: Czech Republic
Prague is one of Europe's most beautiful cities with its towering castle, picturesque bridges, café-dotted squares, winding cobblestone streets, and baroque churches. The city also has an exquisite old world charm, graciously and uniquely blended with a youthful vibe.
Most Prague hotels we offer are familiar international chains, offering a high level of service and amenities.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
Wandering the cobblestone streets and dining at sidewalk cafés in this enchanting city are the perfect romantic getaway.
History and Music Lovers
It seems that each beautiful church has a free (or inexpensive) chamber orchestra concert once a week and the youth music scene is as vibrant as any city in the U.S. History lovers will revel in the Castle Area, the Old Town, and the Jewish Quarter.
With castles, fountains, gardens, parks, squares, zoos, aquariums, and an astronomical clock complete with mechanical figures, Prague is a fantastic city for families.
What's the climate like?
How do I get around town?
Transfers between the airport and hotel are not included with your vacation package. To get to the city center, taxis are available and take between 30-50 minutes, depending on traffic. There is also public bus service, connecting to convenient metro stops.
Although Prague is a delightful walking city, it also has an excellent public transit system, including a subway (or metro), trams, and buses. Tickets (the same for buses and the metro) can be bought at dispensing machines in the metro stations and at some newsstands. And always, as in all larger cities and crowded areas, be on the lookout for pickpockets.
Taxis are a convenient way of getting around town, particularly in the evening, when the metro and trams run more infrequently. It is recommended to have your hotel or restaurant call a taxi for you.
You won't need a car within Prague as there are numerous pedestrian-only streets and the public transportation system is so efficient.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Traditional Czech food will stick to your ribs with its large portions of meat, along with dumplings or potatoes. In addition to Czech food, you'll also find a cornucopia of cuisines from around the world, ranging from Italian to Mexican.
For nightlife, classical concerts are some of the best deals in town—and you could even hear a Mozart concerto in a venue where he once conducted. More modern music tastes can find jazz clubs, techno clubs, and rock concerts.
Here are few restaurants to try:
A great place to duck into for a beer and daily lunch specials (hotovky), including solid classics, a game section with daily offers, and a nice rotisserie
Stellar service and elegant meals of high quality at moderate prices are de rigueur here, at one of the best and most dependable restaurants in Prague.
Cerný Kohout/Black Rooster
This family-run restaurant is cozy, comfortable, and full of European charm and serves Czech cuisine with gourmet flair. Located in New Town.
The place to go for great food in Wenceslas Square, along with a tantalizing selection of dishes combining pan-Asian, Continental, and Czech themes. There is also a patio in warmer months.
Easily the city's best-known café with an amazing atmosphere and perfect location. Be sure to pick a table with castle view while you dine on Czech standards, sandwiches, or pasta.
Offering up one of the city's best wine lists in addition to outstanding Czech food, mingled with the touches of Italian and French cooking.
Where should I go shopping?
All the great department stores are here, including Marks & Spencer and H&M, as well as top designers, such as Versace. For the epicenter of Prague shopping, head to the area in front of the National Museum, and then down along both sides of Václavské námestí. Here you'll find boutiques, local designers, and the more familiar names in fashion.
Great things to buy in Prague are crystal and glassware, as well as garnets. Prague has a reputation for quality garnets—the deep red stones are a Prague icon. Traditional handicrafts made of wood, leather, and lace are also good items to look for.
When are the local events?
Prague overflows with events, especially those involving music and theater. Here are some of the annual events.
St. Nicholas' Eve
December 5. This is mostly celebrated in the city center. People wander around the streets in threesomes, dressed as St. Nicholas, an angel and a devil, symbolizing confession, reward and punishment.
December. A giant Christmas tree lights up the center of Old Town Square, while the space around it is crammed with market stalls selling carved toys, ceramics, glass figurines, Christmas gifts, delicious gingerbread cakes, barbecued sausages, and mulled wine.
April 30. This festival marks the end of winter and the new birth of spring. Bonfires are lit to purge the winter spirits. These festivals are mostly found in the countryside but can be seen at Petřín Hill in Prague as well.
May 8. To celebrate the end of World War II.
Prague Spring International Music Festival
Mid May through the beginning of June. This is a famous series of classical music and dance performances in churches, palaces and concert halls, drawing thousands of visitors every year. Enjoy a first-class symphony, opera and chamber music from talented artists.
Summer Old Music Festival
Throughout June. Held at Collegium Marianum throughout June. It is quite popular and also attracts some of the best performers around.
Prague Autumn International Music Festival
September – October. See international and Czech orchestras at the famous venue Rudolfinum. The festival features some world-renowned classical talents including Russian symphony orchestras and choirs, virtuoso violinists, symphonic arrangements of jazz and much more.
Vinohrady Grape Harvest
Late September. You can visit the annual celebration of the country's first grape harvest. There is traditional music and crafts along with plenty of young wine.
International Jazz Festival
Last week in October. If you like jazz, this festival should not be missed especially as you can see performances by jazz legends from all around the world, with plenty of local stars in between. The festival is held in several venues across Prague but mostly at Lucerna Music Bar.
Freedom and Democracy Day
November 17. National Holiday. On this day, Czechs commemorate 2 remarkable events in the Czech history—one happened in 1939 and another one exactly 50 years later, in 1989. The former commemorates the student demonstration against Nazi occupation, the later the demonstration against the communist government, which was again held by students, and led to the so-called Velvet Revolution. A commemoration and wreath-laying ceremony is conducted in Wenceslas Square.
Before sitting down, always ask if the chair is available. There is no need to flag down the waitperson; they will know you want a beer and will bring it over to you without asking (most pubs serve only one kind of beer, so you don't have an option). Your waitperson will probably continue to bring you additional beers until you say no thanks. Your tab will most likely be a strip of paper with marks on it—don't loose the piece of paper or write on it. Round up the bill; only give a traditional U.S.-style tip if the service was outstanding.
Mozart visited Prague several times. During his first trip he conducted a performance of his opera The Marriage of Figaro, which had a more successful run in Prague than in Vienna. On his second trip, in 1787, he conducted the world premiere of Don Giovanni.
Hills Made Easy
When going to the Castle area, the most useful tram is 22, which takes you up to Prague Castle.
An excellent side trip from Prague, if you have a rental car. Ceský Krumlov is surely one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Built around loops of the Vltava River, the town is listed as second in importance on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, behind only Venice. Plan on spending the night here, as the town is about 4 hours from Prague.
Good to Know:
|Prague Ruzyne Airport
|May - October
|January and February
|Czech Koruna (CZK)
|Czech, but English is widely spoken by those 40 and under
|Prague is 7 hours ahead of the Central Time Zone
|Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the United States and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas, and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
|10% is acceptable at restaurants, unless the tip has been added to the bill. Tip 10% for taxis, too.
|Prague is an extremely youthful city, so casual attire is accepted just about anywhere. However, if attending a musical concert (especially if held in a church) or going out to a finer restaurant, dressing up is recommend.