General information

Prague (Praha in Czech language) is the largest city and capital of Czech Republic and as such, it is the center of political, cultural and economical life in the region. Its population counts more than 1.22 million people (number from 2008), but the metropolitan area is believed to have a lot more (around 2 million citizens).

The city lies on the banks of the Vltava river, a bit north from the middle of Bohemia, which is the largest of three main parts of Czech Republic (the other two are: Moravia and Silesia). Prague has been the capital of Bohemia for more than 1100 years.

Since 1992, the historical centre of Prague is considered by UNESCO as part of World Heritage Sites. According to UNESCO, Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It belongs to the small group of historic cities which have been saved from any large-scale urban renewal or massive demolitions and preserved the structure of their development until the present times. That is one of the reasons why millions of tourists visit Prague every year.

Map & Districts

Feel free to use Google Map, that is the best anyway. ;)

Regarding districts, there are two different district systems. First, there is the old system, where the 10 districts are denoted as Prague 1, Prague 2, etc. to Prague 10, being Prague 1 and Prague 2 the most central and the others surrounding them.

Other type of district system is the traditional city quarter system, where every quarter has a name. Unfortunately, it is quite confusing that these systems are not compatible. A single quarter can belong to two or even more old system districts (Vinohrady quarter covers portions of Prague 2, 3, and 10) and a single old system district can be divided into more quarters (Prague 2 is partly New Town, Vinohrady and Vysehrad). The most central quarters are:

  • Old Town (Staré město)
  • New Town (Nové město)
  • Castle (Hradčany)
  • Lesser Town (Malá strana)
  • Vysehrad (Vyšehrad)
  • Smichov (Smíchov)
  • Karlin (Karlín)

Weather

There are many links where you can look up the current weather or the forecast:

Generally, the weather in Prague changes a lot, being the summer the hottest and winter the coldest part of the year. For an idea what to expect, these are the monthly average temperatures:

Average temperatures °C °F
January -1,7 28,9
February -0,9 30,4
March 3,8 38,8
April 8,5 47,3
May 13,5 56,3
June 16,7 62,1
July 18,3 64,9
August 17,8 64,1
September 14 57,2
October 9,3 48,7
November 3,7 38,6
December 0,1 32,2

Currency & Exchange rates

In the whole Czech Republic the official currency is Czech Koruna (Czech Crown) abbreviated as Kč (Koruna Česká) or Czk (Czech Koruna). The exchange rates change on a daily basis, but for an idea about the level, here are the exchange rates against the world-ruling currencies from 8th of October 2008:

  • 1 EUR = 26,50 Czk
  • 1 GBP = 29,50 Czk
  • 1 USD = 18.50 Czk

The actual exchange rates issued by the Czech National Bank you can check on the official CNB’s website or you can use the Czech currency converter (converts from and to any foreign currency).

Phone numbers

The country code of Czech Republic is +420 or for some devices 00420. You don’t need to dial any of these if you are in Czech Republic already. The phone numbers for emergencies are as follow:

  • 112 – Emergency Central Number
  • 150 – Fire Department
  • 155 – Ambulance
  • 156 – Prague City Police
  • 158 – Police
  • 12 444 – Prague Information Service

You can call these numbers without your credit being charged.

News

These websites provide a very good information in English about what’s going on in Prague:

All of them offer RSS feeds as well, so you can conveniently follow their news from Prague.

Other webguides

Well, even if this guide tries to cover every aspect of traveling in Prague, there might be something missing. If so, try to search on Google or visit one of these travel guides:

If you don’t find your information about Prague in this knol and neither on the above mentioned websites, just leave a comment and if there is an answer you will get it.

How to get to Prague

There are four common ways for tourists how to get to Prague – by car, bus, train and by plane. As usually, each of them has its pros and cons.

Driving a car

Big advantage of traveling by car is that you can go and come whenever you want. However, depending on the number of persons it can be more expensive than the bus or train alternative.

