Prague Travel Guide

 

What to do in Prague

The City of Prague belongs to the most beautiful capitals of the world, which is reflected in the increasing numbers of foreign visitors. Prague has a lot to offer and no wonder that the "Golden Town" was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. With its fairy tale spires, castles and clock towers, the capital of the Czech Republic is one of the best preserved cities in the world. Following is the list of "Must-Do" in Prague:

Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Prague Castle was built in 8th century AD by the Premyslid family. Its history has been long and rich, from its very origin to present day it has been the seat of administration of the country. The early medieval castle site was fortified with a moat and a rampart of clay and stones. The first walled building was the Church of Virgin Mary. From the 10th century Prague Castle was not only the seat of the head of state, the princes and later kings, but also of the highest representative of church, the Prague bishop.

How to get there:

From the city center you tak�tramway No 22 or 23 to the stop "Prask hrad" ("Prague castle) and walk cca 200 meters to 2nd courtyard of the castle.

Opening hours:
Summer tourist season: 9.00 - 17.00
Winter tourist season: 9.00 - 16.00
Tours for visitors (types of tickets):
Type of ticket: (Full admission fee / Reduced admission fee / Family ticket):
Tour A:
St. Vitus Cathedral including the Tower, Old Royal Palace including the exhibition "The Story of Prague Castle", St. George\'s Basilica, Powder Tower, Golden Lane and Daliborka Tower (CZK 350 / CZK 175 / CZK 520)
Tour B:
St. Vitus Cathedral including the Tower, Old Royal Palace, Golden Lane and Daliborka Tower (CZK 220 / CZK 110 /CZK 330)
Tour C:
Golden Lane and Daliborka Tower (CZK 50 / --- / CZK 100)
Tour D:
St. George\'s Basilica (CZK 50 / CZK 25 / CZK 100)
Tour E:
The Powder Tower (CZK 50 / CZK 25 / CZK 100)
Tour F:
Saint George\'s Convent (CZK 100 / CZK 50 / CZK 150)

More info:

www.hrad.cz

The period of the rule of King and later Emperor Charles IV (the middle of the 14th century) was a time of prosperity for Prague Castle, for then it first became an imperial residence, the seat of the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Royal palace was magnificently rebuilt and the fortifications strengthened. Building began on the Gothic Church of St. Vitus on the model of French cathedrals.

The kings of the Habsburgs dynasty, started rebuilding the Castle into a renaissance seat. The adaptation of the Castle came to its height in the second half of the 16th century, during the rule of Rudolph II. The emperor settled permanently in Prague Castle and began to turn it into a grand and dignified centre of the empire. A popular sight at the Prague Castle from this period is the Golden Lane, a small picturesque street with colorful wooden houses, once, according to legend, street of alchymists.

In the second half of the 18th century the last great rebuilding of the Castle was carried out, making it a prestigious castle-type seat. But at that time the capital or the empire was Vienna, and Prague was just a provincial town. The Castle gradually became dilapidated and its art treasures were impoverished by the sale of the remains of the Emperor Rudolph's collections.

After the foundation of the independent Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 Prague Castle again became the seat of the head of state. The Slovene architect Josip Plecnik was entrusted with the necessary alterations in 1920.

Lesser Town

Lesser Town

The Lesser Town was founded in 1257 on the slopes bellow the Prague castle and it is the part of Prague least affected by resent history. Czech Emperor Premysl Otakar II invited German merchants to set up shops beneath castle walls. After the fire of 1541 and the Thirty Years War, the wealthy catholic aristocracy acquired pieces of land in the property redistribution. Nowadays the embassies, Houses of Parliament and several ministeries can be found here. One of the most stunning monuments is located on the main square of the quarter St. Nicholas Church (1756). W.A.Mozart played here during his stay in Prague. Another valuable site of "Prague Baroque" is just "round the corner" Wallenstein Palace (Valdtejnsk pal�). This monumental profane building dating back to 1630, houses today the Senat of the Czech Republic. On your way to the Old Town you can't miss the outstanding

Charles bridge

Charles bridge

Connecting the Lesser Town with the Old Town. The bridge was founded by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV in 1357. Both end of the bridge are fortified with towers, opened for public and offering splendid views of the city. 30 sculptures and sculptural groups of saints were gradually set on bridge piers between the years 1683 and 1928.

