Prague is a city full of life and unique culture with a marbled past. I was forewarned that Prague is loud, full of pick-pockets, and a great place for young adults to go party. I went for the unique culture and inspiring architecture.
Upon arriving, my biggest surprise was at how small the city center is. Now, I had just driven from Paris, so that is what I am comparing the size to. Prague is very walkable and accessible. Although we could have bought a day pass on the train, it would not have been worth it for us-and yes, we had a stroller. There are so many interesting buildings in Prague that the walk into the Old Town Square felt short compared to our expectation.
There are a handful of major sites to see in Prague that we prioritized: Prague Castle,
St. Vitus Cathedral,
St. Charles Bridge,
the Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock and Church of the Virgin Mary before Tyn,
and the Dancing House.
Enjoy yourself in Prague by eating Czech food, drinking Czech beer, and purchasing some beautiful local Bohemian Crystal! Make sure that you bring cash (Czech koruna-CZK is their currency), as the cash machines in Prague have rip-off exchange rates. Also be aware of the exchange rate. In my head, I knew what $5 was in CZK and what $20 was. Tourist shops play to the weakness of the exchange rate being more difficult and it is easy to purchase something without realizing what a high price you are actually paying. TWO EXAMPLES: the Starbucks cup at the Starbucks in Old Town Square cost the equivalent of $26 while we were there! One of the laser cut glass crystals cost about that same price, whereas I would normally pay no more than $8.
A word about safety, since I was very aware of the crime rate in Prague and had heard about several scams. We did NOT get pick-pocketed and we felt safe the majority of the time we were in Prague. I think a lot of this had to do with us being aware of this threat, staying alert, holding our belongings close when watching street performers or cutting through the crowds. If anyone came near us with questions, we ignored them. This was not to be rude, but just to be cautious…you never know what approach people will take to scam you abroad. The Astronomical Clock and St. Charles Bridge are the most common places to get pick-pocketed because of the crowds. If 200 people stop to watch the clock or a street performer, it is easy for someone to squeeze their way through the crowd and come out with a wallet or two. We were also aware of the threat to vehicles. Against all recommendations, we used street parking since it was free and conveniently located next to our apartment rental. I spoke with the host regarding the safety of the area and was planning to park in a garage the nextins are very common in Prague. Car thefts are not as big of a threat as in the past, but be aware that the city is still dealing with these types of events.
Our time was limited to two nights, so we were unable to see the Bone Church, St. Wenceslas Square, Synagogue, Jewish Quarter, Old Jewish cemetery, Museum of Communism, Torture Museum, and many more things. If you go to Prague and really want to enjoy yourself and see everything, I recommend more than 2 nights! Although Prague has a small, very walkable old town center, there is a lot to see and do-just keep a hand on your wallet.