Czech traffic regulations

The Czech traffic regulations are very similar to those in other European countries. Some of the useful information and tips are:

  • You must be over 18 to drive a car in Czech Republic.
  • You have to carry your driving licence (those from US, Canada and EU are accepted, others need and international driving licence) , along with a vehicle registration card, insurance certificate or green card and the ownership certificate or rental agreement.
  • For driving on highway you need a sticker, which must be affixed to the right corner of the car’s front window. Annual sticker for vehicles up to 3500 kg costs 800,-Czk, 150,-Czk for one month and ten-day ticket is 70,-Czk. It can be purchased at the Czech borders or on any gas station in Czech Republic.
  • In Czech Republic you drive on the right side and the maximum allowed speed is 50 km/h (30 mph) in town, 90 km/h (55 mph) on roads out of town and 130 km/h (80 mph) on highways.
  • Safety belts must be fastened during the whole time of driving.
  • Pedestrians at the crossings have an absolute priority.
  • No consumption of alcohol is allowed before or during driving.
  • Children younger than 12 years or smaller than 150 cm cannot be seated on the front passenger seat, also for babies special baby seats are required.
  • Use of cell phones is not allowed while driving.
  • Your car must carry a first-aid kit and a red-and-white warning triangle.

Highways (Motorways)

Prague has highway connections to five major directions, but due to the lack of highroad development only two of them reach the border of the Czech Republic. The south-western highway D5 leads through Pilsen (Plzeň) to Germany and the south-eastern D1 connects Prague with Brno, the second largest city of Czech Republic and leads further to Bratislava in Slovakia. D1 offers a good connection to Vienna (capital of Austria) and Budapest (capital of Hungary) as well.

When coming to Prague by car, try not to come or leave Friday or Sunday afternoon. Or generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to not drive in the afternoon of the first and last days of any Czech holiday. On these days the residents going out of or coming back to Prague can cause big traffic jam and you might find yourself waiting few hours to get into or out of Prague.

Parking

It is worth of considering P+R (park and ride) parking places, where you can park your car for a small fee and use public transport to continue. But if you decide to drive into the city center, you should know the borders of three parking zones – orange, green and blue:

  • Orange Zone – Maximum parking time is 2 hours, the charges are around 50,-Czk per hour (coin-operated parking meters) and the zone is effective from 8 am to 6 pm.
  • Green Zone – Maximum parking time is 6 hours, the charges are around 30,-Czk per hour (coin-operated parking meters) and the zone is effective form 8 am to 6 pm.
  • Blue Zone – Parking is only available for residents of Prague 1 district and companies which are based there. You need to have parking card, which proves that you live there.

Not following these rules can result in your car being pulled away and in getting a parking fee!

Taking a bus

Taking a bus to Prague should be the choice of people watching the budget perspective. Buses to Prague are far cheaper than petrol for a car and a bit cheaper than trains, however, offering less comfort.

Bus lines

Prague is very well connected not only to the rest of the Czech Republic, but also to other major cities in Europe. The most known bus transport companies operating in Prague are Eurolines and Student Agency. Here is an idea about the prices to some of the European cities:

Bus line Oneway Return
Prague – Budapest 500,-Czk 900,-Czk
Prague – Berlin 800,-Czk 1400,-Czk
Prague – Vienna 300,-Czk 500,-Czk
Prague – Paris 1500,-Czk 2500,-Czk
Prague – Amsterdam 1400,-Czk 2000,-Czk
Prague – Zurich 1300,-Czk 1800,-Czk
Prague – Rome 2000,-Czk 3000,-Czk
Prague – London 2000,-Czk 2800,-Czk

Bus stations

The central bus station Florenc is located on Krizikova street (Křížikova), Prague 8, very close to the city centre. Also, there is a good connection via metro lines – B and C, and via several public bus lines and trams. Other than Florenc some transport services operate from these stations:

  • Na Knizeci (Na Knížecí) – Nadrazni street, Prague 5 – Andel station of metro line B
  • Holesovice (Holešovice) – Partyzanska street, Prague 7 – Nadrazi Holesovice station of metro line C
  • Roztyly – Rysaveho street, Prague 4 – Roztyly station of metro line C
  • Cerny Most (Černý Most) – Chlumecka street, Prague 9 – Cerny Most station of metro line B

Get on a train

Train should be a nice trade-off between the travel comfort and expenses. It can be expensive, especially when purchasing one-way ticket. It’s a very advisable to buy an open return ticket, which is much cheaper than two one way tickets and it can be used for 30 days.

However, there are only few direct train connections to foreign countries – Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria), Berlin (Germany), Amsterdam (Netherlands). Trains to Paris or London are with at least one transfer, but usually more.

Trains

The train ticket prices vary depending on the destination and the line which you take (Euro City, Inter City, Super City or regular Express). Here are a few examples of train lines and the costs.

Train Oneway Return
Prague – Budapest 1000,-Czk 1300,-Czk
Prague – Berlin ?,-Czk ?,-Czk
Prague – Vienna ?,-Czk ?,-Czk
Prague – Amsterdam ?,-Czk ?,-Czk
Prague – Bratislava 700,-Czk 900,-Czk

Here you can check all the train schedules (you might need to change the language to English).

