From Seville, I jumped on a quick flight back to Barcelona. And from Barcelona it was another 2 1/2 hour flight to Prague… A flight which was probably one of the most scenic flights I’ve ever been on.
First we passed over the French Alps (we’ll I’m assuming it was the French Alps – makes the most sense):
And then as we flew into Prague, the scenery totally changed to fields and fields of beautiful green:
It was such an incredible contract and very cool to see…
Now Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Something I actually didn’t realise until I landed at the airport was that they do not use the Euro. They still have their own currency, the Czech koruna (CZK). I just assumed because they’re one of the Schengen countries, they would use the Euro. But luckily all the currency exchange stores in the airport tipped me off to thinking that maybe they don’t.
Cool thing though is that the Rand is actually stronger than the Czech koruna. R1 gets you about 2 CZK. And for the first time on my trip, I felt like a king! 🙂
The airport is about a 25 – 30min drive from Prague’s old town centre (that’s where you want to be). Because I had landed quite late in the evening, I figured I would just suck it up and pay for a taxi rather than trying to figure out the public transport route. Also my suitcase was getting pretty damn heavy by that point.
There are 2 official taxi operators which have booths at the airport. I opted for AAA taxis and was quite happy. You can ask the lady at the booth how much your journey should cost. She told me my trip should be about 580 CZK and it ended up being 606 CZK. But then the really cool thing is that you also get a 47% off discount coupon for your return journey back to the airport. So all ‘n all, it was actually quite affordable.
My hotel was Hotel Merkur (booked via Booking.com):
I had booked a single room. But somehow got what looked like a triple room. So space wise I scored. Unfortunately that’s kinda where the pros ended… except for the breakfast which was included in my stay, that was pretty cool too.
So what was bad? Well, let’s start with the room. The bedding in the room I didn’t feel too comfortable with. I had visions of Gordon Ramsay inspecting the beds with a UV light and not being very happy. Then there was no air-conditioning. Which I didn’t think would be too much of an issue, but it gets quite hot in Prague. So one night I left the window open a little bit to get some air in and I was attacked by a big swarm of bugs. Not ideal. Especially when you wake up with a face covered in swollen mosquito bites. (I’m allergic)
Location wise it was OK – but certainly not the “steps away from the Old Town Square” as advertised. I mean “steps away” makes it sound like you’re pretty much right on top of it, right? But in actual fact it’s about a 10min walk away. Like I said, not terrible, just not as advertised.
Then the wifi situation. Oh this was my favourite part… they’re supposed to have free wifi throughout the hotel, BUT you can’t actually pick up any signal from your room. When I enquired about it, the guy just laughed and said yeah they have that problem in most of the rooms. So why then advertise that you have wifi in the rooms?? Aaarggh. I eventually found a tiny spot on the floor, close to the door where I sometimes managed to pick up a faint signal. It was very irritating.
So would I recommend this hotel for your stay in Prague? Probably not… if you can afford to spend more, rather do that. (this booking cost me 54 euros per night)
But you know what, Prague is such an incredibly beautiful city, a crappy hotel stay wasn’t going to make too much of a dent, cause I just made sure I spent minimal time there.
As a little introduction into this city, here’s a selection of photos I took while just randomly roaming the streets. As you’ll see, Prague is so rich in history and pretty much every street is lined with stunning old buildings which have been pristinely maintained. They also have a strange obsession with things like puppet making (mostly creepy ones) and drinking absinthe… but that just adds to the charm of the place really.
As I said, that was just a little taste. I’m very excited to show you more…