My thoughts on Prague

22 Jul

I am in Prague right now and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The city’s incredible architecture has survived years and years of wars and occupations. The city’s castle has the most impressive church I’ve ever seen. The Charles Bridge is an incredible work of engineering.

But despite these characteristics, there’s other, not so positive thoughts I have about this city too.

The city has so many more tourists than the other ones I have visited. It is the most heavily touristed East-Central European city, and with that you have long lines for attractions, loads of overweight American tourists who wear cowboy hats, drunk Germans and Brits, and get the idea.

It’s a touristy place, and it isn’t totally filled with sights either. There’s the awesome castle area, and some cool museums here and there (The Kafka Museum, the Museum of Communism, etc), but mostly its about taking in the nice architecture. And the architecture really is gorgeous.

Thing is, though, I honestly don’t see what makes it that much more tourist-deserving than somewhere like Warsaw or Riga. Those cities are far less heavily touristed and have just as many, if not more, great sights, and though the old architecture is not absolutely everywhere, I don’t feel it should need to be everywhere to be a fascinating Eastern European city. You know what? I actually liked seeing some of the boring communist blocs in those other cities, because it gave an interesting feeling of contrast to the medieval stuff. There’s nothing like that in Prague that’s close to the sight-heavy area, except for the suburbs, which have little to see.

In general, Prague is very much worth seeing: but don’t make the mistake of making it the only city in this region you see! There’s other places that are far more off-the-beaten-track and just as good, if not better.

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