I had always heard great things about Prague. Friends and family that had studied or traveled there always had good things to say about it. In fact, I’m not sure I heard one bad thing about the city before I arrived. Leading up to my trip and our arrival it was one of the cities I was most excited to visit because of all the positive feedback I had heard. I’m about 10 days in and I will tell you it has not disappointed in the slightest. The architecture is stunning, Old Town is amazing, the clubs are unlike any I’ve been to, the people are friendly, the food is diverse and delicious, and there are so many green spaces within the city to hangout in. Prague is almost the complete opposite of Split, Croatia – where I spent month 1 of Remote Year. I love Split for the weather, the ocean, the views, the palace, the dalmatian coast and people, and I love Prague for completely different reasons. Prague is an urban city that breathes energy into you. It’s gothic architecture and pastel-colored buildings have you looking up whenever you are walking. It is almost impossible to find a beer for over $2 and the nightlife is everywhere. The two are almost two different to compare but I will say that even though I had high expectations for Prague, they have already been surpassed.
We arrived to Prague on a chartered flight. 65 of us with a plane to ourselves – we have the Remote Year travel team to thank for that. Our city team met us at the airport and took us to our apartments, but not before an amazing April fools joke on our program leader, Anastasia. We got to our apartment and there are 15-20 other Remotes living in the same building which is awesome! It felt like freshman year in the dorms again as our doors are always open and we always have people to do things with if we are going out. Our apartment is right next to the Baby Tower (A tall TV tower with giant baby sculptures climbing up it). My favorite part of my apartment is the neighborhood we are in. It isn’t touristy and has a great feel to it. There is a farmer’s market every Wednesday through Saturday where we can buy all of our fresh produce, meats, seafood, breads and whatever else you might need. It feels good to walk a block away, talk to local Czech vendors and make dinner using only the ingredients you bought at the market. It really makes you feel part of the neighborhood. There are also many local restaurants, bars and cafes within walking distance which makes trying new food a very easy and fun experience. There is even a mini-golf course down the street which I played on Masters Sunday since I wasn’t able to watch the tournament over here. One of the things I missed most about back home was the amazing craft beer in Charleston and Atlanta. Luckily, I found a local bar that has 30 local craft beers on tap and a bottle shop a few blocks away. It is one of those super small things that reminds me of home that I very much appreciate. It is nice having a neighborhood that you not only feel comfortable in, but also enjoy walking around and exploring.
Our workspace for the month is in an old Dutch embassy. It is a huge house turned co-working space that we share with many Czech locals. It has a nice garden outside and is very homey to work in. I haven’t been going everyday because it is a 20-25 minute walk from my apartment and the weather isn’t great everyday. It has been nice to work from home some days as I can take a break, walk around the neighborhood a bit and come back when I need to. Last month, our workspace was the center of everything – events were held there we also met there before we went out and most people were in the workspace each day. This month, we are a bit more spread out within the city so you don’t see every person everyday like last month and thats ok. Now that we are in a big city, it is natural to do things in smaller groups and closer to your apartment. I think that’s why I appreciated the first month so much. The entire community got extremely close because we were with each other every day. Know that we aren’t its no big deal because if you run into someone at the workspace or out that you haven’t seen in a few days you just pick up where you left off.
Old Town Prague is extremely picturesque and beautiful. Walking over the Charles Bridge is a trip and the city square by the clocktower is filled with vendors and tour guides galore. Prague is a very touristy city and when you visit Old Town, you are visiting with thousands of your newest friends. Luckily, there are so many restaurants, bars and clubs around that you can always find one that suits you. It is a great sight seeing all of the gothic architecture around the city and walking around Old Town is certainly a must. Another must-do is to visit some of Prague’s beer gardens. Prague is famous for cheap beer but also their beer gardens. The city has many parks and outdoor space and lots of these beer gardens are situated right in between. It’s always a good idea to walk around on a nice day, grab a pint or 3, and then head to the next spot.
Overall, I have loved my first 10 days in Prague. I’ve eaten Mexican, Asian, Indian, American and Czech food. I’ve tried tons of local craft beers. I played in a Czech ping-pong tournament, and lost badly. I drank at a beer garden with a beautiful view of the city. I went out and had some of the craziest and fun nights I’ve had. I ate lunch on a boat in the river. I saw the castle and all the sights of Old Town. I got lost and explored. I drank at a rooftop bar. I played mini-golf. I went to the top of the baby tower. I played foosball in an underground cave bar. I took absinthe shots. And in between all of that, I got a lot of work done as well. I can’t wait for the next few weeks. But for now, off to Berlin for the weekend