Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the fourteenth-largest city in the European Union. It was founded in the later 9th century, and soon became the seat of Bohemian kings, some of whom ruled as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. It has a temperate oceanic climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.
Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th century Europe. The city boasts more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Prague has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. It is the sixth-most-visited European city after London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin. Prague suffered considerably less damage during World War II than some other major cities in the region, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form. It contains one of the world’s most pristine and varied collections of architecture, from Romanesque to Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau, Cubist, Neo-Classical and ultra-modern.
Prague is renowned as a very “walkable” city. For those who enjoy seeing the old and new city by foot, one can easily walk from Wenceslas Square to the Old Town Square or from the Old Town to Charles Bridge and the Castle District. However, almost all of the streets are cobbled, rendering them very difficult for disabled or elderly travellers to get around effectively. Also, pedestrians should enter crosswalks carefully in Prague, as drivers are not as likely to yield as they are in other European cities.
Remember that in the Czech Republic, it is illegal to cross at a pedestrian crossing on a red man traffic light, and if caught this incurs a fine of 1000CZK.
For enjoying this beautiful town, we recommend you that your first visit is the Prague Castle. Located in the Mala Strana District (small city, it is the most popular sight visited in Prague. It is the largest ancient castle in the world (570 m long, on average 128 m wide, area 7.28 hectares).
Constructed in the 9th century by Prince Boøivoj, the castle transformed itself from a wooden fortress surrounded by earthen bulwarks to the imposing form it has today. Rulers made their own additions so there is a mixture of styles. It has had four major reconstructions, but it keeps its classical facelift it took on in the 18 century during the reign of Maria Theresa. The castle has three courtyards and it has always been the seat of Czech rulers as well as the official residence.
Next, to it, you could find others historic buildings and baroque palaces as the Royal Palace or Saint Vitus Cathedral. But don’t forget, the Golden Lane, is an ancient street within the Prague Castle complex. It dates from the 15th Century and has a beautiful, olden world quaintness about it. It comprises 11 historic houses, inside which period scenes have been created to show the life of the artisans who once worked, ate, drank and slept in them. Also, Franz Kafka lived in this street during the years 1916 and 1917.
In addition, one of the great symbols of the city is the Charles Bridge, with its 520 m long and 10 m wide, crosses the river Vltava from the Stare Mesto (Old Town) to the Malá Strana (Lesser Town). It is the oldest bridge in Prague and the second oldest in the Czech Republic. It is decorated by a continuous alley of statues, most of them baroque-style. Now, it is a pedestrian zone and is almost constantly filled with people.
Another jewel of the city is the Astronomical Clock, located in the Town Hall, who day after day is the delight of his audience. The main attraction of the watch is the parade of the Twelve Apostles which occurs every time the clock strikes the hour. You could climb the Clock Tower and from there to contemplate the beauty of the Old Town Square and the Church of Our Lady of Tyn.
The Jewish Quarter, the Josefov, named after the emperor Josef II, whose reforms helped to ease living conditions for the Jewish, it contains the remains of Prague’s former Jewish ghetto. Within of it, there are six synagogues and cemetery, the Wenceslas Square, the Municipal House and the Powder Tower.
Moreover, the gastronomy is mostly traditional Czech Bohemian and influential of its neighbours Germany and Austria, which has imported the schnitzel or goulash. The most popular dish is roast pork with dumplings (boiled pastry) and sauerkraut. Another main dish is the braised veal with creamy vegetable sauce and blueberries. As for desserts, you could find fruit dumplings, strudel and pancakes are also very popular.
Even if you prefer international cuisine, in Prague there are plenty of restaurants for choosing. Or there is fast food option too. In Wenceslas Square, there are numerous stalls offering some of the culinary specialties of Prague quite affordable prices.
Prague is considered to be the beer capital of the world for the quality of their beers, with international brands such as Pilsner, Urquell or Budvar. Nowadays, if you are there, it is held the Czech Beer Festival. Sample 70 brands of Czech beer, sourced from large breweries, regional breweries and micro-breweries. Don’t miss it and taste them. This celebration ends June 01st.
There is a large number of authentic and picturesque bars, where you can enjoy a good beer. These include the Lucerna Café which take a good beer while enjoying its amazing Art Nouveau architecture, U Fleku, which features live music, cabaret and even has a beer museum, Jazz Dock, where you drink a fresh beer with the sound of jazz, Pivovarský Club, which offers the widest selection of beers from all over the city, and The Pub which is the only one, that offers self-beers, with barrels at each table.
But if you prefer wine, U Sudu Vinárna awaits you. It is a medieval cellar style and situated in one of the busiest streets of the city. It is the perfect place to have a drink after a long day.
Even if it’s cold, it’s best to go any of their old and traditional cafes, as the Savoy or the Slavia, very elegant and tasteful period style decoration. A pleasant hot chocolate delights you.
Prague is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved medieval cities, but its charm is its narrow cobbled streets. Be captivated by its emblematic monuments, medieval craft markets full of puppets and Bohemian glass, for its mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau style, and its ancient history.
If you want to visit this city, take a look at this offer of cheap hotels in Prague.