Prague is the largest city in the Czech Republic, and serves as the national capital. In fact, the city of Prague has served as a capital, as well as a hub of commerce, society, and government for centuries now. Before it was the capital of modern-day Czech Republic, it was the capital city for the empires of Bohemia. The city has a magical collection of bridges, cathedrals, and gold-topped towers that make it a wonder to behold with the eye. Nestled along the banks of the Vltava River for more than a millennium, Prague was one of the few major cities of Europe to escape major damage during World War II.
When to visit
There are many reasons to visit Prague on a year-round basis. If you can handle the cool, moderate winters, you'll find a joyful atmosphere throughout the city even when the temperatures outside dip. Among the many things that draw visitors to Prague are the Prague Folklore Days, the largest folk dance festival in central Europe, and Prague Spring, a classical music festival.
If you visit in the spring or summer, river cruises are an incredibly popular option. JazzBoat stands out in the crowd, offering river cruises with the entertainment of jazz concerts onboard the ship. Cruise Prague offers a variety of regularly scheduled cruises, as well as private accommodations.
Prague's climate is classified as a temperate climate with moderate variations. Spring and fall are generally considered the best times to visit Prague from a weather standpoint. Temperatures are not at their highest, but there are fewer tourists and you'll find the city a little more open and inviting with fewer travelers clogging local roads, restaurants, and hotels.
The average high temperature in September and October is 66 F (19 C) and 55 F (13 C), respectively. Springtime temperatures are equally inviting, with high temperatures averaging 55 F (13 C) and 64 F (18 C) in April and May, respectively. Summer brings temperatures approaching 80 F (24 C) in June and July, but more visitors as well. Winter can be beautiful in Prague as snow covers the buildings of the city, adding to its visual splendor. Be aware, however, that temperatures rarely exceed 30 F (-2 C) between December and February.
When you travel to Prague, take the time to visit as many of the city's various districts as you can. The city's districts are labeled as Praha. Each district is number one through 10, with Praha 1 located in the oldest part of the city. You'll find the highest concentration of tourist attractions here in Praha 1. Praha 2 is nearby and contains a number of historically important buildings. Other sites worth visiting as you make your way through the individual districts include Prague Castle. This is the nexus of the city, historically, and is the highest point on the left bank of the Vltava River. Lesser Town is located in Praha 1 and Praha 5, and is a small settlement located around the castle.
Charles Bridge was constructed in the 14th century to connect the areas of Old Town and Lesser Town. Today it is one of the most beautiful structures in the city and is a bustling hub of trade, entertainment, and artists selling paintings and jewelry. Prague Dancing House is known locally as "Fred and Ginger," and is one of the city's more fascinating designs.
The city has number museums and art galleries, with the Jewish Museum serving as a somber reminder of the suffering of the region's Jewish citizens during World War II. The museum covers six separate places, and offers moving reminders of the writings of children who suffered in Nazi death camps.
Tips & Recommendations
• Consider purchasing a Prague Card. Valid for 4 days, you'll get access to over 50 attractions in and around Prague.
• Stay fit. See Prague has 74 miles (120 km) of bike paths, so it's easy to get around the city and take in some of its many historical attractions in the process.
• Meet the locals. Natives of Prague are happy to take small groups on walking tours that generally last 90 minutes.
• Czech is the official language of the nation and the city of Prague, but English is spoken to some extent by most young people.
• Pickpocketing and car theft are common in Prague, so keep your wallet close and don't leave valuable in plain sight in your vehicle.
On a budget? 2-star Pension Tara - Hostel is an excellent choice. With fewer than 20 rooms here, you'll avoid big hotel crowds. The property is only 1.0 km (0.6 miles) away from Namesti Republiky Station. The neighborhood's many attractions include Astronomical Clock, Storch House and National Theater, all within easy reach. Old Town Hall is only 0.1 km (0.1 miles) from here. Liechtenstein Palace is nearby.
The modest-sized I'm Hostels and Apartments offers attentive service. 2-star rooms are a good value here. The convenient transit hub Hlavni Nadrazi Station is not far. Slav and Střelecký Ostrov isn't hard to reach from this accommodation.
For a budget property, the 2-star Artharmony Pension & Hostel - Prague is good value. Sometimes the best things come in small packages, and this is one of those. By public transit, your best choice is Praha hlavni nádrazí station. You can walk to New Town, Wenceslas Square and Prague Old Town from here. The area offers numerous sight-seeing opportunities, such as New Town Hall. Plan to visit Slav and Střelecký Ostrov? This property is a good choice!
In contrast with impersonal corporate hotels, Pension Easy Journey offers a more intimate atmosphere. The 3-star rating promises an enjoyable stay in Prague. You can walk to Stĕfánik Observatory, Petrin Tower and Dancing Building from here. This is a great location for walking to landmarks such as Lesser Quarter, Charles Bridge and New Town. Plan to visit Slav and Střelecký Ostrov? This property is a good choice! Conference facilities nearby include Liechtenstein Palace.
Save money by staying in this 2-star AKÁT Pension & Apartments. In the surrounding area, Charles University Botanical Gardens, Faust House and Dancing Building are among the attractions you can enjoy. St. Martin's Rotunda is close to this location. The holiday accommodation is perfectly located for visiting Slav and Střelecký Ostrov. Nearby museum choices include Vyšehrad Citadel and Bertramka Villa or Mozart Museum.
If you dislike giant hotels, Penzion Sofi may be a good choice. Offering 2-star rooms, this is a great option for good quality at a low price. The lodge is ideal for enjoying nearby Slav and Střelecký Ostrov. This location offers easy access to Prague Congress Centre, a popular conference and events arena.
With no more than 20 rooms, Pension Nika is a small boutique establishment. The 3-star rating ensures a memorable stay here. The holiday accommodation is perfectly located for visiting Slav and Střelecký Ostrov. Nearby Prague Congress Centre is a popular place for conferences and banquets.
With fewer than 20 rooms, Villa na Vinici is more intimate than many Prague lodgings. The high star rating ensures a comfortable stay along with excellent facilities. Slav and Střelecký Ostrov is close to this property. Nearby Prague Congress Centre is a popular place for conferences and banquets.
You're sure to enjoy great service and quality, at 3-star Pension Villa Madona. Havlíèkovy Sady and Franciscan Garden are recommended favorites. St. Martin's Rotunda is only 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from here. While in Prague, spend a few hours exploring Czech Police museum or Vyšehrad Citadel. This location offers easy access to Prague Congress Centre, a popular conference and events arena.