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Prague is the capital city and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is one of the largest cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries. The city is famous for its unique medieval architecture, the historical centre of Prague is inscribed in the World Heritage List.
This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Almost undamaged by WWII, Prague's medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveller's thirst for adventure.
It is regarded by many as one of Europe's most charming and beautiful cities, Prague has become the most popular travel destination in Central Europe along with Vienna and Krakow. Millions of tourists visit the city every year.
Prague 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. The city thrived under the rule of Charles IV, who ordered the building of the New Town in the 14th century - many of the city's most important attractions date back to that age. The city also went under Habsburg rule and became the capital of a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1918, after World War I, the city became the capital of Czechoslovakia. After 1989 many foreigners, especially young people, moved to Prague. In 1992, its historic centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries and Prague became capital city of the new Czech Republic.
The east bank of the Vltava river
The Vltava River runs through Prague, which is home to about 1.2 million people. The capital may be beautiful, but pollution often hovers over the city due to its location in the Vltava River basin.
Prague has a temperate climate with variations throughout the year.
In the winter, Prague has definitely its own magic. The snow may cover the surface but it sooner or later melts, so it doesn't usually last too long. However, the weather is pretty unpredictable so it very well may burst into a snow storm but that is not very common.
Spring season is one of the best times to come for a visit, especially in the month of May with the flora beginning to bloom after months of hibernation.
The summer is a very popular time to travel and you can expect to see an influx of tourism throughout the warmer months. The weather is warm and sunny but sometimes the heat waves can be overwhelming, so people with respiratory problems may have some trouble, this is also the country's rainy season.
Colourful and chilly - these two characteristics define the fall/autumn season. Getting dressed warmly is a must because the wind and overcast sky may get in your way. Nevertheless, there are also beautiful sunshine days that practically call you out for a walk.
Václav Havel Airport Prague, (PRG). There are three terminals; Terminal 1 for non-Schengen flights and Terminal 2 for Schengen flights are connected whilst Terminal 3 for private jets is two stops away by bus. Located 20 km (12 mi) northwest of the city centre, it generally takes about 30 min to reach the city centre by car.
To travel between the airport and the city center:
Public buses offer connections to several metro stations, from which you can travel to the city center in a total travel time of 45 minutes. Public transport tickets, which are valid on the buses, metro, and trams can be bought from kiosks called Public Transport in the arrivals halls (07:00-21:00, credit cards accepted. No American Express cards), the DPP kiosk in the arrivals area of Terminal 1, or the vending machine next to the bus stop outside the terminals (1 vending machine accepts cards). Tickets are available in time increments of 30 minutes (24 CZK), 90 minutes (32 CZK), 24-hours (110 CZK) or 3-days (310 CZK). You can also buy a 90-minute ticket from the bus driver (only cash), but it costs 40 CZK. You can transfer between the buses, metro, and tram for no additional charge as long as your ticket has not expired. Remember to validate your ticket as soon as you get on the bus by sticking it into a yellow machine with green glowing arrow, or you may be subject to a fine of 800 CZK if you are caught. Info on the schedules and routes can be obtained.
Airport Express Bus (Bus AE), operated by Czech Railways, departs from the airport every 15-30 minutes from 05:46 to 21:16. It costs 42 CZK if bought online or 60 CZK if paid to the driver. The buses stop at Hlavní Nádraží, Masarykovo Nádraží, and Náměstí Republiky. Buses to the airport only pickup passengers from Hlavní Nádraží.
Prague is very well connected with the rest of the European rail network, and trains run daily between Prague and most major European cities. Trains in the Czech Republic are operated by České dráhy (Czech Railways), RegioJet, and Leo Express. The high-speed SuperCity train is a great option for exploring the major cities in the Czech Republic. It connects Prague to the eastern city of Ostrava and also Austria and Slovakia in the south. Since 2014 a high-speed RailJet has been deployed on the Prague – Brno – Vienna – Graz route. The Railjet trains travel at line speeds of up to 230 km/h with modern, fully air-conditioned open spaces carriages.
The main bus station for international buses in Prague is Florenc, in Praha 8 (metro lines B and C). It is located east of the city centre not far from the City Centre. In June 2009 a new terminal building was opened. It is about a 10 minute walk from the Masarykovo train station (below which is Namesti Republiky metro station).