Train stations

There are two international train stations in Prague – Hlavni Nadrazi (Praha Hlavní Nádraží) and Nadrazi Holesovice (Praha Holešovice) stations. Two other large stations service mostly local destinations – Masarykovo Nadrazi (Masarykovo Nádraží) and Smichovske Nadrazi (Smíchovské Nádraží). Always make sure you know which station your train is leaving from. All trains are provided by state-run rail system Czech Railways (České dráhy – abbreviated as ČD).

  • Hlavni Nadrazi – Wilsonova street, Prague 2 – Hlavni Nadrazi of metro line C
  • Nadrazi Holesovice – Partyzanska street, Prague 7 – Nadrazi Holesovice station of metro line C
  • Masarykovo Nadrazi – Hybernska street, Prague 1 – Namesti Republiky station of metro line B
  • Smichovske Nadrazi – Nadrazni street, Prague 5 – Smichovske Nadrazi station of metro line B

Go by plane

Flight to Prague is an absolute winner in luxury, but also in the expensiveness. Prague is one of the best air-connected European cities. There are flights available to almost every bigger city in Europe and several flights out of Europe.

International airport Ruzyne

Prague Airport Ruzyne (Letiště Ruzyně – PRG) is located about 20 km on the north-west of the city. It is the biggest airport in the Czech Republic and in the middle and eastern Europe. There are about 50 airlines providing their services to more than 100 destinations around the world. Recently, the number of passengers raised to more than 10 millions per year which makes it the member of the top 20 most important European airports.

Airport Ruzyne has two terminals – the modern Terminal North which handles scheduled and charter flights and the smaller South Terminal which deals with private aircraft and freight traffic. The Terminal North is divided then to Terminal North 1 and the newly opened Terminal North 2 which is used for flights to and from other European Union countries under the Schengen regime. Always check which Terminal you are flying from!

Airlines based in Prague

There are 3 low cost airlines based in Prague – Click 4 Sky and Smart Wings. These airlines offer flights to almost every country in Europe. Other than that, only the Czech Airlines (CSA) is based in Prague and as regular airlines, they offer flights for longer distances outside Europe as well. For the current prices and best deals, compare the prices on their websites! This is the list of flight companies having flights to/from Prague on regular basis.

How to get around

The public transportation in Prague is very good, but you have also other options how to move from one Prague sight to another.

Walking

Prague is a walkable city, especially when you are interested only in the historical centre. The most sights of the historical Prague are reachable from each other by walk in less than half an hour. However, you will probably notice that the old Prague was originally set up between 7 hills. In the meantime, the hills are part of the Prague, so you can walk up and up and up. Usually, the “walkers” go from Wenceslas square to the Old Town and from there up to the Prague castle.

Public Transport

Public transport in Prague means metro (underground), busses and trams. A good tip is that you don’t have to wait for tram, metro or bus if you have Internet connection, you can just check the exact time of your connections.

Metro

Prague Metro is the fastest of public transports. It consists of 3 lines designated by letters:

  • A – green line
  • B – yellow line
  • C – red line

And there are three stations where you can switch the lines:

  • Muzeum – from A to C and vice versa
  • Mustek (Můstek) – from A to B and vice versa
  • Florenc – from B to C and vice versa

Trams

Trams usually connect places with the Prague centre. They normally operate from 5 am to 12 pm during the day and there is a uniform headway 40 minutes during the night. The central point of change for the night routes is the tram stop Lazarska. The night trams are designated by numbers 51 to 58.

Busses

Busses operate the same day- and night-time as trams and usually connect the farer points of Prague. The night busses are designated by numbers 5xx (put any numbers instead of “xx”).

Tickets

The tickets are the same for every transport possibility, you can use one ticket (if it is valid transfer ticket) on all the three options. The ticket prices are changing (always raising) from time to time, but in the meantime these are the rates:

  • Transfer tickets (valid for 75 minutes) – 26,-Czk
  • Non-transfer tickets (valid for 30 minutes) – 18,-Czk
  • 24-hour ticket – 100,-Czk
  • 3-day ticket – 330,-Czk
  • 5-day ticket – 500,-Czk

Taxi

If possible, use the public transportation, it is cheaper. Usually, it can be good idea to take a taxi in the night when the public transport is not working so well. It’s advisable to call one of the major Prague taxi services:

Sometimes the tourist got overcharged, therefore always insist on having the taxi-meter turned on and ask for a receipt once you leave the taxi.

