Among the cities of the old world (Europe), Prague ranks highest when it comes to its bohemian allure and fairy-like features of an old city. A beach-weary traveler can devote an entire day in exploring Prazka Hrad (Prague Castle), have a hearty meal at some classic Czech tavern, spend some time marveling the sights at the Old Town Square before heading off to some cellars in historic pubs to finish off the night.
One of the largest cities in Central Europe, Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and had also been the capital of the historic region of Bohemia for centuries. With its unique medieval architecture, the historical center of the city is included in the World Heritage List.
History and the modern swing
Among the Central European cities, Prague is regarded by many as one of Europe’s most charming and beautiful cities. Today, it is one of the most popular travel destinations along with Vienna and Krakow with its more than 6.4 million tourists a year (5th most visited city in Europe).
The city is still filled with age-old magical images of bridges and gold tipped towers and church domes reflected in the swan-filled waters of Vitava River for more than ten centuries. Barely touched by the violence of WWII, the city’s medieval castles remain with the cobbled lanes, walled courtyards, cathedrals and church spires.
But these outside images are just part of the city’s magic charms. It has the modern vibrations of an energetic city full of energy, music, culture, art, fine dining and some special events that mark the city’s façade of adventure, most especially for tourists.
Most popular sites
Prague Castle, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the biggest ancient castle in the world. It rises majestically like a dream bringing the visitor an all-around panorama of the while city itself. And then, there is the St. Vitus Cathedral and its lookout tower.
Worth visiting too are the Castle Picture Gallery, the many palaces and museums and the mesmerizing Royal Garden, among many other worthwhile things. For the curious, you can watch the changing of the Presidential guards on duty every hour.
The Charles Bridge is one of Prague’s most beautiful structures. It connects the Old Town to the Lesser Town. During daytime, the whole bridge is bustling with tourists, musicians, and artists selling their paintings and handmade jewelries.
The Old Town
This is Prague’s historic center that includes historic buildings and monuments, and the famous Astronomical Clock. There is also the Gothic Tyn Church, the Storch Building all covered in murals, and the Jan Hus monument.
The New Town was an extension to the Old Town in the 14th century. Wenceslas Square is the main attraction here, with its many stalls, shops and restaurants. The National Museum is well worth looking into at the top of the square.
You cannot miss the beautiful churches (St. Nicholas Church is the most well-known) and streets at the Lesser Town. The Infant of Prague, the famous statue of Christ as a child is the most widespread among religious images in the world. The original is at the Church of Our Lady of Victorious in Lesser Town.
Indeed, to get away from the same humdrum of your life, you can always visit Prague and see for yourself why this world has some magic left with it.