Checking out the Czech Republic

   CZECH                                                       REPUBLIC
                                                    Czech Republic's most popular beer!

With an array of breweries,castles, market squares, historical towns and old world charm it's no wonder the Czech Republic is the most visited country in Eastern Europe.

My time spent living and working in Austria for a number of months enabled me to spend a few days checking out the Czech Republic.

The number one tourist attraction in all of Czech Republic is the
city of Prague. Tourists arrive here in the droves to check out all the amazing sights in Prague and to drink the beer. It just happens to be that the Czech's consume more beer than any other
country in the world and beer making is a serious business in the
Czech Republic.

So let me begin with Prague (Praha). If you have a few days or a week to spend in Praha go straight to the Charles Bridge. This famous bridge is busy at all times of the day and into the evening hours with everyone from artists to musicians displaying their talents. Romantic couples stroll the bridge hand in hand gazing at the Prague skyline and vendors enjoy selling their merchandise.

The Charles Bridge is lined with statues of saints. Legend has it that if a person touches the statue of St John of Nepomuk their wish will come true. The statue of St John Nepomuk is always surrounded by tourists wishing to take pictures of the statue or touching it
to receive their miracle.

When I was on the Charles Bridge in early May I touched the statue of St John of Nepomuk and made my wish but so far my wish
hasn't come true. Oh well...

                   The famous Charles Bridge

There's a lot to see and do in Prague. Old Town with its horse buggies and outdoor cafes is a wonderful place to hang out. The buildings around Old Town are some of the most photographed in Europe. The Astronomical Clock, Church of St Nicholas, Museum of
Medieval Art, Tyn Church, Havelska Market and the Jewish Quarter are just a few of the many things to check out in Old Town.

Other attractions in Prague (Praha) include New Town, The Little Quarter, and The Castle Quarter. The Prague Castle is where Czech leaders ruled for over a thousand years. It's one of the biggest
castles in the world and definitely worth checking out. 

Prague has a lot of lodging options from simple youth hostels to big name hotels. A popular way to book a place to stay these days is through Airbnb (A website for booking rooms with a local). The options are amazing. Once can stay in a luxury house or a nice apartment near or in the city with a Czech resident.

I was really lucky to spend a couple nights in a cozy apartment with a Czech woman who rented me a room in her apartment for only 30 Euros. My host Eva went out of her way to make me feel welcome in Prague. She took me sightseeing, invited me to a dance party and even treated me to some local beers. I had full use of the kitchen and was given a light breakfast in the morning. What a deal!

When booking through AIRBNB you can basically choose anywhere in the world to stay. This website is amazing for travelers who want the feeling of a home away from home experience. 

When traveling by bus or the underground in Prague be sure to validate your ticket ahead of time. I failed to do this and was fined for my mistake. This experience left me with a bittersweet memory of Prague.

Prague has tons of restaurants and shops. There's an ethnic diversity of restaurant options from local Czech favorites to French, Italian and Turkish just to name a few. Breweries abound and a visit to a local microbrewery will give you the chance to drink some of the best beer made in the world. For a local treat try a trdelink pastry. It's out of this world.

My journey through the Czech Republic started in Passau, Germany. As soon as I crossed the border I could feel the Eastern European atmosphere. The trains were more simpler than those in Austria or Germany and there were glimpses of some poverty as the train made its way through several country villages.

While on my train journey through the Czech Republic I was able to spend a bit of time in Klatovy and Pizen. I would have liked to visit Cesky Krumlov. Word has it that this midieval city of cobbled streets surrounded by a river is fantastic for walking. There are hiking trails nearby, beautiful arhitectural buildings, and an enchanting castle. Cesky Krumlov is the Czech Republic's second most visited city and is much more relaxed than Prague.

Wherever you decide to go in the Czech Republic I'm certain you'll enjoy checking out the small and enchanting Czech Republic
any time of year.

Adrianna (Travel World)


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