Prague is a beautiful city. It might seem like a simple description but Prague doesn’t need too many adjectives to convince travelers to come and discover its stories. The city’s old charm echoes from every bridge, spire, and hilltop castle. Its heart continues to be the spectacular Old Town but you’ll also find an impressive plethora of luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, high-class boutiques, and contemporary entertainment.
History buffs will love to spend their days discovering the traces of Prague’s royal past, Renaissance movements, but also of the dark times spent under Nazi occupation and Soviet control. The city’s medieval squares and streets have survived wars and time and are still there to greet you.
So let’s start our journey on the streets of Bohemia’s capital and discover why Prague is such a beautiful place.
The romantic Malá Strana
Malá Strana (Lesser Town) is the most romantic district in the city. You’ll find it at the feet of the Hradčany hill below the castles. This part of Prague is a maze of medieval stories illustrated through beautiful buildings that date back to the times when craftsmen lived here. Today is the favorite spot for poets, musicians, and artists, so your walks on these cobbled streets will always be accompanied by jazz rhythms and the smell of fresh coffee coming from vintage cafes and hidden bars.
The imposing Karluv Most
It’s impossible to visit Prague and not cross the Karluv Most or, as we know it, Charles Bridge. This is probably the most famous structure in Prague, the perfect spot to admire Prague’s grandeur and take a thousand photographs. The construction started in 1357 to replace Judita Bridge. The bridge per se is not exactly special, but the beautiful statures added later by the Jesuits and the imposing gates offer the missing spectacular touch. A sunset stroll across the bridge over the often furious Vltava River is one of the most beautiful experiences you can enjoy in Prague.
The majestic Pražsky Hrad
Pražsky Hrad is the famous Prague Castle, a 70.000 square meter complex that dominates the city’s skyline and holds the record for the biggest ancient castle in the world. An immense structure perched on the ridge of the Hradčany, this castle is a town on its own. The moment you enter under the Battling Titan statues, you’ll feel overwhelmed and fascinated with its grandeur. It has three courtyards, numerous fortifications, and enchanting gardens. Since there are dozens of state apartments, galleries, and churches to discover, you’ll need more than just one day to visit the entire castle.
However, there is one church that stands out in this crowd of architectural landmarks! The Cathedral of St Vitus will simply take your breath away due to its majestic appearance. It took no less than 600 years to finish this architectural masterpiece and you’ll instantly see that it was worth the secular wait. Also here, you’ll find the Old Royal Palace, the former residence of Bohemian kings, and the quaint Golden Lane.
The bohemian Staré Mĕsto
The Old Town of Prague is the most crowded district of the city. A bohemian destination with medieval walls, elegant restaurants and summer terraces, the Old Town Square is the epicenter of all that’s touristy in Prague. In December, this square becomes the scene of one of the most beautiful and visited Christmas markets in Europe.
For a spectacular view of the Old Town all the way to Prague Castle, visit the Old Town Hall Tower. For a unique show, stand in front of the 600-year-old Astronomical Clock when the clock strikes the exact hour to witness the arrival of the Apostles. The Old Town also houses the Church of Our Lady before Týn, a superb example of Gothic architecture where you can find the tomb of the astronomer Tycho Brahe.
The not-so-new New Town
Once a horse market, Václavské Námĕsti (Wenceslas Square) is now a long boulevard with fashionable stores, arcades, and winding passages. In 1989, it was the focal point for the demonstrations that led to the Velvet Revolution, and today reminds visitors of the communist era. However, the square is also home to beautiful Art Deco structures and architectural styles from the last 150 years.
Obecní Dùm or the Municipal House has been fully restored and is now a beautiful Art Nouveau building, home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Here you’ll also find a restaurant, a café, and the Amerikanský bar.
The fascinating Jewish Quarter
The area north of the Old Town Square was once the Jewish Ghetto. You can still find traces of the Jewish community that lived here, all gathered under the name of the Jewish Museum. A ticket to the Jewish Museum includes access to six different historical sites – the Klausen Synagogue, the Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, the Ceremonial Hall, and the Old Jewish Cemetery. If you don’t have time to visit all of them, do visit at least the beautiful Spanish Synagogue and the Old Jewish Cemetery, the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe with gravestones dating back to the 15th century. And buy a ticket for the Old-New Synagogue too, the oldest synagogue in Europe and the oldest synagogue still open outside Israel. Prague is a city steeped in history, rich in architectural gems and beautiful landmarks. It’s also a city where the beer is amazing, the food is hearty, and the prices are still affordable. So, no one returns disappointed from a trip to Prague!
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