Czech Republic is a landlocked country in central Europe. It is a country with a very interesting history and was one of the few European countries which had minimum destruction during world war II. Thus country is able to preserve the older look along with modernization. Before this trip I didn’t understand what is meaning of admiring architecture of a city but after observing buildings in Brno and Prague,  I now understand what it means.  In addition to sightseeing monuments like castle or cathedral, the normal buildings like residential buildings have some beauty associated with them.  I spent a couple of days in Czech Republic which allowed me to see the cities at a slower pace and  introduce me to culture of country. I visited two cities – Brno and Prague in Czech Republic. Here are my experiences and observations during my stay there :

1.  Czech people are slightly sensitive about being referred to as part of eastern Europe. They prefer it being referred to as part of central Europe.

2. Czech people have a false image of being unfriendly or rude. I got this impression when I read few forums where previous visitors had mentioned such remarks.. This is absolutely wrong at least from the tourist point of view. They might be a bit reserved but whenever you need help they will not shy away. It would be great if you greet people with Hello in Czech by “Dobrý den. (DOH-bree dehn)”. It is not easy to learn Czech quickly but if you can pickup few more words than great. People were friendly at most of the places and sometimes even came out of their shops and walked few steps with me  if I asked for directions. 

3. English is understood by many people in Prague and you will be able to carry out basic conversation without much problem. In Brno it becomes slightly difficult but presence of lot of students covers up for that. Chances of finding an English-speaking person is higher among younger generation crowd.

4. Finding vegetarian food is not a problem at all in cities like Brno and Prague. There are plenty of Indian/Thai/Mexican restaurants. Czech cuisine is primarily based on meat but they do have 2-3 dishes which are vegetarian. Trdelnik which is a rolled pastry sold on various stalls is one of the snack  which I loved in Czech Republic. It is inexpensive, served a bit hot and tastes really good.

5. Brno and Prague are the cities which are best enjoyed on foot. They are not very big cities and most of the attractions can be reached by foot. I didn’t use any transport for sightseeing and took subways only when entering and exiting cities. The maximum you many need to walk is for half an hour and you can cover all major attractions.

6. And if you still do not want to walk then public transport system is available at affordable rates. Prague has both subways and tram but I found tram system a bit difficult to work out on first day.

7. Czech Republic is no longer inexpensive but still affordable as compared to Austria or any other western European country.

8. Beer is main drink of Czech Republic and most of the places it’s cheaper than water.

9. If you are not a beer fan then check out lovely cafes specially in Prague. I love open air cafes and both cities have plenty of them.

10. You can spot people playing music in many streets and expecting a small donation. Sometimes they are very good and you would wonder what they are doing in streets. I got to interact with one such person for a long time which was one of the memorable incident of my visit to an extent that it deserves a separate post.

11. Many streets in Czech Republic are cobble stone streets and thus you must have good footwear.

12. Overall I felt safe in Czech Republic even during nights on road. You need to be alert in areas around railway stations both in Brno and Prague as they are considered a bit unsafe after dark. Apart from this I didn’t notice any thing worrying. In city centers you can safely roam around till 10-11 PM .

13. If  museums and art galleries interest you then you are at perfect place as there are plenty of them. Unfortunately I am not a museum person so I admired them from outside :).

I tried to give a glimpse of country but I know things are lost in translation from what eyes saw to what hands wrote :). There are few more posts lined up where we dive deeper into to the country and will visit major attractions in both cities as well as some tips to plan a trip there based on my experience. What else would you want to hear about? Take your pen and write into comments section below :).

About the Author

I am a Travel Blogger from India. This blog is a collection of my travel experiences and learnings. I share my travel stories to introduce the wonderful places that I have visited and thus have virtual tours with readers:). If you liked reading my travel blog, please comment to share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.

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4 Comments
 
  1. kuchbaateapnibhi 26 May, 2014 at 12:03 PM Reply

    Interesting..
    Awesome snap as always.
    Would like to read about the evening u spent with the musician playing harp on the street and the rainy days
    Also, i think ur readers would be eager to know abt the major tourist attractions wherever u’ve been
    Do post few more snaps

  2. Kunal 19 June, 2015 at 4:22 PM Reply

    Hi Markand,

    Excellent writing. I am planning to travel Europe in december. Could you help me out in deciding the places that we could visit. I will be travelling with my better half and the days would be 7 including the arrival day and ofcourse we will be on a budget. 🙂

    Regards,
    Kunal

    • Makrand 19 June, 2015 at 7:52 PM Reply

      Hi Kunal,

      Thanks for visiting. December would be freezing in entire europe and not the best month to travel. If possible please reschedule to another time either august-october or april onwards. The day light is for less number of hours and there are rains/snow falls so weather is not favorable. Ofcourse prices will be less as it is not peak season but some places will be closed as well.

      If you decide to go ahead with your plan then please carry very heavy woolen with you. Temperatures would be below 0 degrees at many places and cold winds make it worse. I was there in May and still a warm jacket didn’t appear enough.

      Europe is an entire continent and would be difficult to suggest a place unless you mention your interests.

      Europe and budget don’t go well together but still eastern/central europe is cheaper than western european countries.

      I can give you some high level pointers. Once you mention your interest I can help you narrow down your choices.

      1 Try to have more number of days than 7 if possible. You are spending considerable amount for flights so make most of it. Secondly it will give you chance to have a relaxed pace.

      2. No matter how much you estimate correctly for your budget, it will overshoot. So have some buffer money.

      3. Don’t try to cover a lot of cities/countries. I know it becomes tempting to cover as much as possible but resist the temptation. Limit your trip to at most 3 cities in 7-8 days.

      Let me know you if you any specific question.

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