Justin found $500 roundtrip business class flights from San Francisco to Vienna so we extended the trip and visited Budapest and Prague. We had a wonderful time exploring Prague. We visited in February, so it was pretty chilly but with several layers and warm boots, we walked the beautiful city and ate warm, delectable treats.
Beautiful city of Prague
We walked throughout the quaint cobblestone streets and colored building facades. The Prague Old Town Square is enchanting and there were musicians and bubble blowers throughout the area.
We went up to the top of the famous Astronomical Clock Tower where we could see views of the whole city and even got a cool elevator shot on the way down. It is worth a visit and you can get tickets online in advance to skip the line. We recommend going at dusk when the light was especially beautiful and the crowds are lighter.
Great Czech food
We had some great street food in Prague. After our amazing first taste of Chimney Cakes in Budapest, we had to try them again in Prague. These are warm, steaming dough baked and rolled in cinnamon sugar. We tried them at several stalls before finding what we considered to be the absolute best.
We have no idea the name of this stall, but if you go and see this stall (above) get the chimney cakes here — they are the best!
And of course had to try sausages and thick, sweet drinking chocolate and some haluski (a warm mixture of cabbage, noodles and ham cooked in a large paella-like pan). The food is pretty heavy (and not a vegetable in sight) but on a cold afternoon walking around town, the cozy haluski totally hit the spot. And warm drinking chocolate, some of the thickest we’ve ever had, was perfection.
Trying to blend in with the locals.
We can’t help impersonate every statue (or even road sign block) we saw. We have a tendency to do this on every vacation — we just can’t help ourselves. Almost hard to tell which one is us.
Tour of Terezin Concentration Camp
We spent a day doing a private tour of Terezin (or Teresienstadt) concentration camp, right outside of the city. We booked this tour after we arrived and were so grateful to be the only ones on the tour this day. It was very powerful having a tour guide to share more of the stories and answer our questions, and having a private tour meant we could take as much time as we wanted in each area.
It was the first time I had visited a concentration camp in Europe and was very powerful. More than 150,000 Jews were sent to this camp, including 15,000 children. This was a concentration camp, not a extermination camp, and although many were killed here, they were also held for months or years before being sent to their deaths, often at Treblinka and Auschwitz extermination camps.
Walking up to the camp there are large graveyards and memorials built for thousands who died at this camp. The graves were expansive and only captured a fraction of those who were killed here.
We then went inside the camp. It was eerie to be there, especially since we were some of the only visitors that day. We felt the sadness and coldness of the camp, and we could imagine the families and children sleeping in barracks, working and giving everything they had to survive in this camp. It wasn’t a particularly cold day but we were freezing in our warm winter clothes and imagined how cold, devastating and petrifying it must have been to be taken to this camp.
It was a sad and powerful visit and one that we were glad to have done together. It capped off a really incredible trip to Prague. Now back to Vienna for a few days before we return home.