Prague, situated on the Bohemian Plain, has the river Vltava running through it and is considered one of the most fascinating European cities. The historic centre of the city, stands on both banks of the river and is divided into six parts, which in the past were considered six separate towns which became unified during the 17th century. The six zones include: Staré Mesto or Old Town, Josefov or Jewish Town (which now forms part of the Old Town), Nové Mesto or New Town, Male Strana or Small Part, Hradcany or Castle, and Vysehrad. The latter area houses the largest number of historic monuments, museums and works of art.
Hotels and lodgingIn Stare Mesto, just steps from the famous Astronomical Clock you can find Old Prague Hostel. Great location and clean.
http://www.praguesquarehostel.com, Prague Square Hostel - another top located Prague hostel.
For complete information about Prague visit http://www.praguecentralhostels.com
Wide selection of cheap hotels, B&B's and apartments is offered by Prague-rooms.com.
Also check out this listing of hostels .
Totally new re-design during the winter of 2006, the Plaza Alta Hotel**** is 3 minutes from Holesovice Train Station and Metro Station. 
Vacapedia.com - Over one hundred holiday homes in Prague. Great for families!
Prague is a great walking city. The Charles Bridge is one of the top 10 spots to get your photo taken in Europe. With the castle in the distance, the river beneath you, artists selling paintings and musicians playing, it can be a unique moment. The bridge itself is surrounded by many myths and mysteries. The founding stone was laid by the Emperor Charles IV. at 9.7. 1357 at 5:31 am. The date and time were not selected randomly. When you lay out the numbers as follow 1357 (year) 9 (date) 7 (month) 531 (time) you will get ascending and descending scale with the peak of 9. (135797531)
There are many more mysteries about Charles Bridge. Make it part of your trip to find out more!
While walking across the bridge don´t forget to stop by at the copper double cross placed on the top of the fence on your right hand side while walking from the Old City (Stare Mesto) next to the sculpture of Jan Nepomucky (See the picture). This cross marks the place where Jan Nepomucky was pushed from the bridge into the river. You won´t find this in many guidebooks so this cross is not surrounded by crowds of tourists however it is one of the most magical places on the bridge. The legend says that if you put your hand on this cross, each of your fingers touching one of the shoulders of the cross you can make your secret wish! Don´t share your wish with anyone so it can come true!!
The Prague castle is another great spot to visit and the blacklit theater is unique. The Aria hotel is beautiful - every room themed after a different Czech musician or playwright.
The Prague Castle (Prazsky Hrad) is the most visited and famous sight in Prague. The castle, the largest and oldest in the world, is the official residence of the Czech government. It is an immense building comprising gardens, churches and museums.The Gothic San Vito Cathedral, built in 929, rises up above the bulky mass of the castle. The heart of the castle is the Vladislao Room, a fine example of late Gothic. The Summer Palace (Letohradek) is in Renaissance style, while the Saint George Basilica is the best preserved Raman construction. Having passed the Basilica following the north wall of the castle, the visitor arrives at the Golden Alley ( Zlata Ulicka) with its small and highly colourful houses, once the residence of gold merchants and later occupied by artists. The square in front of the castle (Hradcanske Namesti) is surrounded by Baroque and Renaissance buildings, with the Plague Column, situated in the centre of the square.
The Loretanske Namesti, situated to the west, is the site of the Cappuchin Monastery, the Cernin Palace and the Loreta. A little further and one arrives at the Strahov Monastery, with splendid frescoed rooms, which house a monastic library of international fame. Mala Strana district, perched at the foot of the castle, is decorated with monumental, predominantly residential, buildings. The Nerudova Ulice is one of the most beautiful buildings, having conserved its Renaissance façade. The Saint Nicholas Church, situated in Mala Strana, in Malostranske Namesti, is richly decorated and has an enormous green dome. The square, in which the church is situated, is closed at one end by the river and has the Wallenstein Palace, occupied by the Ministry of Culture, at the other. Stare Mesto, the old city, is located to the east of the Mlodava river and is the site of Starometstske Namesti, the heart of the city. Here the visitor is offered a sample of all the architectural styles of the city including Tyn Church, with its pointed roof covered with small spires, and the Stone Bell-Tower House, with its two chapels used as a modern art gallery and a chamber music room. The Town Hall, built in Gothic style, possesses a splendid astronomic clock. The Klementinum, an enormous architectonic complex, is situated a short distance away. The building houses libraries, museums and churches and leads to the Charles Bridge (Karluv Most), an area bustling with tourists, painters and souvenir sellers. Josefov, the Jewish district, stretches
Kampa Island is situated south of Mala Strana and is linked at its extreme northern point by the Charles Bridge. The most picturesque island in Prague and once the property of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem: the houses here look out directly onto the water, mills and parks. Na Kampè Square situated directly under the bridge is the ideal location to spend a relaxing moment. The Petrin Hill, is 318 metres tall and is the site of 8 parks which group together to form the most extensive green open space in Prague. It is easily reached by rack railway and is ideal for pleasant strolls and for admiring the view over the city. The Tower of Petrin, which stands to the north of the park, resembles the Eiffel Tower and can be climbed by means of its 299 steps.
