As incredible as studying abroad is, homesickness can creep up on any unsuspecting students away from their home. I am no exception — I miss my friends, family, and dog Timber (not necessarily in that order) back in the States, but this past week I was fortunate enough to be visited by my parents and older sister Emma in Prague! They made the very long trek here from Chicago, and I had the best time acting as their tour guide in my temporary home. They were only here for a few days, but we made the most of the time, hitting all the major must-see sights of Prague. Here’s a breakdown of their visit.
Despite being jet-lagged, my parents and Emma were up for walking through the iconic Charles Bridge on Friday. Despite it being off-season and not the greatest weather here in Prague, it was still packed with tour groups and tourists. We managed to get a quick picture in between the groups of people. Prague Castle is visible just over my sister’s head, where we would slowly make our way.
After that, I showed them the magic of public transportation — seriously, Prague’s system of trams, buses and metros is unmatched — and strolled past an English bookstore, a bunch of swans by the river, and the park connected to the back of my school, Anglo-American University. All the sights can be found on my recent video post as well, if you’re interested.
We then made our way to the massive Prague Castle complex. Despite having visited the Castle twice before, it still takes my breath away, and my family was equally wowed by its architecture and scale. The sun was shining through the stained glass here, which was stunning. Best of all, seeing the castle was free for myself and my family. There was more we could have paid to see, but truthfully this was perfect for getting a good look at the castle.
For lunch, we stopped at Kuchyň just outside the Prague Castle complex, which offered an amazing mid-afternoon meal. We got potato pancakes, pumpkin chicken, beef and gouglash, and my dad indulged in cow’s tongue.
We then walked around back in my neighborhood of Smichov, gave them a tour of my apartment as well as my beloved Andel tram and metro stop.
The next day was a bit rainy, so we swung by the National Museum in busy Wenceslas Square (for my Americans, picture a smaller Times Square without the giant screens). My sister also insisted on getting a trdelnik, a dessert that only tourists get here in Prague. Don’t get me wrong; it was tasty, but just not the most authentic food ever. We also explored the Old Town Square at night, but avoiding eating dinner there since it’s overpriced (you never want to pay more than 215 or 230 crowns for a simple meal!)
Their final day before they departed for a day trip Cesky Krumlov consisted of going up the Petrin Lookout Tower (view pictured below), taking a picture in front of the Lennon Wall, eating some delicious Mexican food, and finally walking through the Jewish Quarter. By nighttime, I had to head back to do some homework and they had to pack. It was a busy weekend in the best way. I’m so lucky they were able to visit and see my home here in Prague.
Caley Griebenow is the Fall 2019 CEA MOJO Blogger in Prague, Czech Republic, and is currently studying at University of Iowa.