Prague travel guide
Prague’s turbulent history goes back thousands of years to when it was little more than a hillside castle. Now it is the largest city in the Czech Republic and its thriving, buzzing and highly colourful capital. The aim of our Prague travel guide is to bring tourism and travel information to you so that you may judge for yourself what this cosmopolitan city in Central Bohemia has to offer you.
Once a vital merchant trading centre for Germany and Italy and also an important slave market, it was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. During World War II it was occupied by Nazi Germany and subsequently by the Red Army and all of this has left diverse artistic influences on the city. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain some thirty years ago, Prague has been one of the most visited cities in Europe.
What we see in Prague today is therefore a city made rich and colourful by history and its multi-cultural past. The Second World War, which devastated so many towns and cities in the vicinity, was miraculously kinder to Prague and many of the city’s buildings and eclectic architectural features were undamaged, enabling them to be preserved for generations of art and history lovers.
Try to catch a concert at Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle to truly appreciate its elegance, or tour the banqueting hall and admire its 17th century frescoes, or the enthralling toy museum. The museum houses a breathtaking collection of artwork spanning eight centuries as well as rare musical scores from Mozart and Beethoven, and a fascinating gun collection.
There is an awe-inspiring gothic cathedral as well as churches, museums and historic buildings too numerous to list. The Baroque Castle with its towers and turrets draws you into a magical fairytale landscape only equalled by the Old Town Square with its gothic buildings and tenth century astronomical clock. Prague may seem to be a hotchpotch of architectural styles ranging from Gothic through Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau and right up to the very modern – but that’s exactly what gives the city its unique charm.
You will inevitably be drawn to the Charles Bridge Tower, a pedestrian bridge linking the lesser and Old Town. This is crammed with local musicians, artists and vendors touting their talents and wares to the tourists, but is an experience not to be missed.
Wenceslas Square, Lennon Wall, Petrin Tower, monuments, theatres and even a zoo are all crammed into the heart of this city on the Vlatva River, so it should be no real surprise that most of its centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One thing is absolutely certain: one visit to this stunning city is definitely not enough to really appreciate all the wonders it has to offer.