Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and the most populous city in the country, with more than 2 million inhabitants. It was founded in the 9th century when its famous castle was built next to the Vltava River. The city flourished during the 14th century under the rule of Charles IV (the man after whom the bridge and tourist attraction is named). At the beginning of the 20th century the country separated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, leading to the creation of Czechoslovakia. It was invaded by Germany during the Second World War and then by the Soviet Union. It stopped being a Communist country in 1989, as a result of the Velvet Revolution. In 1993, the country was divided in two and Prague became the capital of the new Czech Republic.
Prague's international airport is situated 10 km from the city. Opened in 1937, it serves around 12 million passengers a year, making it the busiest airport in all of the new EU member states. Airlines like SmartWings, Ryanair, Pegasus Airlines, Lufthansa, Iberia, Swiss International, Wizz Air, Germanwings, British Airways and Aegean Airlines fly to cities all over the world, with its top destinations being Paris, Moscow, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid, Zurich and Brussels.
Getting from Mezinárodní letiště Václava Havla-Praha to the City Centre
There are 4 bus lines, including the Airport Express, that connect the airport with the main train station. The journey should take about 35 minutes.
Only take taxis with the AAA or FixTaxi logos, as they are the only ones with guaranteed prices - both provide services to and from the airport. Prices from the airport are about 28 CZK (1€) per km.
The R7 expressway is the quickest, most direct route if travelling by car.
Opened in 1871, this beautiful Art Nouveau building, directly in the centre of Prague, is served by international, regional and local trains. There is a metro station on line C located inside.
Getting from Praha hlavní nádraží to the City Centre
Line C of the Prague Metro is inside the station, and several tram routes (5, 9, 26) depart from outside the station. It's pretty close to the centre, with Wenceslas Square only a 5-10 minute walk away.
There is a AAA taxi rank on Wilsonova Street, directly in front of the main building.
This is Prague's second biggest station, with international services from both the north and west. All trains to Berlin and Dresden also stop there. It's located outside the city but is very well connected to the public transport network, and houses a bus station and a metro station.
Getting from Praha Nadrazi Holesovice to the City Centre
Metro station Nadrazi Holesovice (line C) is only 4 stops away from Wenceslas Square; there are also various tram lines (12, 14, 15, 24, 53, 54) that get you to the centre in 10-15 minutes.
Prague's primary bus station, located near the central Zizkov neighbourhood, sees 10 million passengers pass through it each year. This is no surprise given that more than 100 bus companies operate from there, with 450 departures a day to most European cities. Major lines are serviced by Eurolines, Student Agency and Megabus to name but a few. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the bus station.
Getting from ÚAN Florenc to the City Centre
The bus station is right by the Florenc Metro station at the junction of lines B and C, close to both a bus stop and tram stop which are less than 250m away. Apart from that, the bus station is extremely central, within reasonable walking distance of some of the city's major sights.
Prague is well connected to the European motorway network by the R6/E48 coming from Germany, the D5/E50 from Plzen, as well as the A22 from Austria. It is possible to drive right into the centre of Prague, but you have to be very careful with buses and trams which always have right of way. Trams are especially tricky as they come from the left and are harder to notice. The speed limit is 90km/h, although when approaching villages this slows down to 50 km/h. Other than that, all regulations are the same as any other EU country - except from a zero blood alcohol level when driving, which is strictly enforced.
Prague has one of the best public transport networks in Europe, with metro, bus and tram services that cover the whole city and its outskirts. The network also includes the Petřín funicular and 6 ferries. Due to its quality and accessibility, it has one of the highest rates of public transport usage in the world. Since it was extended in 2010, the Metro now covers 59 km and has 57 stations, with buses and trams going even further into the outskirts. In total there are 4 fare zones, the main ones being zone P (metro, trams, Prague public transport buses, the Petřín funicular, ferries and selected railway line section) and zone 0 (buses from the periphery areas).
Children and seniors pay 16kc for a single ticket, while students and juniors (15-19) get discounts on monthly tickets.
Bicycles are not as common a sight as in the rest of the country, but it's getting better thanks to initiatives introduced by Auto-Mat, an association that aims to reduce car traffic and increase the number of bikes on the road instead. There are currently 180 km worth of bicycle-routes, with 60 of these running separate from the road. Free cycling maps are available at the city hall.
Public transport works really well, so most people only uses taxis if they have luggage or they can't access the public transport easily. You have to be careful with taxis as there are many illegal ones that will overcharge tourists. Try to always book a taxi with one of these trustworthy companies: AAA, City Taxi, Profi Taxi, Halotaxi, Sedop.
Although people are increasingly using public transport due to the fact that parking is so difficult, like in any other big European city, it's still a very common way to get about. It is, however, safest to drive during the day, because at night no one has right of way which can be hazardous. It can be a push to find a space, but there are several car parks dotted around. These cost around 35kc (€1.20) an hour.
