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Prague, Czech Republic » City Info

Prague (Praha in Czech) is a city set amidst Gothic and Romanesque spires & towers and all sorts of baroque architecture. This city of a hundred spires is rife with history and culture. Many have fallen in love with this fairy tale city and made it their second home. Prague has plenty of hidden gems for the visitor to discover amongst its many winding streets, alleys and squares. It's a city full of wonder and one that the more adventurous traveller will definitely appreciate…

Top 10 Prague Landmarks

  

Prague Castle ( Visit Site )

Prague Castle is perhaps the most easily recognised historical structure of Prague. The Castle is what gives Prague its fairy tale image. It also boasts of being the largest and best preserved castle in the world. The Crown Jewels are stored in the castle and it also forms the seat of the Czech government. The Gothic spires, baroque architecture and large gardens seem like pictures come alive from a fairy tale. Today the castle houses several museums.

Charles Bridge ( Wikipedia )

The Charles Bridge crossing the Vltava River is a famous sight in Prague. The bridge connects the Prague Castle and the Old Town. Adorned with beautiful baroque statues and statuaries on both sides, it is a pleasing sight to behold. During the daytime, it is filled with tourists, street artists, musicians and vendors. At night, it magically transforms into a serene and lonely bridge, perfect for a romantic, moonlight walk.

Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock ( Wikipedia )

The astronomical clock at the Old Town Square is the oldest functioning clock in the world today. To truly appreciate the splendour of this clock, view the procession of the twelve apostles that takes place after every hour. Christ is followed by his disciples while the death bell tolls the statue of a Turk. The Old Town Square also houses the St. Nicholas Church, Tyn Cathedral and the Old Town Hall. The views from the Old Town Hall are spectacular and present Prague, in all its glory.

  

Petrin Tower ( Visit Site )

The Petrin Tower draws inspiration from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The tower, set atop the Petrin Hill, was built in 1891 for the Jubilee exhibition. You can reach the Petrin Tower by a funicular railway, passing through beautiful views. There is an observatory at the tower from where you can view the world down below with lush landscaped gardens. The hall of mirrors is also popular among tourists.

  

Church of Our Lady Victorious and Holy Infant of Prague ( Wikipedia )

The wax statue of the Holy infant Jesus of Prague, housed in the Church of Our Lady Victorious, is definitely worth a visit, regardless of your faith. It is a holy pilgrimage sight where thousands of visitors come every year to pay homage to the statue of Infant Jesus. There are many legends associated with this statue. It is said to have saved Prague from the ravages of war. Many believe the statue holds magical powers, particularly for would-be mothers. The altar where Infant Jesus rests is also adorned with other figures made from gold and silver.

  

Josefov ( Wikipedia )

Josefov or the Jewish quarter is left of the Jewish ghetto from the 13th century. Most of the ghetto was destroyed in the 19th century. At the Jewish quarter you can visit the Spanish synagogue, Klaus synagogue, Maisel synagogue, Pinkas synagogue, Old New synagogue and the Jewish Town Hall. Perhaps, the most significant and moving sight in Josefov is the Jewish cemetery. As the space for burying the dead began to be scarce, there were burials on top of the existing bodies.

  

Dancing House ( Wikipedia )

The Dancing House stands apart from the baroque, art nouveau and renaissance buildings in Prague. The structure itself resembles a pair of dancers and is located on the riverfront of the Vltava River. It is also known as Fred & Ginger house after the famous dancers or as the Drunk House. A French restaurant at the top of the building offers beautiful views of Prague.

Wenceslas Square ( Wikipedia )

The Wenceslas Square is a huge famous boulevard and is named after the patron saint of Prague, 'St Wenceslas'. It is lined with cafes, restaurants, shops and hotels. The Wenceslas Square is actually more of a lengthy boulevard than an actual square. It also forms the nucleus for the happening nightlife of Prague. Wenceslas Square conflates with the old and new. It has also been a witness to the many historic events of Prague.

  

Vysehrad Castle ( Wikipedia )

The Vysehrad Castle is perched on a hill above the Vltava River. This castle is known as the birthplace of Prague. It was here that Princess Libuse foresaw the vision of Prague. Here, you can visit the originals of several baroque statues from Charles Bridge. The St Martin's Rotunda, though not open to public, is well worth a glance. The National cemetery at the castle is home to famous personalities of Prague, such as Alfons Mucha, Jan Neruda and Bedrich Smetana.

