December 2019: Prague

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Return flights: £57.98

Accommodation: €79.90 (each) (approx £67.63*) Hotel Taurus (Booking.com)

Total: £125.61

*Exchange at time of writing

Summary and Highlights:

  • It’s possible to go away on a budget, even at Christmas!
  • See if your accommodation offers free cancellation in case plans change

 

  • Old Town and Old Town Square
  • Charles Bridge
  • Prague Castle

I’ve not completely given up on my blog just yet (I do have at least 1 loyal reader that would have a go at me if I did). But after my long haul trip to Canada in September I decided to take November off to save some annual leave (and some pennies). 12 weeks without a trip was pretty agonising and was definitely needed.

Nowhere in Europe screams Christmas trip more than Prague. I’ve been once before about 15 years ago where my main memory was eating a dodgy pancake and being sick all day and night in the hotel room. This time was less dramatic. though not without complications but worked out in our favour. 3 weeks before going, the original accommodation I booked messaged that they couldn’t accommodate us after 9pm. Despite our flight due to land at 8pm, I couldn’t take the risk of not getting there on time or late (the flight actually landed early in the end) so I decided to cancel and book somewhere else. Thankfully it hadn’t been paid for and offered free cancellation and I booked a 4-star hotel, with breakfast for both days and a free taxi from the airport for £25 more.

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I’m sure Prague is always busy so at Christmastime is no exception. Especially in the Old Town Square filled with market stalls and tourists waiting for the Astronomical Clock to perform on the hour. Apparently, it is the second most underwhelming experience in Europe (I’m not quite sure what the first is). However, I would recommend going up the tower as it offers great views of the nearby Church of Our Lady before Týn as well as the castle from the other side. Definitely buy your tickets online as they are slightly cheaper and you can just go straight in than having to queue to buy tickets first.

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Prague is a relatively compact city so the sights can be seen in a day. I opted for two walking tours – one that covered the Old Town and Jewish Quarter and the other the Charles Bridge and castle. The castle is the largest ancient castle in the world but only certain areas are open to the public. It hadn’t yet started snowing and it wasn’t too cold but you still need to wrap up as once it gets dark the temperature drops into the minus figures quickly. It’s also a cheap place to visit thanks to the exchange rate to the Czech Koruna and soft drinks often cost more than beer. However, expect the usual tourist traps and higher prices in the popular tourist areas. I particularly like the cafeteria-style restaurants that do traditional, homemade food at low prices and always tastes good.

Anything not covered on the tours is easy to see in a short amount of time such as The Dancing House, Lennon Wall,  Metronome and Franz Kafka sculpture. Overall 2 days is enough to see all the main sights in Prague but you can easily spend longer there. There are a few museums that I would’ve liked to have gone to if I’d stayed longer. 3 months is definitely too long without a trip though – thankfully I’m now booked up for half of 2020.

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