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Prague Tourist Information

Prague tourism

Tourism has played an important role in the development of Prague in recent years; the city is known as the "Jewel in the Crown" of Central Europe.
On this page we explain the layout of Prague, the main sights, and the Czech language.

Prague Castle
Prague Castle
Prague Tourism Guide
Prague (Praha in Czech) was the ancient capital of Charles IV's Bohemian Kingdom, and the city has played a pivotal role in Central Europe since the Middle Ages.

The epic history of Prague has produced a beautiful city, full of stunning buildings and majestic squares.

As visitors to Prague have increased, tourism has become of vital economic importance. Much of the post-communism regeneration of Prague has been driven by tourism, as run down buildings have been transformed into fine restaurants and stylish hotels.
Key Prague Tourism Fact: In 1992 the historical centre of Prague, all 866 hectares, was listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register.

Layout of Prague's City Centre - map of Prague
The city centre of Prague is divided into five areas. These span both banks of the Vltava River, which runs through the heart of the city.

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 crossing linking the two sides of the river.
 Charles Bridge and Prague Castle
Charles Bridge and Prague Castle
The city centre is denoted by the postal district Prague 1.

Key Prague Tourism Fact: Prague has a compact city centre. From Prague Castle on one side of the city centre to Wenceslas Square on the other is just a 25 minute stroll (walking through the Lesser Town, across Charles Bridge and through the Old Town).

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

Just outside the city centre there are other areas easily accessible by tram and the metro: Vinohrady, Holešovice, Smichov, Karlin and Vysehrad.
Old Town Square in Prague
Old Town Square in Prague
 
Prague's Most Beautiful Views
Prague Castle (Pražský hrad) is the No.1 tourist attraction in Prague. Set on a hill overlooking the city, it affords visitors lovely views over the whole of Prague.

There are also excellent views to be had from these other sights and attractions: Old Town Hall Tower, Old Town Bridge Tower, Lesser Town Bridge Tower, Klementinum, Jindrisska Tower, Petrin and Vysehrad.

And tourism in Prague has encouraged several top floor restaurants to open, offering diners stunning views over the city. Enjoy a spot of lunch in the sunshine, or watch the city light up at night: restaurants with city views.
Prague Sights & Attractions
Prague tourist guides often use English names for famous sights. 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

More information: Prague sights & attractions.
Wenceslas Square in Prague
Wenceslas Square in Prague
Estates Theatre in Prague
Estates Theatre in Prague
Discover the highlights of Prague
Once the seat of a mighty medieval empire, Prague is an open air museum best explored on foot (some of the city's finest areas are pedestrianised). Our Prague tours can help you discover the city.

River cruises are also a popular way to see the sights, as many Prague attractions border the river.

Opera and classical concerts are another highlight, with performances held in Prague's fine opera houses, magnificent concert halls and historic churches. And Prague has some unique theatre performances too.
Then there is food and drink. Prague restaurants enjoy a reputation for serving good, often excellent cuisine, and many offer the opportunity to dine in lovely settings; these range from intimate cellar restaurants to rooftop restaurants with views over the city.

And there is the world famous Czech beer, drunk enthusiastically in pubs and restaurants all over the city; the Czechs are the largest consumers of beer per capita in the world!

Finally, if you are looking for souvenirs. Bohemian Crystal is a well-known export of the Czech Republic. Visitors can purchase glass products in shops in Prague or go on a glass factory tour to see it being made.
More Prague Tourism Information
For more useful practical information, read our Prague tourist information guide.
The 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 in the Czech Republic, and its People
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).
St. Nicholas Church in Prague
St. Nicholas Church in Prague
Czech Republic in Central Europe
Czech Republic in Europe
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 Luatians. Romanies (or Gypsies) form the most conspicuous minority - they are thought to descend from Indian migrants in the 15th century.

A significant number of people from Central and Eastern European countries, along with former Soviet Union states such as Ukraine, migrate to Prague to work in tourism and construction.
 
An easy way to arrange your Prague trip is to book a Prague city break: Prague Package.

Prague Experience: Prague Tourism Information

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