Prague Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages
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Prague (Czech: Praha) is the capital city and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is one of the larger cities of Central Europe and has served as the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries. This magical city of bridges, cathedrals, gold-tipped towers and church domes, has been mirrored in the surface of the swan-filled Vltava River for more than ten centuries. Prague's compact medieval centre remains a wonderful mixture of cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and countless church spires all in the shadow of her majestic 9th century castle that looks eastward as the sun sets behind her. Prague is also a modern and vibrant city full of energy, music, cultural art, fine dining and special events catering to the independent traveller's thirst for adventure.
The most important quarters in the historic city centre are:
Castle (Hradčany)— The historic nexus of the city, and the highest point on the left bank. Mostly belongs to Praha 1, although a small part belongs to Praha 6.
Lesser Town (Malá strana)— The settlement around the castle; location of most governmental authorities, including Czech Parliament. Mostly belongs to Praha 1, although a very small part belongs to Praha 5.
Old Town (Staré město)— The nucleus of the right bank, the oldest part of Prague. The whole Old Town belongs to Praha 1.
Jewish Town (Josefov)— A small enclave within Old Town, the old Jewish ghetto. The whole Jewish Town belongs to Praha 1.
New Town (Nové město)— The district adjacent to Old Town, established in the 14th century. Large parts of the New Town belongs both to Praha 1 and Praha 2. A small part belongs to Praha 8.
Vysehrad (Vyšehrad)— The site of the old Vyšehrad castle south of the medieval Prague. The whole Vyšehrad belongs to Praha 2.
Prague Landmarks & Popular attractions :
Prague Castle : The biggest ancient castle in the world, according to the Guinness World Records, which rises above the city offering beautiful views of the areas below. Also on site is the St. Vitus Cathedral with its lookout tower, the Castle Picture Gallery , several palaces and museums and the beautiful Royal Garden, among other attractions. You can also watch the Presidential Guard, and the changeover of the guards on duty on the hour.
The Old Town (Staré město) : Prague's historic centre. Includes numerous historical buildings and monuments, most notably the famed Astronomical Clock (Orloj), the pure GothicTýn Church, the mural-covered Storch building, and the Jan Hus monument. Nearby, the Estate Theatre is a neoclassical theatre where Mozart's opera Don Giovanni was first performed. The old town features many historical churches (St. James Church, Church of Our Lady before Tnem among others) and some other interesting historical buildings like the Old Town Hall.
Josefov— The historical Jewish ghetto. Interesting for its well preserved historical synagogues, unique in the entire world. The Old New Synagogue (Czech: Staronová synagoga) is Europe's oldest active synagogue. It's rumoured to be the resting place of the famed Prague Golem. Another interesting synagogue is the Spanish Synagogue, a highly ornamented building of Moorish style. Other attractions are the old Jewish Cemetery, which is the oldest in Europe, and Kafka's house. The Old New Synagogue is NOT a part of the Jewish museum, so it's recommended to buy a combined pass to all Jewish attractions .
New Town (Nové město) : The new town was constructed as an extension of the old town at the 14th Century. Nonetheless, despite its oldness, most of it was modernized. The main attraction here is the Wenceslas Square, which has many stalls, shops and restaurants. At the top of the square is the National Museum which is well worth a look (see below). Midway down this historic Boulevard, one finds trendy discos and Art Nouveau hotels, as well as quaint parks and arcades, while just off the beaten path are some wonderful panoramic views (Henry Tower), romantic restaurants, Narodni, and the dazzling, Disney-colored Jubilee Synagogue.
The Lesser Town (Malá strana) : Across the Vltava from the city centre and leading to the castle, this quarter also offers beautiful streets and churches (of which St. Nicholas Church is the most renowned). The Lennon Wall which used to be a source of irritation to the communist regime is also found here, near a Venetian-like canal with water wheel and close to the Charles Bridge.
Loreta : A beautiful Baroque convent in the Lesser Town.
Strahov Monastery : A monastery on the mountain. Worth a visit for both its picture gallery and its notable Renaissance library.
Prague Dancing House (Fred and Ginger Building) : One of the most fascinating architectural expressions of Prague. Accessible from Karlovo náměstí metro station.
Vyšehrad : A nice castle well worth a visit.
Petřínská rozhledna : A smaller version of the Eiffel Tower on the top of a hill. Climbing the tower costs 100 CZK for a standard ticket or 50 CZK for discounts.
Prague Giant Metronome : A huge monument erected in order to replace the Stalinistic monument that preceded it.
Memorial to the 1989 Velvet Revolution : A simple brass plaque
Prague Zoo : A large zoo in Prague.
Prague Museums :
Czech National Gallery (Národní galerie) : Its most important collections are in the Sternberg Palace (up to to the Baroque), St George Convent (Czech Baroque and Mannerism) and Veletržní Palace (19th century and modern art). The first two are located near and in the castle respectively.
