THINGS TO DO IN PRAGUE, CZECHIA | EXPLORING PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
During the summer of 2019, me and my two sons decided to take a European vacation. We ended up traveling for 26 days to a total of seven countries and over 17,000 miles. Day nineteen through twenty-three were spent in Prague, Czechia. We arrived at the Prague airport from Rome without any issues. However, baggage took an exceptionally long time to reach the baggage carousel.
Where we stayed
Our trip to Prague began at our home base Iris Hotel Eden. This was a unique place to stay, as it is part of a soccer stadium. Across a pedestrian bridge is a mall. For some reason, it is common to have extremely soft beds here (like, really soft). I knew I would wake up with back pain with such a soft bed, but our third bed was much firmer, but still soft. So, we made do with the room – the boys took the two soft beds and I took the firmer one. The place was clean and in a pretty good location. And seeing as we were part of a large stadium, there was a McDonalds downstairs which was one of the highlights for us.
What we did
In Prague, we had two major activities preplanned. On the days we weren’t on a scheduled activity, we relaxed, played cards or hung out at the mall and ate at McDonald’s and other restaurants near the hotel. Closeby was a restaurant called Vrsolicka Kozlovna which we enjoyed. Our first activity was a half-day city tour and Vitava River cruise scheduled with Premiant City Tours. They picked us up on time at the hotel and brought us to a central location to start the tour with a larger group. I was annoyed at first because when we switched to the larger group, the bus did not have air conditioning which was advertised (and one of the reasons I selected this tour). Then, it turned out to be mostly a walking tour, which also was not indicated on the tour description. We got to see some amazing history including the Charles Bridge, Atomic Clock, Vltava River, and Prague Castle. The tour also included an hour-long riverboat tour, which was very relaxing (and air-conditioned – which was good because this was during the warmest part of the day out on the river without any shade). Despite the poor description of the tour, it was well worth it. The next day, we did a private night Prague photography tour by Prague Photo Walks. Thomas was a Prague native and knew exactly where to go. He was ecstatic about photography and did very well with my teenage kids. He also greatly enjoyed the technology I brought with me – sometimes I think he liked my camera and the camera on my phone more than I did. He had great energy and this excursion was the highlight of our time in Prague. It was not super fast-paced; we took time to stop at a restaurant for food and drinks midway through the tour.
Mobile phone service
Since there were three of us, I rented at MiFi device through cellhire.com so we could all have data service. I know that from a technical perspective when a phone is connected to WiFi, most apps think the data is fair-game and will use an unlimited amount of data, so I installed an app called NetGuard. This app installs a firewall and will only allow certain apps access to the internet when connected to the MiFi device. Then, once we were on unlimited WiFi at the hotel, the other apps could download and do whatever updates they wanted. However, the WiFi at the Iris Hotel Eden was not very high speed in our room. With the NetGuard app, we all stayed under the 10GBs of data I purchased. For telephone service, I used my Google Voice account to place calls – calls to the US are free and calls to most of the places we traveled were under five-cents per minute. The calls worked flawlessly while on most hotel wifis and worked reasonably well when connected to the MiFi box.
How did we feel about Prague, Czechia?
Of all the cities we went to in Europe over our 26 days, this was my favorite. It was clean, mostly free from graffiti and the people were friendly and actually seemed to enjoy having American tourists. If I come back to Europe, I will definitely consider coming back to Prague. The weather was fantastic in the summer – it got a little hot only one day. Credit cards are widely accepted here which makes traveling easier and safer.