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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.

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 of majestic squares.

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

Highlights of Prague

Prague is best explored on foot, as the city centre is compact and the finest areas are pedestrianised.

From Wenceslas Square on one side of the city to Prague Castle on the other is just a 30-minute stroll (walking via the Old Town, across the river and through the Lesser Town).

Therefore, the first thing to do in Prague is simply to wander through the streets and magnificent squares, and admire the stunning architecture all around.
The Vltava River runs through the heart of the city and many sights border it. Walk across Charles Bridge and along the river banks to enjoy the wide, panoramic views over the water.

You can also admire the river scene from on high by visiting Prague Castle or taking a ride on the Funicular up Petrin Hill. But the most relaxing way to take in the riverside attractions is undoubtedly on a river cruise.

Opera, ballet and classical concerts are another highlight. Prague is a city of music, with performances held all year round in grand opera houses and concert halls, palaces and ancient churches.
  Estates Theatre in Prague
Estates Theatre in Prague
Concert Hall at Municipal House
Concert Hall at Municipal House
A unique aspect of the city are the black light theatres. The shows they stage offer visitors a typically Czech experience, and as they are highly visual, appeal to all ages and nationalities.

On to food, Prague restaurants enjoy a reputation for serving good, often excellent cuisine. Pub style restaurants offer hearty food and cheap drinks, while at the top end, enjoy fine dining in some beautiful settings, such as by the river or with a view over the city.

For refreshments 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!
On sunny days, take a seat outside a bar/café, order a drink, and watch the world go by.

Prague also has elegant traditional cafés where locals meet to enjoy coffee and cake.

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.
Old Town Square in Prague
Old Town Square in Prague
 
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 and attractions on foot.

Outside the city centre, other areas easily accessible by tram and metro include Vinohrady, Holešovice, Smichov, Karlin and Vysehrad.
 
View from Old Town Hall Tower
View from Old Town Hall Tower
 

Most Beautiful Views - Prague Towers

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 to 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 Prague sights, but maps and street signs are nearly always in Czech. The following translations could 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.
Prague Street Signs
Prague Street Signs
Wenceslas Square in Prague
Wenceslas Square in Prague
 
For the full list of sights, see sights & attractions.

Czech Language

Czech, a consonant-rich Slavic language, is one of the most difficult European languages to learn.

Native English speakers can find certain sounds hard to pronounce.

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

Location of Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is located in central Bohemia, the largest region in the Czech Republic.

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 Czech People

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, 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.
Czech Republic in Central Europe
Czech Republic in Europe
St. Nicholas Church at Old Town Square in Prague
St. Nicholas Church in Prague
 
People from other 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, and 7 million tourists now visit Prague every year.

Religion in the Czech Republic

Christianity is the dominant religion in the Czech Republic. The Roman Catholic Church is by far the most prominent church, followed by various Protestant denominations such as the Evangelical and Hussite churches.
Prague Experience Package
A simple way to arrange your Prague city break is to book the Prague Experience Package.
More Information
For practical information, including weather and currency details, read our Prague tourist information guide.
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