Following my recent blog on my struggles with mental health, I had stated that prior to feeling low, my trip to Prague had already been booked, and thank God it was! Prague was the perfect escape and a trip of many firsts for me;
My first solo trip abroad
My first time visiting the Czech Republic
My first time hearing the Czech language
My first time being away from the TV for more than 24 hours… (Thank God for record.)
I have a friend who rents out holiday apartments in Prague, and I had been told that I would be able to fly out and stay over whenever possible and naturally I jumped at the chance and in my head I was already booking time off work… Now, I want to be clear that this trip was not in exchange for a blog post/review, nor was it to promote their apartments! I wanted to mention the accommodation in this blog post regardless as it was genuinely a beautiful place to stay so I guess this is classed as an #AD but not an #AD? Anyway! I also have been lucky enough to be able to share a discount code for you all, should you choose to visit and stay in Prague, so keep reading until the end!
I flew out to Prague on Sunday 31st March and came back on Thursday 4th April. I was rather nervous about this trip as I felt spending 5 days alone, abroad, in a foreign city was rather daunting and my biggest worry was ‘What if I get bored after the first day or two?’ If only I knew how wrong I would have been for thinking this! I flew from Leeds/Bradford Airport and after a brief 2 hour flight, I landed into Prague at 8.30pm.
Once I arrived in Prague, my transfer had been arranged and off we set to the accommodation. I couldn’t see much due to it being pitch black outside, but as we were driving through the hills, I was in complete amazement by the sheer size of the houses. I would even go as far as to say they were mansions? As we left the hills behind, we drove past the ‘Dancing House’ and I knew I wasn’t too far away at this point. We pulled up to the apartments - Escape to Prague, and I had been given a quick tour around the building and shown into my apartment. My first thought? ‘WOWOWOW this is huge for little old me!’ My apartment sprawled across 4 rooms which had its own bathroom, kitchen/diner, a lounge and then a rather large bedroom with two double beds. Bliss!
On the first night, I made the decision of staying in and catching an early night, mainly because I wanted to wake up extra early the following morning to really maximise my time whilst in Prague and I knew if I had a lie in, I’d have been fuming. The first night was a strange one I’ll admit. Despite the building feeling incredibly safe and secure with many doors being locked etc, I still felt slightly on edge as for those of you who don’t know, I am deaf, and for those of you who also don’t know, when I go to bed to sleep, I take my hearing aids out. I will talk more about this in a separate blog post as I feel I have some tips on how to tackle this if you’re deaf yourself and are unsure about travelling and feeling safe alone!
My first morning in Prague began at 8am and as I began to get ready, I remember thinking ‘Crikey, is the heating on?’ only to realise that actually, it was 16 degrees outside! I had arrived in Prague at the most perfect time weather-wise and off I set for the day. The Head of Franz Kafka was situated just 2 streets away from where I was staying and was my first destination on my ‘tourist checklist.’ As I made my way through the streets of Prague, I kept looking around in awe of the beautiful detailing of the architecture, and the whole city had a very clean feel to it as a whole. I then arrived at Old Town Square which has the iconic Astronomical Clock with the U bílého jednorožce taking centre stage. I completely fell in love with the whole area and came to realise that everywhere in Prague is near enough centred around this area!
I then ventured over to Charles Bridge where I climbed up the steps to get a better ‘Instagram’ view of the bridge from above inside one of their towers, and it is definitely worth visiting! Once I had taken in the view, I then stayed over on that particular side of the bridge and came across:
Lennon Wall - Brightly coloured wall found hidden away just a few metres from Charles Bridge, expect to find many tributes to John Lennon with many Beatles lyrics and graffiti. Please note, this area gets incredibly busy with tourists so if you were to visit, I’d recommend getting there early morning or on an evening!
Petrin Gardens - Prague’s beauty spot, Petrin Gardens overlooks all of the main iconic features and I found this area of Prague simply beautiful and very peaceful! If you visit in Spring, then expect to find many Blossom trees dotted around!
