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Two Weeks Down, Three Months To Go: A Glimpse into my Favorite Places in Prague

Ahoj from Prague!

It hasn’t even been three weeks since arriving in Prague, and I already can’t imagine leaving the place I have quickly learned to call home. Each day I notice myself acclimating to my surroundings here, and I have already fallen in love with so many parts of this enchanting city. Here are some of my recommendations thus far in regards to my favorite places to see, eat, and wander about:
   
 View from the Charles Bridge and looking back
at the Prague Castle

If you’re looking for scenic areas:

First and foremost, I recommend getting lost.

Not lost in the sense where you have no idea where you are or how to get back to your apartment or hostel, but rather allow yourself to wander around your host city and discover something you might not have stumbled upon otherwise. For me, this meant walking through the neighborhood of Malostranská and finding the beautiful rose gardens at the top of the hill.

As far as lesser-known scenic places in Prague go, another favorite spot of mine is Kampa Park, located on the left bank of the Vitava River. This area of the river is home to a huge group of swans and less frequented by tourists, making it a serene place to grab a cappuccino or read between classes, and an excellent opportunity for pictures.
 The swans of Kampa Park

If you’re looking for classic landmarks:

Nothing beats crossing the Charles Bridge on a clear day and looking back at the view of the Prague Castle. Even though it can get crowded as people of many backgrounds flock to Prague to see this famous landmark, I like walking across the bridge every so often because it is truly one of the most beautiful parts of the city. There are many street vendors and caricature artists who set up shop on the bridge each day, in addition to accordion players who give the area an authentic European feel.

If a hands-on experience is more up your alley, I recommend touring the Strahov Monastery and Brewery. The Strahov monastery has been around since 1143 and boasts a library home to more than one thousand editions of the Bible. The vast collection of literature, sculptures, and other relics in the halls of the library complements the amazing architecture—still home to around 70 monks. When your time concludes at the library, venture across the street to the Strahov Brewery (dating back to the 17th century) for a traditional Czech meal of goulash soup and a St. Norbert’s beer.
 Classic Czech goulash with meat, dumplings, bread, and potatoes

And if you’ve got a sweet tooth:

You have to try Trdelník, a sweet Czech pastry rolled in a sugar and walnut mixture. Trdelník originally comes from Hungary, but is made fresh on nearly every street corner in Prague. The dough is rolled, wrapped on a stick and grilled right before your eyes. My favorite bakery where this delicacy can be found is called Creperie U Kajetana, to the right of the stairs leading up to Prague Castle on Nerudova street.
 A little boy watching the fresh trdelík being made
Another alternative to Czech cuisine is the to die for gelato found at Angelato in Malostranská. Who needs to go to Italy when Prague’s gelato boasts flavors such as hazelnut, tiramisu, ginger pear, and jasmine rice, and can be found located on Újezd in Praha 5?
 View from the Strahov Monastery, looking down at the neighborhood below in Praha 1
Chelsea Brady is the Fall 2014 CEA MOJO in Prague, Czech Republic.  She is currently a junior at University of San Diego.

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