Municipal House of Prague

Prague Trip #1: Powder Tower & Old Town Square

For my first Christmas in Europe, I decided to go to Prague, Czech Republic, for 3 days from 24 12 2016.

We arrived at Florenc train station, which is pretty beautiful.

Florenc Train Station Prague
Florenc Train Station Prague

We walked towards the Old Town Square, and it takes us about 15 minutes. The first thing we saw is the Saint Henry Tower(Jindřišská věž). At first, we mistood it as the Powder Tower(Prašná brána). Actually it looks quite amazing, not any less beautiful than the Powder Tower.

Saint Henry's Bell Tower Prague
Saint Henry Tower Prague

Just several minutes away, we found the Powder Tower, right next to Municipal House(Obecní dům), which looks gorgeous.

Powder Tower of Prague
Powder Tower of Prague
Municipal House of Prague
Municipal House of Prague

Passing the Powder Tower, we could see a lot of souvenir shops selling Bohemian crystals, which is how we found out Bohemia is part of Czech Republic.

Warning! Exchange Commission: 20%

And there are also many exchange stores. We weren’t paying much attention to the footnote under the exchange rates, and paid almost 20% commission for exchanging euro to Czech Koruna, which means we lost 20 euros just for exchanging 100 euros. And we asked the teller if it’s mandatory, like by raw, and she said yes, I had to pay the commission no matter which store I go. But about one hour later, we found a kiosk that didn’t charge commission. That means actually we didn’t have to lose that 20 euros.

Czech Koruna Exchange Commission
Czech Koruna Exchange Commission

So if you go to Prague, make sure to check the commission before exchanging your money. So that you don’t have to lose money for nothing.

Old Town Square

Before we entered the Old Town Square, we saw Basilica of St James(Kostel svatého Jakuba Většího). But it was surrounded by other buildings, so we were not able to take some clear photos.

Basilica of St James Prague
Basilica of St James Prague

We walked through a small alley to the Old Town Square, and a huge Christmas tree came into your eyes. It’s like entering a different world.

Christmas Tree in Old Town Square Prague
Christmas Tree in Old Town Square Prague

Finally we arrived at the Old Town Square of Prague. There is a Christmas market there.

Christmas Market in Old Town Square Prague
Christmas Market in Old Town Square Prague

We could see the top of the Týn Church(Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem). Again, it’s surrounded by other buildings, we couldn’t see the whole church from here.

Tyn Church Old Town Square Prague
Tyn Church Old Town Square Prague

The Jan Hus Memorial(Pomník mistra Jana Husa) stands behind the Christmas tree in the Old Town Square.

The Jan Hus Memorial Prague
The Jan Hus Memorial Prague

On the other side of the square is the famous Prague Astronomical Clock(Pražský orloj):

Prague Astronomical Clock Side
Prague Astronomical Clock Side
Prague Astronomical Clock front
Prague Astronomical Clock front
Prague Astronomical Clock Surface
Prague Astronomical Clock Close Look

Another major building at the square is the St. Nicholas’ church(Chrám svatého Mikuláše). It’s the only church we found that doesn’t require the entrance fee.

Saint Nicholas Church Prague
Saint Nicholas Church Prague
Inside of Saint Nicholas Church Prague
Inside of Saint Nicholas Church Prague
Saint Nicholas Church Prague chandelier
Saint Nicholas Church Prague chandelier

And then I spent the rest of the day in the Christmas market. But there is too much to talk about, so I’m going to cover it in a separate post.

Accommodation: Hostel Florenc

Hostel Florenc Prague
Hostel Florenc Prague

One bed in a 5-bed room: 12 Euros, including breakfast, probably the cheapest choice.

It’s clean and the furniture is quite new, probably from Ikea. My only complain is the wifi is too slow, sometime I couldn’t connect to it.

Great location: about 5 minutes from Florenc train station and right next to Florenc bus station.

Good breakfast: they serve cereal with milk and yogurt, 4 different kinds of bread, baked beans, bacon, luncheon meat, mini sausages, ham, cheese. For beverages, they offer coffee, orange juice, milk, tea, and of course water. You can also choose from all kinds of sauces and jams. They aren’t fancy stuff, but pretty decent and taste good. I’m going to miss the breakfast here.

Breakfast Hostel Florenc Prague
Breakfast Hostel Florenc Prague
Canteen Hostel Florenc Prague
Canteen Hostel Florenc Prague
Food for Breakfast Hostel Florenc Prague
Food for Breakfast Hostel Florenc Prague

I would rate Hostel Florenc 4 out of 5 stars. And I would recommend it to my friends.

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