Old Town

Old Town

The oldest quarter of Prague, firstly mentioned in 10th century, gained the royal privileges in 1338. Your steps will lead you for sure to the magnificient Old Town Square with the world famous Astronomical clock. In the top part of "Orloj" 12 apostles appear every hour between 9am and 9pm. The first clock of the Town Hall dates back to the beginning of the 15th century. Clock maker Hanu, who perfectioned the construction in 1490 was - according to the legend - made blind by the city council to prevent him from making a more beautiful clock elsewhere. Some of the most prominent buildings around the square are the Church of Our Lady before Tn (tombstone of danish astronomer Tycho de Brahe), St. Nicholas church and Kinsk Palace. During summertime, dozens of outdoor caf�invite you to relax in the shade of the fairy tale buildings on the squarePrague is known as "City of hundred spires" and recent years many were renovated and opened for public. One best views you can experince in Prague is from the Powder Tower on the Republic square. This tower is connected with the real "pearl" of Prague's Art Nouveau period the Municipal House (Obecn�dum). Also close to the Old Town square you can find another ancient part of the city .

Jewish quarter (Prague Ghetto) or Josefov

Jewish quarter

Its name Josefov dates back to the end of 18th century, when it was named after the emperor Josef II, whose reforms helped to ease living conditions for the Jewish. The Jewish Quarter contains the remains of Prague's former ghetto originally dating back to the 13th century, its present appearance is mainly the result of a vast redevelopment undertaken between 1893-1913. Only the few most significant buildings were saved. Yet these buildings form the best present complex of Jewish historical monuments in the whole of Europe. Six synagogues remain from this old settlement, which includes the Jewish Town Hall and the Old Jewish Cemetery - the most remarkable in Europe, along with the Old-New Synagogue.

Opening hours:
November - March 9 am - 4.30 pm
April - October 9 am- 6 pm
The museum is open every day except Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
Entrance fees:
The Jewish Museum in Prague
Admission charges
Adults - 300 CZK
Under 15s, students and senior citizens - CZK 200.-
Under 6s - free

New Town

New Town

Well new? "Nov�mesto" is a quarter founded in 1348 by Charles IV. Its most famous landmark is Wenceslas Square, which was originally built as a horsemarket and now functions as a center of commerce and tourism. Many of the important historical events in Prague's recent history took place here, such as the protests against the Soviet occupation in 1969 and the biggest demostrations in 1989 which led to the Velvet Revolution and the end of the Communist era.

Our Tips

Tired of endless crowds of tourists? Want to see something different, something real? So we add some our hottest tips, places which heve not yet been discovered by tourism. Some of them are really for the real "connaisseurs" and we have something even for nature lovers!

Vyehrad castle

Vysehrad castle

According to the ancient legend it was here the original seat of the first princes of Premyslides dynasty. However, this wasn't proved, we know this fort had not been founded till the Prague castle was in existence. Among the interesting monuments here are the Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, the Romanesque Rotunda of St. Martin and the Vyehrad cemetery since 1869 a burial place of the most outstanding personalities of the czech history (B. Smetana, A. Dvor�, A. Mucha, K. Capek, J. Heyrovsk).

How to get there:

By metro line C to the station "Vyehrad" and short walk (cca 400 m) along the Congress Center and Hotel Holiday Inn.

Petr� Hill and Observation Tower

Petr� Hill

A real "must" if you travel with children. The old-fashioned mirror maze from 19th century, the miniature Eiffel tower from 1891 (Petr�sk�rozhledna) and the funicular railway (1891 as well) to the top of Petr� hill are really well appreciated by kids. Everybody enjoys the quiet and green surroundings just 5 minutes from the busy city center. For a more relaxing view, walk halfway down from the summit and enjoy a perfect meal with a perfect view at famous Nebozizek Restaurant.

How to get there:

Funicular railway leaves every 10 -15 minutes from �ezd, near the tram station (trams 9, 22, 23).

Opening hours:
Maze:
January - March 10 - 17 (Saturday, Sunday)
April, September 10 - 19 daily
May - August 10 - 22 daily
October 10 - 18 daily
Tower:
November, December 10 - 17 (Saturday, Sunday)
April, September 10 - 19 daily
May - August 10 - 22 daily
October 10 - 18 daily

Divok��ka valley

Divok�Sarka

Is another popular destination for family trips and many also head out to the primeval fortified settlement of Divok��ka on the western outskirts of Prague. The �ka valley is extremely popular with both hikers and cyclists. The �ka Valley is the best preserved natural region northwest of Prague. The area includes also the sites of important primeval settlements and pilgrimage places of later date, such as St. Mathews. Its popularity increased also by the Smetanas symphonic poem of the same name forming part of the symphonic cycle My Country, as well as the former National Theatre stage below the D�c�Skok (Girls Jump).

