After things went wrong with couchsurfing in Munich I felt the need to get away and just take a week to relax for myself. No couchsurfing, no whistle-stop tours, no rushing and walking for so long blisters appear with a backpack slung around me. I just wanted to slow down for a week and relax. What better place to do that than Prague? There was enough to do here that, with taking my time, I could it see it all, but not so much to do I felt like I had to rush around.
The ultimate treat to myself? Booking into a hostel for the week. Not everyone’s idea of luxury, but after couchsurfing and airport benching it for five out of six weeks, this felt pretty good. The fact that I didn’t have to wake up at 8am to teach conversational English for it was even better. And I have to say, it’s the nicest hostel I’ve ever stayed in, and certainly above some hotels I’ve been to! (No joke, have you ever stepped foot in a travel inn and wondered what the green stain on the carpet was?)
For my week of relaxation I stayed at the Czech Inn hostel (I really liked the punny name!). Situated around 10 minutes walk from the žižkov tower and right next to the 22 tram stop which takes you directly to Prague Castle, and five minutes walk from the nearest underground station, it sits in a good location in a very pretty part of town surrounded by streets upon streets of pastel coloured buildings.
First impressions of the hostel were great. The lobby was clean, modern and had a small cafe area attached to it. The receptionist handed me a map and marked out all the good places to visit in Prague and told me to come back if I needed any recommendations for anything else such as places to eat or places to visit. That map actually proved to come in very handy as I was determined to have a mobile free week also!
After entering the room I was amazed at how clean and well maintained it was. We have all experienced hostels with less than sanitary environments, certainly in the bathrooms, but this hostel, with its crisp white sheets (not just a couple of itchy blankets like I had in Poland) and sturdy metal framed beds was a nice change. There were under bed storage, lockable with your own padlock, and the nicest showers I’ve ever seen! Seriously, this was no trickle shower with a grubby curtain around it. This was a wonderful hot power shower with a glass screen. The only downside was that it had to keep being pressed to get a constant stream of water. But, the exchange was worth it! And I was only in the standard 10 bed dorm room. They also offer luxury dorm rooms which come at a reasonable price of around €14 a night and are equipped with kitchen facilities as well as ensuite bathroom facilities.
For the rest of the dorms who don’t have kitchen facilities, you are out of luck as there is no communal kitchen area. However, they offer an all you can eat breakfast for 150kr and there is a bar in the basement with happy hour from 6-8pm. There is also a small mini-mart next door which allows you to buy snacks and plenty of restaurants around.
Wifi and free computers are supplied, and the receptionist even allowed me to print off my bus tickets, which was lovely of her, and certainly saved me from having to seek out an extortionate Internet cafe. There is an organised free walking tour leaving from the hostel every morning at 9:45, which lasts around 3-4 hours and focuses a lot on Czech beer culture (to which the two German girls in the group were scoffing at!).
Honestly, I spent more time in the hostel than out of it. Purely for relaxation purposes. Sometimes you just need to lay down somewhere and not worry about life. And that’s exactly what this hostel allowed me to do. It ticked all the boxes as far as I was concerned and for €9 per night, it’s a great place for a small slice of luxury without the piece tag. I had some really interesting conversations with people staying there too, even though the dorm was fairly quiet due to the fact that it was low season. However, despite the quietness there is every effort to connect you to people in other dorms too, offering a Facebook group to find out who is staying there so you can meet up with them for a drink. Which I thought was a nice touch.
Would I stay here again? Absolutely. It was my perfect little getaway. And I got to see an amazing city to boot!