Other transfer services

Other than taxi, you can use a transfer service of your booking company or of the hotel where you stay. Sometimes, the transfer from and to the airport or railway station is included in the price of accommodation. Here are some of the trusted shuttle companies:

There were a few complaints of paying more for this kind of service than for a taxi, so watch out who you choose. The transfer from the airport to the hotel for up to 4 persons should be around 600,-Czk.

Where to stay

As Prague is one of the most visited cities of Europe a lot of tourist demand a lot of accommodation options. There are over 500 hotels, pensions, hostels and private apartments in Prague and a number of travel agencies offer reservation in them. While in other cities booking through travel agencies might be more expensive than booking directly in the hotel (because of the booking fees), in Prague it is not truth.

The travel agencies in Prague work with hotels on provision basis, which means that they get a discount from the hotels (usually, around 10-20% for 2 and 3 star hotels, but it can be even 40-70% in the case of more expensive 4 or 5 star hotels). The agencies usually make the price a bit under the hotel’s rack rate, so they ensure that next time the traveler uses the agency for booking again and he/she doesn’t go directly into the hotel. Sometimes, the difference between the hotel rates and the agency rates can be even 50% (meaning agency prices are lower).

There is another advantage for non-english guests… Usually, the agencies speak a lot more languages than a person or two on the hotel’s reception. Combining this with a 24 hours of support, the agency can help you fix any problem at any time of your stay in Prague.

So, rather than pointing out useless list of randomly picked up hotels, here are some time-verified booking agencies, which offer hundreds of accommodation possibilities. You should compare the prices here:

On the first two mentioned websites you can find real guest reviews of the accommodation facilities, so you can make a better picture about the accommodation. Traveliana has no comments on accommodation, but has a nice information gathered together about Prague. Never leave your accommodation arrangements on the arrival at Train station or Airport, you can find yourself paying a lot more than you should!

Different categories of accommodation

The price range differs according to what season you travel to Prague. The usual distribution is on seasons: High, Top, Low Seasons. The high season is between April and October, when the prices are higher because most of the visitors come into Prague. It’s mainly given by the nice weather which is typical for this time of a year. Low season is the other part of the year, from November to March.

Top terms are the peak of the year, usually referring to these holidays: Christmas, New Years Eve and Easter. There can be more top terms per year depending on an accommodation itself. So, whenever booking, check twice whether your date is not in a top holiday season, because you can pay a lot more than you expect.

As the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, there are regulations in travel industry, which ensure that the standards are comparable to those in other EU countries. But there are a few things to know before booking:

Hotels

Prague has hundreds of hotels of every category, but only around 120 of them are officially certified by Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Czech Republic. It is very advisable to pick one of these hotels, however they might be a bit more expensive.

The requirements for different types of hotel levels in Czech Republic are as shows the following table:

Requirement Tourist * Economy ** Standard *** First class **** Luxury *****
Double bed min. 180 x 190 cm x x x
Double bed min. 200 x 200 cm x x
Internet connection (Wi-Fi or wire connection) x x x
Mini bar with pricelist x x
Bath and shower with hot and cold water x x
Hand-held shower and fixed shower head x x x
Reception open 16 hours a day x
Reception open 24 hours a day x x
Breakfast served for a minimum of 3 hours x x x
Room where food is served can be used as accommodation x x
Restaurant open throughout the day serving food x x x
Rooms arranged for during the day and in the evening x x
Laundry and ironing service for guests 12 hours a day x x
Luggage trolleys x x
Doorman x

You have a great list of hotels on any of the above mentioned agencies’ websites:

Pensions

There are actually two types of guest houses in Prague – standard or cheap. Standard pensions are small in size, but completely fit into the definition of 3 and sometimes even 4 star hotels. On the other hand, the cheap pensions known as bed and breakfast are rather hostels than anything else. So, it’s very important in what kind of a pension is which you are about to book.

Again, the above mentioned agencies book pensions, too:

Hostels

Hostels are the only accommodation which is not worth of booking through an agency. Most of the hostels cannot afford to offer a provision for travel companies as their prices are quite low. Therefore the agencies mostly add a small booking fee to the rack rate.

Also, this is the kind of accommodation where you have to be very careful. In terms of quality, hostel in Prague means whatever accommodation between a “toilette room” and a three star hotel. So, here is a small list of hostels, where you should be safe from any disappointments (but no guarantee for that either):

If you had troubles with any of the hostels, please, let me know in the comments and I remove the hostel from this list. Thank you in advance!

