I recently went to Prague and Cesky Krumlov with C for a long weekend. We saw some incredible prices for free and easy tour to Prague at lastminute.com and thought that it would be fun to go away for some sightseeing.For someone who is prudent on spending, I obviously triple checked to see if we were getting the best deal. Like our previous experience, we actually found it cheaper to book our flights and hotels separately with easyjet and expedia. Better still, expedia offered 50% off for a guided day tour to Cesky Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov (a UNESCO heritage town). We thought it was fabulous price because had we gone on our own, it would be a lot more hassle and perhaps cost more as well. The day tour only cost £28 per person including transport, lunch and English speaking guide! So it was a real bargain for us.It is actually my second time to Prague, the first time was 9 years ago. I find that the city is still more or less the same. Due to the economy downturn, there were much fewer tourists than I had expected. The economy downturn has obviously had a huge impact on tourist numbers to this city where tourism plays an important role to its economy. However, the city is cleaner than 9 years ago and prices have obviously gone up, but not by unreasonable margin.One thing that impresses me most is that even as a small country where the cost of living is comparatively low compared to other European cities, the public transport is extremely well run. It was snowing when we were there, the roads were very well-gritted and things were as per usual. It puts Britain to shame when a heavy snow has literally frozen the whole country with public transport suspended and people unable to get to work. I do not think that ‘the heavy snow was not usual’ would be a good enough reason for such a large scale failure.Cesky Krumlov has a lot of charm being a very old town and still retain some medieval character at parts of the town. You have to enter through the town gate, which is a very narrow passage and cars are not allowed in the centre of the town. When we were there on a Sunday, the town was extremely quiet. As a tourist, I obviously liked it because there were no crowds and you could spend as much time as you wish taking photos or wandering about. However, I understand from our guide that businesses are suffering for the town relies almost solely on tourism business.
Wherever I walked to at Cesky Krumlov, the views were very pleasant. The town is so old that it looked almost a little unreal. It is as though you have travelled back in time. Sometimes, I wish that cities would preserve their old medieval buildings better and we would be able to see more of them today. They are obviously so much more lovable than tall bland glass buildings.Prague is a little like Cesky Krumlov but much bigger and more modernised. But it still retains a lot of character especially where the old town square is.Food was relatively cheap when compared to other European cities. Also, I am an official Czech beer lover. They have totally converted me. I tried a few pilsner and they were so much smoother than some other beers that I have tried before. It is also not very gassy which makes it easy to drink.As a whole, I think the city has a lot to offer. We had a very pleasant break and C was obviously a very happy man so long as he got to drink his beer.