“I love this city!” One of us has made this announcement just about every day that we’ve been in Prague. We love the green parks with their tall trees, the beautiful buildings found everywhere we go, and the low crime rate which makes it safe to go wherever we want. We love that the streets are clean so we don’t need to worry about stepping in something on the sidewalk – which is good because we spend a lot of time looking up at those beautiful buildings. This city is absolutely enchanting, whether we are walking along the Vltava river or admiring a scenic view. Okay, now I’m just getting sappy; but you see, I didn’t expect to like it this much.
Prague is a different city from when we first visited almost twenty years ago. Back then, I remember relaxing at the cafes on the Old Town Square and barely being able to spend $10 on a meal. Now, tourists have overtaken the historic area making it anything but relaxing and while Prague is still an affordable European travel destination, many locals that we spoke to are concerned about rising costs.
On the other hand, in many ways things are much better. English is widely spoken, allowing us to talk with young locals that have a positive outlook for the future. The economy is doing well. One man told us that there is no unemployment in Prague. He was close – the Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in the EU at 2.4% in June 2018.
We’ve had the entire summer here so we’ve been exploring slowly, spending most of our time in the outskirts away from the tourist areas. We purchased a month public transit pass that includes unlimited rides on the trams, metro, buses, and water ferries. That pass has opened up the city to us. Once we got away from the Old Town, we found a vibrant, youthful city with trendy restaurants, craft beer pubs and wine bars. International street food stands are catching on and farmer’s markets are scattered around the city.
As for those crowded tourist sights? Of course we saw them. We joined up with good friends from the U.S. for a few days and their perseverance helped us muscle through many of the marvelous historical sites (Thanks M & M!) I won’t go into detail about our sightseeing, since there are plenty of travel guides to Prague, but now I’ve got all of these photos that I would love to share. For those of you not familiar with this city, these are some of the reasons that millions of people are drawn to Prague each year.