Prague - The Golden City at the Vltava
Prague is a cultural metropolis of a special kind. The individual atmosphere and the unique magic created by the narrow alleys, romantic squares and impressive cultural monuments and legendary creatures is beyond comparison.
Geography - Prague's seven hills
Prague (Czech: Praha) is the capital and an administrative unite of the Czech Republic. With over one million inhabitants, it is the country's most populated city. The cultural metropolis lies more or less in the centre of the Czech Republic on the banks of the Vltava, which crosses the city and divides it into two halves. There are seven hills (Petřín, Letná, Karlov, Vìtkov, Větrov, Skalka, Emauzy) in this region. The highest points in the city are the peaks of Bílá hora with 381 metres and Cihadlo with 385 metres. There is mild continental climate in Prague with cool to cold winters and warm to hot summer months.
Culture - Bohemian, German and Jewish cultural influences
For a long time, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire as well as a political and cultural centre of Central Europe. The first university of Central and Eastern Europe was founded here in 1348, the Defenestration of Prague started the Thirty Years' War in 1618 and the Prague Spring from 1968 was a significant part of the city's history. Prague's mystical atmosphere, impressive cultural monuments and an eventful history capture all visitors. The best example is the world-famous writer Franz Kafka who fell in love with the city. Once you have walked around in the skewed alleys in the Jewish quarter and followed the traces of the Golem of Prague, crossed Charles Bridge and marvelled at Prague Castle on the Castle District (Hradčany), there is no going back. You are captivated by the city's mix of Bohemian, Jewish and German culture as well as by the Gothic, Roman and Baroque architecture. Prague's historical city centre has been part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1992. The most popular sights are the Old Town Square with the Old Town City Hall, the Church of Mother of God in front of Týn and the astronomical clock, St. Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge, the Golden Lane, the Jewish Cemetary, Strahov Monastery and Wenceslas Square. Worthwhile destinations outside of the city are Břevnov Monastery and Troja Palace.
Experience - Shopping trips in Prague's alleys
Going shopping in Prague is a truly enjoyable activity. Great shopping centres have been built, which contain many international fashion labels. In some shopping miles, for examples those below the National Museum, you find shops of well-known fashion brands. Travellers who are looking for Czech souvenirs and local products need to visit the markets and stroll through the streets of the historical city centre. Czech crystal, glass, porcelain, ceramic, jewels, wooden toys and decoration, beeswax candles, hand-painted Easter eggs and Czech wafers are only a few of the country's many products. Prague does not only offer a wide range of shopping facilities but also culinary variety from typical Czech dishes like potato dumplings, pork roast and goulash to French, Italian, Arab and Indian food. You should not miss out on a glass of Czech beer or Moravian wine. Prague's nightlife is very lively and diverse. There are numerous clubs, discos and bars in which holidaymakers can party the Czech way. The pub U Fleků is particularly popular with tourists. It was already founded in 1499 and has an antique ambience. Another well-known place and a real crowd puller is the Hostinec U Kalicha, a location of Jaroslav Hašek's novel "The Good Soldier Svejk".
Activities - City tour and boat trip on the Vltava
Guided city tours are very popular with tourists in Prague. Besides the classic ones, there are several special tours such as the nightly city tours. If you want to experience more than cultural sights and sightseeing, you should go on a boat, kayak or pedalo trip on the Vltava. There are several operators which offer such trips on the river with coffee and cake, lunch or dinner and live music. The islands accommodate several boat rentals for kayak and pedalo tours.
Prague is an excellent travel destination at any time of the year. Every season is beautiful in its own right and shows the city in a different light. You can arrive by plane, train or car. The city's airport is about 15 kilometres away from the city centre. You can continue your journey by bus or underground from there or take the Airport Express.
A trip to Prague is a dream come true for many culture and history enthusiasts. Following the traces of Franz Kafka, learning about European history, experiencing Bohemian traditions and marvelling at unique cultural buildings - Prague's magic is unmistakable. Active holidaymakers get their money's worth on a kayak tour on the Vltava.