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.
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.
Just several minutes away, we found the Powder Tower, right next to Municipal House(Obecní dům), which looks gorgeous.
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.
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.
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.
Finally we arrived at the Old Town Square of Prague. There is a Christmas market there.
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.
The Jan Hus Memorial(Pomník mistra Jana Husa) stands behind the Christmas tree in the Old Town Square.
On the other side of the square is the famous Prague Astronomical Clock(Pražský orloj):
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.
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
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.
I would rate Hostel Florenc 4 out of 5 stars. And I would recommend it to my friends.