Apartments

Apartments in Prague are the best bet for travelers. You might not have a 24 hour reception as in a hotel (altough there many apartment rentals which offer 12 hour assistance), but you are in your own place with no rude neighbors, a lot of space and privacy. You can cook your own food, you can do whatever you are used to do at your home.

The prices and the quality differ on where the apartment is located and who the provider is. But generally speaking everybody can find a good balance which fits his/her requirements. Try to look at the Mary’s apartments in the Old Town (right the center of Prague) or New Town (close to center, but very calm area).

Where to eat and drink

Prague has a restaurant practically on every corner, so you don’t need to be afraid of dying from thirst or hunger. The rule is, the more you go into the city centre, the more fancy restaurants you find. If you are in a shopping mall or on a sightseeing tour and you just want to grab something not healthy, fast food is available everywhere, including McDonald’s and KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).

Out of the centre, the Czechs love to eat in restaurants which they call Hospoda. It is a term for quite a big range of facilities – restaurant, pub, bar, sometimes even casino, which have only one common thing: they serve a delicious Czech food and they’re cheap (although in the city centre you might find a fancy Hospoda as well).

Czech cuisine

Czech cuisine is typical with food variates of large calories, which are especially needed for the “beer talks”. The preferred meat is pork and beef, but fish not so much (but of course, you can find many places serving fish). The typical side dishes are dumplings or potatoes (fries or boiled) served with some kind of sauce.

What do Czechs drink? Always beer! No matter, whether you are in work or not, you just have a glass of beer for a lunch. They are the first or second (always changing the first place with Germany) most beer drinkers and also the best or the second best beer producers. The only time when they don’t drink beer is when they sleep or drive. ;)

Czech restaurants

As written above the Czech restaurants are called Hospoda and are spread around whole Prague. There is really many of them and all of them are great in their own manner. But these are the most famous (fancy Hospodas):

They are all in the Prague centre and all have their own small brewery with a Czech autentic beer coming from it, that is why are so popular by locals and tourists as well.

International restaurants

Prague is a metropolis and as such it cannot rely on Czech food only. Many Prague citizens and guests prefer to go in a different-cuisine restaurant. The most common restaurant after the Czech ones are probably Chinese, but you can find also American, Mexican, Hungarian, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Spanish and many more… just look up on Square Meal.

Those who love italian or french food might have a hard time finding good restaurants, so here are a few tips on where to go:

Italian restaurants

These are few personally checked, real italian restaurants:

If you find another great Italian restaurant, please, leave a comment, I will update the list.

Fench restaurants

The top cuisine is a bit expensive but very delicious and fancy:

If you find another great French restaurant, please, leave a comment, I will update the list.

Wine houses

The wine houses in Prague serve french or other international wine, but the local quality Moravian wines, too. Here are some of the places you should go when looking for tasteful wines:

  • U Zavoje Restaurant – Havelska street 25, Prague 1
  • Monarch Restaurant – Na Perstyne street 15, Prague 1
  • Lacave Restaurant – Novy Svet 5, Prague 1
  • Alla Stella Nera Wine Bar – Seminarska 6, Prague 1
  • Burgundian Wine Cellar – Budecska 29, Prague 2

What to see

What to see in Prague? The short answer would be: Everything! But let’s try to be more specific…

Old Town (Staré Město)

Old Town is the medieval centre of Prague and as such it is the part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. This is the far most interesting place in Prague for visitors, because they find here:

  • The Old Town Square – The most visited historical square in Prague.
  • Old Town Hall – It was built in 1338 as the symbol of the town’s self-governance.
  • Astronomical Clock – Since 1490, every hour the twelve apostles appear in the small windows.
  • Clementinum – It was part of the Charles University, but now buildings serve to the National Library.
  • Rudolfinum – Beautiful neoclassical building built in the 19th century gives home to two concert halls.
  • Jewish Town – The spiritual heart of the Jewish Town is the Old-new Synagogue built in the 13th century.
  • Charles Bridge – Built in the 14th century and decorated by 30 statues from the end of the 17th century.
  • Powder Gate – A gothic gateway dating back to the 15th century located at the eastern end of Celetna street.

