Czech it Out - From Paris to Prague
Craving something different from the Haussmann buildings and endless boulangeries of Paris, I took a weekend trip out of the city of love. For the first time, I traveled to the former Eastern bloc of Europe to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic (recently renamed Czechia).
Aside from the increased purchasing power (yay for a strong dollar) and frigid weather, some parts of Prague were much more memorable than others. Here are a few of my favorite Prague memories.
A couple of things you should know before going to Prague in late January:
First, it's cold. Second, you're probably going to be doing a lot of walking. Pack accordingly and dress properly.
On the first day, I explored most of Old Town. Old Town is the "center" (read: tourist-packed) of Prague, and heavily reflects its medieval heritage. Here, you'll find streets lined with stores and small museums with quick exhibits. When I went, there was a Dali and Warhol exhibit across the street from a Cartier store. Unexpected, yet still intriguing.
This is the largest and most famous bridge in Prague. The Charles Bridge is decorated on both sides with sculptures of religious figures and is full of foot-traffic. It's a bit of a walk to cross from Old Village to the other side of Charles Bridge, but the view is worth it.
Thai Fish Foot Massage
Of course, it wouldn't be a Yeju vacation without an impulsive, retrospectively half-regrettable decision. The fish foot massage was definitely that decision of Prague. Completely aware that this was something I could do in Paris or even the States, I took upon the challenge to dunk my feet into a tank of "doctor fish" for an unorthodox pedicure. My feet underwent 25 minutes of intensive consumption by hundreds of tiny fish. The experience? Simply put, if you're a ticklish person, I don't recommend it.
Chateau de Prague
I scaled a large hill to see a castle all while listening to Ed Sheeran's "Castle on the Hill", which already gave me a sense of accomplishment. While much smaller in size, the stained glass windows of St. Vitus Cathedral rival the beauty of those of the Sainte Chapelle. The colorful view was a beautiful contrast to the bleak weather and monochromatic castle surroundings. The castle includes a museum, cafe, and eight different castle buildings to walk around.
By far the best bar I've been to, AnonymouS is the perfect place for people who love history and entertaining drinks. This dimly-lit venue has decor inspired by Guy Fawkes and the rhetoric of the Anonymous Group. From the fire infused drinks to the menu that requires a black light, the small details of this place will keep you enchanted with the atmosphere. You can bet I'll be coming back here.
Coined to be "the best Mexican food of Prague", Las Adelitas was a good escape from the East Bloc vibes I was getting at this time. The chips and guac had me thinking of Chipotle much more than I should have. The decor, while cute, was historically inaccurate. Next time I'll stick to the trdelnik (a famous Czech dessert of grilled dough topped with sugar and nuts).
On the west side of Prague and on top of another large hill, I was lucky enough to get the best view of the city. Not only can you see Charles Bridge and the chateau, but you can also see Old Village and the outskirts of Prague. On the walk back down, there is a small shopping district in case you want to treat yourself to ice cream from Amorino for that long hike.
Fun Fact: This is the third oldest astronomical clock in the world and is still functioning! The gold details of this clock will catch your eye and is a jaw-dropping sight. Historians say that upon completion of this astronomical clock, the architects were murdered so they could not create such a beautiful thing again. Overreaction much?
Home Kitchen - Will cater to all your American-style brunch needs from avocado toast to poached egg.
Lucerna - An 80's and 90's dance club that will reinforce why throwback songs are the absolute best.
All other images via Yeju Hwang
Featured image Via