Prague – The city that intrigues!

Prague is overnight distance from Krakow, Poland. We reached Prague early morning at 7 am. Prague was nice and huge, but the first impression was that it is not as beautiful as Baltic States.

We went straight to the hostel – Hostel Kaiser, only to find that we didn’t have entry before 9 am, as the hostel caretaker came in only then. So, we freshened up in washroom for Staff. The security woman was quite sweet and let us use it and saved us from the trauma of early morning nature calls.

The Most Memorable Breakfast of Prague

To make the best use of time, we went out for breakfast to the nearby restaurant – NarKav (Café Slavia). We were delighted to find out that it was a heritage cafe from 19th century. And it felt nice to have proper breakfast. We had English Breakfast, toast, museli, tea and hot chocolate. The showstopper was butter though. We were seeing butter after almost two weeks. This reminded of Holy Donut in Vilnius where also we had reached early morning and went straight for breakfast. 

prague narkav

We finished almost an entire loaf of multigrain bread with butter. Whats fun it was to have bread and butter after so long! But one thing we wondered about was that they served coffee with water… didn’t get the logic behind it!

prague cafe slavia

By the time, we finished the breakfast and came back, the hostel receptionist cum caretaker had arrived and she let us check in at 9.30 am instead of the usual noon check-in into the hostel. Well, we had a Plan B ready in case didn’t allow – to deposit the stuff at hostel and go for a walking tour.

Hostel Kaiser

The room was nice and long with 2 bunk beds, making space for four of us. Though the room wasn’t broad but had cabinets so that helped. It seemed to be a well thought-out and designed room with reading lights, shelves for each person, small cabinet and fans. We were excited to see the bunk beds and so spent some time in room.

Walking around Prague

Surprisingly, as the day progressed, Prague started getting cold instead of getting sunny and hot. We had planned to take the 2 pm walking tour and so, started from hostel accordingly to reach in time. As we finally left hostel to see the Prague castle, we happened to take the longer route to reach the meeting point for the walking tour but the weather was pleasant so didn’t mind.  

As we were walking towards the castle we spotted Amorino Gelato – the ice-cream parlour. My cousin, who was in Prague a couple of days back, was raving about it, so we took a pit stop. The place had some yummy flavours and some new flavours, so we just couldn’t stop ourselves from eating. We had waffle, flower-shaped chocolate ice-cream and also found vegan ice-cream. The vegan traveller was super excited. One friend didn’t eat as she felt she was putting on weight.

A walk through history at Prague Castle

Finally, we marched up to the castle only to find out that it wasn’t the meeting point for the tour and we didn’t have enough time left to reach the point. So, we bought the tickets for the castle and went in. There were different categories of tickets giving access to different areas. The Castle has 11 buildings and we had access to seven of those in the ticket we took. I decided to skip photography ticket as well as audio guide. Most of the places have a write-up which is self-explanatory. As for the photo rights, one of us bought it and we all decided to share pictures later.

Walking trip of Prague Castle

As we entered the Prague Castle, we came across photo-bombing incident. Then we saw the St. Vitus Cathedral in the center so went inside that first. It was nice walk down history lane.

It’s a 13th century structure and has been restored over centuries with different styles of architecture. It has tomb stones/ replicas of various archbishops of Prague since then. 

prague castle pre-wedding shoot

There were many pre-wedding shoots happening in the castle area as it has many picturesque spots. In Europe, wherever we went, pre-wedding shoots followed us!

The castle closes for visitors at 5pm. We had managed to see 5 out of 7 places and it was 5pm by then.

Eating fun at Prague Castle

prague castle cafe

We also stopped at a café within the Castle complex for hotdog… finally hunger took over the worry of putting on weight!  There are many cafes within the complex.

At the hotdog counter we saw a board which said… which means enjoy your meal in English. But if the same thing is read in Hindi language it sounds vulgar. and then as we looked around we could many more such words

Play of words in different languages

And this started a chain of such words which may have innocent meaning in English and Hindi but when read as it is, it sounds vulgar, such as Dobrou Chut (enjoy your meal), vchod (entrance) and vychod (exit). 

After-hours around Prague Castle

prague castle exterior

Even though we exited the castle at 5pm, but the love of selfie and photography didn’t let us go down for another hour.

prague castle exterior

It had also gotten cold by the time we came out of Castle and warm food looked inviting. One friend had grilled veggies which had potatoes and bell peppers in oregano. We also had tndrlni’k – freshly baked bread with chocolate sauce – in cold weather. It was too yummy. 

Exploring Prague Further

Finally we came down around 6.30 pm and had proper food but nothing great. Gnocchi was quite bad. We were too hungry and this was or second proper meal for the day after breakfast. And it’s said that when you are very hungry, everything tastes nice… but no, it was still bad.

prague castle area

We decided to convert euros in local currency – Czech Crowns as euros weren’t accepted easily and in the name of conversion, people charge as they wish. Also we found people begging for money here in Prague, first time on the trip till now. On the contrary, in Poland, people sang, danced, played music and depended on tips. 

After a not-so-nice meal, we walked to the castle bridge. The weather was quite cold but the colors in sky and clouds made for picturesque photos. Every frame was great so we spent a lot of time there taking pictures. The photo-ops continued throughout our way to the hostel, so we made lots of short stops.

