*wakes up* *checks phone* *dies of cringe* *regrets all decisions from the night before*
This might sound like what happened after a pub crawl, but really it’s the string of events leading up to it. After dying of cringe, I decided to use my rare three-days-in-a-row off from my hostel job in Amsterdam and take advantage of the international air travel hub that is Schipol Airport. I booked a VERY last-minute flight (booked it, went to bed, went to work the next day, and went from work to the airport) in order to *get away from it all* (aka, leave my cringey memories behind temporarily.)
My destination? Prague. Flights were cheap, hostels were cheap (and gorgeous oh my GOD! Mine had 17th-century frescoes on the ceiling of my dorm) and there were museums like whoa. It checked all the boxes and would be my first real solo trip, which I was excited about even if the circumstances I was booking under were less than ideal.
Fast forward to my first morning in the city, and I realized that my spontaneity meant I’d had no time to do any research on the city. Oops. (Don’t be like me–Harriet wrote a cool article about it so read it before you SUAG to Prague!) I did some quick googling over breakfast and ended up on a wide-eyed wander through the city. This is something I love to do, but usually in concert with some more structured activities. I ended up meeting a fellow solo traveler over lunch who, unlike me, had done tons of research prior to arriving and showed me a bunch of the sights during the afternoon. He had things to do in the evening though (imagine that! Actual plans) so I was on my own again afterwards, in an unfamiliar city and in a hostel that didn’t have much going on in terms of social interaction. What was a girl to do?
The answer, of course, is to join the massive, city-wide bar crawl. You may have seen them before: different companies run them, they tend to operate in major European tourist cities, and hostels all across the city send people over. I myself have sent people to our local iteration in Amsterdam. I’ve always been a bit wary of them myself though, as they have a bit of a reputation for being full of basically drunk youths looking to hook up. But I wanted to make friends so I took the plunge, and y’all, it ended up being SO GREAT. Here’s why.
You don’t have to get that drunk. I mean duh, but like people forget that, or at least I did. I still had a great time while drinking a very responsible amount (hi Mom, I’m doing great.)
It’s pretty good value for money. If you ARE there to drink, it’s a good deal. You usually get something like 6 drinks included throughout the night, and if you’re lucky there’s a vodka happy hour with free shots beforehand. Plus there’s usually a club entry included at the end. If you add up what all of that would have cost on its own, it’s pretty significant.
No plans on a Monday? No problem. On a night of the week when not much else might not be happening, the pub crawl is there for you. It usually runs every night, actually.
You can see the city at night! You could do this on your own, but you might not have gone to those specific spots, and it’s nice to be in a big group which can help you feel safer. Plus the crawl guides often will have interesting tidbits to share about the city. Which reminds me…
The crawl guides are some pretty cool people. Befriend them! Chances are, they’ve been doing this for a little while and in addition to cool historical facts, they also have some WILD stories about past guests and their antics on the crawls. They will probably be happy to regale you.
You will meet some cool travelers! That was obviously the reason I signed up in the first place, and it totally worked. There are usually people from several countries who speak several languages–just like a hostel but on the move! I met three nice American girls from my hostel and two nice British guys and a guy from Spain who also spoke some Italian as well as English, and we conversed in all three languages. Which leads me to the last but definitely not least important point…
The big pub crawl is entertaining AF. So. Much. Drama. The fact is, some people on that crawl are going to be there to hook up, and that means that stuff is going to go down and you get to be there to see it all. I was entertained from start to finish. I won’t tell you all the stories (unless you want me to… let me know in the comments and I will happily spill the tea) but just know that it was unintentional comedy gold.
Don’t worry, I did also get stuffed with art, history, and art history while I was in Prague (Harriet if you ever go back, the Mucha museum is on point and I would 100% recommend it) but I also left with a healthy appreciation for the Big Crawl. So on your next trip, if you’re looking for a little break from all the castles and culture, consider a crawl! You literally never know what could happen.