Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its uniquely preserved historical centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, reflects eleven centuries of history. This culturally rich city full of fabulous monuments charms visitors not only with its impressive and diverse architecture and breath‑taking views, but also its intimate, romantic atmosphere that is ideal for long walks. Prague is a city of (not just classical) music and art, found here at every step, a city of gardens and parks, and last but not least, a city where the best beer in the world is brewed and savored.
Reasons to Visit Prague
Looking for reasons to visit Prague? Explore them below!
Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city is divided into two parts by the Vltava River. Together with Athens, Rome, Paris and London, Prague belongs to the oldest metropolises of Europe. Nowadays, its former beauty is back - access to all the sights is open again, and the restoration work of the most important monuments and historic buildings has been completed. The Czech capital has two faces. On one hand, the city has numerous modern streets with trendy shops, and on the other hand it is not difficult to find streets that look as if currently we live in the 50s of the previous century
Here are the most important places to visit when being in beautiful Prague:
1) Charles Bridge (Karlův most): Prague's oldest bridge was built to replace the Judith Bridge that had been badly damaged by floods in 1342. The Stone, or Prague, Bridge, called Charles Bridge since 1870, was begun in 1357 by Charles IV and was completed in 1402. The bridge is built of sandstone blocks, flanked at each end by fortified towers (Lesser Town Bridge Towers, Old Town Bridge Tower). From 1683 to 1928, 30 statues of saints were carved to decorate the bridge, the most famous of which is the statue of St John of Nepomuk.
2) Powder Tower (Prašná brána): This monumental entrance by which the coronation processions of Czech kings entered the Old Town is one of the most significant monuments of Late Gothic Prague. Completed in 1475, the Powder Tower, which formerly served as a gunpowder store, is still the starting point for the Coronation or Royal Route to Prague Castle. The viewing gallery is located at a height of 44 m.
3) John Lennon Wall (Zeď Johna Lennona): Shortly after the death of John Lennon, this stone wall surrounding the Maltese Gardens was transformed into an impromptu memorial with a painting of the singer's face. Lighted candles accompanied quotes from John's songs about world peace and freedom, and soon slogans criticizing the totalitarian regime began to appear. With the arrival of democracy, the wall has lost some of its significance, but it still remains as a colourful display of messages and tags.
4) Vyšehrad: According to ancient legends, Vyšehrad is oldest seat of Czech princes; in fact, the local settlement was established in the mid-10 th century. Situated on a rocky promontory above the Vltava River, it offers stunning views of the city, and the park area holds hidden architectural treasures including the rare Romanesque Rotunda of St Martin, the neo-Gothic Church of Sts Peter and Paul, the national cemetery Slavín, and the underground casements housing the some of the original Baroque statues from the Charles Bridge.
5) Prague Castle Gardens (Zahrady Pražského hradu): The Royal Gardens are historically the most valuable of all the castle gardens. Founded in 1534 by Ferdinand I. Habsburg, they were inspired by Italian designs; the current form of the garden, however, follows the English adaptation of the 19th century. One of its greatest treasures is the Singing Fountain, one of the most beautiful fountains in Renaissance Europe. The southern gardens (Paradise, Ramparts and Hartig Gardens) spreading along the southern facade of the Prague Castle offer striking views of the Lesser Quarter, Old Town and nearby Petřín.
6) Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí): The most significant square of historical Prague, it was founded in the 12th century and has been witness to many historical events. In addition to the Old Town Hall and the Church of Our Lady before Týn, the square is dominated by the Baroque Church of St Nicholas, the Rococo Kinský Palace, the Gothic House at the Stone Bell and the monument to Jan Hus. In the pavement of the square are memorial stones marking the execution of 27 Czech lords in 1621, and the Prague meridian.
