Straddling the Vltava River in the north-west of the Czech Republic, Prague is the country’s capital city and also the historical capital of what is known as Bohemia. Often referred to as the “city of a hundred spires”, Prague is now one of the most popular tourist destinations for European visitors and for very good reasons.
Whether young or old, the city has something to offer for everybody. Lovers of history and architecture will be charmed and entranced by the famous Old Town Square and its baroque buildings as well as the Gothic churches and the Astronomical Clock which dates from medieval times. But Prague is not just about history as it is also a vibrant city offering a multitude of bars, cafés, restaurants and a lively night life.
For culture buffs, Prague has plenty to see and do and it would take days to take in everything. There are ten museums dotted throughout the city as well as countless theatres, galleries and historic exhibitions to be seen. Other must-see attractions include:
• Prague Castle. Built in the 9th century and the official residence of the President, Prague Castle houses the Bohemian Crown Jewels and is the world’s largest ancient castle according to the Guinness Book of Records.
• Charles Bridge. Completed at the start of the 15th century, the Charles Bridge connects Prague Castle with the Old Town. With sixteen arches and thirty baroque statues along its 620 metre length, the Charles Bridge also features three towers of which the Old Town Bridge Tower is considered one of the world’s most amazing civil Gothic buildings.
• Old Town Square. Located between the Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square, the Old Town Square is a focal point of the city for both visitors and the city’s inhabitants. Here can be found the Gothic Church of Our Lady with its 80 metre high towers as well as Saint Nicholas Church and the Old Town Hall which houses the medieval astronomical clock.
• Prague Astronomical Clock. Built in 1410, the astronomical clock or Prague Orloj on the Old Town Hall is the third-oldest in the world and the oldest still functioning. A major tourist attraction is the hourly animated display of “the Walk of the Apostles” with moving figures and sculptures.
Due to its central European location, the availability of cheap flights and the low cost of living, Prague is one of the top destinations for short breaks and longer holidays. A nice three-course meal for two can be had for less than £20 and a half-litre of local beer for about £1.20. Nearly half of the Czech Republic’s tourism income is generated in Prague and the city has an abundance of accommodation available at more than reasonable rates. Almost everything to see and do in Prague can be done on foot and choosing a centrally located hotel will save time and money. One of the most popular choices for a short break in Prague is the Boho Hotel which is a short stroll from the Old Town Square and close to several museums as well as the Palladium Mall and opera house. If you are a night owl, the Boho Hotel is also right in the centre of the nightlife scene with numerous bars and clubs in the immediate vicinity.
A mixture of the old and the new, Prague is one of those cities that people keep coming back to. Whether it’s just a weekend break or a longer stay, Prague has plenty to see and do and however long you stay it is never quite long enough. If you have never been to this lovely city on the banks of the Vltava River now is the time to book your flights and Czech out Prague!
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