The Defenestration (and Other Such Acts) of Prague

Our Central Europe trip was already off to a fabulous start after visiting Wrocław, Poland and Berlin, Germany, and it was time to hit up our next destination: Prague, Czech Republic.

The bus ride from Berlin to Prague took us through beautiful countryside, and, upon arriving, we navigated our way through the Prague metro and checked into our hostel. Soon, we were off to explore the city, first stopping in Wenceslas Square, one of the city’s most popular boulevards, for what may have been the most delicious sausage I’ve ever had in my life, accompanied by Cherry Coke, which I miss dearly when I’m in Spain.

Looking like a Cherry Coke ad in Wenceslas Square

We continued on to the amazingly picturesque old town center, spotting Prague’s famous clock tower, Easter egg-colored, ornate buildings, and horse-drawn carriages, as well as fan zones set up for soccer fanatics to watch the Eurocup.

Entering Prague’s fairytale-like center

From there, we crossed over the river, explored a used bookshop, a bridge adorned with locks bearing couples’ names, and more picturesque buildings. Crossing the Charles Bridge back over to the main side of town, we stopped for a while to listen to an incredibly entertaining jazz group. Have a listen and transport yourself to Prague.

Strolling along the river, we paid a visit to the aptly named Fred & Ginger Dancing House, designed in part by Frank Gehry. Continuing from there back to our hostel, we stumbled upon a perplexing recreation of a Nazi concentration camp, which turned out to be some exhibit we couldn’t understand because it was all in Czech. I’m sure it was fascinating? Back in our hostel, we socialized in the common room, a quintessential aspect of budget travel that I often miss out on because of our hectic schedules.

The funky Fred & Ginger Dancing House

Oh, okay.

Day two in Prague was beautiful, and we kicked off our day with a free walking tour leading us around the city’s most important sights. I recommend free walking tours to everyone, although an important disclaimer is that they can be very hit or miss, and I’d say this one was way more on the miss side of things. Nonetheless, it provided a good introduction to Prague’s history and hotspots, and we also ran into an old friend of Linnaea on the tour, who ended up being more informative about Czech history than the tour guide himself.

Upon finishing the tour, we crossed over the river, had a scenic (and cheap!) picnic overlooking the river and the Charles Bridge, and then went on a wild goose chase for a creepy structure a friend had highly recommended. On the way, however, we found ourselves exploring charming parks, hanging out with peacocks (which never fail to remind me of all the peacocks that hung out behind the house I grew up in), and finding a strange, abandoned chapel. We finally made it to the recommended destination, a volcanic rock wall carved with hidden demonic faces, an interesting sight, though not quite as thrilling as my friend had painted it, particularly after going through so much work to find it.

Picnicking on the Vltava River

Can you find any creepy faces?

Once that chase was finished, we stopped at a small bakery to try some Czech pastries, followed by another series of twists and turns until we finally found our next destination, the John Lennon Wall, a wall that has been used since the 80s for inspirational or political graffiti, especially John Lennon quotes. After lying in a park for a bit and eavesdropping on multinational conversations, we took a funicular up to the top of Petřín Hill, which provided quite a lovely view of the city. We hiked back down part of the way through wooded paths, took a ride of Prague’s light rail, and then headed back to our hostel.

Peace, love, and happiness on the Lennon Wall

Overlooking Prague

I’ll admit that ever since taking 10th grade European History, I had dreamed of visiting Prague for one primary reason: to perform a defenestration. Finally, the time had come, so we took advantage of our empty hostel room to throw a few paperclips out the window, as well as staging defenestrations of each other. Bam, check that one off the bucket list.

The defenestration of Linnaea

As the sun set, we returned to the city’s old town to see the city’s nighttime glow, and the old buildings’ lights and the striated clouds at dusk made Prague a city absolutely worth falling in love with. We took in the night, stopped for Czech Budweisers (completely unrelated to American Budweiser!), and bid farewell to delightful Prague the next morning, headed to our next destination, Vienna, Austria.

Prague’s clocktower at dusk

Posing with Prague Castle and the Vltava

Can I go back now?

I was recently talking to a friend who studied in Prague, and she referred to the city as a “real life fairytale.” The Czech Republic may have suffered a rough past century, but Prague is still one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities I’ve visited.

4 Responses

  1. I actually felt let down with Prague! The best thing was the comfy hostal beds we stayed in!

  2. Gammy says:

    I WOULD HAVE LOVED IT THERE. iT REALLY DOES LOOK LIKE IT’S OUT OF A FAIRY TALE! oF COURSE YOU LOOK LIKE A PRINCESS! lOVE YOU!

  1. June 4, 2014

    […] cities I’ve visited in all my travels, and I’d love to go back for more some day. But on to Prague it was, so stay tuned for more Central European […]

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