Interrail 2016: Prague

Prague is super, I loved it, you have to go.

It is a classically central-European river-based city, with beautiful bridges and riverside walks, old town squares, and a castle up a hill.

I can heartily recommend the Jewish Museum, spread across several synagogues in the town’s Jewish Quarter. And the Franz Kafka Museum, which is positively Kafkaesque (if you’re into that kind of thing.. I am)!

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Walking our socks off

Brace yourselves though – this town attracts tourists in a way we had never encountered before.

By which I don’t just mean that there were tourists everywhere. I mean that there were MILLIONS of tourists everywhere. Seemingly all in massive organised tour groups. With a tour leader shepherding them all around with megaphone. Stopping in the middle of the narrow old town streets. En masse. They do everything en masse. While being yelled at by a tour guide. Enter a sight, see the sight, take pictures of the sight, leave the sight. En masse.

This strange group-tourist-tour sensation affects how you experience Prague. We went to the Old Town Square, bursting with beautiful and interesting buildings, but you can hardly see the things through the crowds. You certainly can’t appreciate them.

At Prague Castle we found ourselves diving into rooms to experience them before that group of 15 Spanish tourists making its way down the hill, or those 20 Americans taking selfies outside, catch up with us.

It’s certainly a strange phenomenon. But it also amused us, and away from Prague’s headline acts the crowds do thin out.

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St Vitus Cathedral

We struck gold with our accommodation – a super AirBnB apartment in Andel. It was close enough to walk to the tourist attractions, but far enough to escape from the crowds. It is also busy enough in its own right to have a number of bars and restaurants, so we were able to withdraw from the craziness of the Old Town to have dinner here every night.

We found the perfect place for coffee in the morning, and pints in the evening. We never stopped finding lovely places to eat (even the Vegetarian) both in the main city centre and slightly further afield.

After 4 days here, I was sad to leave. There is no doubt in my mind that, for Prague, it is well worth braving the crowds.

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