Prague Castle (Hradčany)

The Prague castle was founded around 870 by the Premysl (Přemysl) princes. The complex of buildings and churches has been rebuilt many times since then. The main sights are:

  • St. Vitus Cathedral – The oldest and most important site of the Castle. The magnificent structure has been built for 1000 years, the main facade completed in 1929.
  • Old Royal Palace – The former residence of Bohemian princes and kings, contains 3 levels of royal apartments. The most noteworthy space is the gothic Vladislav hall – the largest profane hall of the medieval Prague with a remarkable rounded rib vault.
  • Golden Lane – The most visited street in Prague with tiny colored cottages originally built by the poor in the 16th century, later supposedly quartered by the alchemists of King Rudolf’s period.
  • Royal Garden – It dates back to the Renaissance times and the reign of Ferdinand of Habsburg who had the Queen Anne Summer Palace built here. It is open for public in the summer, only.
  • Belvedere – The first royal structure in Prague dedicated to pleasure-seeking. Built as a gift for the wife of Ferdinand I. The royal couple is immortalised in the reliefs adorning the facade.
  • Loreto – It is probably the most outlandish piece of baroque fantasy in Prague. Was built as part of a plan to reconvert the masses to Catholicism after the Thirty Years War.
  • Strahov Monastery – It was found by Premonstratensian monks in 1140 who started their programme of celibacy and silent contemplation here. Today the monastery contains magnificent libraries and religious art.

Lesser Town (Malá Strana)

Because of the location next to the Vltava river, Lesser Town is the very romantic and atmospheric Prague district. Comparing to other parts of Prague, it managed to preserve its ancient look especially in the back narrow quiet streets even with a lot of tourists which are coming here every day.

  • Lesser Town Square – Heart of the quarter where you can visit the famous 100-year-old Lesser Town Cafe (Malostranská kavárna).
  • Church of St. Nicholas – Monumental baroque building in the middle of the square.
  • Lichtenstein Palace – Block next to the church, another Jesuit construction built as a college for its priests, now the building is used by the Charles University.
  • Nerudova Street – A picturesque street crowded with restaurants, cafes, shops and houses decorated with ornate signs used for distinguishing houses before the numbered addresses.
  • Castle Steps – Next parallel street to the Nerudova leading up to the Castle offers a great view over the red tiled roofs, spires and domes of the Lesser Quarter.

Petrin Hill (Petřín)

It is the highest and most peaceful of Prague’s seven hills, a favorite spot for romantic walks. To get up there you can walk from the Nerudova street or you can go by funicular from Ujezd.

  • Petrin Tower – Tower with 299 steps, from which view on the city is just phenomenal.
  • Stefanik (Štefánik) Observatory – Top of the funicular includes stellar displays and telescopes.
  • Mirror Maze – Small building as it was from a fairy tale, a “must see” for families with children.

Kampa Island (Ostrov Kampa)

It is the island next to the Charles Bridge formed by the arms of Vltava. Sometimes it’s called as the Venice of Prague. Some of the mills that once stood here have been preserved to date. An oasis of calm even during the most crowded touristic months. At the south end there is one of the loveliest parks in the city. The Kampa Park restaurant at the northern end is one of Prague’s classier and pricier places to eat offering the finest waterfront view right next to the Charles Bridge where the Certovka (Čertovka) arm runs back into the river.

New Town (Nové Město)

The New Town is not so new as you would think. It was founded in 1348 by Charles IV as a hygienic, wide open and fire proof district, but actually fully built-up in the 19-th century. Old and New Towns meet along the Narodni trida (Národní třída), Na prikope (Na příkopě) and Revolucni (Revoluční) streets. The New Town belongs to the top central areas in Prague.

  • Wenceslas Square – City life full of shops, business offices, discos, casinos, hotels, restaurants. At the upper end of the almost 1-kilometre-long, more of a boulevard than a square, stands the National Museum with the statue of St. Wenceslas.
  • National Theatre – Standing proudly on the banks of the Vltava, topped by a crown of gold and with sculptures of stallions, it is the symbol of the 19-th century Czech nationalism.
  • Municipal House – A masterpiece of stained glass, colored mosaics, tiled murals and gold trimmings from the very beginning of the 20th century. It was where the newly independent state of Czechoslovakia was officially signed in 1918.
  • State Opera – It was built in Viennese style in 1888 by architects Fellner and Helmer.
  • New Town Hall – The hall was built up in the 14th century.

Vysehrad (Vyšehrad)

The rocky hill in the southern part of Prague where all the best Prague myths were born. The hill offers a breathtaking view of the Prague panorama. The monumental church of St. Peter and Paul dominates the hill today. Vysehrad has become a symbol of the Czech national tradition and the National Cemetery was founded here.

