Taking the Long Way travel blog

The National Museum at the top of Prague's longest square; St Wenceslas...

Looking down the length of St Wenceslas Square

Statue of St Wenceslas on horseback; the Czech's patron saint

Modern art reversal of the famous St Wenceslas statue


Where Mozart lived in Prague whilst writing Don Giovanni

Prague markets

Prague Opera House


An unusual door


Inside St Nicholas Church

organ inside the church

That wrinkled twig-like thing haning in front of the painting is a...


The astronomical clock in Stare mesto (Old Town)

The other side of the clock


Tyn Church

Prague, also known as Zlata Praha in the past, is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated on the bank of River Vltava in central Bohemia, the beautiful city of Prague is rich in history and definitely has a bright and promising future. The city has seen a major change in its rapid transition from communism to capitalism in the last 20 years but by all accounts of the locals there, people are much happier and have adjusted eagerly.

Whilst most historic sites and monuments have been preserved, the restructuring of Prague city has been vital in order to manage the influx of tourists, especially after joining the European Union in 2004. For example, while I was there a ring road project was underway to ease traffic congestion and I saw that certain historic buildings had been turned into hotels.

Prague claims to be one of the cultural centres of Europe, housing many institutions such as museums, galleries and theatres. There are also dozens of music halls, opera houses (including one at which Mozart conducted the first performance of his opera Don Giovanni, which he wrote in Prague).

I went on a walking tour of the city (for free!) and had a very exuberant Czech guide who provided a great, and humorous, account of Prague's history and showed us some gorgeous places which I went back to on my own later on.

The bathroom situation at this hostel is pretty dire, there is one bathroom for over 30 people and it is hideous! Mould, mildew and peeling paint is just the start. Add in holes in the wall, some filled with some sort of spray foam, no locks and so filthy you don't want to touch anything and you start to get some idea of what it was like.

The manager there was the rudest man I think I have ever encountered, refusing to give me $50 change when I paid for my first night's accommodation, then he said I had to check out after one night at 11am, then would not allow me to check back in for my second night until 2pm. AND refused to store my luggage in the interim hours despite the fact that I was staying in the same room as the night before. I had already paid AND they had no cleaners coming in so there was no need for me to leave. So I trudged with my pack down to the local coffee shop and sat for hours nursing hot chocolates and cursing the manager.

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