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Welcome to Prague

The enchanting city of Prague ranks among Europe’s best-preserved capitals. It’s a city of fairy tale architecture, magnificent art and some of the world’s best beer. Come along as we tour the Czech capital through stunning photos.

The Vltava River

The longest river in the Czech Republic, the Vltava River, flows through the heart of Prague and has played a key role in the development of the capital city. The river divides Lower Town (Malá Strana) from Old Town (Staré Mĕsto) and the modern neighborhoods of Prague.

Take a cruise along the river for some of the best views of the city’s skyline while passing beneath the 17 bridges that span the river.

Prague Castle

Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) stands above the city as its most eye-catching landmark. The castle is comprised of several different buildings dating from the 10th to the 20th centuries, including a towering cathedral and the Old Royal Palace where Bohemian royalty once lived. The castle holds the Guinness World Record as the largest ancient castle complex.

Greater Pálffy Garden

Almost as impressive as the castle itself are the surrounding palace gardens. The terraced Greater Pálffy Garden has been kept in its original Baroque grandeur.

Deer Moat

The castle’s sprawling grounds include some green spaces that will make you feel far from the bustling city. The Deer Moat (Jelení příkop) along the north side of the castle was once a private hunting ground for the king. You won’t find any stag these days in this public park, now known for its bucolic pathways.

Charles Bridge

While 17 bridges cross the river in Prague, none is quite so famous as the Charles Bridge (Karlův most). The bridge was completed in 1390, built by young German architect Peter Parler. Over the centuries, monuments have been erected along the bridge, including a crucifix added in 1657 and a statue of St. John of Nepomuk in 1683.

To see the bridge at its prettiest (i.e. at its emptiest), plan your visit around dawn.

Old Town Square

Prague’s Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) was established in the 12th century and has since become one of the most historically significant places in the city. Some of Prague’s most notable landmarks line the square, including the Old Town Hall, Church of Our Lady before Týn, Church of St. Nicholas and Kinský Palace.

Look for the Art Nouveau statue of Jan Hus in the middle of the square, erected in 1915 in honor of the religious reformer.

Petřín Hill

Petřín Hill, one of the largest green spaces in Prague, is also an excellent spot for a breath of fresh air and some spectacular panoramic views of the city. The park is home to a rose garden, mirror labyrinth and a lookout tower fashioned after the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Climb the 299 steps to the top for even better views.

Střelecký ostrov

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Of the twelve islands on the Vltava River, Střelecký Island ranks among the most popular, Connected to both shores by a bridge, the island is known for its excellent views, romantic atmosphere and calendar filled with cultural events. In the summer months, the island hosts an outdoor cinema.

Wallenstein Garden

This geometrically laid-out Baroque garden was built alongside Wallenstein Palace in the 1620s. The free attraction is a popular spot to soak up some sunshine in the Lesser Town. Spend some time admiring the carp in the ornamental pond and its fine collection of statuary.

Cathedral of St Vitus

Within Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral towers as one of the most important religious structures in the Czech Republic. It’s where kings and queens were coronated and saints and sovereigns were laid to rest. While the cathedral was founded in 1344, construction on the current Gothic structure was not completed until 1929.

Malá Strana

Malá Strana, or the Lesser Quarter, is named for its location just beneath Castle Hill. Once a neighborhood for the city’s nobility, Malá Strana now houses museums, restaurants, bars and gardens.

Vítkov

Another excellent spot for panoramic views over Prague is from the top of Vítkov Hill. It’s hard to miss the National Monument, built here in 1929, featuring a bronze statue of Czech general Jan Žižka atop his horse. The statue ranks among the 10 largest equestrian statues in the world.

Dancing House

Prague isn’t just known for its historical architecture. Modern architects Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry collaborated on the Nationale Nederlanden building, also called the Dancing House, in 1996. These days, the building houses a luxury hotel with a top-floor restaurant and stellar views of Prague Castle.

Wenceslas Square

If you’re meeting someone in Prague, there’s a good chance you’ll meet them at Wenceslas Square. This commercial and administrative center of the city, more a boulevard than a typical square, is lined with restaurants, shops, hotels, banks and theaters. It’s also the location of the National Museum and a monumental statue of the national patron St. Wenceslas.

The Old New Synagogue

Built in 1270, the Old New Synagogue is Europe’s oldest remaining Jewish synagogue and one of Prague’s greatest Gothic buildings. The structure has served as the main place of worship for Prague’s Jewish community for more than seven centuries.

Memorial Kafka

This modern memorial to Czech writer Franz Kafka sits in Prague’s business district. The 39-ton bust was created by artist David Černý and is made from 42 tiers of mechanized, rotating panels. Kafka, author of “The Trial” and “The Metamorphosis,’ spent much of his life in Prague.

Troja Château

The Bohemian castle known as Troja Château was built in an extravagant Baroque style in 1679, though construction continued for several decades. Today, the magnificent estate is home to the City Gallery. Step inside to admire the trompe l’oeil ceiling and the art collection within.

Kino Lucerna

Kino Lucerna, one of Prague’s most lavish and historic Art Nouveau shopping arcades, is also home to the oldest permanent cinema in Bohemia, founded in 1909.

Havlíček Gardens

Wander through Havlíček Gardens and you’ll find fountains, statues, pavilions, lakes and a scenic grotto, all inspired by the Italian Renaissance. Grab a coffee from the garden café while you’re there.

Prague in autumn

Autumn ranks among the best times of year to visit Prague, thanks to the mild weather, sparser crowds and beautiful fall foliage. Several important festivals are held during this time as well, including Saint Wenceslas Fair honoring the patron saint of the Czech Republic and the Prague Autumn International Music Festival.

Christmas in Prague

From late November through early January, Prague plays host to several traditional Christmas markets selling handicrafts, ornaments, wooden toys and other goods. These markets are also known for their seasonal treats, like gingerbread, smoked dumplings and a cylindrical pastry rolled in vanilla sugar and walnuts, known as a trdelnik.

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