  • Rotunda of St. Martin – It is the oldest complete Romanesque building in Prague from the 11th century.
  • Vysehrad Cemetery – The last resting place of the country’s arts worthies (e.g. Smetana, Dvorak, Karel Capek, Jan Neruda, Mikolas Ales).

What to do

Well, there are many interesting things to do in Prague, it only depends on what you like. Most of the visitors come for sightseeing, shopping, partying or business. Let’s take a look on what you can do in Prague…

Sightseeing

Several travel agencies specialize on arranging many different city tours. The most wanted tours are walking tours with private guides, bus tours with headphones or river cruises. For actual offer browse through these websites (other agencies are most likely only resellers of these):

For river cruises, check out these specialists:

If you want to have your own plan, here is what you might be interested in (besides of sights mentioned above).

Museums

The National Museum (Wenceslas square 68, Prague 1) has to be mentioned at first place. The biggest and oldest museum in Czech Republic is a host of many exhibitions and it is the dominant feature of pictures taken on Wenceslas square. There is an amazing view on the whole square from the entrance.

Other museums in Prague are:

  • Naprstek Museum – Betlemske sq. 1, Prague 1
  • Prague City Museum – Na Porici street 52, Prague 8
  • Bertramka Museum – Mozartova street 169, Prague 5
  • Arts and Crafts Museum – 17. Listopadu street 2, Prague 1
  • National Technical Museum – Kostelni street 42, Prague 7
  • Museum of Toys – Jirska street 4, Prague 1
  • U Fleku Brewery Museum – Kremencova street 11, Prague 1
  • Prague Wax Museum – Melantrichova street 5, Prague 1
  • Jewish Museum – U stare skoly street 1, Prague 1
  • Museum of Communism – Na Prikope street 10, Prague 1
  • Kampa Museum – U Sovovych mlynu street 2, Prague 1

Museums of Czech national heroes:

  • Alfons Mucha Museum – Panska street 7, Prague 1
  • Franz Kafka – Cihelna street 2b, Prague 1
  • Antonin Dvorak Museum – Ke Karlovu street 20, Prague 2
  • Bedrich Smetana Museum – Novotneho lavka street 1, Prague 1

Galleries

The national gallery in Prague covers many smaller exhibition places and is the “head” of all the galleries in Czech Republic:

  • St. Agnes of Bohemia Convent – U Milosrdnych street 17, Prague 1
  • Convent of St. George – Jirske sq. 33, Prague 1
  • Kinsky Palace – Old Town Square 12, Prague 1
  • Black Madonna House – Ovocny trh 19, Prague 1
  • Sternberg Palace – Hradcanske sq. 15, Prague 1
  • Trade Fair Palace – Dukelskych hrdinu 47, Prague 7
  • Zbraslav Chateau – Bartonova street 2, Prague 5

Prague City Gallery is responsible for restoration of monuments, sculptures, memorial tablets and fountains in Prague and covers these exhibitions:

  • House of the Golden Ring – Tynska street 6, Prague 1
  • Troja Chateau – U Trojskeho zamku 1, Prague 7
  • Villa Bilek – Mickiewiczova street 1, Prague 6

Theatres, Operas & Ballet

The most fabulous theatre in Prague is the National Theatre, which consist of three art ensembles – drama, opera, ballet; and three performing places:

  • National Theatre (Narodni divadlo) – Narodni street 2, Prague 1
  • Estates Theatre (Stavovske divadlo) – Ovocny trh 1, Prague 1
  • Kolowrat Theatre – Ovocny trh 6, Prague 1

Apart from National Theatre, there are more than 40 theatres in Prague. Here are few of them:

  • Municipal House (Obecni dum) – Namesti Republiky 5, Prague 1
  • State Opera House (Statni opera) – Wilsonova street 4, Prague 1
  • Black Light Theatre – Parizska street 4, Prague 1
  • Ta Fantastika – Karlova street 8, Prague 1
  • Laterna Magica – Narodni Trida 4, Prague 1
  • Minor Theatre – Vodickova 6, Prague 1

Concert halls

At these places you can listen to many great Czech composers’ or worldwide known classic music:

  • Rudolfinum – Alsovo nabrezi 12, Prague 1
  • Bertramka – Mozartova street 169, Prague 5
  • Klementinum – Marianske sq. 4, Prague 1
  • Lobkowitz Palace – Jirska street 3, Prague 1
  • St. James Church – Mala Stupartska street, Prague 1
  • St. Nicholas Church – Malostranske sq., Prague 1
  • The Stone Bell House – Old Town sq. 13, Prague 1

Cinemas

There are 35 cinemas in Prague, where the tickets usually cost around 100-200,-Czk (sometimes student discounts applicable). The most visited are:

Events

Prague.TV has a very nice list of upcoming cultural events in Prague.

