…Prague, Czech Republic. Maybe it was seeing the city as the backdrop for Amadeus, or maybe it was learning about its fairly recent overthrow of communism (1989), but Prague appeals to me exotically, unlike most other European countries. The Czech Republic truly tows the line between European, Old World, Soviet and Eastern. And although February is one of its coldest months, Prague looks beautiful dressed in white.
Travelers associate beer gardens and breweries with Germany and Belgium, but Prague has its own, lengthy history in hops. Monks began brewing beer in Prague in 993 and created the first pilsner. In fact, Budweiser is originally a Czech beer “Budvar,” but the recipe has changed a bit since it moved to the U.S. You could visit Prague’s Beer Museum to learn more. (It is little wonder that the country holds the “most beer consumed per capita” title. )
Prague is also an affordable destination should you be looking to experience old world architecture (like Vienna), a cafe-based society (like Paris) and a water adjacent location (like Amsterdam or Copenhagen).
* Update… Two months after I wrote this post, we actually did go to Prague. Here is more on how I fell in love with this city: