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Prague - the capital of the Czech Republic, also called the Mother of Cities (Praga Caput Regni) is one of the most beautiful and oldest cities in Europe. The Vltava River, which owes its name to the ancient Celts who lived here before our era, flows here. Today, over 1,300,000 inhabitants live here. Before Covid, around 8 million tourists visited this popular destination annually.
Transport - foreign tourists can get here either by plane to Václav Havel International Airport (PRG) or by train - the connection with the surrounding countries is fast and convenient. People also come here from neighboring states by bus or car.
I recommend traveling around the city by public transport - the same ticket you can use for bus, metro, tram and suburban trains. By public transport you can usually get everywhere faster than by car.
You can order a cheap transfer, for example, "here".
Where to stay - if you want to walk through the historical center and not be delayed by commuting, I recommend staying in Prague 1.
If you like to be "on the top", you can stay on the hill in Hradčany, from where you will have beautiful views. But basically the whole of Prague is easily accessible by public transport, so you can stay outside the center in cheaper accommodation, for example in Prague 6, from where you can be in the center within a quarter of an hour. Vinohrady, where vine was grown in the past, is also a pleasant place to stay near the center.
What to visit in Prague
- Old Town Square - it is the "most square" - the most famous, the most beautiful, the oldest,... and it also has the Astronomical Clock "Orloj" on the Old Town Hall Tower, which shows 3 different times - our classic (does not change to summer time), Old Bohemian and Babylonian... and many others data. The oldest house on the square is the House By the Stone Bell, where Charles IV once lived when he was repairing Prague Castle. A new feature is the restored Marian column. If you want to view the square from above, you can go up to the tower of the Old Town Hall (basic entrance fee is 250,- and reduced 150,-). It's worth to come here in the morning because there are note that many visitors and you get 50% discount in the first hour after opening.
- Prague Castle – the seat of Czech kings, later presidents, the largest castle complex in the world. The gardens are open from spring to autumn - the southern ones have amazing views of the city. Either you can visit the Castle for free (which includes the exteriors and part of the Cathedral of St. Vitus) or you can buy a ticket for 10 EUR and walk through the entire Cathedral, visit the Old royal palace, St. George's Basilica or Golden Lane. For an additional fee, you can also climb up the tower of the Cathedral. If you only get to the Castle in the evening, take advantage of the free entry to Zlatá Ulička the last hour before closing time.
- Charles Bridge – the oldest bridge in Prague, built by Charles IV in the 14th century. Originally there were no statues on the bridge, just a large cross. Today we can admire 30 statues of saints here, which come mainly from the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. The most famous is the single bronze statue representing St. John of Nepomuk. Passers-by touch it and make wishes... There are beautiful views from the magnificent Gothic Old Town Tower. On the other side of the bridge there are 2 towers - the smaller one comes from the Judith bridge and was built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style. Almost every visitor to Prague crosses the Charles Bridge. A historical gem - imagine that until 1908, trams ran along the Charles Bridge.
- Clementinum – when you cross the Charles Bridge towards the Old Town, you will see the majestic Clementinum complex (the 2nd largest complex in Prague) in front of you. Clementinum was founded by the Jesuits, and when their order was later abolished, the library was housed here. Today there is a National Library in Clementin. Here you can take a guided tour of the Baroque Circle, where you can visit not only the historical library, but also the beautiful tower, which was important for meteorology. Today you can come to local churches and chapels to listen to concerts of classical music. It is very cold in the churches in winter, but for example in the Church of the Holy Salvator they have heated seats for winter concerts.
- Strahov Monastery – a Premonstratensian monastery founded in the middle of the 12th century was destroyed several times (by fire, Hussites, Swedes), but always repaired again. Today it is the seat of the National Literature Memorial. Tourists come here to see the historical library - Theological and Philosophical Hall. Gourmets come here for the specialties of the local brewery. They brew 3 classic beers plus 3 seasonal specials - I tried the mango special in the summer and it wasn't bad :) There are as well amazing views of Prague.
- Vyšehrad – former residence of Czech kings, full of myths. Today, the rock on the right bank of the Vltava river is dominated by the Basilica of St. Peter and Paul. In Vyšehrad, you can visit Slavín, where famous personalities are buried, or walk through the casemates with Gorlica. Or you can just take a walk in a pleasant park with beautiful views. You can take the metro to the Vyšehrad stop and walk back down towards the river and see, for example, the well-known Cubist-style villas.
Active tourism - for the most active, a marathon is held in Prague every May - after the starting shot, the well-known composition Vltava by Bedřich Smetana will be played and more than ten thousand runners will set out on the course through the historic center of Prague and along the Vltava river. Other sport events are various half-marathons, runs, tennis tournaments in Štvanice island etc. In winter locals and tourists can skate on one of the prepared ice rinks, the biggest one is ususlly in Letná park.
Personal experience - thanks to the fact that the Castle is on a hill, Prague is beautifully panoramic. You have wonderful views from almost anywhere – either of the city or of Prague Castle. My favorite views are – of the city from the South Gardens of Prague Castle and of the Castle from the Old Town side of the Charles Bridge. Fortunately, unlike many metropolises, Prague is a safe city. You can walk through the center alone at night and nothing will happen to you. For many tourists Prague is the most beautiful city in Europe.