Life in a Touristy City

Since the Velvet Revolution and fall of communism in 1989, the beautiful city of Prague has become a tourist destination for many people traveling in Europe. The city is just over 1.2 million in population (which is smaller than a lot of European cities) and over 7 million people visit each year to wall across the iconic Charles Bridge, view the historic Astronomical Clock, or ascend the steps to the the Prague Castle. While living here three weeks, I have had the opportunity to do several “touristy” things, but it is nice that I can space them throughout the duration of the semester. For example, last week I went to the Prague Castle for one of my classes, walked through St. Vitus Cathedral, and viewed St. Wenceslaus’ tomb.

Another “touristy” opportunity I had was to travel to Pilsen, Czech Republic. This is where several famous Czech Beers are brewed but most importantly, Pilsner Urquell. It was very cool to learn the brewing process and try unpasteurized, unfiltered, straight-from-the-barrel beer. The best part is that the smaller city was only an hour or so train ride from Prague. We were also able to climb to the top of the Cathedral tower and have a traditional Czech meal at the Pilsner Restaurant.

One thing that many people don’t know about Prague is that the city is all around just a cool place to live. Here are some reasons why:

  • Public Transportation – I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but commuting to and from school and downtown could not be more simple. My transport pass works for trains, busses, trams, and night trams.

  • Markets – you can basically always find a market selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc.
  • Cafes – there are cute cafes everywhere selling reasonably priced coffee
  • Museums/Galleries – Prague is home to soooo many museums and art galleries. With constantly changing exhibits, you will never get bored.
  • Something for everyone – do you like history, sports, music, art, or food? Any person with any interests can find something to do here. Last week, for instance, I rock climbed at a huge complex.

The only thing that would make living here all the time a little difficult for me is the friendliness of the locals. Coming from Iowa, I am so used to friendly interactions with strangers. I smile at almost everyone and make small talk everyday. Here, however, people are more private and keep to themselves, so small talk is not common and eye contact is actually kind of rude. I respect their culture and understand that there are reasons why they do this, but it took awhile for me to control how/where I express my emotions.

I hope you enjoyed learning about my daily life in Prague!!

Thanks,

Emma

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