Travelling options are severely limited at the moment, but nothing's stopping us from dreaming of our future adventures. This is why we've asked a number of Czech people which cities in Europe they'd like to visit once the coronavirus pandemic is over. We've heard diverse answers and reasons for visiting the dream European destination - some may even surprise you!
Travelling through the eyes of influencer Nikol Trojanová
Travelling broadens our horizons and enriches our lives with new experiences. Moreover, studies have shown that it makes people happier, as confirmed by the popular influencer Nikol Trojanová, who cannot imagine her life without travelling.
"I love travelling because it opens up new horizons and enables you to find out how people live all over the planet, what they eat and what their values are. I like to discover new places and, as I've already mentioned, local cuisine too. My boyfriend and I simply love food and we are thrilled to eat with the locals on the other side of the world and find out how delicious and completely different dishes they make. And, of course, we get to explores different cultures and nature and we're always excited to discover what interesting we'll see the next day on the road,"
Nikol told our editorial staff. Like many Czechs, she had to keep travel to a minimum lately.
"I miss the opportunity to look at the map and choose where to go next, the way my boyfriend and I were doing it for the last two years before the pandemic. It was amazing, and we were completely unaware back then what a great freedom it was. Now, of course, we have restricted our travelling, but because we can't live without it, we choose from the few destinations where it's possible to go, and sometimes we visit one. Our last trip was a few days ago, we went to Croatia in a camper van,"
said the well-known blogger.
The former participant in the reality show VyVolení and Hotel Paradise is planning her future trips despite the pandemic. Where would she like to go?
"Outside Europe, I would first like to see Mexico and Canada - our flights to both destinations were cancelled last year. And from European countries, it's France and my beloved Italy and Rome,"
Nikol concluded with a smile.
What European cities attract the inhabitants of the Czech Republic the most?
We posted a survey on social networks, asking people which European cities they would like to visit after the pandemic. These metropolises came up most often:
The capital of Catalonia is a major attraction for many Czechs. No wonder! Barcelona is a centre of fashion, art, architecture, gastronomy and football. It is also home to the famous big-league club FC Barcelona that has fans all over the world.
“My dream is to visit or live in Barcelona and go to matches. They have an excellent team and, most importantly, a beautiful stadium,"
a young football player Alexandr wrote in our survey.
Many football fans head to Barcelona for a match, or at least to see the Camp Nou stadium, which boasts a capacity of 99,354 seats. The most cosmopolitan city in Spain also offers a month-long film festival (February-March), art exhibitions, world-famous museums, delicious cuisine with lots of seafood and, of course, a lively nightlife. Compared to Madrid, Barcelona gains extra points thanks to the amazing beaches right in the city. The two closest beaches, Platja de Sant Sebastiá and Platja de Barceloneta, are easily accessible directly from the centre of Barcelona.
If you're planning to visit Barcelona for any reason, you shouldn't miss a visit to the Roman Catholic church of La Sagrada Família, which is considered a symbol of the city. The construction of Gaudí's most famous work has been underway since 1882, and once completed, it will be the tallest temple in the world with three magnificent facades and 18 towers. The construction is likely to be completed in 2026, 144 years after it began and on the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death.
Another city that often came up in our survey was the Italian capital Rome.
"I would like to visit Rome, it's my go-to place. Food, sights and amazing weather,"
a young man called David answered in our survey.
When Rome is mentioned, most of us think of the Colosseum, the largest Roman amphitheatre, and at the same time the only one in which animal hunts, bloody games and gladiatorial fights took place in the name of the emperor. Rome offers other wonderful sights such as the Pantheon, the Basilica of St. Peter or the Roman Forum, which is the second most famous monument of Rome in the world after the Colosseum. If you enjoy watching the films made here, you will probably also remember Rome's most famous Trevi Fountain, in which people throw coins for luck, and the Baroque Navena Square, home to the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers.
But Rome isn't only about monuments, you can visit here various museums or the ZOO, open all year round except December 25. Or go to the seaside and enjoy a lovely day at the beach. The three most interesting beaches are Lido di Ostia, Torvajanica and Sebaudia.