7) Dancing House (Tančící dům): This pillar of modern architecture in Prague "danced" onto the Rašínovo Embankment in 1996. The project comes from the drawing board of world-renowned architects Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry. Its concept was inspired by the dance skills of the famous film couple – the stone tower symbolizes Fred Astaire and the glass tower, his partner Ginger Rogers. A gallery and a restaurant with a terrace offering a 360° view of Prague can be visited in the Dancing House.
8) Prague Castle (Pražský hrad): Prague Castle has been an important symbol of the Czech state for more than a thousand years. It was founded in the 9th century and became the seat of Czech rulers and later presidents. The castle, one of the largest complexes in the world, is made up of historical palaces, offices, church and fortification buildings, gardens and picturesque spots. It covers an area of 45 hectares. The panoramic view of Prague Castle is one of the most spectacular in the world.
9) National Museum – Historical Building (Národní muzeum): The Neo-Renaissance National Museum building is from 1891, and is an important feature of the upper part of Wenceslas Square. Since the time of its construction, it has not been significantly repaired – it was damaged in two military attacks in 1945 and 1968. An on-going extensive renovation aims to save an important national cultural monument and turn it into a modern museum space.
10) Old Town Hall with Astronomical Clock (Staroměstská radnice s orlojem): The Old Town Hall was established in 1338 as the seat of the Old Town administration. The oldest part of the complex consists of a beautiful Gothic tower with a bay chapel and a unique astronomical clock – known as the Orloj – where, every hour between 9 am and 11 pm, the twelve apostles appear. The Gothic Revival eastern wing of the Town Hall was destroyed during the Prague Uprising on May 8, 1945 and was never rebuilt. The guided tour includes the historical halls, the tower and the underground areas.
11) Kutná Hora is the epitome of a medieval Royal City, whose prosperity and sumptuousness came from the bounty of its silver mines. You can experience the lifestyle of medieval miners in Kutná Hora even today in the Museum of Silver. The streets of the city will enchant you with views of the majestic Cathedral of St Barbara. No wonder that Kutná Hora and the nearby Cathedral of the Assumption of the Our Lady and St John the Baptist in Sedlec are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Prague gives you so many choices for shopping with so many shopping centres, boutiques, perfumes and jewellery shops. Here are some places you can visit when in Prague for your shopping.
1) Palladium shopping mall is a real historic landmark of the city. The mall offers more than 200 shops that sell clothes of different price categories, including high-class designer boutiques. Seafoodshop, the famous food shop in Prague, is also open in Palladium. Gourmets from all parts of the city visit it to buy freshest and finest seafood. Holiday and sale seasons are the most exciting time to visit Palladium.
2) Paris Street has the majority of the most popular designer boutiques, perfume shops, and jewelry shops are located there. The street itself is beautiful and is ideal for unhurried walking. Besides clothes shops, there are gorgeous art galleries and several souvenir outlets. There are also several specialty stores that offer premium Czech crystal glassware. Female travelers, however, prefer to shop in boutiques that sell fashion and fine jewelry. It's easy to find amazing items with semi precious and precious stones in these boutiques.
3) Nový Smíchovis a modern shopping centre in a popular shopping destination for both locals and guests of the city. This is a good place to find clothes by internationally famous brands, as well as speciality shops for children and souvenir outlets. Prices are moderate at Nový Smíchov, so this shopping centre is very popular even with savvy travellers.
4) Na Příkopě Street is also great for shopping and walking. Besides dozens of clothes shops, one can find interesting souvenir stores that offer handmade items and classic souvenirs in the national style. Tourists can find shops to fit any taste on this street. For example, there is a giant New Yorker shop popular with young people, and famous and inexpensive Bata shoe store. The latter is also a historic place as the opening of the shop took place more than a hundred years ago.
5) Palác Flóra is a fabulous shopping centre for families. The choice of shops is wonderful and, besides that, Flora is not so crowded as shopping complexes in the centre of the city. Here, travellers can slowly walk along shiny display windows, pick new clothes and accessories at affordable prices, and relax in a charming cafe afterwards. The shopping centre looks absolutely amazing during the Christmas period. By the way, that is also the time for winter sales.
