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Prague Tourism Information & City Guide

Prague is the 'Jewel in the Crown' of Central Europe. Tourism has played an important role in its economic development, transforming run-down buildings into fine restaurants, stylish hotels, vibrant bars and pumping clubs.

This guide introduces you to Prague, explains the layout of the city, and covers its sightseeing and entertainment highlights.

Welcome to Prague

Prague is the capital city of Czechia (Czech Republic). The country lies at the heart of Central Europe, and is bordered by Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia.

In the Middle Ages, Prague became the capital of Charles IV's Bohemian Kingdom, with Prague Castle the seat of the empire. The city has played a pivotal role in the region ever since.

Prague's epic history has produced a city full of beauty, of stunning Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque era buildings, and of majestic squares.
Prague Castle
Prague Castle
In modern times, the statist communist era of the mid-20th century has given way to dynamic capitalism. Tourism in Prague has helped drive its regeneration, transforming grey, run-down buildings into fine restaurants, stylish hotels and vibrant bars; a virtuous circle, which encourages an ever greater number of tourists to visit the city.

Prague Tourism Fact: In 1992, the entire historical centre of Prague, all 866 hectares, was listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register.
Old Town Square in Prague
Old Town Square in Prague

Highlights of Prague

The city centre is compact and the finest areas are mostly pedestrianised, so Prague is best explored on foot; 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 Charles Bridge, and through the Lesser Town).

The first thing to do in Prague, therefore, is simply to wander through the cobbled streets and magnificent squares, where you can admire the city's stunning architecture and revel in its unique ambience.
Prague is a city to immerse yourself in, look to discover interesting places, and to eventually find a nice café or pub to stop off for a drink at; all the time letting the worries of the world dissipate.

Tip: If you are the kind of person who wants to know what you are looking at, perhaps more than in any other European city it is worth taking a sightseeing tour early in your visit. An expert local guide can introduce you to the main sights and attractions, and explain the history and significance of everything you see. You should find it an informative, yet highly entertaining activity, and it will set you up well for the rest of your trip.
Prague River Cruise
Prague river cruise
Making your way around Prague, your travels will soon lead you to the Vltava River, which runs through the heart of the city. Walk along its banks and over Charles Bridge to enjoy wide panoramic views across the water.
Estates Theatre in Prague
Estates Theatre in Prague
Taking a river cruise is the most relaxing way to discover the riverside attractions, with a range of lunch cruises, sightseeing boat trips and dinner cruises on offer.

You can also admire the river scene from above by visiting Prague Castle, which is on a hillside overlooking the city, or by riding the Funicular Railway to the top of Petrin Hill.

With regards to entertainment, classical concerts, opera and ballet performances are a true highlight. Prague is historically a city of music, and stunning productions are staged throughout the year in its ornate opera houses, grand concert halls, ancient churches, and other magnificent buildings.
For a typically Czech experience, black light theatre is a unique feature of the city. The shows are fast moving and highly visual, so appeal to all ages and nationalities.

Turning to refreshments, Prague has a reputation for providing excellent food and drink to suit every budget.

At the top end, Prague restaurants offer fine dining in beautiful settings, such as by the river or with views over the city. For every day dining, the city's famous pub style restaurants serve hearty food and fast flowing drinks at relatively cheap prices.
Concert Hall at Municipal House
Concert Hall at Municipal House
Old Town Square at Night
Old Town Square at night
Appropriate for consumption at any time of the day, the world famous Czech beer is deeply embedded in the national physique, and is enthusiastically consumed in cafés, pubs and beer halls throughout the city; the Czechs are the largest consumers of beer per capita in the world!

While the warm, cosy pubs may draw you in in the winter, on sunny days the action moves outside. Take a seat on the terrace or in the beer garden at one of the city's many bars or cafés, order a cool beer or chilled glass of Moravian wine, and watch the world go by. You will find the time just slips away!

For a non-alcoholic treat, join the locals at one of Prague's elegant traditional cafés, where you will find coffee and cake or deluxe hot chocolate is the order of the day.
Inevitably at some point you will wish to buy something tangible, whether it be a tourist souvenir or a new dress. And in the field of shopping, Prague is carving out quite a reputation.

Tourism and business investment has lifted the Czech economy dramatically in recent decades, which in turn has led to increased consumerism. Shopping has become a national pastime!

There are a wide variety of shops and department stores selling local and international branded clothing and apparel. The largest shopping mall in the city centre is Palladium.

In terms of locally produced goods, aside from Škoda cars and Czech beer, the most well-known product is Bohemia Crystal. The finest Czech glassware is sold in a number of shops in Prague, such as Moser Glass and Erpet Bohemia Crystal.

The Karlovy Vary Tour is a day trip from Prague to the town where Moser Glass is produced, and prices for glassware in shops there are very reasonable indeed.

