Visit Prague, the Golden City - A Fairy Tale

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Prague Old Town Square By Night
Prague's Old Town Square, Source: Flickr, "Jelle Druyts"
Prague, also known as Golden Prague or The City of Hundred Spires, is the capital and the largest city in the Czech Republic with a population of more than 1.300.000 people. The city is stretched across 7 hills and built along the banks of the Vltava river. Since the Middle Age Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The inspiring Vltava river with numerous bridges, a perfect combination of Baroque and Gothic architecture, colourful facades with gold decorations. Those are a few reasons of its beauty and attractiveness. The fact that neither Napoleon nor Hitler didn’t allow their army to attack and destroy the city is another proof of Prague’s unique beauty and charm and since 1992 Prague is included in the UNESCO list of World History Heritage Sites. Walking down the streets of Prague is actually like walking in an open air museum where every corner, stone or building tells you a story about the past.

It's easy to get around - enjoy walking!

Historic Tramcar in Prague
Historic Tramcar, Source: Flickr, "Michael Bauer"
Getting around in Prague is easy and the public transportation system is extremely effective and well developed. A hot tip is to buy a period ticket when you arrive at the airport, as it will get you anywhere with trams, buses or by the subway. Getting from the airport to downtown can be a bit of a hassle by public transportation if you are carrying a lot of luggage, and might be a time where you should consider catching a cab. Everywhere else, trust the public transportation system, it also runs during the night. If you at any time should prefer taking a taxi, remember that not all taxi drivers can be trusted in Prague (not even with a meter). AAA is the most trustworthy company, so look for their name on the taxis. The best way of exploring Prague though is definitely using your legs…

A lot of history to see and discover

Depending on your time and on your expectations from the trip, you can choose one of these parts of Prague: Old Town, Lesser Quarter or the area around Prague Castle are most desirable. These main districts of Prague's city centre lie next to each other and thus are easy to reach. The big advantage of Prague is that everything the city has to offer is just one step away from you. Ujez and New town are only a few minutes walk from the centre of Prague. Smichov, Djevice or Vinohrady are just 10-15 minutes far away from Old Town, so you can get there easily by public transport. Prague is a safe town, you can walk around freely and that is the best way to familiarize with the city. Print out this city map before you go. It covers all of the most popular spots can help you to discover what Prague has to offer and may help you to organize your trip.

Where to start your trip?

Best place to start your tour is Old Town Square (shown on top) and to admire the Astronomical clock, symbol of Prague. This unique clock was installed in 1410. and represents date, position of sun, moon, other planets and the signs of the zodiac. There are many legends about this clock. One of them is about the clock maker who was made blind, so that he could not repeat his work. Every hour is marked with the figures of the 12 apostles the and figure of ''death'' start their show! The ''Walk of the Apostles'' is a unique experience and you can enjoy it for free!
Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge, Source: Flickr, "Gennie Stafford"
Old Town and Hradcany - the Castle District, are connected with oldest bridge on Vltava: Charles Bridge which is another symbol of Prague, always full of tourists, artists, painters, musicians and sellers, so take time for an easy walk across this 515m long bridge and enjoy a wonderful view of Vltava and Prague. There are 30 statues of religious figures. The most famous St. John Nepomuk, also known as ''good luck'' statue. Touching it, according to the legend, will assure you happiness and return to Prague. All statues are copies of original which are now in National Museum, but that didn't refrain tourists from touching it and believe in this story. Walking over the Charles Bridge will take you in the Castle District.

Famous Prague Castle with its surroundings occupies 7,28 ha and is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records. In the past it was a royal palace and is now the residence of the President of the Czech Republic. This complex of palaces, gardens, churches... is something you must see and you will be fascinated with its beauty and luxury! It includes the biggest church of the country, St.Vitus Chathedral, as an example of Gothic architecture with its 96,5m high main tower. Close to it there is the Chapel of St.Wenceslas, where relics of the saint are kept, decorated with many semi-precious stones and paintings (It's not open to the public, but it's worth seeing small part from the doorways from the outside!).

Another part of the complex is Belvedere, or Royal Summer Palace, where you can listen to a unique concert which is played by water in the 'Singing Fountain', the Castle Picture Gallery offers paintings of Rubens, Veronese, Titian and many other famous painters. Loreta will astound you with the beauty of a baroque church and a tower with 30 bells, but the main attraction is ''Prague Sun'', an object made of gold-plated silver and decorated by 6222 diamonds.

After your sightseeing trip to all those gorgeous buildings you should go to see the smallest street in Prague – Golden Lane, with several colourful, small houses from XVI century, where alchemists used to live and tried to turn metal into gold. Now, all this houses are souvenir shops or book shops, including the famous one at number 22, where Franz Kafka once lived. It's might be the right place to buy something that will remind you of Golden Prague.

Cesky Krumlov IMG_1116
Cesky Trdelnik, Flickr, "Ana Paula Hirama"
If you get tired of discovering Prague, take a rest in some part far away from the tourist crowd. On those places you can find many restaurants with local specialities, usually prepared with dumplings, cabbage, different types of meat or well-known sausages and for a dessert take the traditional ''trdelnik''. For drinking - famous Czech beer is obligatory! Many bars will offer you different types of beers and all of them are very tasteful. Beer has been the symbol of Prague for more than 500 years!

Why to go and visit

This town, during the hundreds of years, was an inspiration for musicians, painters, writers and many other people. If you would like to get lost in the labyrinth of the past and feeling like being in a fairy tale, this should for sure be your next destination!

Find a hotel in Prague directly or enjoy browsing through all available hotels.

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