PRAGUE

PRAGUE

Regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Central Europe and even the world, Prague is a city of rich history, remarkable architecture and rustic cobblestoned streets. Packed with tourist attractions, old-school cafes and lots of beer, Prague is the place for those who enjoy culture, serenity and history. Nestled in a romantic setting of riverside and charming bridges, Prague is renowned for being one of the most well-preserved cities in Europe. Often tagged as 'the City of a Hundred Spires', the city's skyline is dotted with historical domed structures and plenty of remarkable medieval church spires. The Old Town with its archaic squares and cobblestoned streets adds charm to this already beautiful city laid out according to the 1000-years old plan. Other than being brimming with architectural wonders, Prague is also a significant political, cultural and commercial hub continuing its legacy from the past. The historical centre of Prague, a total area of 866 hectares was declared as the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register in 1992 and thus drawing tourists in large number from all around the globe. With art spilling all around, aroma of delicious food and drinks wafting off the cafes, the strings of classical music vibrating through the air, Prague will enchant you with its beauty.

BY AIR

Prague is one of the major cities of Central Europe leading as a popular tourist destination. The city has an international airport namely Prague Airport catering to plethora of flight from almost all the major cities around the globe. Czech Airlines is the national carrier operating to several European and other international destination. One can take direct flight from UK, Middle East, Europe, Canada and other places.



BY TRAIN

Praha HlavnÍ N?dra_Í is the main railway station of Prague located at Wilsonova 300. Apart from serving its obvious purpose, it is also a masterpiece with domed art nouveau architecture. N?dra_Í Hole_ovice is another option that serves as the second largest international railway station. Trains heading to Berlin, Vienna and Budapest depart from this station. Although nestled in the north side of Prague, the station is well connected to the city centre through various mode of public transport including metro. Several over night sleeper trains directly link Prague to other major European cities. One can take the comfortable City Night Line sleeper trains while travelling from Germany to the city. The tilting Czech Pendolino is mainly used for commuting between Prague and other major cities of the country.



BY ROAD

Getting into Prague through a self-mode of transportation or a cab is quite easy. Try and avoid the peak hours as one might have to face heavy traffic. Car parking is available through the city both public and private as well as the streets.

Tourist Attractions

Prague Castle

One of the most popular tourist attractions of Prague, this castle is perched in the Hrad?any neighbourhood, adding a rustic charm to the skyline of the city. Once serving as the home of Bohemia's kings, it was originally established as a fortress around 970 AD. Today, this lofty Prague Castle is the official residence of the President of Czech Republic, exemplifying some of the chief architectural styles of the last millennium. This historic building has changed vividly over the years and is currently the most visited site of Prague. As one enters the castle beneath the Battling Titan statues, the prominent complex appears almost as vast as a small town. It comprises of three courtyards, fortifications and gardens along with other popular tourist attractions such as St. Vitus Cathedral (the oldest and most important site of the castle), the Old Royal Palace (former residence of Bohemian kings), St. George's Basilica and the Golden Lane. The view of the city's skyline adorned with countless spires and gorgeous Vltava River with the old town is spellbinding. It might not be possible to explore the entire complex within one day, so plan accordingly. Guided tours for the castle are available in various languages including English.

Charles Bridge (Karluv Most)

Extending up to the length of 520 meters, Charles Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Europe offering plenty of picture perfect views. Created in year 1357, it was built as a component of Charles IV's monumental building programme replacing the earlier Judita Bridge. Boasting of total 32 unique spots of interest, the bridge has been a focus of several superstitions such as the initial bridge stone being laid at precise time and date along with precise number of stones (135797531) in perfect alignment with the tomb of St. Vitus and the setting sun on the equinox gives the bridge extra strength. The highlight of the structure is its many impressive old statues, the most popular ones being Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV and that of John of Nepomuk (country's most revered saint), uncovered in 1683. It is believed that by rubbing the plaque at the base of the statue will grant ones wish. Other visually stunning point of the bridge is the view of River Vltava and spectacular Gothic gates. A stroll over Vltava during famous sunset is a breathtaking experience.

