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Of all the fairy-tale cities in East and Central Europe, Prague is said to be the most beautiful. The medieval bridges, the castles and the quaint squares are a treat, and one of the main Prague attractions is simply to wander the streets and soak up the atmosphere. Your Prague tour should allow plenty of time for this!
If you somehow manage to tire of the fantastic views and amazing architecture, visit one of the many art galleries and museums, and younger visitors should check out the zoo. Or, you can try some traditional and very hearty Bohemian cuisine at one of the local restaurants.
Prague is a year round city. In the summer, the squares are thronged with tourists and entertainers. In the winter, the Prague Christmas market is one of the most picturesque on the continent.
For a while, Prague had a name for attracting groups of men on drinking weekends. Although it's still a very good place to party - Czech beer is some of the best in the world, after all! - don't let rumours of lager louts put you off! Prague is an amazing city, and just perfect for romantic or family breaks as well as stag and hen dos.
Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic. A beautiful city with many historical buildings, museums and art galleries Prague has plenty of entertainment with nightlife, opera, dance and music. And plenty of excellent Prague restaurants and of course some wonderful Prague hotels.
Since 1989's Velvet Revolution and the fall of Communism, Prague's popularity among tourists has soared at an exponential rate. Visitors come from all over the world to marvel at the city's impressive architecture and sophisticated cultural scene. Prague's central location also makes it a great base for exploring the rest of Europe.
Because Prague was left largely untouched during the wars, it is one of Europe's most well-preserved cities. The city center is divided into five distinct areas, each with a number of awe-inspiring sights.
Old Town Square is the heart of Prague. This expansive square is surrounded by buildings from a variety of architectural eras: Boroque, Rococo, Gothic, Romanesque. Dominating the square are the Church of St. Nicholas; the Church of Our Lady before Týn; the Old Town Hall with its famous Astronomical Clock; and the Jan Hus Monument, a memorial to the religious reformer and Czech hero Jan Hus. Restaurants, hotels, and souvenir shops line the periphery of the square.
Old Town is a good place to find Czech crystal and marionettes, two of the Czech Republic's most popular souvenirs.
New Town, as its name would suggest, is more modern than the neighboring Old Town. Visitors will find many well-known retail chains here. New Town is also home to several lively clubs and bars. Despite its more commercial atmosphere, New Town does have some historic treasures, such as the National Museum; the State Opera; and the Hotel Europa, which is a stunning reflection of Art Nouveau design.
The Jewish Quarter is a grim reminder of the oppression Prague's Jewish community suffered in the past, particularly from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Today, the area's synagogues and museums draw crowds of people who are moved by their tragic history. The Old Jewish Cemetery is an especially emotional site. Over 12,000 gravestones stand, huddled together, within this small, walled area, but an estimated 100,000 people are buried here, one on top of the other.
The Charles Bridge, Prague's most recognized icon, stretches across the Vltava River from Old Town to the Little Quarter. Dramatic, blackened sculptures line the bridge, and all along it musicians play accordions, puppeteers put on impromptu shows, and vendors sell handmade crafts, jewelry, and landscape prints.
The Little Quarter is perhaps the city's most well-preserved section; hardly any modern buildings mar its quaint and cobbled facade. Notable Prague attractions include the main Little Quarter Square; the Church of St. Nicholas (not to be confused with the Old Town church of the same name); and Wallenstein Palace, Prague's first Baroque building, and its lush gardens. The Little Quarter also contains some peaceful green spaces, including Kampa Island and Petrin Park, whose observation tower (built to resemble the Eiffel Tower in Paris) offers stunning views of the city.
The historic Nerudova Street winds from the Little Quarter up to Prague Castle, located in the Hradcany district. The castle complex, dominated by St. Vitus's Cathedral, is Prague's crown jewel. From the castle gardens, visitors can gaze out at the red rooftops and hundreds of spires that define the city.
The main center of Prague is easy to travel around foot, but the city is well-connected by a network of buses, trams, and a metro.
The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, but the official currency is still the Czech Koruna.
Prague is on the River Vlatava. Stare Mesto and Nove Mesto the old and new towns are ont eh east bank and the west bank is Hradcany the Castle District and Mala Strana the lesser town are on the west bank of the Vlatava.