Country: Czech Republic Language: Czech Currency: Czech Crown (czk)
Prague is a beautiful, refreshing city, with the grandeur of the colorful and iconic architecture changing dramatically at every turn. Get lost in the city’s historic center; immerse yourself in its history and culture. If you are a beer lover, then look no further, as the taps are always flowing and beer is most likely to be cheaper than water! For the foodies, you must indulge in traditional Czech dumplings, called knedliky, and a warm Goulash. You will certainly not grow bored in Prague, as there is always a market or a festival on somewhere in the Old Town; plenty of museums to visit; and a cold beer ready to be enjoyed.
CTW Must See
Prague Castle & St. Vitus Cathedral
At the very top of Prague, on display for all to admire, sits Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. The view of Prague Castle really never gets old. Dating back to the 9th century, the castle holds the Bohemian Crown Jewels hidden within its walls. It is also said that Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. Within the castle grounds sits St. Vitus Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral that was reconstructed in 1344. The walk up to Prague Castle from Charles Bridge along Nerudova Street is fairly steep, however the walk is incredibly charming, with plenty of classic Czech architecture to admire.
The iconic Charles Bridge is over 500 meters long, it is protected by 3 bridge towers, and holds 30 statues of saints along either side. Creating a footpath over the Vltava River, Charles Bridge was completed in 1402, and was built to replace an older bridge that had been damaged by flood. Today, the bridge easily connects Prague Castle to Prague’s Old Town, and attracts millions of tourists each year. Charles Bridge is the oldest standing bridge in Prague and the second oldest in Czech Republic.
Old Town Square
Prague’s Old Town Square is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Between the Old Town Hall, the Church of Our Lady before Tyn, St. Nicholas, and the Astronomical Clock, you will not know where to begin… The Astronomical Clock, which is the oldest operational astronomical clock in the world, was installed in 1410. You can go to the top of the Clock Tower, which provides a sensational view over the Old Town Square and the rest of Prague.
The Vrtba Garden is a beautiful hidden gem located within the heart of Prague’s Lesser Town. The garden is not too big, and it is certainly not easy to find as it is hidden amongst more of Prague’s grandeur. However, once inside the classic Baroque garden, you will most certainly be impressed by the rich greenery and the magnificent views of Prague.
Its grand opening in 1881 featured the world premiere of Bedrich Smetana's opera, ‘Libuše'. The National Theare is home to four main state ensembles – Drama, Opera, Ballet and Laterna magika, and often features various ballet and drama performances. It is only a short walk along the Vltava River from the Charles Bridge, and it provides alluring views looking back on Prague Castle.
When it was built, the Dancing House caused some controversy among the people of Czech, as many did not think the building matched the Baroque and Gothic architecture that makes Prague what it is. However, now the Dancing House is much more popular and accepted among locals. Its nickname, although hardly used, is Fred and Ginger, named after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Inside the Dancing House, you will find an art gallery that displays the works of well-known Czech and international artists. After a wander through the art gallery and the bookshop, you can savor the views of the Vltava River and Prague Castle from the rooftop terrace and bar.
From the Dancing House, have a wander up Resslova, towards Prague’s New Town. At the top of the New Town you will find the National Museum. The museum was founded in 1818 and holds nearly 14 million items. The building has undergone many reconstructions after a bombing in World War II and other events, and is only just completing its latest renovation. The National Museum is the oldest and largest museum in the Czech Republic. The museum sits perfectly at the top of Wenceslas Square. From the top of the steps at the museum, you have a beautiful view looking over the St. Wenceslas Monument to the other end of the square.
Wenceslas Square is one of Prague’s main squares. In the past, it was one of Prague’s main horse markets. It is now one of the central locations for business and shopping in Prague. It features many popular shops, restaurants, bars and apartments. Although it is located in Prague’s New Town, it still retains the same style of grand and rich architecture you will find throughout the rest of Prague.
Municipal House & Powder Tower
Only 600m from Wenceslas Square, and nearly back to the Old Town Square, you will find the Municipal House. This concert hall holds many ballrooms and concerts, as well as having a cafe, a bar, and two restaurants. Just next the Municipal House is the Powder Tower. It is one of the original city gates and was meant to be used as an entrance, rather than a defense tower. In the 17th century, the tower was used to store gun powder, which is how it got its name.
The Rudolfinum is a large art gallery and music auditorium located near the Vltava River. It’s been the home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra since 1946 and holds one of the oldest concert halls in Europe. The Neo-Renaissance building is an iconic art and cultural center of Prague.
The Lennon Wall is located on the castle side of Prague, but is not to be missed if you are a fan of Sir John Lennon. The wall was once just a regular wall, but became a tribute to John Lennon during the Communist regime. The wall symbolizes love and peace throughout the world, and gives a space for many to express themselves.
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