Prague Tourism Information & City Guide
Prague is known as the 'Jewel in the Crown' of Central Europe and tourism has played an important role in its economic development in recent years.
Read our guide to the highlights of Prague and discover the layout of the city.
Welcome to Prague
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic (Czechia), a country located at the heart of Central Europe, 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. And 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.
| In modern times, the statist communist era of the mid-20th century has given way to dynamic capitalism. Tourism has helped drive the city's regeneration, transforming grey run-down buildings into bright elegant restaurants, vibrant bars and swish 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.
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 the river and through the Lesser Town).
The first thing to do in Prague, therefore, is simply to wander through the streets and magnificent squares, to revel in the atmosphere and to admire the stunning architecture all around.
|A sightseeing tour led by a local guide can provide a good introduction to the city, as they will be able to explain the history and significance of the sights and attractions. But equally, allow time in your schedule to do your own exploring.|
Prague is a city to walk around, immerse yourself in, discover places, and to eventually find somewhere nice to stop off for a drink at; all the time letting the worries of the world dissipate.
In your travels you will soon come across the Vltava River, which runs through the heart of the city. Walk over Charles Bridge and along the banks of the river to enjoy wide panoramic views across the water.
River Cruise in Prague
|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 food, the city's restaurants enjoy a reputation for serving good, often excellent cuisine. Pub style restaurants offer hearty food and fast flowing cheap drinks, while at the top end visitors can experience fine dining in 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 everywhere; the Czechs are the largest consumers of beer per capita in the world!
Concert Hall at Municipal House
Old Town Square at Night
||On sunny days the action moves outside. At one of the many bars and cafés, take a seat on the terrace or in the beer garden, 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 a coffee and cake or a deluxe hot chocolate is the order of the day.
Tourism and increased business investment has lifted the Czech economy, which in turn has led to more consumerism - shopping is now a national pastime.
| Prague has its fair share of stores selling the latest international brands, and the largest shopping mall in the city centre is Palladium Shopping Centre.|
In terms of locally produced goods, aside from Skoda cars the most well-known product is Bohemia Crystal. The finest Czech glassware is sold in a number of shops in Prague. Alternatively, visitors can take a tour to a glass factory, such as to Moser Glass.
Where to stay 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 of the city with ease, and to explore all the sights and attractions on foot.
Outside the city centre, the areas easily accessible by tram and metro include Vinohrady, Holešovice, Smichov, Karlin and Vysehrad.
|To dine with a view, browse restaurants with city views or riverside restaurants.|
|For the full list, see Prague sights & attractions.|
Wenceslas Square in Prague
Czech, a consonant-rich Slavic language, is one of the most difficult European languages to learn. Native English speakers find certain sounds hard to pronounce.
Fortunately, tourism and commerce mean many Czechs speak English, particularly the younger generation.
Useful phrases (pronunciation in brackets)
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 and the Czech Republic
Prague is located in central Bohemia, which is the largest region in the Czech Republic.
Czech Republic is located in Central Europe and covers 78,864 square kilometres (30,449 square miles).
The country's highest mountain is Snezka (1604m). Its 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.
Czech Republic in Europe
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.
Over 7 million tourists visit Prague every year.
Religion in the Czech Republic
Christianity is the country's dominant religion. The Roman Catholic Church is by far the most prominent church, followed by various Protestant denominations, such as the Evangelical and Hussite churches.
A simple way to arrange your Prague city break is to book the Prague Package.
For practical information, including weather and currency exchange, read our Prague tourist information guide.