The second largest bus station is Na Knížecí, located next to Vltava river at west bank, south of city center. It is connected to Anděl metro station (line B). It is used mostly by regional buses.
Prague has highway connections from all around. Highways, expressways (very similar to highways and having the same speed limit) and first-class roads in the Czech Republic meet European standards and are well marked, with many gas stations alongside. Other roads are usually uneven and poorly marked.
When travelling on highways and expressways, you must have a vignette (except for small in-town sections which are extempt and marked so). You can buy ten day, monthly or annual vignettes at gas stations, post offices or border crossings CZ government motorway site. You should fill your license plate number on it and place it on your windscreen from the inside, in the lower right-hand corner. Failure to display the vignette is fined on the spot. The vignette has a second part which you fill in with your license plate number as well and save it for any future police check-up. If your car is over 3.5 tonnes, you need toll unit (“premid”) instead which is required on first-class roads as well (marked with M in a circle).
Public transportation is very convenient in most of the areas visitors are likely to frequent. One key thing to note if you are staying outside of the the city centre is that public transport buses do not enter the historic districts (Old Town, New Town, Lower Town, etc.), so as to prevent air and noise pollution. One must transfer to a cleaner and quieter electric-powered tram or a metro before reaching historic areas.
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 it very difficult for disabled or elderly travellers to get around effectively. Drivers must yield to pedestrians at all marked pedestrian cross-walks.
Remember that in the Czech Republic, it is illegal to cross at a pedestrian crossing on a red man, and if caught this incurs a fine of 1000CZK.
Tram and metro
There are three metro (subway) lines, numerous bus and tram (streetcar) lines, regional (S) trains within Prague, as well as a funicular to Petřín hill and few ferries across Vltava river - all integrated in Prague integrated transport (PID).
You can travel down the famous Vltava River (Moldau, in German), which inspired writers and composers such as Smetana and Dvorak.
The Prague Steamboat Company offers sight seeing cruises as well as trips to the Prague ZOO or the Slapy River Dam
There also few small passenger ferries across the river, integrated to the Prague's public transport tariff.
What to see in Prague
Prague Castle (Pražský hrad); This is the biggest ancient castle in the world, according to Guinness World Records, and rises like a dream above the city offering beautiful views of the areas below. Also on site is the St. Vitus Cathedral with its lookout tower, the Castle Picture Gallery, several palaces and museums and the beautiful Royal Garden, among others. You can also watch the Presidential Guard, and the changeover of the guards on duty on the hour. A Prague castle ticket is 350 CZK and an audio guide costs a further 350 CZK.
Charles Bridge (Karlův most) connects Old Town with Lesser Town. Its construction started in the 14th century and it is one of Prague's most beautiful structures. During the day, it is a bustling place of trade and entertainment, as musicians busk and artists sell their paintings and jewelry.
Old Town (Staré město); Prague's historic centre includes numerous historic buildings and monuments, most notably the famed Astronomical Clock (Orloj), the pure GothicTýn Church, the mural-covered Storch building, and the Jan Hus monument. Nearby, the Estate Theatre is a neoclassical theatre where Mozart's opera Don Giovanni was first performed. Old Town features many historical churches (St. James Church, Church of Our Lady before Týn among others) and some other interesting historical buildings like the Old Town Hall.
Josefov; this historic Jewish ghetto is interesting for its well preserved synagogues. The Old New Synagogue (Czech: Staronová synagoga) is Europe's oldest active synagogue and it is rumoured to be the resting place of the famed Prague Golem. Another interesting synagogue is the Spanish Synagogue, a highly ornamental building of Moorish style. Other attractions include the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is the oldest in Europe, and Kafka's house. The Old New Synagogue is NOT a part of the Jewish museum, so if you wish to see everything, it is recommended that you buy a combined pass to all of the Jewish attractions for 480 CZK.
New Town (Nové město); New Town was established as an extension of Old Town in the 14th century, though much of the area has now been reconstructed. The main attraction here is Wenceslas Square, a rectangular commercial square with many stalls, shops and restaurants. At the top of the square is the National Museum which is well worth a look (see below). Midway down this historic boulevard, one finds trendy discos and Art Nouveau hotels, as well as quaint parks and arcades, while just off the beaten path are some wonderful panoramic views (Henry Tower), romantic restaurants and the dazzling, Disney-colored Jubilee Synagogue.
