Prague Tourism Information & City Guide
Prague is known as the 'Jewel in the Crown' of Central Europe, and in recent years tourism has played an important role in its economic development.
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. 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 recent years, the communism of the mid-20th century has given way to capitalism, and tourism has helped to drive 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.
Charles Bridge & Prague Castle
Highlights of Prague
The first thing to do in Prague is simply to wander through the streets and magnificent squares, and to admire the stunning architecture all around.
Prague is best explored on foot because the city centre is compact and the finest areas are mostly 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, over the river and through the Lesser Town).
| The Vltava River runs through the heart of the city and several famous sights border it. Walk over Charles Bridge and along the river banks to enjoy the wide, panoramic views across the water.|
It is also nice to admire the river scene from above with a trip up to Prague Castle or by taking a ride on the Funicular Railway up Petrin Hill.
But undoubtedly the most relaxing way to take in the riverside attractions is on a river cruise.
With regards to entertainment, the opera, ballet and classical concerts are a true highlight. Prague is a city of music, with performances to enjoy all year round in grand opera houses and concert halls, theatres, palaces and ancient churches.
Estates Theatre in Prague
Concert Hall at Municipal House
|| And Black light theatre is a unique feature of the city. The shows offer a typically Czech experience and are highly visual, so appeal to all ages and nationalities.|
Meanwhile, dining is a joy, with Prague restaurants enjoying a reputation for serving good, often excellent cuisine. Pub style restaurants offer hearty food and 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 all over the city; the Czechs are the largest consumers of beer per capita in the world!
| 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.
Greater tourism and business investment, and the resulting uplift in the Czech economy, has led to increased consumerism - meaning shopping is fast becoming a national pastime. Prague has its fair share of shopping malls selling the latest international brands, of which the largest is Palladium Shopping Centre.
In terms of locally produced goods, the most well-known is Bohemia Crystal. The finest Czech glassware can be purchased from a number of shops in Prague. Alternatively, visitors can take a tour to a glass factory, such as to Moser Glass.
| 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 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.
|For the full list of major sights, see 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 can find certain sounds hard to pronounce.
Fortunately, tourism and global commerce mean many Czech's speak English, particularly in Prague.
Location of Prague and the Czech Republic
Prague is located in central Bohemia, 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
|| The Czechs belong to the West Slavic group of peoples, along with Poles, Slovaks and Lusatians.
Romanies (or Gypsies) form the most conspicuous minority, 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.
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 details, read our Prague tourist information guide.