By College Tourist; Author: Marilyn La Jeunesse, New York University
Proof that you can experience the true nature of a city by visiting it's tourist traps.
In a world where people live fast-paced lives, and the buildings around us become bigger and shinier, it's nice to find a place with a sense of antiquity and slowness about it. With an air of calm serenity, the fairy-tale buildings of Prague, Czech Republic and the adorable cobblestone roads combine to create an atmosphere of incomparable peacefulness. The city is of unrivaled beauty. There is an ancient castle perched upon a hill, a blue river running through the city center, and stunning statues from years passed. After having spent five months studying abroad in this beautiful city, I knew Prague would be a part of me forever.
1. The most magical spot to capture a sunset in Prague is on the Charles Bridge. The Bridge, which boasts some of the best views of the Prague Castle, which will turn into a silhouette as the sun sets for the day. Nighttime on the bridge can get a little windy, so I recommend wearing a Spirit Jersey to avoid the chills. Grabbing a to-go cup of warm mulled wine is also highly endorsed.
2. The most interesting local custom that sets Prague apart from America is greeting everyone. It is considered rude to walk into a storefront or restaurant without saying "Dobry Den" to the employees. This simple custom is a friendly gesture that shows you care about the people working and also respect their tradition.
3. The most delicious local food that makes you never want to leave is arguably the fried cheese. While most people would advocate for the beef goulash with potato dumplings, I have a strong connection to the fried block of creamy cheese. Served as a sandwich or topped with cranberry sauce, fried cheese is one of those delicacies you can only really find in its country of origin.
4. The most amazing birds eye view from the top of Zizkov Television Tower in Prague is absolutely amazing during the day and night. Although many people find themselves viewing the city from the Prague Castle, Zizkov Tower is an underrated spot to see all of Prague. The Tower, which was once voted to be one of the world's ugliest buildings, is an old, Communist era radio tower. Now adorned with David Cerny's baby statues and modern-day enhancements, Zizkov Tower is the perfect spot to see Prague like you've never seen it before.
5. The most interesting place to wander and get lost in is the Prague Castle. This vast estate is home to several gorgeous churches, quite a few palaces and a couple hundred rooms. It's easy to get lost walking from one side of the castle to the other. Get lost near the home of Franz Kafka, or stop into St. Vitus Cathedral to view St. Wenceslaus (aka the patron saint of Christianity in Prague). There's so much to see at the castle, it would be a shame to speed-walk through it. Make sure to bring your Spirit Jersey with you, it will keep you warm as you wander through the cold castle. Get your hands on your own American made Spirit Jersey at spiritjersey.com! Custom and individual orders are available.
6. The most entertaining event you will go to in Prague is a puppet show. With roots dating back to the Middle Ages, puppetry has long been a tradition in the Czech world. While in the city, stop by and see Mozart's Don Giovani performed by marionettes.
7. The best place to have a picnic in Prague is Letna Park. This stunning spot is a great place to get in touch with nature while enjoying the views of Prague. Pack your favorite Czech snacks and a few Pilsners and head to the top of the park for almost incomparable views of the city.
8. The most awesome tourist attractions you will find in Prague is the Astronomical Clock located on Old Town Square. This gorgeous, one-of-a-kind clock was built in 1410, making it the third oldest astronomical clock in the world, and the oldest one that is still functioning. While the clock does have a dark past, the Czechs and tourists alike appreciate its beauty and history. Watch the clock as it rings in a new hour with several moving parts and then climb the stairs of the tower for an up-close view of Old Town. Tickets are cheap, and it is a must-see attraction before you leave.
9. The most breathtaking historical place you will find in Prague is the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn. Both the inside and the outside of this church are absolutely stunning. The outside, gothic façade is an ode to 14th century Prague, while the inside is decorated in a stunning Baroque manner. Word on the street is Franz Kafka spent a lot of time in and around the church. His father had a store just outside of it on the corner at the Bell House.
10. The best place to enjoy Prague at night is Lucerna. On Fridays and Saturdays, especially, Lucerna hosts 80s and 90s night, a musical throwback complete with dated music videos and a dancing stage. While the crowd is not normally young and hip, as an American in a foreign country, you will appreciate the fervor of the Czech people as they dance to the Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls. If you're looking for a more refined place to visit, check out Hemingway Bar. Inspired by the famed author's love for mixology, this bar offers creative cocktails for under $10. The ambience is absolutely amazing, and the waiter's garb transports you back to the 1920s.
Want your own authentic Spirit Jersey to bring on exchange? Custom orders are available on spiritjersey.com
Read more student travel stories at The College Tourist