Posted by: LM | May 12, 2008

Lynsey’s Top 5 Reasons Everyone Should See Prague

This post might make me sound like a snooty world-traveler. Let me just point out that sounding snootish is not my intention. I’ll try to avoid it whenever possible. That said, I’ve realized something tragic about people who’ve never been to Europe (rocky start for not sounding snootish, huh?). It’s something that’s taken me a while to identify. See, there have been multiple times since my return to the States where I’ve noticed that I’m just not the same as I was when I left. For example, I feel a little sad having to eat bread that was made by a machine and chalk full of preservatives. I ate world-class fresh bread for a year. I’ve been ruined for all other breads after that. Wonder Bread just can’t compete. I’ve also realized more substantial things have changed, like my attitude. I suppose attitude is the wrong word. What I really mean is my outlook on life. I can’t say whether I would totally attribute this to living in Prague or if it has more to do with my brief venture into total independence. Either way, it’s something I feel everyone should encounter. If you’re not persuaded by pictures, history and my running commentary… maybe a dandy little list will convince you. So here are my top 5 reasons (in no particular order) why everyone should visit Prague:

  • Reason #1: HISTORY

You learn so much just walking around the city. There’s so much to see and do and learn about on every street. As an American, it really hit me that I was walking through the same streets that people I’d read about and studied had walked down. You don’t get to experience that very much in Southern California where the oldest building is 150 years old, tops. Buildings older than our entire country are everywhere and it’s so easy to let yourself fall back into that time in your mind.

  • Reason #2: CULTURE

It’s nearly impossible to separate the culture of the Czech people from their history. Every holiday and tradition dates back to the Stone Age, it seems. These people are driven by tradition and are more in touch with their culture than most others are today. If you’re in Prague during one of their holidays or festivals (which I highly recommend you do everything in your power to do) you’re surrounded by people in costumes and traditional foods and crafts and music. It only makes the magic of the city that much more real.

    • Reason #3: PEOPLE

    Although rather suspicious and untrustworthy at times, the Czech people are incredibly friendly and (for the most part) very welcoming of guests. I can’t tell you how many times I watched teenage boys give up their seats in the metro to an elderly woman or was happily given directions by a flashy business man. As far as the suspicion goes, you can hardly blame them. Living under the proverbial thumb of the Soviet Union for so many years had to have done a number on their culture. Honestly, unless you’re there for a significant amount of time or become really close to a Czech person, you’ll probably never encounter this character trait

    • Reason #4: CHEAP

    The Euro hasn’t made its way into the Czech Republic yet. Come 2010 all the prices will sky-rocket and the poor Czech economy will be a little rocky, but for now a dollar goes a long way in Prague. Souvenirs, food and hotels are all much cheaper than you can imagine. I could live off of about $100 a month while living there and having to buy all my own food. And that wasn’t even the cheapest I could’ve lived. If you want an opportunity to see as many cities as possible for as cheap as possible, Prague’s a city to put on your list that won’t put a dent in your budge

    • Reason #5: NEW WORLD VIEW

    By far, the most important thing I came home with was a changed outlook on the world. Realizing that America wasn’t the be all, end all that we like to think it is was tough for me to grasp. I had to come to terms with the fact that maybe people do have a point when they call Americans arrogant and pushy. It’s true. We really can be. Without realizing it, we step on a lot of toes and don’t take time to really enjoy people and places. I learned to live my life more slowly while I was in Prague. My stop and smell the roses mentality has served me well since I’ve been back, I think. For the reason of global awareness alone, a trip to Prague (or anywhere in Europe) is well worth it.

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    Responses

    1. I LOVE your comments, and the way you look at the CZ! I wish any American experiences 1 trip abroad, anywhere, but outside the US (American continent), because “By far, the most important thing I came home with was a changed outlook on the world”.


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