6) The giant Fashion Arena Praha is located in the city suburbs. Because of quite a distant location, not many travelers know about the mall. However, Prague residents know and love Fashion Arena. The mall sells clothes and shoes by famous European brands at big discounts. It is possible to buy branded items with a discount of 70-80%. A large choice of sizes is another advantage of this popular outlet mall.
7) Letňany is the largest shopping center in Prague. It occupies the area of 125,000 square meters. It is hard to imagine items that cannot be found in this shopping center. Clothes and shoes by the most famous European brands, perfumes and cosmetics, jewelry and electronics – a whole day is not enough to see all goods for sale at Letňany. Many visitors come to the shopping center with a mere purpose of attending Kika shop that sells interesting household items.
8) When you're in the mood for shopping some local delicacies, Paukert is exactly what you need. It is widely recalled as one of the best gastronomic shops in Prague. The products by this brand are widely known across the country. For many years, the food for important events and meetings of high-ranked public officials has been delivered from Paukert. Nowadays, the grocery store sells popular national delicacies, including truffles cooked by an old recipe and classic Prague cracknels. Some travelers visit the shop in order to try authentic Prague sandwiches in the adjusting cafes.
Prague is a cosmopolitan city and you'll find restaurants of all types and cuisines; without exaggeration, it's safe to say that everyone can eat well in Prague, including vegetarians. Of the restaurants featuring international cuisine, Italian leads by a mile, but you'll also find high quality Vietnamese, Mexican, and Korean establishments. The Prague beer and café scenes have experienced a boom in recent years; in both cases, the quality is among the best in Europe. Wine lovers will delight in the number of cultured wine bars and restaurants. For more information about the Prague culinary scene, look at the Food and Drink section at www.prague.eu. Restaurants and Payments – most restaurants in Prague accept the usual international payment cards.
Czech Cuisine in a Nutshell Although Czech cuisine isn't generally considered to be world‑class, it has its own undeniable charm, and your visit to Prague is a great opportunity to experience its tastes. In the words of one pub wit, it was invented to have something to eat great Czech beer with. Of course that's not true at all, but what is true is that beer is the perfect accompaniment to many Czech dishes. Czech cuisine is similar to that of Bavaria or Austria – primarily combinations of meat and potatoes or any of the many types of dumplings, served with a variety of sauces. Typical ingredients include fresh and dried wild mushrooms, cabbage, potatoes, and root vegetables; meat includes pork, duck, and goose, as well as venison when in season.
These days, dining in Prague means much more than Brazil-sized slabs of pork, layers of dumplings and mountains of sauerkraut. Thanks to the latest gastro revolution sweeping the city, the range and quality of food have finally reached levels worthy of Prague's legendary beauty.
There are about 35 breweries adorning the beer map of Prague these days. Some have roots stretching far back into history, others were established only quite recently. Alongside the mainstays of the Prague beer scene, a growing number of establishments are serving their own beer brewed on the premises, or Czech and imported specials.
Wine may not be the first beverage that comes to mind when thinking of Prague. But the country's wineries have been making a name for themselves at international wine competitions, notably for their white wine varietals.
No one gets bored in Prague! This beautiful city has dozens of interesting places and events that are either specifically dedicated to children, or family-friendly. Here are some places you should visit with your kids when being in Prague!
1) Prague Zoo: A day at the zoo has been a favorite family activity for generations and Prague Zoo is definitely on to remember. This world-famous zoo has 10km of routes to explore.
2) Dinopark Praha: DinoPark Praha is the closest we're getting to the real thing. Located on the roof of the Harfa Shopping Centre, DinoPark features life-size models of various dinosaurs, a paleontological playground with a dinosaur skeleton to be excavated, and a 4D cinema.
3 ) Gutovka: is your ultimate tool for entertaining teenagers. This large outdoor recreation center is packed with facilities including askate park, climbing wall, waterpark and even mini golf.