Like many city's steeped in history, Prague too offeres a rich calendar of musical events. The most important is the Prague Spring, held beteween 12 May and the 12th of June, with dances, concerts and theatre plays in the park. The Jazz on the island of Slovansky is held in the month of June. The Theatre festival on the island of Strelecky and the modern dance festival in the Smetana Theatre and the Magic Lantern, take place in the month of July. The 28th of October is the festival celebrating the proclamation of the Czech Republic. The celebrations take place at the castle and the Staromestske Namesti.
Shopping in Prague has a little pinch of finesse. The Golden Cross is the city's most important shopping centre. An elegant pedestrianized zone, where it is possible to acquire Bohemian crystal, antiques, objects of art and records and Cds of classical music. The roads which make up the Golden Cross are the Vaclavske Namesti in Venceslao Square and Na Prikope, Ulice 28.Rijna and Narodni Trida. Prague's most famous flea market is in Praz Trznice in Holesovice. The market is held every Saturday and Sunday from 12.30. The best furnished large store is Kotva, in Namesti Republiky 8 in Stare Mesto.
Maps and transportation
Getting to Prague
It is extremely easy to get around the city by public transport. In general the city has a first rate public transport system. Many visitors might get cofused as almost all the information are provided in Czech language. However do not panic as the purchase of the ticket for public transport and getting around is very easy.
Most of the public transport system operates until midnight (Metro) or until almost 1am (buses and trams) however you can use night system of buses and trams. This will save you money for taxi as the system is covering efficiently entire area of the city center and extended city enter. Find the details on the picture in the gallery below.
Tickets are sold at Metro stations (Yellow machines - see the picture), newsagents, Travel Information Centres, hotels, travel agencies, department stores etc. They are also available from a number of ticket vending machines installed next to surface transport stops, at Metro stations, funicular stations and their immediate vicinity. The fastest and most convenient is the purchase from vending machines. Have your coins ready and follow the instructions on the vending machine. Usually single transferable tickets (20,- CZK) are valid for 60 minutes from the moment of purchase during the week and for a 90-minute period at the week-ends. Make sure you don´t forget mark your ticket at the yellow machine which you will find in front of every entry to subway stop or inside of every tram or bus. The ticket is valid only if validated in the validating machine. Please make sure you mark also your long term tickets valid for 24-hour 80,- CZK, 3-day (72 hours) 220,- CZK, 7-day (168 hours) 280,- CZK, 15-day(360 hours) 320,- CZK otherwise your ticket will be takes as invalid. Don´t let transport inspectors to make your stay in Prague unpleasant experience. For more information regarding the rates and fares please visit the official site of Prague Integrated Transport.
The Metro (subway) has three lines A-B-C ( Skalka- Dejvicka), (Cerny Most- Zlicin) and (Holesovice-Haje). It is possible to change stations at Muzeum, Mustek and Florenc. The Metro operates every day, from 5am to mid-night. During rush hours the trains depart every 2–3 minutes, during other periods the wait can be from 4–10 minutes. It is possible to reach the top of Petrin Hill by means of a rack- rail train, which calls at Ujezd, Nebozizek and Petrin. The train operates every day from 9am to 11pm (Summer) and from 9:15 to 8:45pm (Winter). Departures are every 10–15 minutes.
Prague Metro is the fastest and most efficient way how to overcome long distances. Avoid crowded Metro during the peak times by using Trams and Buses! It will save your time, nerves and give you better chance to see more out of the city. Just hop on the bus or tram (your transferable ticket is valid here also) and enjoy this cheap sightseeing tour. Don´t miss the nostalgic tram No. 91 which runs through historical city centre and experience how the public transport looked like in the first half of 20 th century. It runs from April to November 17. The line operates on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Trams departure from termini from 12.00 to 17.35 hrs always on the hour.
Route in 2006: Vozovna Střešovice - Brusnice - Pražský hrad - Královský letohrádek - Malostranská - Malostranské náměstí - Hellichova - Újezd - Národní divadlo - Národní třída - Lazarská - Vodičkova - Václavské náměstí - Jindřišská - Masarykovo nádraží - Náměstí republiky - Dlouhá třída - Nábřeží Kpt. Jaroše - Strossmayerovo náměstí - Veletržní - Výstaviště.
Timetable at selected locations:
Prague Castle 12.03 13.03 14.03 15.03 16.03 17.03 18.03
Malostranská -M- 12.08 13.08 14.08 15.08 16.08 17.08 18.08 Wenceslas Square 12.23 13.23 14.23 15.23 16.23 17.23 18.23
Fare: adults - CZK 25.- ; children up to 10 years, prams with babies, and pensioners over 70 years - CZK 10.- .