Castle Bridge of Prague – A complete tourist destination

Back to Hostel

The initial plan was to go to some nice pub and get a feel of Prague’s nightlife but by the time we reached the hostel, we were exhausted. So, instead, we picked up some food – falafels and burgers, and ate at the hostel with our hair let loose and feet up on the chairs in comfortable night-clothes. While looking for food we came across black light theatre and thought to see it the next day but on further googling we found we have seen miniature versions of this in various reality shows in India so dropped the idea. After the lazy dinner at hostel, we all crashed as if there is no tomorrow.

Day Two in Prague

Day 2 began with 2 girls going for a run. Third girl and I decided to take it easy and enjoy a hot cup of coffee lazing around. The hostel had a cozy living area cum dining area.

prague hostel kaiser

While we were still having coffee, our runners came back and we decided to book the bus tickets for the next day. We were planning to do a stopover at Cesky Krumlov before hitting Vienna. We booked bus tickets to Cesky Krumlov and decided to take shuttle from there. The shuttle booking was quite difficult as no numbers were shared on any website and people take time to respond on emails. And Time was what we didn’t have. Finally, we were able to speak to one agency but they were fully booked. But they later got back to us with a cab for 4 at 4pm from Cesky Krumlov. Even though it was a little expensive, we took it. Well, what other option we had… hahahaha!

By the time all this was done and we got ready, we had missed that day’s walking tour too so we decided to roam around and explore on our own. Also, after attending a few, they had started seeming similar.

Spending time at old town square of Prague

We decided to walk towards old town square as that part of Prague was still left to be explored. On the way we sat at Irish cafe for breakfast and had a hearty breakfast.

While we were having breakfast it suddenly got unusually windy. Everything was flying. Food became cold. It got so windy, that we had to go back o hostel to get extra gear – windcheaters and headbands.

Exploring Prague in a convertible

Once back, we decided to explore the city in a different way – take the city tour in an open convertible car. This way we could cover more ground and no one can beat the fun f travelling in an open convertible… even if it’s a rented one.

It was great fun and what was better was the way people were looking at us. We took a lot of selfies.

 But what was a little dampener was that the cabs in Prague look vintage but they are actually new cars. Our cab was only 6 years old as told by the cab driver.

As we got off the cab, we realised that two of us didn’t have our castle tickets from previous day. So, we once again went back to the hostel to get those.

Second trip to hostel for the day

prague city

As we were coming back, we had corn on cob on the way for 50 czk equivalent to 150 INR. But it was just too tempting to be avoided. Hot corn in cold weather is a great combination.

Finishing the walking trip of Prague Castle

After that, we all finally went to the castle. By the time we reached it was almost 4.15 and we weren’t sure if we would be able to finish the remaining tour by 5pm, the castle’s closing time.

prague castle

But voila we were in for a surprise, rather shock. The royal castle was only the courtroom of kings with three balconies from where he could keep an eye on his kingdom. We felt cheated and how! We checked, confirmed and reconfirmed if only this much was the great royal castle.

Finally, we went to the last remaining tower on our list. It showcased defence system as well as costumes. We were done by 10 to 5.

Lunch at U Mlynare after Castle trip

On the way back, we tasted Choco Beer which tasted great in first few sips but then just regular. It was just average.

In all this madness of going back to hostel multiple times, we hadn’t had lunch. And now by evening, we were famished, so just sat for lunch at a small restaurant called U Mlynare on the way back. We had seen it day before too, so decided to give it a shot.

I had onion soup in bread with beer while the others had salmon, French fries with wine and lemonade respectively. The soup was nice but got over too soon and I had to ask for butter to finish the bread. The vegan friend was saving appetite for more vegan ice-cream

As we came down after our late lunch, we went to Amorino Gelato where she had a huge cup of ice-cream as if there is no tomorrow. And well that was true too as were leaving for Vienna next day early morning.

Never-ending love for castle bridge

prague castle bridge

On the way back, fully fed and satiated, we spent time on castle bridge. For me, this was the best part of Prague. It was buzzing with people’s energy and nice cold weather. One friend sat on the edge of the bridge and security staff came to get her down.

prague castle bridge

After spending some time on bridge, dancing to Bollywood songs, we felt the need for some more alcohol to combat the weather and dance like a mad. We went looking for nice place to sit and have a quiet drink but couldn’t find anything nice around.

prague old town

The next option was to go to old town square and try to find something nice there. But on the way, we crossed Amorino Gelato and stopped for more ice-cream as sugar too helps in combating cold. By the time we finished ice-cream, we felt too tired and walked back to hostel.

Day Two comes to an end

We decided to pick up some fruits on the way as we had to leave early morning and weren’t sure if we will find anything to eat. Well, the bigger reason was to actually get rid of smaller coins which we won’t be able to use or convert later. But still couldn’t finish it all. Though buying bananas turned out to be a good decision as we survived on them only till reaching Cesky Krumlov the next day. 

Time to say goodbye to Prague

prague bus station

Our Bus station was very far so next day, we had to leave really early from our hostel. And the fact that it was raining wasn’t much help either. So we got up early in the morning and left to embark on the journey to our next halt – Cesky Krumlov.

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