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When I first visited Prague back in 2004 during my semester in Italy, it quickly became one of my favorite places — overflowing with charm and beauty, with a substantially low price tag.
Today, Czech Republic is one of the countries I haven’t visited in the longest (only exceeded by Ireland and Hungary). I wonder what the Czech of 2012 would be like.
Far more expensive, that’s for sure. And much more crowded. But in a plaza lined with all those beautiful candy houses, looking like something out of Disney World, I doubt that Prague would be able to shake off that charm.
Looking back to my days in Prague, here are what I remember the most:
Five-floor clubs. We went to Karlovy Lazne, on the Charles Bridge, and were blown away by the fact that this club had five floors with a dance floor, lounge, and different style of music on each floor.
Beer cheaper than water. As a 20-year-old who couldn’t drink in her home country, you bet I enjoyed that!
Hot wine. Prague was where I first tasted hot mulled wine, filled with oranges and cinnamon sticks. I loved it.
Bailey’s and hot chocolate served from street carts. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Prague Castle. I loved the views from the Charles Bridge.
The island in the Vltava. Perfect place to lie on the grass and let the afternoon slide by.
Cheap sushi. Prague was the only place in Europe where my friends and I could afford sushi.
Little Venice. A tiny canal-filled neighborhood near Prague Castle.
Awesome hostel friends. I stayed up until 6 AM talking about US politics with a 16-year-old Swedish kid at our Prague hostel. He was remarkably sharp.
Cheap shoe shopping in Wenceslas Square. I bought two pairs of boots — one of them bright purple suede. Wonder where they are nowadays.
Amber jewelry. We admired it, and we bought some for our mothers.
And most of all?
Being a ridiculous 20-year-old and not caring what anyone thought of me. It was study abroad, baby. We could do whatever we wanted.
Those are the memories that I keep from my days in Prague, nearly eight years ago.