Czech Republic: Prague 7

Submitted by Vincent Curatolo on the 2017 fall semester study abroad program in Prague, Czech Republic…

It’s my first week in Prague and I’m falling in love with the city already. The tourist attractions like the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle are certainly living up to my expectations, but what has really caught my attention has been the more residential areas. The great part about coming here for a full semester rather than a vacation is you get to see and experience so much more than a normal tourist would. Yesterday, we hopped on a tram and headed to Holešovice (Prague 7). Despite being only a few minutes from the city center, it had a completely unique feel to it. The popular neighborhoods of the city are packed with restaurants and hotels, but here, it felt like a small town spotted with some little bakeries and stores on the main street. It was a residential area and as Americans we were out of place, but certainly not unwelcome. Czech people are stereotyped as being cold, especially to foreigners, so we especially expected that in this area where non-Czechs rarely end up. However, we learned that if you at least greet people and thank them in Czech, they will likely be appreciative. We took that approach in Prague 7 and although we couldn’t communicate with people as well as we could in the city center, we still were able to get what we needed and were treated just like the locals. The takeaway from this little excursion is that you can’t be intimidated by being out of your comfort zone when you are abroad. You may be awkward, you may be judged, but that is something you just have to get used to. I’m glad we have the time here to see more of the city and really get to know it, because sometimes going off the beaten path is really worth it. Throughout the rest of the semester, I will try to get a more genuine Czech experience by going to places real Czechs go.

Here is a picture from the neighborhood we visited!