Prague, it's an amazing city. So much to do, so much to see yet smaller enough for everything to be accessible.
The public transport is cheap and easy to use. I got a monthly ticket for $30 when I first arrived and, even though I'm leaving early, I've definitely got my money's worth out of it.
I also got a prepaid data SIM for $15 (1.5gig). So easy - you just walk into the shop and pay for it and it's instantly activated. The guy in the shop even took out my old SIM and inserted it, which was awesome because I hated going it (I usually bribe my sister but she's not around).
I'm not going to say that there's something here for you not matter what your interests because who can say that, but there is definitely enough to keep anyone entertained. So much history, little laneways to meander down, cheap beer and, hey, you like tacky tourist shit? There's that in abundance.
I'm not going to go into details about every tourist attraction I visited because that's what wikitravel is for but there are a couple that I really loved:
Tell me there's a polar bear at the zoo and I'm there. Well, unless it's Adelaide. Prague Zoo is open until 9pm in the summer. I got there around 5pm and it was packed. I had a wander around and, at about 7pm realised I'd not seen another person for a while. I got a bit freaked, thinking maybe I'd gotten confused between 7pm and 17.00! Although being locked in the zoo overnight would be kinda cool. But, no everyone had just left. Well almost everyone. It was pretty amuse being alone with the animals.
I started off in the lemur enclosure. Yes, actually in it. You can get in with these guys and they are so tame. I've not even zoomed in for the photo above. He actually came that close and I got to pat his furry little head. It was amazing.
If that's not enough, you can take your dog to the zoo! That's pretty damn amazing, although not cool if your dog is off the lead. If you like zoos and are in Prague, it's definitely worth a visit. Go late so you can enjoy the quiet but go to the enclosed pavilions first because they shut early.
Museum of Alchemy (Speculum Alchemiae)
There are two alchemy related museums in Prague, and luckily I read up about them because apparently the other one is lame. This one, however, is pretty darn good.
I thought it would be just one of those walk in and look around places but one of the staff members came with me and gave me a whole guided tour with a lot about the history of alchemy in Prague and how it related to the political and religious climate of the time. It was pretty fascinating.
The highlight though, and this is a spoiler, was a hidden section behind a bookcase. Just like in the movies. I squealed at little at that.
Nowhere is perfect and Prague definitely has its bad points.
First up, tourists. Yeah, I'm a tourist but I seem to have a lot better depth perception than most tourists. Also, I'm not on a Segway. Those Segway tours are going to end up killing someone and they will be banned, I swear.
Anyway, the mass of tourists can be overwhelming and downright annoying. The best solution is do anything touristy you want to do on weekdays and in the morning. Most tourists hate mornings so get up early and get your shit done then go home for an afternoon nap.
Get up at sunrise (which is an horrific 4.30am in summer) and get around to all the places that don't need to be open - Charles Bridge, Old Town, Prague Castle). I did it and the tourist buses were starting to roll up just as I was leaving. I grinned looking at all the tour groups that wouldn't be annoying me.
Afternoons, you could check out some of the great cafes on the fringe of the city or less popular attractions but I'm all about the napping.
I laughed when they said there was going to be a heat wave. A few days in the low 30s is not a heatwave but this city is not designed for hot days. Buildings retain heat, lots of places don't have air con and it's just not nice. Plus there are so many bugs. If you are staying somewhere without air conditioning, you can't even have the windows open.
As much as I love dumplings and meat, the traditional food can get a bit heavy and boring. I mean, there are a ton of other options but you want to eat local foods when you travel. The tube cakes never got old though.
The is no ugly. It's Prague. Everything is pretty.
Okay, the stag and hen's party groups are ugly but the city itself is amazing.
Anyway, I'm off to Bratislava tomorrow. It wasn't a planned destination but, after the issues with my accommodation, I decided to get out of Prague sooner than I'd liked. The last minute changes and it being tourist season meant that I couldn't get alternative accommodation here for as long as I'd have liked. So Bratislava it is.