Regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, the stylish capital of the Czech Republic is brimming with grand historical and cultural sights. Its Gothic and Bohemian Baroque architecture provides a magical setting in which to experience Prague’s contemporary art, dining and entertainment. Whether you seek a romantic walk along the river or late-night dancing in a trendy nightclub, Prague welcomes you.
Best time to visit: April-May and September-October.
1 hour 50 minutes
Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) is 20km northwest of the city centre.
Every city has two faces
Prague is no exception. The first face it shows you is a perfect example of a wonderful historical city that is proud of its past. The second is modern and pulsating, and resembles the real life of the city as experienced by its residents every day. So put away that starchy guidebook and enjoy the heart of the magical metropolis like a genuine Praguer!
How about trying one of a number of top Prague restaurants that have won Michelin stars? The first of those is the restaurant at Alcron Hotel Radisson. Their baked St. Jacob’s mussels and chocolate fondant will have your taste buds in seventh heaven. The second Prague restaurant with a Michelin star is La Degustation Bohême, where you can try Czech delicacies such as straw soup with pheasant or Třeboň carp. You have to give it to Field: getting a Michelin star after only a year of existence in “Eastern Europe” is nearly a miracle. The kitchen wants to wow you with the presentation.
There’s nothing nicer than a walk in the park. Avoid the crowds at Prague Castle and Old Town Square and head for one of the most picturesque corners of Prague. On Kampa Island, which is right on the Lesser Quarter side of Charles Bridge, you will find a world of painted buildings, gorgeous squares and a park that is just perfect for lounging. If you’re surprised by bad weather, why not visit one of the city’s museums and galleries? One great choice is Museum Kampa, which – along with its modern art collection at the stylishly renovated Sovovy Mlýny building – will win you over thanks to the original design of its surroundings.
Now it’s time to enter the swirl of the metropolis. One place that tourists often pass without noticing is the House of the Black Madonna, between Celetná St. and Ovocný trh. This unique construction is today home to a Museum of Czech Cubism; indeed the Cubist painting style only ever crossed over into architecture in Bohemia. You can visit the building’s Kubista gallery, the only outlet in the Czech Republic selling originals, replicas and copies inspired by Czech Cubism and Art Deco. Meanwhile, the shop Modernista in the nearby Hrzánský Palace offers an assortment of glass, porcelain, jewellery and furniture, both Functionalist and from the studios of contemporary Czech designers.
No trip to Prague would be complete if you didn’t bring something original home with you. It’s well worth visiting some of the cities interesting boutiques, such as the Botas Concept Store. Alongside the unique range of sports shoes by the legendary Czech label on sale on its shelves, the shop’s unique design is sure to win you over. And if genuine luxury is your thing, take a stroll down Pařížská St., where you will find brands from the world’s leading fashion houses.
Artists: Visit the Mucha Museum for art nouveau masterworks from the Czech Republic’s most renowned painter, Alphonse Mucha.
Families: Take the tram to Stromovka, the city’s largest park, where you’ll find a fairground and planetarium.
Couples: Take a romantic sunset stroll across Charles Bridge and along the cobbled lanes of Lesser Town.
Language: The language spoken in Prague is Czech.
Currency: The currency used in Prague is the koruna (Kč).
Local time: Prague is one hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly: Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) is 20km northwest of the city centre.
Flight time: 1 hour 50 minutes.
Tourist information: Further Prague tourist information can be found at www.prague.eu.
Visa & health: Before your holiday to Prague, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/czech-republic for recommendations and advice on visas and health.
Temperature: Average highs of 22 (°C) in summer, 2 (°C) in winter.
Best time to visit: April-May and September-October.
If you can bear the cold, Prague can be a winter wonderland at Christmas time. July and August have the hottest weather, but spring and autumn are best for milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
By foot: The city centre’s old and new neighbourhoods are easy to cover on foot.
By metro or bus: The large and inexpensive public transport network includes the metro, trams and buses.
By taxi: Avoid dishonest taxi drivers by using a reputable company, agreeing to the fare beforehand and dodging the taxis outside stations and tourist attractions.
Prague Spring International Music Festival: For three weeks in May, the capital hosts classical music events showcasing world-famous symphony, orchestra and chamber ensembles – with particular focus on young performers.
Signal Light Festival: See the Prague skyline as never before in October, when artists from across the world illuminate the city with innovative light installations and videos projected on prominent city buildings.
Prague Christmas Market: Starting on St Nicholas Eve (5 Dec.), the Old Town Square transforms into a festive Christmas market offering mulled wine, food, ornaments and gifts.
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