4) Hamleys: Enter a magical word full of toys, teddy bears, dolls, games and other devices and items for children of all ages. Traditional as well as modern toys. A branch of chain founded in London in the 18th century.
5) Lazer arena Praha: If you're looking for something to do indoors and the main priority is fun – it has to be laser tag.Laser Arena Praha has nine different game modes and welcomes the young and the young at heart alike
6) Escape rooms: Escape Rooms have become increasingly popular in recent years, and nowhere more so than Prague. Especially if you're visiting with teenagers, an Escape Room is a great way to spend an afternoon and get the family working together and bonding to solve a puzzle.
7) Illusion art museum and museum of senses: Right in the center of Prague, the Illusion Art Museum explores the history of illusion in art in a way that's engaging for all the family. Guests are encouraged to touch and interact with the exhibits, ensuring even small children can have a great time without parents having to worry.
8) Paint ball Prague: There are a variety of different games to be played during both the day and the night including an optional addition of archery
9) Water Zorbing Prague: Take a walk on the surface of the Vltava without getting your feet wet. How, you ask? It's easy with a zorbing bubble or cylinder, as the transparent walls protect you from any direct contact with the water.
10) Aqua palace Praha: The largest entertainment aquapark in Central Europe rightfully belongs among the most visited leisure attractions. It will delight not just adrenalin junkies, but devotees of sea surf, fitness swimmers and especially families with children.
Top 7 events in Prague that are worth seeing, hearing, and experiencing. From the count‑ less events that our capital city hosts every year, we've selected seven of the most interesting whose significance and uniqueness extend beyond the borders of Prague and the Czech Republic.
Prague International Film Festival Febiofest www.febiofest.cz The festival screens the top films, including Oscar‑nominated films, from prestigious festivals from around the world and is one of the biggest film events of its type in Prague.
Volkswagen Prague Marathon www.runczech.com One of the most beautiful marathons in the world winds through Prague's historical centre, continues along the Vltava, and through various Prague districts.
May 12 – June 2
Prague Spring www.festival.cz The most important classical music festival in the Czech Republic featuring a plethora of international and local stars. Every year, it offers audiences several dozen concerts in the beautiful Smetana Hall of the Municipal House, the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, and other spectacular Prague venues.
United Islands of Prague www.unitedislands.cz United Islands of Prague is a multi‑genre music festival, held annu‑ ally on Vltava River islands and nearby locations in Prague. Enjoy the unique atmosphere of live music surrounded by beautiful parks and in pedestrian zones – for free!
Metronome festival (21/6-22/6/19) : Metronome Festival Prague is a two-day music festival whose stellar lineup combines major international performers with a "best of" from the local scene. The headliner of this edition are the pioneers of electronic music, Kraftwerks who promised to prepare a unique 3-D show. The line-up also includes the popular British band Morcheeba who will bring their latest album Blaze Away released in June 2018. They will be joined by KAMP! from Poland and other stars.
Ford challenge Prague - 27/7/19
A unique experience – a prestigious triathlon race in the historic centre of the capital, with thousands of enthusiastic fans along the route. The start and swim finish are on Střelecký (Shooter's) Island; the overall finish line is on Vítězná Street.
Letní Letná www.letniletna.cz Stars of the international contemporary circus scene, premieres by leading Czech companies, children's shows – wrapped in a casual, relaxed atmosphere…all this at Letní Letná, an international festival of contemporary circus and theatre.
Riverside Cross 3/9/19 : a unique sport event, during which the best canoeists and kayakers compete in unusual combination of canoe slalom and biathlon while shooting from laser guns.
Signal www.signalfestival.com An international light festival – one of the entire year's most unique events. The chilly autumn gloom lights up with videomapping pro‑ jections on Prague monuments, special site‑specific projects, as well as interactive installations where every visitor becomes a bit of an artist.
Designblok www.designblok.cz The biggest design and fashion show in Central Europe offers the best of contemporary furniture and industrial design, home accessories, lighting, fashion, and jewelry