Layout of the City - Prague map

Prague is made up of administrative districts numbered from Prague 1 to Prague 22.

Prague 1 is the city centre, and is itself made up of five areas that 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 on the hill above it, the Castle District (Hradčany), which is home to Prague Castle.
Charles Bridge and Prague Castle
Charles Bridge & Prague Castle
Charles Bridge is the main pedestrian route that links the two sides of Prague, connecting the Old Town to the Lesser Town (and ultimately Prague Castle).

The main Prague sights, tourist attractions, entertainment and nightlife are spread across all five areas of the city centre, and it is easy to walk between them all.

Where to Stay in Prague

Prague 1 is the best place to stay in Prague. Book a hotel in any of the five areas within Prague 1, and it is possible to explore the entire city centre on foot.

The two most popular areas within Prague 1 to stay in are the Old Town and the New Town. Next is the Lesser Town, from which you can easily reach the Old Town and the New Town by strolling across Charles Bridge.

There are a lot of hotels in Prague 1, so room rates are highly competitive.

Prices in the other districts of Prague are cheaper, and from most of them the journey into the city centre by public transport (metro and tram) is straight forward.

Public transport is particularly good in Vinohrady and Vysehrad in Prague 2, Smichov in Prague 5, Holešovice in Prague 7, and Karlin in Prague 8. Some of these outlying areas have an up-and-coming vibe, and all offer a variety of local shops, bars and restaurants.
View from Old Town Hall Tower
View from Old Town Hall Tower

Most Beautiful Views - Prague Towers

Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) is the number one tourist attraction in Prague. Set on a hill, it affords visitors an exceptional vista over the whole city. For the ultimate view, climb the Great South Tower at St. Vitus Cathedral.

Several other Prague towers are also worth the climb, including the 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 the highest tower in the city centre, Petrin Tower.
To dine with a view, browse restaurants with a view or riverside restaurants.

Prague Sights and Tourist Attractions

Some travel guides and maps use English names only for the Prague sights and attractions, but street signs are usually written in Czech. The following translations should 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
For the full list, view our guide to the Prague sights and tourist attractions.


3 full days or around 72 hours is an ideal length of time to spend in Prague. This allows enough time to explore the main sights and attractions, enjoy leisurely food and drinks breaks, and experience a flavour of the evening entertainment and nightlife on offer.

While the most popular hotel stay in Prague is 3 nights, many visitors fly in for a whirlwind 2-night city break, and others opt for a more leisurely 4-night or even 5-night stay.

Flight times can be a major factor in deciding the number of nights for your trip: Arrive in Prague in the morning on day one, and you can be out exploring the city in the afternoon, and enjoying dinner and drinks somewhere nice in the evening. In contrast, arrive late at night and you won't be able to explore too much, so you will probably need an extra night.

Czech Language

Czech is a consonant-rich Slavic language. It is considered to be one of the most difficult European languages to learn by speakers of Latin and Germanic based languages. Native English speakers can find certain sounds very hard to pronounce.

The requirements of tourism and globalisation ensure that many Czechs in Prague speak English, particularly the younger generation.
Wenceslas Square in Prague
Wenceslas Square in Prague

Czech Phrases & Pronunciation

Good day / Hello = Dobrý den (Dobree den)
Good evening = Dobrý večer (Dobree ve-chair)
Goodbye = na shledanou (Naskledanou)
Hi / Bye = Ahoj (Ahoy)
Yes = Ano (Ano)
No = Ne (Neh)
Thank you = Děkuji (Dyekooyih)
Cheers = Na zdraví (Na-zdra-vee)
Where's the toilet? = Kde je záchod (kdeh-yeh zaakhot)?

Location of Prague in Europe

Prague is in Central Bohemia, which is the largest region in Czechia. The country covers 78,864 square kilometres (30,449 square miles).

The highest mountain in Czechia is Snezka (1604m). Its longest river is the Vltava (434km).

The Czech People

The population of Prague is 1.3 million, and the population of Czechia is 10.7 million.
Czechia in Central Europe
Czechia in Europe
St. Nicholas Church at Old Town Square in Prague
St. Nicholas Church in Prague
Czechs belong to the West Slavic group of peoples, along with Poles, Slovaks and Lusatians.

Romanies (or Gypsies) form the most conspicuous minority in the country, and are thought to descend from Indian migrants in the 15th century.

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.

8 million tourists visit Prague every year.

Religion in Czechia

Christianity is the dominant religion in Czechia, and the Roman Catholic Church is the main church. In addition, there are several Protestant denominations, such as the Evangelical and Hussite churches.

More Information

For more practical information, including advice on when to visit Prague, the weather, what to wear, and currency exchange: Prague tourist information.

For travel advice: Travel to Prague and Travel around Prague by public transport.

For an easy way to visit Prague, the Prague Package includes a hotel, Prague airport transfers, sightseeing and entertainment.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us.
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