Came to Prague for family gathering or with friends, colleagues? You can also rent the tram for your private party and provide very unique experience to those travelling with you. Such a great idea to celebrate birthday! For more information about rental service please call: tel. (00420) 296 124 902, fax (00420) 296 124 901.
If you are not fan of public transport you can also use the service of many taxi companies. However you should know that using metro or trams might be more time efficient due to enormous traffic on Prague´s surface.
To make your stay pleasant experience and get the right service you should always ask about the price of the ride upfront. Especially during the night! In general it is recommended to call one of the taxi companies by phone. You get better guarantee that your ride will be at the right price.
Selected taxi companies with good credibility:
AAA Taxi Tel: +420-222-333-222
City taxiTel: +420-2-57257-257
Halotaxi Tel: +420-2-4411-4411
Nejlevnější taxi Tel: +420-226-000-226
Profitaxi Tel: +420-2-61314-151
Sedop Tel: +420-841-666-333
Taxi Praha Tel: +420-222-111-000
Taxi Praha 14007 Tel: +420-220-414-414
TICK TACK Tel: +420-721-300-300
Practical information and resources
Austria 62 km
Germany 646 km
Poland 658 km
Slovakia 215 km
Roman Catholic 39.2%
Major Czech Cities (Population in 2001): Praha (1,179,000), Brno (379,000), Ostrava (319,000), Plzeň (166,000), Olomouc (103,000), Liberec (100,000), České Budějovice (99,000), Hradec Králové (98,000), Ústí nad Labem (96,000), Pardubice (91,000).
Sites on UNESCO World Heritage List in the Czech Republic: Prague, Kutná Hora, Český Krumlov, Telč, the Lednice-Valtice area, Zelená Hora – Church of St. John Nepomuk, the castle and gardens of Kroměříž, Holašovice, Litomyšl Castle, Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc, Tugendhat Villa in Brno.
- January 1 – Establishment Day, celebrating the creation of the Czech Republic
- Easter Monday
- May 1 – Labor Day
- May 8 – Liberation Day, celebrating the end of World War II
- July 5 – Constantin and Methodius Day, celebrating the first Christian missionaries in the Czech Republic
- July 6 – Jan Hus Day, celebrating the religious reformer who was burned at the stake in 1415
- September 28 – St. Wenceslas Day, celebrating the patron of the Czech State
- October 28 – Czechoslovakian Statehood Day, establishment of democratic Czechoslovakia in 1918
- November 17 – Freedom and Democracy Day, commemorating the anti-Nazi student demonstrations of 1939 and the anti-Communist demonstrations of 1989
- December 24 - Christmas Eve
- December 25 and 26 – Christmas Holidays
The best way to start your day is to choose one of the great restaurants or coffee houses in city centre which offers a breakfast menu. You can fine tune your plan for the day with a good cup of coffee and delicious meal while observing the buzz outside.
There are many places to choose from and some with good history. For example, Square Restaurant which is situated between Charles Bridge and Prague Castle on Malostranske Namesti. Breakfast starts at 8 am. Square Restaurant was previously the Malostranska Kavarna (coffee house), which was always one of Prague's most significant coffee houses. Founded in 1874 and used to welcome legends of Czech cultural life such as opera singer Emma Destinova, writers Jan Neruda and Franz Kafka, or painter Jan Zrzavy. The latter occasionally worked on some of his paintings here. A few years ago the coffee house was renovated and turned into the nice restaurant it is today.
Situated on Narodni Trida Cafe Louvre offers a variety of breakfast dishes. The interior itself will bring you back a few decades to a time when Cafe Louvre was the center of cultural life in Prague. Cafe Louvre was founded in 1902 and famous writers such as Franz Kafka, Karel Capek and Albert Einstein were frequent visitors.
Cafe Slavia is situated on the corner of Narodni Trida and Smetanovo Nabrezi (address: Smetanovo nábřeží 1012/2, Praha 1). Take in a beautiful view of the river while enjoying your breakfast and the recently renovated interior at Cafe Slavia, another restaurant with a long and vibrant history. In addition to famous writers, you might see Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, dining here. Cafe Slavia has always been a place where important people from cultural or political life meet.
The Vinarna are a curious aspect of Prague. For centuries, Vinarna have offered tastings of fine wine accompanied with excellent food. Some of the finest ones are found in the medieval part of the city at Stare Mesto and in the Baroque houses in Mala Strana.
The automats of Venceslao Square are another interesting part of Prague. These self-service eateries offer quick snacks at reasonable prices to guests who eat standing up.
- U Zlateho Tygra (Golden Tiger) - Husova ul. 17, Prague 1 - Near the Charles Bridge, a very famous pub with a fantastic Pilsner Urquell.
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