City breaks: Prague
The city of Prague is found on any worthwhile interrailing itinerary but has also long been a popular destination for those looking for a city break in the cold winter months. The Czech capital has a rich cultural history, a thrilling nightlife and best of all, it is cheap enough to explore on a student budget. Out of all the countries I’ve visited in Eastern Europe Prague is my favourite, and here’s why..
Firstly, cheap accommodation can be found effortlessly through Airbnb. Prague also has a variety of reasonably priced hostels, which offer a more sociable experience and are a great way for solo travellers to meet new people. Secondly, you don’t have to spend your hard-earned Czech Crowns on transport – the best way to explore the city is on foot. Free walking tours run twice a day from Wenceslas Square and the tour guide simply asks for tips at the end, so it’s an inexpensive way to learn about the city’s vibrant past. Must-see sights include the Charles Bridge, which crosses the river Vltava, as well as the Old Town Square. Here, the incredible timeworn architecture is topped only by the Astronomical Clock, straight out of a fairytale, which is mounted on the Old Town Hall. The maze-like complex of Prague Castle is also well worth getting lost in.
The Petřín Lookout Tower, a miniature Eiffel Tower, sits atop Petřín hill and offers stunning views of the entire city. It is also an excellent opportunity to pretend to be a photographer – you’ll want a good picture after the 300 stair climb to the top. For literature lovers the Franz Kafka museum is a must; it exhibits Kafka memorabilia including photographs and original letters. The museum gives German speakers the chance to brush up on their language skills, as most exhibits are displayed in both English and German.
The city’s cuisine does not disappoint. I have to recommend the fantastic vegetarian restaurant Lehka Hlav, situated in the Old Town. The menu was wonderfully varied, which is a pleasant surprise for any vegetarian. Strangely, they even offered essential oils for breatharians to consume. The prices were very reasonable for the excellent atmosphere and service. However, it is pretty popular, so remember to book a table.
Pilsner Urquell, the most popular Czech beer, is drunk by music lovers and party-animals alike in nightclub Karlovy Lázně. This hop-spot guarantees an unforgettable night for both tourists and locals. What makes this club a good time for all is not only it’s huge complex of dancefloors across five levels, but its eclectic mix of nationalities. For those feeling lucky, or drunk, Prague is also filled with casinos.
Some European cities are even more charming when covered in snow and Prague is definitely one of them, so why not book a mid-term city break that won’t break the bank.