“I have never seen anything as fantastic as this. It is an amazing city – as if from another century, from another world,” Lou Reed, American singer and photographer, once wrote about Prague. There is only one thing to do – try it out!
Just a perfect day in Prague. Experience the sunrise over the city with 500 spires and hundreds of small and tiny ones which no one can ever count. Breathe in history when looking at Prague Castle, the Vltava river, Charles Bridge and the Lesser Town.
You simply have to go to Petřín hill. Czechs believe that if you kiss your loved one there under a blooming tree on May 1st, you will be happy together for the entire year. And, if the kiss happens near Karel Hynek Mácha’s statue, your happiness will grow even stronger.
Purchase tickets for a classical music concert, such as Prague Spring, Dvořák’s Prague Festival held in autumn or just pop in to one of the churches offering organ concerts on a regular basis.
Taste the local cuisine. There are three Michelin Star awarded restaurants in Prague. Alternatively, go to one of the small pubs in the city centre and order a pork knee enjoyed by the locals or beef sirloin with creamy-vegetable sauce. Are you vegetarian? Then opt for fruit dumplings, unmatched anywhere in the world.
You have to taste the local beer and go clubbing. The experience is unforgettable. Do not forget to visit the tiniest street where traffic is directed by traffic lights.
Turn the oldest Prague café, Slavia, into a meeting room. You can marvel over the Prague Castle view from a place established in 1884, the traditional intellectual hang-out, frequented by composers, such as Bedřich Smetana, and dissidents, such as the first post-Velvet Revolution Czechoslovak President, Václav Havel.
You cannot skip a trip to the 7th best ZOO in the World as voted by TripAdvisor users, the best experts in the field. Right next door, there is a Botanical Garden with the historical St. Clare’s vineyard dating back to the 13th century, where you can enjoy a picnic seated on the grass. If your children are more technically orientated, there are unique digital programmes at the Prague Planetarium, projected on a cupola or the Technical Museum. In spring, take your children to the traditional Matěj fun Fair where they can enjoy rollercoaster rides or try to shoot a paper rose. For boys, there is a go-kart track, while girls may enjoy a doll museum.
With a Girl-Friend
Go shopping to little Paris, as Paris Street is called. All the world’s luxury brands are represented there and, as a bonus, the best of the Czech and national scene can be seen there in a flash. You can meet Hollywood stars visiting Prague to work, as such film treasures as Amadeus, Harry Potter and Mission Impossible were shot in Prague.
Or mix it all together. It does not actually matter who you come to Prague with. You will always enjoy a Perfect Day here!
Prague, a place formed over centuries, will win over your heart within minutes and keep its special place there forever.
The first settlement, B.C.E., was Celtic, then Slavic. In the 9th century A.D., the place was already a flourishing establishment with a market which attracted merchants from all over Europe.
Prague features two castle complexes: Vyšehrad and Prague Castle. According to legend, Vyšehrad was the first seat of Czech kings. All that is left today is the fortifications, a church, vineyards and a large park. But it is here where the locals spend their free time.
Nowadays, Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world. Its origin dates back to the 9th century when it became the seat of Czech kings. Today, it is the seat of the President. Every hour, castle guards change posts in front of the castle gates. At noon, the ceremony is performed to the sound of a fanfare.
The Roman Basilica of St. George is one of the oldest preserved buildings of the Castle, while St. Vitus’ Cathedral is undoubtedly the dominant of the entire Castle complex and of the city of Prague. Its construction started in the first half of the 14th century and it is the last resting place of Czech rulers.
Only a few steps from the Cathedral, you can walk through the picturesque Golden Lane from the 6th century, where houses sizes of 3 by 2 metres are not an exception.
There are many palaces, monasteries and churches in the surrounding Castle areas, commonly called Hradčany, primarily from the Baroque and Renaissance eras.
The Lesser Town quarter from the 13th century is on the Castle footsteps. The place practically has not changed since the 18th century, when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived there. It is still frequented by pilgrims coming to pay their respects to the Infant Jesus of Prague, while tourists head to the many palaces and cute tiny pubs of the quarters. It is also the seat of the Czech Parliament and many embassies.
Charles Bridge from the 14th century is 520m long. Until 1841, it was the only bridge in Prague which could be used to cross the Vltava river. You can see a great deal of history from this place. A wooden mill-wheel, the National Theatre and the Petřín lookout tower.