The city is really pedestrian-friendly; the old town has tight alleys and limited vehicle traffic, while in other parts of the city, the pavements are generally wide and there are numerous pedestrianised streets.
|Must Know||The Czech Republic does not use the Euro. Travellers to Prague will have to exchange their currency into Czech Koruna (CZK). 1 Euro is equivalent to approximately 27 CZK.|
|Must See||Take the Charles Bridge across the river to visit Prague Castle.|
|Must Do||The Czech Republic is famous for its draft beer- they even have the original version of Budweiser called Budweiser Budvar.|
|Did You Know||Dating from 1410, the Astronomical Clock in Prague’s Oldtown square is the oldest still operating in the world.|
Prague’s ancient squares, narrow cobblestone streets and medieval church spires create a fairy-tale atmosphere for anyone who visits the Czech Capital. Prague is one of Europe’s best preserved cities, complete with its own 9th-century castle which looms over the city from across the Vltava River. The plan of the Old City, which has been unchanged for over 1000 years, contributes to the tangible sense of history that pervades everything in Prague.
Prague has an excellent public transport system consisting of the tram, metro, bus, and train services. There are 17 carriers with about 2,000 specialized vehicles that offer interconnected services through the city and its suburbs. The leading operator comprises of 150 bus lines, 30 tram lines, and three metro lines. Operating both an underground and subway, the Metro is the fastest means of transport in Prague, as it's not prone to traffic and weather interruptions - making it a crucial part of the public transport system in the city. Buses are the most flexible means of transport in Prague, since they are not reliant on tracks. For those commuting between the capital and the neighboring small towns and villages, Prague Buses are the most efficient means of transport. The Prague Public Transit Co. Inc. has around 95 miles of tram lines with double tracks and about 1000 trams. Such an extensive network makes it an integral part of Prague's public transport system. The railway system in Prague is crucial as well, as it links the capital to the surrounding towns and the rest of the continent. The main train station in Prague is the Praha hlavní nádraí.
The best way to experience Prague and take in all its glory is on foot, as the city's main tourist attractions are relatively close together. These attractions are all connected by dreamy cobblestoned streets and meandering alleys. When exploring this historic city, start at the magnificent Wenceslas square located at the heart of Prague. A brief walk northwest of Wenceslas square reveals the famous Don Giovanni theatre where Mozart made his debut performance. Further in the same direction along Melantrichova Street, a winding cobblestoned path brings you to Prague's Old Town square, an architectural wonder. Stop by the café Mozart's first floor for refreshments and an opportunity to marvel at the astonishing clock tower with the dancing statues atop Our Lady of Tyn Church. Make your way to Karlova via Hosova Street for authentic souvenirs, continue along Vltava River over Charles Bridge, and be blown away by the breathtaking Prague castle that commands the skyline. The city of Prague is full of splendor and it is common to come across countless guided tour groups led by local tour guides who are passionate about the city.
Svíčková, tender beef served in a creamy vegetable sauce with a side of bread dumplings and garnished with whipped cream on a slice of lemon, is the traditional Sunday dish of Prague. Visitors are encouraged to try this delicacy, as well as many other home cooked specialties, in U Topolů, a friendly neighborhood pub in Prague-Dejvice. Other Czech food treats are beef tartare: raw, minced beef with a raw egg on top. It is typically served with a variety of condiments and spices so that you can mix it to your taste and then spread it on toasted bread, which has been flavored with garlic. The quirky Fraktal restaurant in Prague's Letná district serves this dish to perfection. If you feel like you need a snack whilst exploring Prague, try one of the many varieties of grilled sausages available from small stalls throughout the city. For something lighter, try a chlebíčky, an open sandwich that comes with toppings like cold roast beef or cheese salad. And if you have a sweet tooth, nothing beats buchty, sweet yeast dough rolls filled with plum jam and served with warm vanilla sauce - Cafe EMA at the Masaryk railway station serves excellent buchty.
Paris is a cosmopolitan city, boasting a booming economy, proud cultural heritage, and numerous sights. Something interesting is always happening in Paris, the city of lights. For the avid traveler, there are many things to see all year round, but the best time to tour Paris is from June to August. The weather is perfect for exploring the outdoors, and the different colors in the squares and gardens of Paris are breathtaking during this time. Vacationers can always relax and have fun by the River Seine. Other summer activities include outdoor concerts and festivals. Spring is also a good time to visit Paris, when tourists can enjoy the blossoming flowers in many parks around the city. Spring stretches from March to May. The offseason, which is during fall and winter, is a rather quiet time of year to visit Paris. Some travellers take advantage of these months as there are thinner crowds. travellers have a great opportunity to stroll around the Eiffel Tower without any rush or can peacefully admire the painting of Mona Lisa without waiting in a long queue. Whatever time of year you visit the city of lights, there are highlights that you should be sure to see during your trip.
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a gorgeous historic city that offers a lot to visitors. This city hosts beautiful cathedrals, ancient castles, and medieval bridges among other stunning architecture. You can visit Prague at any time, although some seasons are better than others. Prague experiences a continental climate that is characterized by extreme temperatures. The city has four distinct seasons, each with its pros and cons. Summers get scorching hot while winters are frigid. The best time to visit Prague is, therefore, during spring or early fall. For the most comfortable temperatures, visit Prague between March and May. March may still be chilly, but by April, the warm weather kicks in and is a delight to witness. From trees blooming, to fresh air flowing, to longer days, spring presents the perfect setting for outdoor sightseeing. Apart from the mild weather, springtime in Prague is not touristy and the fewer crowds means better and faster access to services and tourist attractions. Several festivities also occur during spring. Besides the wonderful Easter celebrations, the Khamoro festival is a must-attend event. Held in May, the Romani people will entertain you with their culture and great music.