The definition of introverts versus extroverts is not often up for debate. More often than not, the general perception of introverts centers around shyness, or quiet mannerisms. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word introvert as “a shy person: a quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people.” However, in my experience, this is not necessarily the case — regardless of external personality traits, the defining characteristic of my introversion lies in how I gather energy. As an introvert, I gather my energy from within myself, rather than from the people around me. It’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the company of others, only that at some point in the day, I need to “recharge” alone, or at least in a quieter location. When traveling overseas, enveloped by the bustling tourist atmosphere, how do those like me find the time and space to recharge?
1) Art Hole Hostel
Prague boasts a number of fine hotels and hostels, including some that are better suited for the introvert, such as Art Hole Hostel. The Art Hole is a 10-minute walk to Old Town Square, providing easy access to the heart of the city while maintaining a peaceful distance. The small hostel makes for a setting where you can easily take some time for yourself or socialize with other travelers. The hostel contains a wide variety of amenities, including free WiFi, laundry facilities, linens and towels, free breakfast, a café, common room and kitchen.
2) Petrin Hill
Petrin Hill offers sights and surroundings ideal for the introvert. Tram 12 takes you to the base of the hill, where you will find a well-known tourist attraction but one that lacks the crowds associated with the average tourist attraction. The hill itself is spacious, rising about 425 feet above the bank of the Vltava River, which is ideal for a picnic. You can buy a to-go lunch from a restaurant at the foot of the hill and search for a perfect spot overlooking the city. The hillside remains quiet, regardless of how many others are hiking their way up.
After lunch, continue the trek to the top to Petrin Tower, which features some of the most expansive views of the city. To see more, for 120 CZK, or $6, for adults and 65 CZK, or $3, for students and children, you can walk the 300 steps to the top of the tower and see the city.
3) Café Savoy
Walk down or take the funicular to the bottom of the hill for dinner. Café Savoy offers a peaceful setting with small crowds and dimmed lighting. The expansive menu has prices between 150-300 CZK, or $6-$15.
4) Prague Castle
The crowds that visit Prague’s iconic landmarks may challenge the introvert, but you can avoid large groups at certain times. Tourists swarm the castle grounds during the day, but the crowds begin to thin out in the later hours around 8 p.m. After dining at Café Savoy, you can take the 10-minute walk up the stairs to the castle grounds to watch the sun set over the city. Wander through the castle grounds, snap photographs, or simply sit and recharge from the day on the spacious castle grounds.
5) Old Town Square
Old Town Square may also challenge the introvert’s sensibilities, but it is worth the walk-through. As the name suggests, historical architecture, including medieval landmarks such as the astronomical clock, reside here. The clock has rung for more than 600 years, providing viewers with a visualization of time unlike any other in the world. You can explore on your own or join a free walking tour to learn more about the history of the square.
6) Café Rybka
Two streets behind Old Town Square, Café Rybka provides more than a café setting. Rybka is primarily a publishing house, and the atmosphere may remind you of the U.S. Barnes & Noble chain of bookstores. The venue combines the publishing house with a bookshop and the café, which offers the introvert a calm setting to eat and flip through a book.
7) Wenceslas Square (and the hidden park)
Wenceslas Square is another iconic, historic location in Prague. However, once you’ve walked through the square, the introvert’s true destination lies north towards Vodickova Street. From the corner of Vodickova and Palackeho streets, walk up Palackeho Street until you find an unnamed side street on your right with the Narodni Muzeum on the corner. This street will take you down an alley in between a group of buildings. On the way down this street, you’ll pass the Cajovna Club and the Friends Coffee House. Hidden and nameless, a small park provides an ideal escape from the city.
8) Petite France Café
Petite France Café in New Town offers a selection of pastries and beverages in an ideal setting for the introvert. Small and cozy, the café features take-away or dine-in options, with bar seating only. The seating faces the street, allowing for quiet reflection and a lovely atmosphere to unwind and recharge.