Czech National Museum (Národní muzeum) : An association of various museums. The main building is at the Wenceslas Square and is dedicated to natural history. Other branches include museums of the Czech composers Dvořák and Smetana, Czech Music Museum, Historical Pharmacy Museum, Prince Lobkovicz' Collection at the Prague Castle, Czech Ethnographical Museum and Naprstek Anthropological Museum.
Prague City Gallery : A museum of modern Czech arts divided between several sites most of which are in the old town. Its main building is the House of the Golden Ring at the Old Town Square featuring 20th Century Czech art in a beautiful medievil edifice. 19th Century Czech art is exhibited at the Troja Castle.
Czech Museum of Fine Arts : 20th Century Czech art and changing exhibitions.
Museum of Decorative Arts : This 17th century palazzo-style building houses examples of historical and contemporary crafts, as well as applied arts and design.
National Technical Museum (Národní technické muzeum) : Amazing collection of motorcycles, cars, aircraft and commercial vehicles, plus many examples of communist-era technological engineering. Currently (July 2010) closed for construction works.
Military Museum : Showcases the uniforms, artefacts and maps relating to the Czechoslovak armed forces during World Wars I and II.
Jewish Museum : This covers six separate places (four synagogues, the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Memorial Hall) but does not include the Old-New Synagogue, although entrance tickets can either include or exclude the last named. The Old-New Synagogue is expensive in relation to the museum but in view of its age, it's worth including it. The Memorial Hall is particularly moving with exhibits of the writings of children in death camps.
Mozart and Dušek Museum : Dedicated to the works of Mozart.
Prague City Museum (Muzeum hl. m. Prahy) : An absolute must-see for the incredibly detailed cardboard model of nineteenth century Prague by Anton Langweil. The detail is amazing, even down to the colour of the doorways and the design of the windowsills.
Mucha Museum : A museum of the Czech artist Alfons Mucha.
Kafka Museum : There is also a permanent exhibition at Kafka's house.
The Pedagogical Comenius Museum : A museum documenting the writings of the Czech Renaissance erudite.
The Mueller Villa : A work of art of the well known Viennese architect Loos from the beginning of the 20th Century.
Jaroslav Fragner Gallery : Jaroslav Fragner Gallery is oriented in temporary architecture. You can find here profiles of influential people and groups, retrospective exhibitions, thematic exhibitions, recent movement in architecture. Gallery provides lectures, seminars and publishing, regarding central Prague the JFG became a centre for architects, professional and general public, students of architecture and construction companies.
Museum Kampa : A museum of modern Central European art.
Museum of Communism : Interesting exhibits on how Communism changed Czechoslavakia.
There are plenty of smaller museums. Among them are the Miniature Museum at the Stahnov Monastery, Toys Museum and Musical Automata Museum at the Prague Castle, Wax Museum, Torture Museum, Postal Museum and Brewery Museum at the Old Town and the Aviation Museum at Kbely.
** As with many major European cities, you can get a good deal by buying a tourist card. Be discerning when choosing based on your needs (for example, cards may list free entry to locations that are normally free anyway - this concerns Prague Pass). Here are your options:
Prague Card : All-top attractions inclusive tourist card with tradition since 1991, is valid for 4 days and grants free entry to over 50 top attractions in the Prague area. You will receive a book with information on all the free attractions and many discounts (Prague Walks excursions, airport transfer, shopping, Mucha and Kafka museum etc.) and a voucher for each attraction. You can only enter the attraction with a valid card AND a voucher. The card does not include public transport and a separate ticket will have to be bought.
Welcome Card : Free admission to Prague castles and towers as well as a lot of discounts in Prague and Karlovy Vary region.
Prague Pass : Will give you free entry to various attractions in Prague within a 1 year period, various discounts, sightseeing tours and 72 hours of public transport, including metro, tram, bus, funicular, and train .
Things to Do in Prague :
Culture : There are many opera and Black Light Theatre companies in Prague. There are several performance groups that cater to tourists. They aren't strictly to be avoided, but common sense should tell you that the opera advertised by costumed pamphleteers is not going to be up to truly professional standards.
AghaRTA Jazz Centrum
Black Light Theatre
Ungelt Jazz & Blues Club
Pipe organ music in Prague
Prague Advent Choral Meeting
Prague Folklore Days
20th International Festival of Advent and Christmas Music.
River cruises : are both popular and varied, from one hour cruises to long evening cruises with dinner or music.
Prague Sports : Gives you the chance to play a range of sports from football, cricket, rugby union, and hockey in Prague. Packages can be tailor-made to include accommodation, transfers, activities etc.
Prague Flights & Airports : Ruzyně International Airport, (PRG), Located 20km northwest of the city centre, it generally takes about 30 minutes to reach the city centre by car. The airport is served by a number of airlines: Czech Airlines (ČSA) is the national carrier operating to many European and international destinations, including London, Paris, or numerous other European and some Asian destinations.