The Old Town square is the centre of both historical and contemporary action. Franz Kafka lived there in one of the Gothic buildings. The Church of Our Lady before Týn houses the tomb of Tycho Brahe, astronomer, who lived and worked in Prague for Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor of the House of Habsburg. There is also City Hall with the Astronomical Clock from the 15th century in the square. Every hour, the clock tells the time and a time theatre is performed over the heads of the present spectators. Only a few metres away, you can visit an old Jewish cemetery and synagogues.
Follow the path of the Kings as their coronation parades did, including the most famous, that of Maria Theresa.
Experience the energy of the Wenceslas Square, where Czech national history played out. It is the place where Jan Palach burned himself to death to protest against the occupation of the Warsaw Pact Armies, the place where demonstrations against feudalism, capitalism and communism took place, overlooked by the neo Renaissance palace of the National Museum.
Do you prefer Secession and Alphonse Mucha or Cubism? Is modern art your preferred genre? No problem. But you will need more time than just a short walk to experience the history and culture of Prague.
Modern or rather classical style? Prague hosts famous interpreters from all over the world. Everyone can find their favourite genre there.
Since 1946, every spring the Prague Spring Festival has been hosted in Prague. Since 1952, it is traditionally opened with Bedřich Smetana’s My Country, a cycle of symphonic poems, and closed with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Ode to Joy.
Leonard Bernstein, Sir Adrian Boult, John Eliot Gardiner, Rafael Kubelík, Moura Lympany and Nigel Kennedy have all performed on the Prague Spring stages over the years.
The Festival traditionally takes place from 12 May to 4 June.
Autumn commemorates another famous Czech, Antonín Dvořák with Dvořák’s Prague Festival.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, another iconic figure of classical music is also connected with Prague. During his lifetime, he lived in Prague on and off and presented several of his operas there, for example the world premiere of Don Giovanni.
If you wish to enjoy opera, ballet or a play, go to the National Theatre. All year round, you can enjoy organ concerts in one of the local churches. There are also several dozen theatres in Prague where you can watch performances of both classical and alternative scenes. Local Laterna Magika (a combination of theatre and film), Black Light Theatre and Puppet Shows are world famous.
Prague has become a regular stop of world tours of rock and pop stars, such as AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Brian Adams, to name but a few.
There is also a number of galleries in Prague, both national and private, featuring works of such artists as Rembrandt, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Renoir, Klimt, Rousseau, Picasso and Mucha.
Do you regularly shop in Milan, Paris, London and New York? It is about time you added Prague to your list of shopping places. Virtually all luxurious brands and renowned fashion designers are represented in the city centre, namely Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Cartier, Tiffany and more. Just stroll down Pařížská street, off the Old Town square.
Are you curious about Czech design? Would you like to take home an original piece designed locally? Then you need to walk down the tiny lanes of the Old Town close to Pařížská street. A centre of boutique shops of Czech designers emerged around Dlouhá street, featuring both Avant-garde and Czech Haute Couture. The shops offer pieces by famous Czech designers presented at world fashion shows. Czechs have their fingers on the pulse of fashion and design. Perhaps that is why many fashion models come from the Czech Republic.
Would you like to enjoy a concentrated form of Czech fashion? Then you have to visit the Prague Fashion Week. Prague has the ambition to become one of famous fashion world centres.
There are also large shopping centres in the centre of Prague. Palladium is one of them, located on Republic square. You can reach it by walking across the Pedestrian Zone and the Golden Cross, lined with cosmopolitan shops and boutiques of brands such as Mango, Zara, Benetton, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Salamander, Tommy Hilfiger and more. Myslbek and van Graff on Wenceslas Square are other fashion stores. If you wish to explore places a few metro stops away from the city centre, then go to Arkády (Pankrác Metro C line), OC Chodov or Zličín. They also feature world renowned brands.
Not interested in fashion? Would you like something typically Czech? Go for crystal, Czech Garnet or Moldavite jewellery made of stones which can only be purchased in the Czech Republic. Wooden products, hand-made soap and beeswax candles are other Czech rarities.
Something tasty? Try local wines and beers.
On the other hand, Russian dolls and furry hats, which can be purchased on every corner, are not Czech products. The items are mostly imported from Russia to attract tourists.
There are three Michelin Star awarded restaurants in Prague, making its gastronomic scene even better:
There are also a number of smaller-scale restaurants and pubs in Prague serving high quality Czech cuisine, such as Kolkovna, Švejk, or the traditional U Schnellů Pub or Malostranská Beseda.
