More than two decades after the Velvet Revolution and the fall of communism, the popularity of Prague as one of Europe’s premier tourist destinations shows no signs of slowing down. And while it’s no longer the travellers’ bargain it was, the Czech capital’s combination of a thrilling history, glorious architecture and a huge variety of entertainment remains as compelling as ever.
This gem of original European architecture is a beautiful and romantic city with breathtaking views, quiet gardens, rides on riverboats and relaxing strolls along narrow cobblestone lanes. Even with its history dating back more than a thousand years, the Czech capital is still a thriving modern city with luxury and boutique hotels, excellent restaurants offering traditional Czech and international cuisine, trendy clubs and enchanting pubs.
Prague is the capital and the cradle of the Czechs’ culture, where many famous personalities were born. Everywhere in Prague you will discover something of the city’s multi-layered history dating from the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Empire, the first Czechoslovak Republic, the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Communist Republic of Czechoslovakia or the present-day democratic Czech Republic.
For a weekend break, Prague is just the right size of city. It is pedestrianized around many of the important tourist sights so that you can stroll about at your leisure. Even two or three days in Prague gives you a sense of familiarity with the city.
One of the best ways to see it is by simply taking a walk along cobblestone streets while observing the fantastic architecture, churches and buildings that will line any route. In fact, there are over 866 hectares of land listed on the UNESCO World Culture and Natural Heritage Register.
For those who prefer less walking, there is efficient and easy-to-use public transport or, if you prefer something more adventurous, why not try vintage sightseeing or horse-riding tours to get you around.
There is also plenty of food and cultural events to take part in as well. Visitors can enjoy classical concerts and operas or participate in the clubbing scene. Both lunches and dinners can be had at relatively cheap prices, and don’t forget to include a famous Czech beer to wash down the meal. Shoppers won’t be disappointed either, as Prague offers many excellent and reasonably priced goods that are always available.
Although Prague is a safe European city, a few tourist traps could spoil your experience. And we must mention: Be cautious when taking taxis, because frequent overcharging is common. When travelling from the airport, pre-book reliable airport transfer. To get a better deal for your currency, avoid exchange offices with hidden hefty fees and always ask about commission – or better, use AMTs. While dining at restaurants, check your bill carefully as some establishments might try to put extra items or mislead customers with a mandatory service charge.
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