It was my first time to Czech Republic. I wasn’t travelling alone,I was with my boyfriend. It was his first time too. We made a completely unplanned trip.

Our plans included just bus  tickets and a few hostel reservations. We were not prepared for site seeing, we hadn’t booked any tour guides. We were going to do this in the most simplest and basic way.

Our excitement and lack of planning helped. We were given the best surprise when we entered the city. They say the most beautiful things are the ones you don’t expect.

For those of you who are completely unaware of Prague, here is a brief history. It is the capital city and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries. The city is famous for its unique medieval architecture, the historical centre of Prague is inscribed in the World Heritage List.

This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague’s medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her.

Well, this is what you can read on the internet too but I have something more to add to this. Coming from Poland, the biggest shock I received was rats. There were so many rats in the city.  Back home in mine I had never ever seen one. Prague was just five to six hours away from Poland, yet there was so much of difference.

There were homeless people too, who smelt quite bad but on the other hand the locals were very friendly and nice. Many Prague residents have a small cottage (which can range from a shack barely large enough for garden utensils to an elaborate, multi-story dwelling) outside the city.

There they can escape for some fresh air and country pursuits such as mushroom hunting and gardening. These cottages, called chata (plural form chaty, pronunciation of ch as in Bach), are treasured both as getaways and ongoing projects. Each reflects its owners’ character, as most of them were built by unorthodox methods.

If I had to explain my favourite place then it would be the large river peninsula just north of the city center. Includes the districts of Letná, Holešovice, Bubny, Bubeneč, Troja as well as a small part of Liben. Praha 8: Karlin is the small strip of land sandwiched between Zizkov and the river and bordering the old town on the west side. Karlin belongs to Prague 8 and prior to 2002, it was a rather unsavory part of the city.

After the flood of 2002, Karlin was revitalised and is fast becoming a somewhat conservative, cosmopolitan, professional-class area. On the north-east side, Prague 8 balloons out and encompasses urban areas, business premises and furniture/homeware shopping districts. This is generally not regarded as a tourist area.

Unfortunately the weather was not good and this prevented me from going and visiting a few viewpoints. But nevertheless I have decided to come back and visit again.

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Author: The Brown Nomad

Also published on Medium.

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