The Clementinum and the National Library

The Clementinum (Klementinum) is a huge complex comprising of plethora of impressive baroque and rococo architectures, mainly occupied by the Czech National Library. Although most part of the complex is closed for tourists but one can freely explore the courtyards or can opt for guided tour of 50 minutes. Baroque Library Hall, the Astronomical Tower and the Chapel of Mirrors are part of the tour. Declared as a public library in 1782, the National Library today houses more than six million books including copies of every book published in the Czech Republic. Other than its vast collection, the hall is also adorned with intricate ceiling artwork portraying Temple of Wisdom. The Astronomical Tower is other major highlight decorated with huge bronze of Atlas and exhibiting 18th-century astronomical instruments. One can also enjoy the jazz and classical concerts held in the Chapel of Mirrors on daily basis. Guided tours are available in English language offering an unforgettable experience.

The Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock

The best way to begin your trip in Prague is through this historic hub of the city, the12th-century Old Town Square (Starom_stsk? n?m_st?), nestled in the Old Town. The place serves as a heart of tourism comprising of elements suitable for visitor of every age group. One will find many places of interest in this square including palaces, churches and old houses such as gothic Staromestsk? Radnice (Old Town Hall), the major highlight of the area, Tyn Church and the Clementinum. The Astronomical Clock (orloj) is a must visit for all, which springs to life hourly from 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM with 2 Apostles and other figures appear and parade in procession across the clock face. For a panoramic view of the city, makes sure to climb or take elevator to the top of the Old Town Hall Tower. The place is quite a view in summers with visitors flocking every nook and corner and tables dotting the exterior of restaurants. Winters are the time for Christmas celebration with cityÕs largest Christmas Market.

The Church of Our Lady before Tyn

Located in the Old Town Square, The Church of Our Lady before Tyn is an impressive building with touches of Gothic architecture.æ An old structure one cannot miss out while on excursion of Old Town Square, The Church of Our Lady before Tyn (Kostel Matky Bo_? p_ed T_nem) is a captivating architecture exemplifying Gothic style. Commonly known as T_n Church, it comprises of 80-metre tall twin spires dominating the sky in the area bounding the building from each side, each one in turn supporting four small spires. As one enter the main entrance through a narrow channel, one will feel like going back to 15th century when the church was completed. Since then, the building has gone under many changes through centuries as the seat of power changed. With remarkable interior one, also get to witness the fine work of tombs, Gothic northern portal with its Crucifixion sculpture, an antique 17th-century pipe organs and early Baroque altarpiece paintings dating from 1649. If you get tired, there are five restaurants and cafes offering delicious refreshments nestled in the 11th century Ungelt Courtyard behind the church.

The Municipal House

Designed mainly by Antonin Balsànek and Osvald PolÕvka with a significant contribution from various major Czech artists, the Municipal House (ObecnÕ D?m) has been recently fully restored to its original form. This impressive architecture boasts of housing one of the most noteworthy and largest concert venues, Smetana Hall along with plenty of salient features. The exterior of the splendid Municipal House is adorned with a vast fresco on the arch above the second floor balcony while a large dome placed behind and above the arch adds to the beauty of this impressive civic building. The interior of the building is not far behind being decorated with fine stained glass windows and beautiful paintings. Lord Mayor's Room serves as one of the best part of the house featuring murals by Alphonse Mucha. One can best explore the place either through guided tours, which are also available in English, by simply attending the concert or trying out its caf_ or restaurants.

Prague Zoo

Regarded as one of the top tourist attractions of the city, Prgaue Zoo is an ideal place to explore the fauna and flora of Prague. Spread across an area of 143 acres, the zoo has also been ranked among worldÍs top 10 zoological parks based on visitorsÍ reviews. Established in 1931, this magnificently maintained zoo is just the right kind of place especially for kids to enjoy the trip. The place houses around more than 4800 animals of about 700 species. One will also find some endangered and almost extinct species such as the native Przewalski's horse. In addition, the key highlight of the zoo is a chairlift ride offering an impressive view of various enclosures including a giraffe exhibit, salamanders on display and the amazing indoor tropical jungle.

The Jewish Quarter (Josefov)

Originally considered as a slum area occupied by the Jews during 1200s, the Jewish Quarter was limited to the Castle District. It later on expanded to Josefov area and was transformed into one of the PragueÍs most fascinating place to visit. Today, the place boasts of housing Art Nouveau apartment buildings but with a tint of some old flavours. æHowever, the major attraction of the quarter is the Jewish Museum (_idovsk_ muzeum v Praze), which comprises of six distinct ancient sites, all being accessible through single ticket. The Maisel Synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, the Old Jewish Cemetery, the Ceremonial Hall, and the Klaus Synagogue are the six beautiful historic buildings housed in the museum premises, each one reflecting an amusing aspect of PragueÍs past.