Overlooking the lovely Vltava River, the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is rooted in history, romance, and legend. From its impressive 1,100-year-old Prague Castle, home to Holy Roman emperors, kings, and presidents, to its royal gardens and graceful waterways, this city of a hundred spires is an ideal spot for history buffs and vacationers.
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Travel back in time as you cross the Charles Bridge, completed in 1402, and lined with thirty statues of Catholic saints.
The charming Old Town Square, with its beautiful red-tiled roofs, remarkable 14th-century astronomical clock and varied architectural styles from Romanesque to Gothic, offers an enchanting look back to an earlier time. View this charming square from atop the Old Town Hall Tower or while peering through the remarkable stained glass windows of St. Vitus Cathedral.
Modern restaurants, bars, and trendy cafes also line the city’s graceful streets. Travel miles off the beaten track to Prague, Eastern Europe’s shining jewel, and gain a unique perspective of Europe throughout the ages.
What To Do
Walk through Prague’s charming Old Town Square, with its eclectic Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic architecture.
See the famed astronomical clock, one of the oldest of its kind in the world, animatedly count down the hours.
Visit the 9th century Prague Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Roam through the lovely garden, courtyard, and museum of the largest ancient castle in the world.
Explore Wenceslas Square, the center of commerce and culture, in modern Prague, and the Jewish Quarter, known as Josefov, located between historic Old Town Square and the Vltava River. Here, be sure to visit the six landmark synagogues, the Jewish Ceremonial Hall, the Old Jewish Cemetery and an impressive art gallery.
What To See
Explore the six synagogues, historic cemetery and art gallery of the Jewish Quarter, also known as the Jewish Museum.
Visit Wenceslas Square, with its impressive National Museum and Prague State Opera.
See more of Prague’s splendor in Lesser Town. It holds some of the city’s most memorable sites, from the 14th century Charles Bridge to Prague’s miniature Eiffel Tower, Pet?ín Tower.
Shop in New Town’s Wenceslas Square, with its array of international shops, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Between Old Town and New Town, Nám?stí Republiky (Republic Square), offers one of the largest shopping centers in Prague. Browse the charming boutiques of Lesser Town for more great souvenirs of your unique Prague vacation.
Opera and ballet are performed at the Prague State Opera throughout the year. If you happen to visit during August or September, attend their annual Verdi festival. Those looking for a more contemporary vibe will find it at such renowned clubs as Palác Akropolis. Spend a stimulating night of opera, drama, ballet and more at one of the National Theatre’s four artistic companies. Movie buffs can watch a film at a variety of locations, including the renowned Kino Lucerna, one of Europe’s oldest cinemas, first opened in 1907.
Prague With Kids
Visit the intriguing maze with a hall of distorting mirrors in a small fairy-tale looking building atop Pet?ín Hill. It stands next to another of Prague’s fascinating sites, a miniature Eiffel Tower. The kids will go wild for the Dv?r Králové Zoo and Safari, only about a 1.5-hour drive from Prague.
Off the Beaten Path
Visit the Dv?r Králové Zoo and Safari, about 1.5 hours from Prague. You can even watch some of the animals from your car as they go about their daily routine. Catch a lovely sunset with the locals atop a hill in the Vinohrady neighborhood, just a short ride from the city center.
Food and Drink
Beer may not be an actual food group, but in Prague and the Czech Republic, it certainly seems like one. Tour a local brewery, such as Pilsner. Craft beer is also quite popular.
Other great Czech delicacies include pala?inky, thin pancakes similar to French crepes, but different. They are rolled up and served with sweet fillings such as jam, fruit or cream, or savory treats including cheese, meat, and spinach.
The delicate, open-faced chlebí?ky sandwich made with ham, salami, egg, pickles, and cucumber.
You’ll probably encounter vendors in Prague’s Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square serving grilované klobásy, hearty grilled sausages, served with a variety of sauces. There are also farmer’s markets each week in Republic Square.
Czechs sometimes consider Vietnamese food Prague’s “Second Cuisine,” due to the country’s sizeable Vietnamese populace. You can readily find a bowl of pho or delicious bánh mì.
And of course, you’ll find ample establishments offering such traditional Czech fare as roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, potato soup, fruit dumplings and scrumptious apple strudel.
When to Go
The most popular time to visit Prague and the Czech Republic is in May and June when the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, and during the Easter, Christmas and New Year holidays.
Many locals vacation away from the city in the summer, leaving more room for international visitors. Temperatures usually remain in the low 70s F during the summer season.
As lovely as the city looks during the warmer months, Prague seems like it’s meant to be seen under a cozy blanket of snow.