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Tourist information about Prague

Prague is a gem, a truly beautiful city, a UNESCO World Heritage site described as the ‘City of a Thousand Spires’. The capital of the Czech Republic has become one of Europe’s most popular city break destinations. It is also seeing an upsurge in westerners buying property there following the country’s entry in to the European Union. Currency goes a long way in the Czech capital which has voted Europe's 'best value' city.

Wandering over the Charles Bridge; strolling across the Old Town Square; the massive Hradcany or Castle area – each is hard to beat. Indeed, the only disappointment is the famous Wenceslas Square, with its McDonalds and dodgy night clubs.

Prague’s history reaches back to 400BC but the city gained importance when Charles IV of Bohemia became Holy Roman Emperor in 1346. This led to many of the city’s great buildings, including St Vitus Cathedral and Charles Bridge.

Miraculous escape

Despite six years of brutal Nazi occupation, the city was miraculously undamaged in the Second World War. The following forty year long Communist era did result in some hideous concrete buildings and economic stagnation for the country as a whole.

Charles Bridge, always packed with artists and entertainers, is the link between the Malá Strana or Lesser Town, with the imposing Castle above, and the Old and New Towns across the river. The Castle complex includes St Vitus Cathedral and, architecturally, one of the finest groups of buildings in Europe.

Staré Mesto, the Old Town, has quaint, narrow streets, the stunning Old Town Square and the Old Town Hall, and like much of central Prague, is packed with bars and restaurants. The Jewish Quarter is a little to the north, while Nové Mesto, the New Town, consists of the inner suburbs.

Beer is one of the city’s great attractions – the Czech lands is where Pilsner lager originated. Eating and drinking is still reasonably priced and of good quality.

Atmospheric season

It’s a city to visit at any time of year. Spring and autumn are ideal; summers are normally dry and pleasant while winter sees the city quieter and very atmospheric.

Prague has a cheap and efficient transport system that includes the metro, trams, buses and a funicular on Petrín Hill. Cobbled streets, tram lines and other drivers make car driving in Prague a difficult experience, but there is parking near most metro stations.

The two international rail terminals provide direct rail links to more than 20 European cities, including Munich, Vienna, Berlin and Paris. The main road routes into to Prague are the D1 from Brno, the E50, crossing the German/Czech border at Waidhaus/Rozvadov, the E59 and D1 to Vienna, the E55 to Dresden and Berlin and the E67 from Warsaw.

Praha Ruzyne International Airport is about 20km north west of Prague and there are shuttle minibus services. Budget airlines land there as do