From New York…to Prague

Sometimes New York can feel really claustrophobic. You are literally surrounded by tall buildings on all four sides and there is always someone just a little too close to you. This is why it’s important to have open spaces in large cities. No two cities do that better than New York and Prague.

View from Starhov Monastery. Taken by Jainita Patel

View from Starhov Monastery.
Taken by Jainita Patel

As gorgeous as both of these cities can be (Prague much more so than New York), sometimes you need to get away from the city without actually leaving. These open areas might help you get rid of your claustrophobia.



The most obvious place to get away from people is a park. This is because people go to a park to sit down and most people do not want to sit next to each other. Sheep Meadow in Central Park is an excellent place to take your blanket and stretch out with dozens of feet between you and next group of people. It’s also a great place for a picnic with friends. In Prague, there are two main parks where you can relax with while also getting a pretty scenic view. Letna Park (Letenské sady) is gorgeous and open, but Petřín Park (Petřínské sady) is my favorite, even though it is pretty far and a bit of a climb.

Sheep Meadow. Taken by Jenna Remley.

Sheep Meadow.
Taken by Jenna Remley.


Open Spaces Inside of Buildings.

New York City isn’t just known for its tall buildings, some insane places in New York can be just as wide as they are tall. The inside of the Oculus next to the Freedom Tower feels like you’re in some kind of super sterile future world, but if you’re looking to get away from the crowd, this place can help you do just that. No matter how many people I’ve seen in that building, the inside of the Oculus makes any size crowd seem tiny. Through Prague doesn’t have anything close to the Oculus, there is something else it does does better than New York….


Town Squares.

When New York squares (think Union Square) are crowded and often largely unpleasant to move around, during most times of the day Old Town Square in Prague is a wonderful place to be, full of culture and music and all kinds of vendors. Though there can be crowds, they are largely underwhelming compares to those of New York. You can enjoy the square without fear of someone brushing up next to you (and if you want to get lost in a crowd, the famous Charlesbridge is right there).

View from Old Town Square. Taken by Jainita Patel.

View from Old Town Square.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

A View from Above.

Another way to avoid people and get your space is to get above the crowd. Literally. Inwood Hill at the northern tip of Manhattan is a great nature point to look out over the Heights or see the bend of the Hudson River. It provides an alternative to going up a skyscraper. In Prague, Starhov Monastery (Strahovský klášter) provides a gorgeous view and if you have a few moments the inside of the library at the monastery is almost as breathtaking as the view of the city.



Rivers provide a wide-open view that can stretch for miles. If you’re in Manhattan, if you can walk to either side of the island, you’ll get a gorgeous view. If you can take the PATH train to the other side of the Hudson, Hoboken’s Sinatra Park barely has anyone there and the view is stunning. In Prague, next to Vyšehrad Cemetery there is the Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, which is usually empty. It’s freezing and it’s the only Cathedral that I’ve seen completely painted from the inside. Once you’re done ogling, if you go outside, there is the most gorgeous view of the Vitava River.


Inside Saint Peter and Paul Basilica in Vyšehrad. Taken by Jainita Patel.

Inside Saint Peter and Paul Basilica in Vyšehrad.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

The view from Vyšehrad.  Taken by Jainita Patel.

The view from Vyšehrad.
Taken by Jainita Patel.

If you’re feeling claustrophobic, check out some of these places. And if you like New York for its few, but gorgeous open spaces, you might like Prague. Hopefully you’ll get to visit both some day.


By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 


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