  

Loreta ( Wikipedia )

Loreta forms one of the many pilgrimage attractions in Prague. The Loreta was built with the intention of replicating the original home of the Virgin Mary, 'Santa Casa'. It was founded in the year 1626, by Katerina Lobkowicz. The star attraction of the building is obviously the Santa Casa. It is nestled at the centre of the building. A beautiful red altar, adorned with intricate silver works and relief panels on the walls, make a splendid greeting sight. The Bell Tower, Church of the Nativity of our Lord, Arcade and the Treasury are well worth visiting.

Top 5 Bars

  

Aloha Wave Lounge ( Visit Site ) ( Visit Page )

Aloha Wave Lounge is a Hawaiian cocktail bar offering a varied choice of drinks and food. Recorded and live music make up for a happening atmosphere. The bar has an eclectic crowd with good vibes.

  

Bugsy's Cocktail Bar ( Visit Site )

Bugsy's boasts a menu of more than 200 cocktails to choose from! What's more, is that the bar staff knows how to mix them right. This bar attracts older guys in suits, hustlers and rich tycoons.

  

Buddha Bar ( Visit Site )

Buddha bar offers a splendid ambience with a huge Buddha statue overlooking the entire scene. The wine list offers the best of Czech wines with some quality French wine thrown in. DJs put on their best musical hats and fill the night with energy and atmosphere.

  

M1 Secret Lounge ( Visit Site )

This lounge attracts many veterans of the film industry. For just sipping a drink, come in the early hours. It is a wild place in the late hours of the night. The original metal artwork does its best to set the scene.

  

Le Terroir ( Visit Site )

Le Terroir boasts of an impressive wine list with strong emphasis on French and Spanish labels. It has evolved a lot since its humble opening as a small wine bar.

Top 10 Activities

Beer & Breweries

No Prague holiday is complete without relishing the Czech beer. The Czech people take pride in the quality of beer and consider their beer as the best in the world. In the Czech Republic, beer is more than just a drink; it is a culture down here. With a pint of this frothy golden brown liquid down your throat, you'll be fortified to experience many treasures of Prague. To get some of the best beer experiences, visit Prague Beer Museum, Pilsner Urquell Brewery, U Fleku Beer Hall and Tankovna where the beer is tanked up and fresh enough not to be pasteurised.

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River cruise

Cruising along the Vltava River in Prague is an experience not to be missed. There are many day as well as night cruises available offering sumptuous lunches or dinners accordingly. You might opt for a day cruise and enjoy the serenity of the river in broad daylight while feeding the many swans that grace the river. Alternatively, you can cruise the river under a starlit sky, while the night holds many mysteries to be unravelled.

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Prague Theatre ( Wikipedia )

Theatre is a live and kicking art form in Prague. The Czech National Theatre, Estates Theatre and National Marionette theatre do their best to keep this form pulsating with life. This is a city which saw the premiere act of 'Don Giovanni' by Mozart. It comes as no surprise then that theatre in Prague, which is still throbbing with life. Black theatre is a popular form that has evolved over the years. Marionettes are traditional Czech puppets that have had many faces over the years. There is no dearth of choice to view plays for both, children and adults in Prague.

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Nostalgic tram no. 91 ( Wikipedia ) ( Visit Site )

Climb aboard this vintage ride and delve into the days of a bygone era. The tram cars date back to years from 1908 to 1924. The ride is through a special route that cruises along Wenceslas Square, National Theatre, Prague Castle and ends at Vystaviste. This vintage ride can be boarded at any of the stops and tickets can be purchased on board. A point to note is that ordinary passes and public transport tickets do not apply for this line.

  

Opera & Concerts ( Visit Site )

Prague boasts of some of the best opera houses in Europe. There are always ballets, opera presentations and classical concerts happening in the city at any time of the year. You can catch some amazing performances at any of the opera houses in Prague.

Bungee jumping ( Visit Site )

Prague is not only about cobbled pathways and baroque architecture. It has its adrenaline thrill as well. The Zvikovske Podhradí Bridge hangs high over the Vltava valley. For an adventurous experience, you can bungee jump from this bridge from the months of June to September.

Petrin Funicular railway ( Wikipedia )

The Petrin Funicular railway began its journey in the year 1891. Today it is fitted with contemporary coaches that climb up the Petrin hill on a 510 metre track. This rail saves visitors an exhausting climb up the hill while allowing passengers to admire the pleasant views that passes by and unloads its cargo at the Petrin Lookout Tower. The train runs every 10 minutes or 15 minutes from November to March.

Folklore entertainment with fine dining

Grace a Czech folklore dinner party hosted at many of the restaurants in Prague. It promises a night, filled with music and live folk dances. Sumptuous delicacies at the dinner table make the evening highly entertaining. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the show or join in the fun. The free flowing beer or other beverages do their best to complement the evening.

