Czech Republic

When

  • June 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee a long weekend (four day weekend)

Places

Prague

  • Sandeman’s Free walking tour for 3 hours to get your bearings and to check out Prague’s main sights including Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Rudolfinum – Czech Philharmonic, Old New & the Spanish Synagogue, St. Nicolas’ Church, Old Jewish Quarter and more;
  • I also went with the same company for the Terezín Concentration Camp tour which went for a full day.  This was really interesting as the camp is an hour outside of Prague and is a story of a combination of life and death: the tragedy of the Holocaust contrasts with the prisoners’ secret celebrations of culture, politics and faith;
Old Town Square at night..
Old Town Square at night..
  • Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the Rudolfinum is a cool experience and pretty cheap too;
  • The Lennon wall is cool and best time to check it out would be early in the morning to beat the crowds..
  • Charles Bridge – is a big bridge with 30 statues of saints each with its own history and there is usually some buskers playing music;
Prague astronomical clock..
  • Old Jewish Cemetery and the Synagogues – these are worth checking out – very informative and interesting;
  • Old Town Square and the Prague astronomical clock – on the hour during the day the clock’s windows open so you can see the procession of the apostles – gets a bit of a crowd..
  • Prague Castle has a few different things to see inside including the Golden Lane, the big All Saints Church;
  • I did do a pub crawl here but not a massive fan of pub crawls.  There are plenty of companies advertising various pub crawls mainly starting from underneath the astronomical clock;
  • Go for a walk and climb the stairs in Letna Park and in doing so you walk past the Prague Metronome and a massive monument for Stalin – also a great view over Prague from here and you can see majority of the bridges crossing the Vltava River;
  • Karlovy lázně is a five-storey disco club and the biggest in Central Europe – it was huge and on each level had different music.  Very easy to get lost here and it is pretty hidden away too.  Lázně is situated 50 meters from the eastern end of the Charles Bridge on the bank of the Vltava River.
The Charles Bridge over the Vltava River..
The Charles Bridge over the Vltava River..

Accommodation

St Christopher’s at The Mosaic House was a fancy and very modern hostel but a ‘drop off’ for tour companies so a bit commercialised.  Very nice though with an ensuite and a yummy breakfast included!  Good location and walking distance to everywhere you needed to be.

Language

  • Czech but English is pretty common and you should not have any issues.
  • Hello:  Ahoj (ahoy)
  • Thank you:  Děkuji (Dyekooyih)
  • Good bye:  Na shledanou (NAHSH-leh-dah-noh)
  • Yes / No:  Ano (AH-noh) / Ne (neh)

Visa

  • Visa not required for Australians for a stay of up to 90 days

Money

  • Czech Koruna (20.16 CZK = $1 USD)
The train station for the Terezin Concentration Camp..
The train station for the Terezin Concentration Camp..

Food

  • Bagels from Bohemia Bagel are pretty damn good
  • Smažený sýr – fried cheese (yum!)
  • Mushrooms are big in Czech and are in most dishes
  • Potato dumplings are often filled with smoked meat and served with spinach or sour cabbage
  • Fried onion and braised cabbage are common side dishes
  • Beer is extremely cheap here and cool to try a few of the local types

Tips and tricks

  •  Alcohol is cheap but head out of the main ‘touristy’ areas and you find it even cheaper!
  • Prague is beautiful and with a lot of history – take the time to go into the museums and learn about it all.
  • So much to do in Prague so give yourself enough time (preferably at least three to four days) and check everything out.

Czech Republic blog posts

The John Lennon wall..
The John Lennon wall..

Leave a Reply