Prague is an enigma, on one hand it’s a beautiful, picturesque, romantic city, full of newly-weds and young families, on the other hand it’s a laddish party place with an abundance of stag-dos and relaxed drug laws which attract similar tourists to the likes of Amsterdam.
So, where does that leave students?
Well, perfectly suited to be honest. Prague is a hub of culture with countless galleries, exhibitions and cinemas juxtaposed with more bars and clubs than you can count. The big student community allows for cheap nights and cheaper accommodation. Prague is full of native students and Erasmus students, thanks to the city’s Charles University, the oldest in Eastern Europe. You can be cultural by day and a party animal by night. The museums aren’t all stuffy and old – while there are some standard history and science museums, but there’s also sex museums, torture museums, KGB and Marxist museums, many an ode to the Czech Republics complex history.
To relax in the day, there is a plethora of things to do, in busy periods sitting on pretty riverbanks to hiring pedalos is very common. The Lennon Wall – a heavily graffitied wall which has become a tribute to Lennon and the Beatles, is definitely a site to see. The pretty architecture of Wenclass Square is a hot tourist spot too, Old town, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Cathedral, Fred and Ginger dancing building all have unique styles but are fabulous in their own right.
The bars aren’t typical either, ranging from shisha hubs and ice bars to very classy jazz bars and Absintheries, all of which are must-dos. There are huge clubs too, typical of central Europe and go out in the day time and you’ll be bombarded with promoters asking you to go on bar crawl. And if you’re as food-obsessed as me there’s a huge array of international food on offer, from cheap and authentic Czech Goulash, to Sushi and Pizza.
Travel is inexpensive too, most of the city is serviced by the tram system which is comfortable to navigate. Be wary of getting scammed though, tourists are constantly caught out if they haven’t prebought their tram tickets- always buy your ticket first to avoid be intimidated into paying extortionate prices.
Prague is great, and perfectly sized for a long weekend. If you’re there for a longer period of time or fancy interrailing it’s easy to get to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austraia and Germany.
This post originally appeared in Wessex Scene.