One of the most unexpectedly beautiful cities I’ve visited is Prague. And it’s not just because it was my first foray into Europe, or the first time I was traveling with a friend. Before going there, I knew little of the Czech Republic, except a former coworker had gone there and her pictures of the red roofs looked pretty cool. But Prague, despite being a popular travel destination, maintains a quaint and lovely old town charm.
I visited with my friend, Rachel, back in 2011. It was late November because we wanted to stack our vacation days with the Thanksgiving holiday (maximize that time!). I had read up on Christmas markets prior to going and wanted to visit the one in Old Town Square. It also happened to be within walking distance of our hostel. This is probably the most popular area in all of Prague, and we went back several times because it was so close by. At night, the Christmas market was full of stalls selling pastries and sausages (klobása), flatbreads (langoš), hot drinks (I drank so much hot wine during that trip – it remains one of my favorite beverages), and a ginormous Christmas tree. I was in awe, especially with the gorgeous Astronomical Clock Tower and the gothic Tyn Church as the backdrop. So much so, that my peripheral vision temporarily failed me and I nearly got ran over by a horse.
Here’s a quick view of the Christmas market. If you listen closely, my nasally voice says, “I wanna eat some more.” Priorities.
Our trip to Prague would not have been as memorable were it not for our friend, Jirka. A native of Prague, he has a surprisingly impressive repository of knowledge for his hometown. I would probably be a horrible New York City tour guide. Thanks to Jirka, we learned a lot along the way about its history, tried some local food, and went to some cool ass bars. More on the cool ass bars later.