St. Nicholas Church - I couldn’t resist stepping inside this particular church, and I am so glad I did! The architecture is absolutely breathtaking and at just 100CZK for entry, it’s absolutely worth it.
Prague Castle View Point - No matter which direction you’re coming from, please bear in mind that it is all uphill! Trust me, I tried 2 different approaches before deciding to just power on through. Once I was up there, again, I was in awe. Similar to Petrin Gardens, this viewpoint gives a panoramic view of many of the Prague attractions and a little tip for you! There is a Starbucks cafe at the top with the most gorgeous cherry blossom tree too.
I then retreated to Café Café for a late lunch where the vibe inside was incredibly chic and stylish with many Vogue covers adorning the walls before heading back to my apartment to recharge my phone and camera - the downside of trying to capture everything! After a quick change, I headed back out at around 8pm before finding a bite to eat and I climbed the other side of Charles Bridge tower to have a different viewpoint lit up at night, and again - beautiful!
The following morning came, and after having seen how busy the Old Town Square the day before, I got there for 7:30am only to find a wedding photoshoot was taking place and I actually thought the photos were rather sweet which is why I have included it here! I then walked over to the Dancing House and had been recommended a cafe for brunch; Cafefin! (I do have another blog coming out this week with the chic cafes/restaurants I visited whilst there hence the reason for being vague about them in this particular blog.)
After brunch, I made the mistake of walking back over to the other side of Charles Bridge and the reason I say mistake is due to not realising that the walk from Cafefin to Charles Bridge was near enough 45 minutes! Having said that however, I am glad I did walk it rather than take a tram as it meant I got to soak in the atmosphere and take in all of the surroundings. Once I had arrived at my destination, I knew I had to travel back up to Prague Castle View Point in order for me to get to St. Vitus Cathedral, and I know this is becoming a little repetitive and boring hearing me ramble on about how beautiful Prague was, but honestly, it was BREATHTAKING! St. Vitus Cathedral is also the huge building that dominates the Prague skyline when looking at it from afar which is something I only realised once inside.
I then took to the streets of Prague once again and this time came across Jewish Quarter situated just a street away from the Old Town Square, my idea of heaven! Celine, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and many more designer luxury stores can be found here. For the evening I then met up with my friends who coincidentally were in Prague at the same time as me, and even more of a coincidence, we were all on the same street!
My last full day came and it felt bittersweet for me as this was the day I finally felt like I’d settled in so to speak. I had done all of the tourist attractions, visited those Instagram/photography hotspots, worked out which shortcuts to take and I felt as though I could take it easy and not have to worry about rushing to an area to say that I’d been and whatnot! I took a stroll around the city streets and stumbled across a secret garden tucked away out of the busy hustle and bustle of the tourists; Vojanovy Sady. I came across the biggest cherry blossom tree I think I have ever seen in my life, I could even go as far to say it was the size of a small house!? Inside the tree were peacocks, hidden away making various noises that could be heard from across the gardens. If you ever get the chance to visit Prague, make this secret garden a priority, you won’t regret it!
The final night came and I caught up with my friends and we treated ourselves to Prague’s iconic snack, an ice cream with a waffle/dough based cone! Yummy. As I began packing for departure the following day, I took a moment to reflect and my time in Prague felt as though it had all taken place in one day. The time just seemed to have vanished and I actually felt rather sad about leaving as I mentioned earlier, I felt more adjusted to the city and completely fell in love with it all! If you have never been to Prague and have always wondered what it was like, then just go. You won’t regret it!
*For my trip I stayed at Escape To Prague Apartments and stayed in the King Wenceslas 6 apartment. I have also been lucky enough to share a discount code with you all which will knock 10% off your stay! DISCOUNT CODE: LUKE10 Valid until early December 2020 but excludes both Christmas and New Year 2019.