The Vltava River in Prague is the main waterway, around which the city has developed for over 1000 years.
The Vltava runs through the heart of Prague. On one bank lies the Old Town and the New Town (Nové Město). On the other is the Lesser Town (Malá Strana) and magnificent Prague Castle, which is an awesome sight from the water.
At the centre of the city is Charles Bridge, under which the Vltava River flows, and with great force at certain times of the year.
From the bridge, the panoramic view over the river and over the city in general, with its historic buildings and nature, make it a focal point for visitors. Walk across the bridge, then take a river cruise under it, to enjoy two unique perspectives of the city.
A romantic meal at one of Prague's riverside restaurants can also afford diners beautiful views over the Vltava River and the city's waterside attractions.
A glance through the history of Prague reveals the Vltava River has played a fundamental role in the foundation of the city. It provided water and a means of navigation for the early settlements establishing along its banks, and for travellers on the early trade routes between Southern and Northern Europe, which passed through the area.
Later, as well as bringing people and goods, the water was used to power mills and industry. And to tame the river, to make it easier to navigate, eight dams, a large canal and weirs were constructed along the Slapy-Prague-Mělník stretch, where the Vltava flows into the river Elbe.
As boats sail along outside Prague, the Vltava River soon begins to meander through pretty countryside, passing the occasional castle and historic building.