What are traditional Czech meals?
Try Prague Ham (the recipe took over the world) or face-up sandwiches, pork knee with horseradish, pork or duck with cabbage and dumplings, beef sirloin with creamy-vegetable sauce and dumplings, chicken schnitzel with potato salad or wild boar goulash. Vegetarians will most certainly appreciate fruit dumplings with whipped cream.
You can also enjoy Italian cuisine in Prague (with pizzerias run by Italians), Asian cuisine (again run by Asians) and French cuisine. There are also a number of fast food restaurants of both global and local chains. In short, you will not go hungry in Prague.
Beer – and lots of it: Pilsner, Budweiser, Radegast, Kozel, etc. Something stronger? Try Becherovka, Borovička (juniper berry brandy) or Slivovice (plum brandy).
Discover the beauty and history of Prague with our professional, licensed guides. Enjoy the most beautiful places of Prague: Old Town Square with its astronomical clock, the breathtaking Charles Bridge, and beautiful views form Prague Castle. Or venture farther afield and discover other Prague neighborhoods, each with its own charm! Find out more about our private and group walking tours.
You cannot miss a trip to this town, considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Central Europe, rich in history, cultural events, but also known for its river and geology.
The Castle, Lower Castle and Unmatched Atmosphere
Our ancestors had built their first settlements at today’s Český Krumlov location already in the early Neolithic period (about 70 to 50 thousand years B.C.). However, the first written records regarding Český Krumlov date back to the middle of the 13th century, i.e. to the era when the castle and the lower castle areas were built. Some houses have kept their original Gothic character till this day.
The Gothic castle was later rebuilt into a Renaissance chateaux. The second largest castle grounds in the Czech Republic (after Prague Castle) proudly overlook the city from a massive cliff.
The historical quarters of Latrán are connected with the castle by a wooden bridge. Thousands of photographs and selfies are taken on the bridge every year. Therefore, it is often a challenge to cross it.
24/7 cultural endeavours can be experienced in Český Krumlov. Classical music concerts alternate with theatre performances, while festivals and fun fairs take turns. There is a long, in fact a very long, tradition of theatre in Český Krumlov, dating back to Medieval times.
A unique turning auditorium supports the exceptional atmosphere. The first performance in this unique set-up took place in the 1950s, but its fame has never faded. After the last reconstruction, 644 spectators fit the turning auditorium. Ballet and opera performances are held on the stage, which has already hosted celebrities from Metropolitan Operas in New York and San Francisco, performers from the Toronto Opera Company as well as the National Theatres in Prague and Bratislava.
White Water Rafting and Kayaking
It is a life-lasting experience to go down the Vltava river or at least enjoy the view of Český Krumlov from a boat you yourself control. There are a number of boat and raft rentals on both river banks. If you do not feel adventurous enough, you can hire a guide. You do not need to worry about returning the boat to the rental either as specialised companies provide the service.
Not interested in white water experiences? Would you prefer a car race? Then you need to go watching a race with a tradition dating back to 1971. In the spring time, for a few days, the roads surrounding the city host the FIA European Rally Trophy and the Czech Republic’s Championships of both vintage and modern cars.
Wonder of Nature the entire World Amazes over
It is called Moldavit – a tiny green stone which arrived in the region from the Space. We call it a melted natural glass. Its destiny was sealed by a meteorite impact. Pieces of the rock were spread around a limited area of South Bohemia and Germany after the big crush. It is estimated that the Ries meteorite was 1km in diameter wide and left behind a crater ranging 24km in diameter.
Moldavit has been known to man since the Stone Age. It was used for chipped instruments. Later on, a beautiful custom developed in the area: When a man wanted to propose, he offered to the love of his life a ring with Moldavit.
There is a Moldavit museum in Český Krumlov, which is worth visiting. The exhibition will most certainly be enjoyed by specialist and children alike.
As it is called by the locals. A region of cool climate, forests, fields and meadows. A region which used to be poor in the past, specialised in farming potatoes and linen.
Those days are long gone. Nowadays, the area is covered in roads and cycling and tourist paths which will take you through spectacular valleys, to peaks of hills with marvellous views over romantic sceneries of trails between fields.
