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Prague Tourist Information

Prague Tourism Information & City Guide

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic (Czechia), is the 'Jewel in the Crown' of Central Europe, with tourism playing an important role in its development in recent years.
Read our guide to the highlights of Prague and the layout of the city.
Prague Castle
Prague Castle

Welcome to Prague

Prague (Praha) was once the seat of a mighty empire. It was the ancient capital of Charles IV's Bohemian Kingdom, and has played a pivotal role in Central Europe since the Middle Ages.

Prague's epic history has produced a city full of beauty, of stunning Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque era buildings and majestic squares.

But following the fall of communism, it is tourism that has driven the city's regeneration, transforming run-down buildings into fine restaurants, vibrant bars and stylish hotels.
Prague Tourism Fact: In 1992 the historical centre of Prague, all 866 hectares, was listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register.

The Highlights of Prague

The first thing to do in Prague is simply to wander the streets and squares, to admire the pure beauty of the city. Prague is effectively an open-air museum.

The city centre is compact and the finest areas are pedestrianised, so it is best explored on foot: to walk from Wenceslas Square on one side of the city to Prague Castle on the other is just a 30 minutes stroll (walking via the Old Town, across Charles Bridge and through the Lesser Town).

The Vltava River runs through the heart of the city and many of the popular sights border it. Soak up the ambience and admire the views over the water by strolling along its banks or by taking a river cruise.
  Estates Theatre in Prague
Estates Theatre in Prague
Concert Hall at Municipal House
Concert Hall at Municipal House
Prague is also a city of music. Opera, ballet and classical concerts are a true highlight, with performances held all year round in magnificent opera houses, grand concert halls and in ancient churches.

Meanwhile black light theatres offer visitors a typically Czech experience. Shows are highly visual, so appeal to all ages and nationalities.

Prague restaurants enjoy a reputation for good, often excellent cuisine. Pub style restaurants serve hearty food and cheap drinks, while at the top end visitors can enjoy fine dining in a variety of beautiful settings, such as by the river or with a view over the city.
For refreshment at any time of the day, the world famous Czech beer is deeply embedded in the national physique, and is enthusiastically consumed in pubs and beer halls all over the city; the Czechs are the largest consumers of beer per capita in the world!

Alternatively, on fine weather days take a seat outside a bar or café, order a drink, and watch the world go by in the elegant, historic surroundings. It also works well on the top deck of a river boat.

In terms of goods produced in the Czech Republic, the country is well-known for Skoda cars and Bohemia Crystal. The finest glass products can be found in shops in Prague, or there are glass factory tours from Prague, for example to Moser Glass.

Layout of the City - Prague map

The city centre of Prague is divided into five areas, which span both banks of the Vltava River.

On one side of the river is the Old Town (Staré Město), with the Old Town Square at its heart; the New Town (Nové Město), with Wenceslas Square at its heart; and the Jewish Quarter (Josefov).

On the other side of the river is the Lesser Town (Malá Strana); and above this, the Castle District (Hradčany), which is dominated by Prague Castle.

Charles Bridge is the main pedestrian route linking the two sides of Prague.
Charles Bridge and Prague Castle
Charles Bridge & Prague Castle
The city centre is denoted by the postal district Prague 1.

If you stay in a hotel or apartment anywhere in Prague 1 (or close by in Prague 2), on either side of the river, it is possible to walk around the whole city with ease, and explore all the sights on foot.

Outside the city centre, other areas easily accessible by tram and metro include Vinohrady, Holešovice, Smichov, Karlin and Vysehrad.
Old Town Square in Prague
Old Town Square in Prague

Most Beautiful Views in Prague

Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) is the No.1 tourist attraction in Prague. Set on a hill, it affords visitors exceptional views over the whole of Prague.

And for the ultimate view at Prague Castle, climb The Great South Tower at St. Vitus Cathedral.

Other towers visitors can climb include the Petrin Observation Tower, Old Town Hall Tower, Old Town Bridge Tower, Lesser Town Bridge Tower, Powder Tower, the belfry tower at St. Nicholas Church at Lesser Town Square and Jindrisska Tower.

For a meal with a view over the city, choose from restaurants with city views or riverside restaurants.

Sights & Tourist Attractions

Guide books often use English names for the famous sights in Prague. This can be confusing for visitors, as maps and street signs are nearly always in Czech.
The following Czech translations will be useful:
Prague = Praha
Old Town = Staré Město
New Town = Nové Město
Charles Bridge = Karlův most
Prague Castle = Pražský hrad
Wenceslas Square = Václavské náměstí
Old Town Square = Staroměstské náměstí
Lesser Town/Lesser Quarter = Malá Strana
National Theatre = Národní divadlo.

For the full list, see sights & attractions.
Wenceslas Square in Prague
Wenceslas Square in Prague
St. Nicholas Church at Old Town Square in Prague
St. Nicholas Church in Prague

Czech Language

Czech, a consonant-rich Slavic language, is one of the most difficult European languages to learn. English speakers find certain sounds very hard to pronounce.

Fortunately, tourism and global commerce mean many Czech's speak English, particularly in Prague.

Prague, Czech Republic, its People & Visitors

The Czech Republic covers 78,864 square kilometres (30,449 square miles). It borders Slovakia, Austria, Germany and Poland. The highest mountain is Snezka (1604m). The longest river is the Vltava (434km).
The population of Prague is 1.26 million. The population of the Czech Republic is 10.5 million.

Czechs belong to the West Slavic group of peoples, along with Poles, Slovaks and Lusatians. Romanies (or Gypsies) form the most conspicuous minority - they are thought to descend from Indian migrants in the 15th century.

People from Central and Eastern European countries, including former Soviet Union states such as Ukraine, have migrated to Prague in recent years to work in tourism and construction.

Tourism is steadily rising year on year. Over 7m tourists now visit Prague annually.
Czech Republic in Central Europe
Czech Republic in Europe
Prague Package
A simple way to arrange your Prague city break is to book the Prague Package.
More Information
For practical information, including weather and currency details, read our Prague tourist information guide.
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