2 nights ago!), it was already near 2pm! So the only place I could visit was the places without paid entrance. So a bit of panic research with the hostel wifi and off to the Old Town I go!

The moment I stepped out of the Metro was the moment it daunted upon me how beautiful Prague is. I admit, after visiting Paris and Cologne, I was wondering if Prague will even do anything for me. Yes yes, I’ve heard all about Prague being the best hidden gem in Europe and the blahblahblah but like I mentioned above, I just didn’t have much expectations. To be fair, I think every city has it’s own style and flair but Prague’s architectural style was very over the top. Colourful, flamboyant and intricacy all rolled into one atmospheric city of festival. I call it a city of festival because after 3 days in the tourist attractions, it’s not hard to tell how much the city caters to tourists and how hard some of them party haha.

First landmark worthy of mention is the prague municipal house. You will walk pass it en-route to the Old Town Square.

The famous Old Town Square!

My first day in Prague was spent wide eyed in amazement. I especially loved the Old Town Square. Sandwiched between the Church of our Lady before Tyn and the Astronomical Clock Tower, the square with it’s beautiful houses all around it is the centre of it all. And I finally understood why this area was always mentioned in travel guidebooks and promo posters. This place is truly beautiful. I never thought a place/landscape could be capable of being better looking at it is in photographs. It looked like a pretty normal place in the pictures but in real life, the whole vibe just springs right at you!

I’m going to shut up and let the photos do the talking now … oh wait, they failed to do that for me. But let’s see them try this time!

The Church of our Lady before Tyn is free admission and is not very big, so definitely check it out .

You can get to the church via a CD shop.

The Astronomical Clock tower famous throughout the world. The clock looked really beautiful and at every hour, it chimes. The 12 apostles look out from the top window in rotation. To be honest, the chime was not as amazing as I expected but since I’m around, might as well wait for it.

The old Town Square has a very enlivening hype that is both exciting and peaceful. There are all sorts of performers there such as bands and street buskers.

I got myself a small cone of Mojito Gelato for 45 Krons! It tasted really good and was refreshing on a hot day .

I spent the rest of the day just walking and walking and walking around the Old Town. Exploring the different shops and ended my day with a Goulash Dinner in a small restaurant slightly out of the main square.

The Goulash was okay, I’m not really a beef person. But the soup was really salty and the wifi doesn’t work :( The Czech concept of Dumplings are very different from Asians though hahhaa