How to get there:

By bus No 119, 218 or by tram 20, 26 from the metro station Dejvick�(line A) to the stop Divok��ka (next to McDonalds)

Letn�quarter

This 19th century quarter situated in the close vicinity of the city is another place ideal to relax from busy streets of Prague's downtown. Especially the Letn�park offers a laidback lifestyle within striking distance of the downtown core. Letna park and Letna plain, where Czechs as well as foreign visitors and residents go to rest, exercise, have picnics, take lovely walks and generally appreciate the most outstanding views of the city there are. The area's also home to the country's finest football stadium, Toyota Arena, which stages Sparta Praha and Czech national team games.

Vinohrady quarter

Vinohrady, Namesti Miru

Really the city's "best neighborhood to live, Vinohrady is a combination of city-center amenities, handsome 19th century apartment buildings, and suburban tranquility, based around N�est�M�u square. Wenceslas Square is just a short stroll down Vinohradsk� but the hussle and bustle of New Town can seem a world away.

Baba Housing project

One Pragues two most prominent modernist housing developments, the Baba Estate of the Czechoslovak Werkbund, begun in 1928. It became one of inspirations for modern housing. During 8 years some 33 functionalistic villas were built here by the most prominent architects of the period (including dutch architect Mart Stam).

How to get there:

Take Bus No 131 at the metro station Dejvick�(line A) and go to the stop U Mateje.

Villa of Loos Villa of Mller (Loosova or Mllerova villa)

Villa of Loos

The family house of Ing. Mller, named also after its architect, world famous Adolf Loos, belongs to most precious exemples of european Functionalist style, was built 1928 to 1930.

Opening hours:
April - September: guided tours at 9.00, 11.00, 13.00, 15.00, 17.00 (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun)
October - March: guided tours at 10.00, 12.00, 14.00, 16.00 (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun)
Entrance fees:
Basic: 300 CZK
Reduced: 200 CZK (senior citizens, invalids, students)

How to get there:

Metro Line A (green) to Hradcansk�station
then tram no.1 or no. 18 to the Orechovka stop.

Troja Ch�eau (Trojsk z�ek) and ZOO

Troja Ch�eau

Situated only few minutes drive from the busy city center, it'll impress you with really quiet and green atmosphere. Troja Chateau was built a summer palace for count Vaclav Vojtech Sternberg in an Italian villa-style. The palace was designed by french architect Jean-Baptist Matthey and it is surrounded by the French gardens.




Opening hours:
ZOO:
January, February: 9 - 16
March: 9 - 17
April, May, October: 9 - 18
June, July, August: 9 - 19
November, December: 9 - 16
Troja Chateau
open: daily except Mondays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Entrance fees:
ZOO:
April - September: adult 90 CZK, chlidren 3 - 15 years, students 60 CZK family 270,-
October - March: adult 70 CZK, chlidren 3 - 15 years, students 40 CZK
family 200,-
Troja Chateau
Basic: CZK 120, reduced: CZK 60, family: CZK 200

How to get there:

By bus No. 112, from N�ra�Holeovice metro station to stop Zoologick�zahrada.

Trade Fair Grounds and Kri� fountain (Vstavite a Kri�ova font�a)

Kri� fountain

Complex housing trade fairs and exhibitions, theater and dance performances and concerts, as well as the Kri� Fountain with a colorful musical water show and the Lapidarium with a permanent collection of Czech sculpture. Special event at Trade Fair Grounds is "Matejsk�pout" (St. Matthews Fun Fair), the biggest fun fair held in the Czech Republic with hundreds of attractions for children!

Programme:

Closed due to servicing usually from the beginning of January through the end of March. www.krizikovafontana.cz

How to get there:

Next to tram stop "Vstavite" (trams No 5, 12, 17)

Entrance fees:

180 CZK (children up to 6 years are free)

Cooking School

Spice up your holiday with a Cooking class

Discovering a local cuisine is an important part of every travel experience anywhere in the world! How could you leave Prague without tasting "Vepro-Knedlo- Zelo" or fruit dumplings? How about making them yourself? With Cooking School Chefparade you can master the basics of the Czech cooking through their hands-on cooking course. If you add fun and a taste, it´s a must during your stay in Prague!

The hands-on course provides you with the best cooking practices so you will be able to treat your family and friends to a fantastic Czech dinner back in your home country. The cooking class is taught in English and lasts for around 3 hours. You prepare a 3-course menu with our Chef, who is happy to share his knowledge about the Czech cuisine, traditions and culture. The course starts with the Prague Market Tour in Holešovice (optional). You´ll see the biggest Market area in Prague with farmer’s stalls, fresh milk, spices and home-made pastries. Date and time can be adjusted to your preferences as well as the menu. Spice up your Prague trip and experience the local gastronomy!

Isn´t it true, that the meal tastes best when you prepare it yourself? Do it – check Chefparade page to get more information. Follow Chefparade on Facebook and Twitter not to miss news and specials.