Discover culture and heritage in this inspiring capital
Prague has long been famed as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, and with good reason. The Czech Republic's capital has been titled the 'Crown of the World' and the 'Hundred-spired City', thanks to its amazing wealth of churches, castles and cathedrals. Its history dates back as early as the 9th century, when the city's magnificent castle was erected; since then, Prague has been at the forefront of cultural movements, and boasts exceptional examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Of course, it's also built along the banks of the Vltava River, so it's filled with dozens of luscious parks and gardens.
But that's not all - Prague has some famous names to add to its many merits. Mozart spent some time here, conducting both 'Don Giovanni' and 'The Marriage of Figaro' in what is now Estates Theatre, and Franz Kafka, author of the famous short story 'The Metamorphosis', lived here. The artist Alfons Mucha also developed his famous style in Prague, and there's a museum dedicated to his work at Kounický Palace on Panská Street.
Laurel Robbins' verdict on Prague
Prague Castle. This is the world’s largest and most ancient castle in the world. You can even find it in the Guinness Book of World Records. The 570m long castle is also home to the Czech Crown jewels.
Charles Bridge. Prague’s most famous bridge was built in 1357 and features 30 Baroque statues. During the day the bridge is lined with painters and tourists all vying for the best view of the Vltava river. Go at sunrise for the best views and to beat the crowds.
Prague Old City Underground. Much of Prague’s most interesting architecture lies beneath the surface where a medieval city dating back 1000 year lies. Access is via tour only where visitors are taken through a complex series of underground rooms, cellars and labyrinth-like corridors. Spooky!
is the HomeAway travel expert on Eastern European city breaks. She can also be found on her site Monkeys & Mountains
Places to visit in Prague
Stare Mesto is the Old Town of Prague, and situated in district Prague 1. It's one of the best-loved areas in the entire Czech Republic, attracting thousands of tourists each year. Here you'll find the Jewish Quarter, or 'Josefov' in Czech, as well as a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Amongst its most famous attractions are Prague Castle, the Old Town Square, and the Charles Bridge, which connects Stare Mesto to the Lesser Quarter, or Malá Strana. Prague's Old Town Square is the centre for tourists in summer, with a huge concentration of buildings in the area. The Gothic Týn Church and Baroque St. Nicholas Church are also here, as well as the world-famous Astronomical Clock. First installed in 1410, it's the third-oldest in the world and the oldest still working today.
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Smichov is located in district Prague 5, on the west bank of the Vltava River. It's one of the city's quieter districts, but no less exciting; in fact, the area provides a pleasant escape from the throngs of shops and crowds, giving you a taste of the 'real' Prague. The heart of the area is Andel, which is within walking distance of the Lesser Quarter and just minutes from Prague's National Theatre. One of the area's major sites of interest is Bertramka Villa, where it is said Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart once stayed. The famous composer apparently put the finishing touches to 'Don Giovanni' here, when he stayed as a guest on one of his many visits to the city. The Staropramen Brewery, the second-largest in the Czech Republic, is also found in Smichov. Founded in 1869, you can learn all about the brewing process on a fascinating tour, as well as sampling the finished product, of course.
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Vinohrady is located in districts Prague 2, 3 and 10, and literally translates to 'vineyards'. The area was entirely covered with vines during the 14th century, but only a few remain today amidst the many rose gardens and parks. There's a particularly beautiful site at Villa Gröbe, within the city's second-largest park, Havlíčkovy Sady. Aside from visiting the Neo-Renaissance villa and its beautiful landscaped gardens, tourists are welcome to sample wine on top of the hill. Other parks here include Folimanka Park and the tranquil Petr Bezruč's Orchards, where you can simply lie back and spend a day in the sunshine. If craving something other than green spaces however, attractions include the Prague State Opera, Vinohrady Theatre and the Gothic-revival Saint Ludmila Church.
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Prague is a true year-round destination. It boasts warm summers with highs of 22°C, and cold winters showered in snow; it's perfect for a break in the sunshine, and ideal for a Christmas shopping spree. Of course, spring and august are also great times to go, with no extremes - just pleasant, mild weather! Travelling around the city is also made easy, with Prague's vast network of trams. You could even spend your time jumping on and off the number 91, which dates back to the early 20th century. Touring around the city's major attractions, you'll pay just one fixed fee for the whole day.
Of course, these are just recommendations - go and explore at will! But whatever you choose to do, book accommodation with HomeAway Holiday Rentals. Not only will you save money by avoiding package tours, but you'll enjoy the comfort of a home from home.
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Two beautifully reconstructed Apartments in a 16th century building, both Apartments are just a wonderful few minutes walk to some of the most interesting sites in Prague, including, the Castle and The Charles Bridge. Cobblestoned, gaslight, windi...
This spacious and bright duplex in the Heart of Prague will be a great place to reconnect with friends and family. It is a great base to discover Prague, minutes away by walking from all sights and party places!
This spacious and bright duplex ...
Spacey modern studio with mezzanine, only 2 minutes walk from Old Town Square, located in Prague 1 - Stare Mesto (The Old Town). Satellite TV with 190 EN channels available.
Apartment Rosa is a modern studio apartment found in the oldest part of...
This spacious apartment is located on the first floor of a grand apartment block on the banks of Vltava River, offering wonderful views to the Castle across the river.
The apartment has a private elevator which opens up directly into the apartment...
Nestled in heart of the Old Town, this beautiful and spacious 4th floor apartment boasts 2 separate bedrooms with a separate living room making it ideal for 2 - 3 couples. The apartment was fully renovated in January 2012, and has all new furnitur...