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Segway tours

Climb aboard this unique human transporter to explore all the crooks and corners of Prague. You'll cover a far larger ground while also explore Prague in an eco-friendly way. Segways are the perfect fit to roll down the cobbled streets of Prague and further explore the little gems that you find in your path.

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Shopping ( Visit Site )

Prague has an old world charm with old bookshops and antiques, souvenir shops scattered across the city. The Czech crystal works are the pieces of art and something beautiful to take home and remember this stunning city. Flea markets, held mostly on weekends, will reveal all the charms and eccentricities of Prague. Along with the charms of the old, many renowned and upcoming international brands can also be found in the city.

Top Prague FAQ's

Q.1) How is the Prague weather and when are the best times to visit Prague?

Ans:Prague is known for its intensely cold winters and equally hot summers. The weather between seasons varies vastly. In spring and autumn, the weather is uncertain however these seasons do enjoy long spells of pleasant weather. The spring weather brings in warm and sunny days but is mingled with heavy rains. Autumn also brings fine weather but can be a bit cool. Average temperatures from June to July are 30°C (86°F) while the temperatures from December to January are about -5°C (23°F).

Q.2) What is the tipping etiquette in Prague?

Ans: Tipping is generally relaxed in Prague with the bill rounded up to the next Czech crown. For example if your bill is 64 CZK it is rounded off to 70 CZK. Tipping is not customary in Prague but is much appreciated. Generally a 5% or 10% tip is given depending on customer satisfaction.

Q.3) What is the cheapest way to visit Prague attractions especially when staying in Prague for a longer period?

Ans: There are many attractions in Prague that claim for your attention. Buying tickets for these attractions as you go can be time consuming and exhausting. The better option is to buy a 'Prague card' which gives you free entry in over 50 attractions of Prague. The card is valid for 4 days from its date of issuance and is non-transferable. The Prague card can be purchased online.

Q.4) What are the best ways to exchange money in Prague?

Ans: Money can be exchanged in Prague at the airport, hotels, ATM centres and banks. The commission rates for the exchange are rather high in the city. Banks usually charge a 2% commission. It is much cheaper and wiser to exchange money from ATM centres as they all accept UK issued credit or debit cards. Be wary of strangers from the street willing to offer you exchange currency. It is highly likely that these will be counterfeit notes. Xchange on the corner of Kaprova and Maiselova Streets will get you the best rate for exchange.

Q.5) What type of clothes should I carry to my trip on Prague?

Ans: Prague weather is highly unpredictable. Shirts, shorts, skirts and dresses are the best clothes for fine days in spring, summer and autumn. Sun hats, sunglasses and sunscreens are necessary. Even if you are visiting in winter, carry a jumper, umbrella or a waterproof jacket in the likelihood of a heavy shower. Waterproof shoes or boots and a warm coat will nicely get you through the winter. You will need a pair of comfortable walking shoes to explore the many charms of the city on foot. The dress code is casual and relaxed in the city. Dressing for theatre is customary however this is no longer applied strictly. To go to an opera or a concert, dress in formals.

Q.6) What are the visa requirements for travelling to Prague?

Ans: EU and EEA countries do not require a visa to travel to Prague. Travellers from UK can stay for 180 days maximum, while travellers from Singapore can stay up to 30 days without a visa. Nationals of all other countries require a visa to visit Prague. For more details please visit our visa requirements page.

Q.7) Where are the tourist information centres in Prague?

Ans: There are five tourist information centres in Prague. These centres can be found in Prague at-

  1. Old Town Square (the Old Town Hall)
  2. The Main Railway Station lobby
  3. Lesser Town Bridge Tower (summer season only)
  4. Rytirska Street 31
  5. Prague Airport

Q.8) Is Prague a safe city?

Ans: Prague is a very safe city with almost no violent crimes. Petty thefts, pick pocketing and car thefts do happen in the city though. Do not leave your bags unattended in public areas such as popular tourist spots, trams and metros. Avoid taking late night walks in unlit areas. Do not leave your handbags hanging from a chair in restaurants or other public places. Some problems that tourist may encounter are extra charges on your bill by the waiter, high fares by the taxi driver by adjusting his meter, hotels charging high rates by their contracted taxi and even commission charges up to 10% by exchange offices in the city. Tourists may be the targets of prostitutes in the late night around Wenceslas Square. To lodge any complaints contact the Czech Retail Inspection Office. With all things said, Prague is really a safe city with a low crime incidence. However, as in any popular tourist spot, you need to be wary to avoid getting ripped off.

Q.9) What is the electricity voltage in Prague?

Ans: As in other European cities, the voltage is 220 Volts. Electrical sockets have standard two pin plugs. Travellers from non EU countries, UK and North America will need to bring along adapters. Alternatively, they can buy these at the airport or from Tesco on arrival.

