Prague Travel Guide

Prague Overview

Known as the “City of a Hundred Spires,” Prague in the Czech Republic is steeped in a Gothically romantic atmosphere, the beloved haunt of a thousand poets and dreamers. Tough stone towers topped with black roofs from the Middle Ages stand next to elegant Baroque building fronts in sherbet colors, all set on the proud River Vltava and echoing through the centuries. Yet this is no sleeping beauty; since the fall of communism, a new sense of freedom and fun has erupted in the city, and Prague is privy to an up-and-coming energy that only the fire of youth can give.

Although very crowded in the peak summer season, Prague is a charm to visit any other time of year, especially during the winter around the holiday season- as long as you bundle up. Its division into districts makes for easy navigation: the castle district sits high atop the hill above the Male Strana (Lesser Town); across the river you will find the Old Town with its Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter as well as the New Town, centered on Wenceslas Square. There is no need for a rental car in Prague; the public transportation works lovely whether you are booked in a boutique hotel nestled under the castle or a budget hostel near the Jewish Museum.

Things to do in Prague

Prague will enchant you with its medieval streets, sidewalk cafes (heated in winter), rooftop views over the smoky city, delightful hidden beer halls and wild nightclubs. Most travelers will want to visit Hradcany Castle and the attendant St. Vitus Cathedral, whose stained-glass windows are done in the breathtaking Art Nouveau style of Alphonse Mucha. The giant castle tells tales of secret uprisings, its heavy walls set in stony mystery. Author Franz Kafka lived nearby and you can visit his tiny blue home along the picturesque street of artisans.

Stretching across the river is Charles Bridge, one of the most-walked bridges in Europe, watched over by statues of saints and enlivened by street musicians and artists. Climb the protective bridge towers for a sweeping view of the city, and visit the Jewish Cemetery for a sobering reminder of the atrocities possible in human nature. The Old Town Square is the epicenter of Prague, dominated by awe-inspiring churches and an astronomical clock that sings and dances every hour to a happy crowd below. Even if you are not staying in the Hotel U Prince, you can dine at its rooftop restaurant, toasting the fine scene with a Budvar- the original Budweiser and a plate of Czech sausages and dumplings.

The New Town is centered on Wenceslas Square, where in 1989 hundreds of thousands of students gathered to demand their freedom, causing the Velvet Revolution and the birth of free enterprise, as well as the reason you can visit Prague today. Close by is the Mucha Museum as well as a Museum of Communism- set above a McDonalds, ironically enough. There are plenty more things to do in Prague, and this amazing, beautiful city is likely to capture your imagination, if not your heart.

Museums in Prague
Artbanka Museum of Young Art - New modern art museum with a variety of exhibitions. Tue - Sun 10AM - 7PM Located on Karlova 2. Tel: +420 245.681.236

Hotels in Prague

Venezia: spacious rooms with wooden floors, good condition, traditional façade

Pava: Near Charles Bridge, 22 rooms, dark wood and crystal décor, historic building

Merkur: central location close to Old Town and train station, basic but clean rooms

City Moran: bright and comfortable, simple, spacious rooms, excellent service

U Krale Karla: restored medieval building, 19 rooms, romantic colors and dark wood

U Raka: charming historic 18th c. house with plants, 6 charming rooms, 5 min. to castle

Hoffmeister: elegant, luxurious rooms, at bottom of steps to castle, excellent condition

Ambassador: simple, modern rooms in great location near Old Town, renovated building

Palace: in the heart of Prague, Art Deco building, stylish and prestigious, beautiful rooms

U Prince: located in Old Town Square with rooftop restaurant, amazing, elegant rooms

Prague Weather

Prague Travel Resources

Prague Private Dining - Get restaurant price estimates and make reservations from one central location. With a single click or telephone call, contact one or more restaurants at the same time.

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This page was last modified on 24 Aug 2011 by Matt