After getting settled in Salzburg, I felt it was time to start exploring Europe. Due to a number of factors, from pricing to language to other friends studying abroad, we chose Prague, the “veritable Disneyland of Europe,” as Michael, one of the friends who joined me, would later say. Five of us, in other words half the group, ended up going: myself, Haley, J.T., Michael, and Sarah.
To get there and back we used WestBahn, an Austrian train company that offers train and bus combo tickets to get to certain countries bordering Austria. For this combination, we booked an hour-long train to Linz and then a four-hour bus to Prague for a total cost of 66 Euro per person. We then booked the Airbnb which, once divided by five people, cost 28 Euro for the whole weekend.
We chose an early train on Friday, figuring some could sleep on the way, to get to Prague around 2pm. It was very easy to switch from train to bus and overall quite comfortable. Unfortunately, it was very foggy most of the bus ride so there wasn’t much to see.
Once arriving at the bus station (Praha Florenc), we took out 1,300 Czech koruna (50 Euro) and then walked ten minutes to get a tram/trolley (some are nice and new; others old and rickety) to get across the Vltava river and to our Airbnb. Located in the tourist part of town and embassy central, it was close to most of the locations we wanted to see. It took us a while to find the door however, as addresses in Prague are not the same as they are in Austria or the U.S.
After walking past the door a few times and around the block once, we finally found the person we had been in contact with, Katka, who let us in and showed us around. Built over 500 years ago, it lies on top of a restaurant (which serves an amazing cheese and garlic bread). I absolutely loved this apartment; my favorite part of this whole trip was sitting alone early in the morning in one of the armchairs drinking my tea with my feet on the cold wooden floor.
Jumping forward then to how we got back to Salzburg, our bus left around 1pm giving us a leisurely morning. After breakfast, we took a relaxed walk to the bus station, stopping in the main square where the astronomy tower is to have a coffee and then at a grocery store to get food for the ride back. We were able to see a lot more going back as the sun was out, though the light did stop some from sleeping. The train ride from Linz went just as well, getting us into Salzburg in the early evening. This allowed my roommate Sarah and I to eat out at a Chinese restaurant before heading back and turning in for the night.
Prague was a really easy and cheap city to travel to and a good destination for getting your feet wet in terms of international travel. While it may not feel all that authentic, it can still be a fun place to visit.