Some of you might find this surprising, but even our hundred-towered Prague appeared among the answers. What's bread and butter for the inhabitants of Prague and surrounding areas can be a huge experience for someone else. There are still people out there who have never been to Prague! Others are looking forward to visiting Prague, because they were born in the Czech Republic, but live abroad.
"As a Czech person living in Slovakia, I would definitely like to visit Prague or London,"
a young woman that goes by the name Karolína responded in our survey.
The heart of Europe offers countless historical monuments - Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, the Royal Route, the National Museum, the National Theater and the Old Town Square, where tourists regularly crowd the town hall with its astronomical clock to see the apostles move in the windows above the astronomical dial. What's more, Prague is cheap for tourists from abroad, which is why for example the English love the local restaurants, bars and mainly the nightlife.
Many Czechs dream of visiting London, which also offers a plethora of historical monuments. Among the most famous ones are Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, whose reconstruction should be completed this year. Another popular spot is Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the royal family, and London's most famous park, Hyde Park, where locals and tourists alike go to relax.
But London has more to show than historical monuments and hypermodern skyscrapers. Fans of the English Premier League are dying to go to London solely for football. London boasts big-league clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham.
"I want to visit London, and it's definitely because of football. My biggest dream is to see the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham,"
wrote Michal, a fan of London's Arsenal FC.
If you are going to London, don't forget to bring an umbrella. The weather here is unpredictable, but if you're lucky enough to catch a bit of sun, London is beautiful.
The city of love and endless romance also scored in our poll. But if you thought that all the respondents were going to visit the French capital with their significant other to take romantic walks through the streets of Paris and make a lovey-dovey selfie under the Eiffel Tower, you're wrong!
"It's been my dream since I was a little girl to go to Paris, visit Disneyland and especially to see the Paris Saint-Germain stadium. The city also interests me as a whole,”
a young woman called Ela wrote in our survey.
If you love shopping in Pařížská Street and want to experience the real deal, we recommend checking out Avenue Champs-Élysées, which is literally a parade of luxury. The most famous street and at the same time the busiest traffic artery in Paris offers shops with the most luxurious brands, restaurants, cafes and banks. Due to insanely high rents, very few people live in the street today, so the upper floors of the buildings are mostly taken up by offices of commercial representations or financial institutions.
Another must-see is the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which was nearly swallowed by flames in April 2019, the Louvre Museum of Art and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, built by Napoleon. Also worth mentioning is the Moulin Rouge in the Pigalle district and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, from where the whole of Paris stretches around you.
The capital of the Netherlands is on the wish list of many Czechs. You'll find here characteristic houses on high piles and buildings twisting in various shapes along narrow canals (grachts), ubiquitous bicycles, the Heineken Museum, the Red Light District with countless shop windows featuring girls for hire and an endless sea of tulips.
"Amsterdam attracts me for its atmosphere. I love tulips, and because the city of tulips is full of tulips, it can evoke strong emotions in me. I also feel drawn to it because my first love was from Amsterdam and I've always wanted to see where he'd grown up and spent part of his life,"
wrote young Victoria, whose heart beats for Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is not only full of tulips, but also of coffee shops, where soft drugs such as hashish and marijuana can be bought for personal use. However, the Dutch metropolis, known for its rich nightlife, wants to prevent drug tourism by banning foreign tourists from entering coffee shops. Amsterdam is the seventh most visited city in Europe thanks to its tolerant approach to light drugs and sexuality.
Cities such as Milan, Venice, Madrid, Manchester, Liverpool and Moscow also appeared several times in the survey. The reasons why were similar to the cities we've already mentioned, i.e. historical monuments, food and football. Wherever you go, watch carefully what safety measures will apply to you in the country of your choice as well as after your arrival back home.
One thing is for sure - we won't get rid of the coronavirus any time soon, so even though the situation in the world will calm down, nothing will be as easy as it once was. But maybe it will prevent us from taking things for granted in the future...