A blanket of red tiled rooftops and sky-grazing copper spires are the first breath-taking sight on arrival in Prague. One of the most exquisitely beautiful cities in the world, it is also one of the most ethereal. With puppets and gargoyles, tales of witches and Golems and narrow, cobbled medieval streets, visiting Prague is nothing short of magical. Like a set from a Brothers Grimm fairytale.
Prague is divided into two main districts; Mala Strana (the Lesser Town) and Stare Mesto (the Old Town). In the Lesser Town, Gothic Prague Castle conceals hidden treasures and panoramic views, resting on its hilltop perch. Nearby Golden Alley’s miniature colourful shops and the imposing grandeur of St Vittus Cathedral are also a must see sight. Iconic Charles Bridge stoops over the sweeping Vltava River and peaceful Kampa Island below, leading to Wenceslas Square with its quirky Astronomical Clock (built in 1490) and Kafka bookshop. Underground jazz bars serving absinthe add to Prague’s enigmatic reputation while concert halls, opera houses and beer taverns offer something a little more ‘traditional’.
Cutting edge art can be found in DOX, a renovated industrial space that epitomises urban contemporary culture, while nothing could be more Czech than a puppet show. Not just for children, the art of puppetry goes back a long way in Czech history. The Divadlo Minor puts on some of the best shows in town.
Finally, don’t leave Prague without a visit to Cafe Slavia, Prague's most famous cafe. Beautifully decorated, former President and dissident Vaclav Havel was a regular there along with some of the country’s most prominent artists, writers, philosophers and revolutionaries.
Flights to Prague land at Vaclav Havel Airport located on the northwest edge of Prague, around 17 kilometres north of the city. The cheapest option for travelling to the centre of Prague is either by public bus or the Airport Express. Bus numbers 100 and 119 take visitors to metro stations Dejvicka and Zlicin respectively from where the metro then links up to the city centre.
What you need to know
Currency: The Czech Koruna (CZK)
Visas: British citizens holding a full British Passport do not need a visa to travel to the Czech Republic. Only those holding British Overseas Territories Citizen passports, British Overseas Citizen passports, British Subject passports or British Protected Person passports require a visa. Passports must be valid for the entire duration of stay in the Czech Republic.
Laws: The legal age for consuming alcohol in the Czech Republic is 18. Drinking on the street is illegal except for special times of year such as New Year celebrations. Breaking this rule may incur up to a 1000 CZK fine.
Best times to Visit
Prague is a beautiful city all year round; however those looking to escape the tourist season should visit either in the winter months or early spring. In winter Prague’s streets are lined with festive Christmas markets and hotels are cheaper, while the prospect of snow dusting the city’s rooftops promises even more of a fairytale encounter. Spring brings with it sunnier weather but still fewer tourists and the chance to stroll the Charles Bridge in peace. Summer is undoubtedly the most popular time of year to visit Prague with attractions open daily, long, warm sunny evenings filled with live music and beer gardens, street stalls and entertainers. Festival goers should visit in January for Prague’s Short Film Festival, September for the Fresh Film Fest, March to take part in the One World Humanitarian Film Fest or July for the world renowned Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
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Airports near Prague
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