Lesser Town (Malá strana); Across the Vltava River from the city centre and leading to the castle, this quarter also offers beautiful streets and churches (of which St. Nicholas Church is the most renowned). The Lennon Wall, which used to be a source of irritation to the communist regime, is also found here, near a Venetian-like canal with water wheel and close to the Charles Bridge.
Infant of Prague (Jezulátko) . This famous statue of Christ, known also as the Holy Infant of Prague, is among the most widespread religious images in the world. The original statue can be seen in the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Lesser Town.
Loreta. A beautiful Baroque convent in the Lesser Town.
Strahov Monastery (Strahovský klášter); A monastery on the mountain. Worth a visit for both its picture gallery and its notable Renaissance library.
Prague Dancing House (Tančící dům) also known as "Fred and Ginger"; one of the most fascinating architectural expressions of Prague co-designed by Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry. Accessible from Karlovo náměstí metro station.
Vyšehrad. A nice castle well worth a visit.
Petřínská rozhledna. A smaller version of the Eiffel Tower on the top of Petrin Hill overlooking Prague. Climbing the tower costs 120 CZK for a standard ticket or 60 CZK for discounts. Paid lift available (60 CZK).
Prague Giant Metronome— A huge monument erected to replace the Stalinist monument that preceded it.
Memorial to the 1989 Velvet Revolution— A simple brass plaque at 20 Narodni. From Cafe Louvre, walk toward the river. You will enter an archway, and after just a few meters, look at the wall on the left.
Prague Zoo. To get there, take Metro C to Nadrazi Holesovice, then bus 112 which terminates at the Zoo. Nearby is the Troja Chateau (Trojský Zámek) with a large garden displaying various sculptures and a Botanic Garden  (Botanická zahrada Troja) with a tropical greenhouse.
Prague christmas markets . The atmosphere of the Prague Christmas market was then enriched by fairground attractions, there used to be singers who showed the horrific scenes illustrating the songs stories.
Vitkov Hill . Climb up the Vitkov hill to reach the National Memorial and the surrounding landscaped garden from where you can have a beautiful view of Prague skyline.
Real-life escape rooms
Mazement Escape Room
One of the most popular activities in Prague is the escape room challenge. This is recommended for groups of 2-5 people. As the escape room is an indoor activity, this can be planned in advance independently from the weather condition. Most popular activities among the locals and tourists are the Puzzle Room Prague, Getaway Prague (realistic atmosphere of the civil shelter), Escape Room. Questerland, Cryptex and Mazement.
Real-life escape games are interactive games where players need to escape a room within 60 minutes by finding keys, codes, interlinking different objects, solving puzzles and riddles, all while cooperating in a team. They provide the challenge in an authentic environments and give the players the feeling of travelling in time. The activity is a perfect entertainment for couples, group of friends or for families.
Photography Tours of Prague
Johnny's Prague Photo Tours - Explore the best places for photography with a local professional photographer. You can take sunrise and sunset tours that take around 3.5 hours and offer you to shoot when the light is at its best. Tour covers not only some of the main sights, but also interesting locations off the beaten path. The tours are always tailor-made to fit client's needs and expectations. Learn about photography, enjoy friendly and knowledgable guides and bring home stunning pictures from Prague.
Street Photography Prague - Experience the richness of the local culture through the eyes of your camera. Street Photography Prague organizes one and two-day courses for those with an interest in street photography. All courses include guided exercises, theory and guided street photography. Learn why gear is the ultimate distraction, and your skills are the solution.
Prague has more than 120 kilometer of bike paths to its disposal. This makes Prague a suitable city to discover by bike. Nowadays Prague can be seen as a real cycle city. This is confirmed by the great offer of cycle services and centers. There are several bicycle garages, bike rental and bike tour companies making cycling in this city change for the better.
Riksha Sightseeing Tours
If you are tired from walking or just don’t have enough time this is your best option. Riksha can get into nice old tiny streets and parks where you can’t get with buses or cars. It is also very personal and flexible. You can discuss the route before departure. Most rikshas are on Old Town Square or you can also make order in advance.