Literature and Literary Tradition
The Highlands is the place of birth of many important Czech Cultural Heritage figures. The author of the first Czech fairy-tale, called Broučci (Beetles), Jan Karafiát, was born in the east corner of the region, in the city of Jimramov. Writers and brothers Vilém and Alois Mrštík, known for their Moravian Village Chronicle: Rok na vsi (Year in a Village) and the peak of the Czech realistic drama of the end of the 19th century: Maryša, were also born in the area. Do not miss a Diorama of Broučci at the local museum, done by Jiří Trnka, one of the most famous Czech film makers of children stories. The Diorama was created for the Expo 1938 World Exhibition which was cancelled.
Sports and Most Prominently Biathlon
If you take off for the hills around Nové Město na Moravě, you will discover the cross-country loops around the Ski hotel where cross-country and mountain bike World Cup races take place. It was there, at the Vysočina Arena, where the Biathlon World Cup races took place towards the end of 2016.
Alternatively, take a walk from Jimramov to Bystřice nad Pernštejnem – a hilly path which will reward you with a view of Bystřice from the Karasín lookout tower.
Castle, Churches and Visitors from around the World
If you consider yourself a romantic type, look at Bystřice and its surrounding areas from the Zubštejn castle ruins. You will not be disappointed, especially at sunset or sunrise.
There is a huge Gothic castle, called Pernštejn, close to Bystřice, the historical seat of the Pernštejn dynasty, including Polyxena of Pernštejn, the donor of the Infant Jesus of Prague to the monastery of the barefoot Carmelites by the Church of Our Lady Victorious in Prague.
Out last stop in the area will be at Žďár nad Sázavou and its world-renowned dominant of the St. John of Nepomuk’s Church at Zelená Hora by Jan Blažej Santini, architect, a part of the UNESCO Natural Heritage.
There have always been many things Kutná Hora could be proud of. It is now one of the UNESCO Natural Heritage sites. In the Medieval Times, it was among the richest cities of the region – for a good reason. Towards the end of the 13th century, Kutná Hora supplied the European markets with about one third of the silver coins used.
The city is characterised by three major features: mines, churches and pubs. This Kutná Hora triad is still popular these days.
It would be a great mistake to visit Kutná Hora and skip its mines – now closed. Touring the local tunnels is a life‑lasting experience. The locals even say that unless you see the world under the city you will never understand it. Tour participants are given white overalls with hoods, called cowls (hence the origin of the name of the city: cowl = kutna => Kutná Hora), and a lantern. Please get ready for pitch dark tunnels and narrow passages as you embark on the tour.
The work of miners used to be extremely demanding and dangerous at Medieval Times. The eminent threat of death guided miners on their path to strong religion and prompted constructions of many churches and cathedrals.
The Gothic St. Barbara’s Cathedral from the end of the 14th century is the most visible proof of the city’s strong religious believes. The start of the work on its dome was supervised by Petr Parléř, the architect of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague. Last details of the Cathedral were finished in the 20th century. Since 1995, the Cathedral has been a part of the UNESCO Natural Heritage.
St. Barbara’s Cathedral is undoubtedly the dominant of Kutná Hora (St. Barbara is the patron Saint of miners), but other local churches are also worth visiting, such as the Church of St. Jacob, finished around 1420, which can hardly be overlooked.
Bone Church (Ossuary) – Unique and Horrifying
A bizarre sight, dating back to the 13th century, when abbot Heidenreich went to Jerusalem and brought back a handful of sacred soil. He spread the soil around a local cemetery, turning it into a place where all believers from across Europe wanted to be buried to get a chance for resurrection. In the 16th century, human bones were used in church decorations. The final look of the church is the work of Jan Blažej Santini, a Baroque architect.
Not all city constructions are linked with religion. Do no skip Vlašský dvůr (Vlašský court), originally but a fortification of a merchants’ trail, later a place where all mint houses of the Kingdom were located.
Has the history worn you out? No problem. Take a rest at one of the local pubs. People have always known how to live in Kutná Hora. In Medieval Times, there were over 60 breweries and you can still taste some tasty beer there today.
Fun for Young People and Adults
Do you want to have fun and experience history first hand? Then you have to come to Kutná Hora for the Royal Silvering festivities. This yearly Gothic event returns Kutná Hora to the 15th century. For two days, the city lives a fictitious story of the arrival of the Czech and Roman Emperor, Wenceslas IV, and his court. You can have fun and shop for souvenirs at the local fair or just gaze into the martyr fires.
If you wish to skip the history altogether and stay in the present times, visit the bobsled track at the Na Klimešce sports area - the longest bobsled track in the Czech Republic. You can experience the speed of up to 60km/h there, but do not worry, you will be the one to control the speed.