Q.10) Where can I get internet access in Prague?

Ans: Prague is a well connected city and internet is readily available in the city. Many hotels and apartments offer free wired or Wi-Fi internet access. Many bars and cafes also have Wi-Fi internet access. Additionally there are many internet cafes scattered throughout the city.

Getting Around in Prague

This is a city jewelled with cobbled pathways and charming lanes. This city encourages you to take walks and revel in the beauty of the city. The historical city centre of the city is best explored on foot. However, there are also some far flung attractions that are impossible to visit without a means of transport. Fortunately, Prague has a well developed and efficient infrastructure for transport. Public transport is effective, frequent and safe. Even late at night, public transport is used by the young and old alike. Metro, trams and buses run smoothly and are used by most of the population over private transport. Prague boasts of having one of the best transport systems in Europe.

Trams, Metro & Buses

Prague has 3 subway lines as well as various bus and tram lines. The metro runs from early morning till midnight. The bus and tram schedules are posted at the stops. Buses and trams start early and end late by connecting to the metro. Tickets can be obtained from ticket machines, bus drivers, tobacco shops, convenience stores, conductors of EC/IC trains and Prague Public Transit Offices. Various types of tickets are available at these transit offices. Tickets need to be verified immediately after boarding by slipping it in the yellow boxes on the train or bus. A fine is liable for an unstamped ticket. Be warned of 'impostor ticket inspectors'.

Late night transport in Prague is safe and extensive. The frequency of night trams is every 30 minutes. All night trams go through the stop at Lazarska in the centre of Prague. It is considered good etiquette in Prague to give way to the disabled, elderly and pregnant women. Public transport buses do not enter the historic region of Prague. This is a measure taken to avoid air and noise pollution in the historic district. An electric tram or metro is the best option to reach the historical sights of the city.

Buying a tourist pass enables you to travel through any mode of public transport for a specified number of days. This pass also allows you to travel as many times as you wish through mass transit within the specified number of days. Most of the Prague metro stations offer wheelchair access. Most train stations have a self operating lift.

Taxis

As in any other tourist city, taxis tend to be overpriced. Taxi drivers are renowned for over charging susceptible tourists. Many hotels offer taxi services. However, they may charge you 50 percent more than is the normal price. There are also hotel taxis that offer transportation at reasonable rates. To be on the safer side it is better to avail services of chauffeured company services like Prague Airport Transfer.

Car Rental

There are many reputed, trusted and reliable car hire companies in Prague. They offer you the pleasure of soaking in the culture of Prague at your own pace and time. Moreover, there are many options to choose from according to your ease, preference, requirement and budget.

Boat

Many poets and artists have made their creations inspired by the beauty of the Vlatava River. Cruising through the Vlatava River has its moments and is an experience not to be missed. There are many cruise companies offering enticing cruises over the Vlatava River. There are also small ferries carrying passenger loads across the river that are integrated to the Prague Public Transport System.

Fun Rides

Apart from the usual transportation, there are also fun rides in Prague that offer a thrilling experience. The Funicular Railway that runs up the Petrin Hill amidst beautiful landscapes is one such fun ride. The Nostalgic tram no. 91 is another such fun journey offering you a vintage ride and forays into the past. The chairlift at the Prague Zoo is a thrilling ride for the adventurous.

Communication in Prague

Prague is a very well connected city with well developed and fast paced technology. Postal, telephone, internet, courier, radio, television and newspaper are an integral part of the city.

English Media

Most foreign national newspapers can be purchased at newsstands in the city centre. The Frankfurter Allgemeine, The Guardian, Le Monde, USA Today International, The International Herald Tribune and other prominent newspapers of the current day can be easily found here. The National Geographic, Time, Figaro and Newsweek magazines can also be purchased here. The Prague Post is the weekly newspaper run by expatriates. CT1 and CT2 are the two channels run by the government. Nova and Prima are private channels. Satellite or cable television is available in most of the hotels and apartments.

Internet

Many hotels and cafes offer free internet access on wireless or on shared computers. Additionally, there are internet cafes scattered throughout the city. All McDonald and KFC outlets offer free WiFi access to their customers.

Post office

The post is quite reliable is Prague. The main post office is located near Wenceslas Square and is open for 24 hours. Many hotels also sell postcards and stamps. Postcards usually take a week to reach an overseas destination.

Phones

Payphones can be found everywhere in the city centre near the main metro station. They accept either coins or phone cards. Phone cards can be purchased from newsagents and post offices. The international code for the Czech Republic is 420. The prominent mobile operators in Prague are Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile and Telefonica.

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