Shopping

The modern Prague shopping area is around Wenceslas Square and Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky). The Old Town Square and Lesser Town concetrate rather on souvenirs and Czech art boutiques. Normally, if you come to Prague for shopping, just walk down and up Wenceslas square and the belonging streets, you will definitely find what you’re looking for. If you are looking for fancy/luxurious things, the Parizska street next to the Old Town square will be your best choice.

Stores outside Prague center tend to open at 8 or 9 am  and close at 6 or 7 pm. The hours are shorter on Saturdays and most stores except large supermarkets are closed on Sundays.

Stores in the center of Prague and in shopping malls have longer opening hours. Most stores in the Prague city center and tourist locations are open on weekends.

Christmas markets

The Christmas markets take place on the following locations:

  • Old Town Square – the main Christmas market.
  • Wenceslas Square – the second largest Christmas market located in the downer part of the square.
  • Havelska (Havelská) market – one of the oldest markets in Prague.
  • Republic Square (Náměstí Republiky) – another Christmas market in the center.
  • Peace Square (Náměstí Míru) – a bit outside of the very city center, rather locals then tourists here.
  • Holesovice (Holešovice) – Christmas market outside the city center, but with a lot of entertaining events.

Easter markets

The markets open up every year 3 weeks before the Easter Sunday and gain a great popularity from locals and tourists as well. They are open every day of the week. The most frequent are the largest squares: Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. Both have more than 100 stalls decorated with hand-painted Easter eggs, flowers, green tree branches.

Sellers in huts offer not only decorations, which symbolize the spring, but also the typical souvenirs and gifts hand crafted in Czech Republic: crystal and glass, jewelery, metal-ware and wooden toys.

Partying

Prague is known as one of the livest cities in Europe, because there are many possible ways to celebrate something (English stag parties are very popular!) or just partying without a reason.

Clubs

These are the most famous, most interesting places to go for a party in Prague. If you like dancing, drinking and other party staff you will definitely enjoy any of these:

Pubs & Bars

There is no clear line between clubs and bars in Prague. Many bars or pubs become clubs after the sun goes down. But famous facilities and known as bars are these:

  • Chateau – Jakubska street 2, Prague 1
  • Bombay – Dlouha 13, Prague 1
  • George & Dragon – Old Town sq. 11, Prague 1
  • La Casa Blu – Kozi street 15, Prague 1
  • PopoCafePetl – Ujezd 19, Prague 1
  • Rock Café – Narodni 20, Prague 1

Adrenaline sports

Fun in Prague agency can ensure you a great experience if you love adrenaline in your blood. Here are some of the things you can do in or close to Prague: Paintball, Range Shooting, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery, Rafting, Canoeing, Water Ski, Motor Boat, Buggies, Go-Karting, Quad Biking, Scooter Riding, Bobsleigh Track, Segway Riding, Horseback Riding, High Ropes – Jungle Creek, Sky Diving, Sight-Seeing balloon. You try one of these and you can be sure you never forget Prague. ;)

Escort services

Well, this doesn’t need any comment, here is where you can look for escort services in Prague:

Business

Sorry to say, but you are not lucky if you travel to Prague because of the business ;). Anyway, here is some info you should know:

Prague Congress Centre

The Prague Congress Centre is one of the largest and best equipped European centres. It offers space for the widest variety of events. The Centre has at its disposal 20 halls and 50 meeting rooms, with a capacity from 12 to 2764 persons. It’s located in Vysehrad district and on the metro station of the same name, so there is a good connection to the city centre.

Prague Business Directory

If you plan to start business in Prague or you look for a supplier, you might like this comprehensive business directory from Expats.cz.

What other cities to visit in Czech Republic

  • Brno – second largest city of Czech Republic, capital of Moravia
  • Ceske Budejovice (České Budějovice) – hostorical town in southern Moravia
  • Cesky Krumlov (Český Krumlov) – UNESCO town
  • Karlovy Vary – famous for its old spas
  • Kutna Hora (Kutná Hora) – beautiful town full of history
  • Marianske Lazne (Mariánské Lázně) – another world-known spa town
  • Telc (Telč) – small UNESCO town