Prague travel information
Often called the City of a Hundred Spires because of its many churches and towers, Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic.
Unlike much of central Europe, the city was largely undamaged in World War II (1939-1945) and the cityscape is stunning. Due to this, since the fall of Communism in 1989, Prague has become a major tourist attraction, bolstering the city’s economy.
Prague has two parts: Old Town and New Town, which lie on the eastern bank of the Vltava River. The historic center of the city, Old Town, developed in a valley on the banks of the river. Many bridges link the two parts of the city, the most famous of these being the Charles Bridge, commissioned in the late 14th century by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.
Old Town contains many important architectural and artistic monuments, several concert halls and museums many of them situated on Old Town Square. There’s Hradcany (Prague Castle) that includes several historical buildings and is Prague’s most visible symbol. Zlatá ulicka, or Golden Street, is just inside one of the castle’s walls and includes the tiny shops and small homes of the artisans who once served the castle’s occupants. Other attractions are the 14th-century Týn Church, and the astronomical clock, or Orloj, of Old Town Hall (Staromestská Radnice), which is adorned with statues of the 12 apostles that rotate each hour. Old Town also encompasses Josephov, the city’s Jewish quarter that contains the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is the oldest in Europe.
New Town, which is adjacent to Old Town on the eastern bank of the Vltava, is the commercial centre.
Prague caters for visitors all year round. Many Czechs go on holiday in July and August, during which time the supply of accommodation actually increases, as student hostels are opened to visitors, but you can also go in winter if you can put up with the cold, as hotel space is plentiful (except Christmas and New Year), and Prague is gorgeous under a mantle of snow.
What else? Prague’s many parks and gardens, the large sports and entertainment center, a zoological garden and the low rent and the cheap, exquisite Czech beer has always attracted visitors. The nightclubs, modern bars, discos, and jazz clubs are plentiful and the number and variety of restaurants in the city has also grown dramatically. Prague's past plays a big part in its entertainment scene by providing centuries-old stone cellars for musicians, sculpted facades for beer halls to make noise behind, or grand auditoriums for the staging of classical events.
Emerge yourself in the culture and traditions, get to know the people, taste the cuisine, have fun and enjoy the splendors of Prague!