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The world’s best beers, a skyline that makes Paris jealous and history to rival anywhere in Europe, it’s no wonder tourists are choosing Prague as one of their favourite city break destinations. 

Prague has become a byword for the ultimate city break, and it’s not surprising as it really is one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring cities. Tourists flock here in their droves to experience its fairytale splendour of medieval castles, Gothic cathedrals, winding cobblestone streets and a skyline heavy with church spires.

And with a range of architectural styles from the last 900 years, it’s no wonder this place is a World Heritage Site. Oh, and it’s also the birthplace of Budweiser, so expect plenty of places to stop off for a pint or three as you go about your travels. Seems like this city has the best of both worlds.
 
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Shopping


More than three dozen top dining venues around Prague are expected to participate in the seventh annual Grand Restaurant Festival, which runs throughout the month. Special tasting menus, starting at €9/CZK250, will give you a peek inside the city's elite restaurant scene for just a fraction of the normal price. Reservations are required. grandrestaurantfestival.cz


If mind puzzles get your heart racing, then you will want to spend an hour in one of Trap Prague's locked rooms where you'll have to decode a series of hidden clues to escape before the clock runs out. Choose between the Tomb Room, the Secret Agent's Office and the Bomb Room. trapprague.com


The city's festive outdoor ice rink opens on Ovocny trh, the square behind the Estates Theatre in Old Town, on 1 December. Bundle up and enjoy skating along to your favourite pop tunes. The rink is open daily from 10am until 9:30pm, through 31 January. Skate rentals cost just €1.85/CZK 50.



Hailed as one of the most significant cultural events of the summer, this year's edition of the Bohemia Jazz Festival features a number of jazz, blues, funk and world-music artists from across Central Europe. The festival takes over Prague's Old Town Square on 13-15 July for a series of free open-air concerts. bohemiajazzfest.cz


Many of Prague's museums and galleries will be staying open late on 13 June. The city's 12th annual museum night, running from 7pm to 1am, always attracts a big crowd. Highlights include the National Technical Museum and the Jewish Museum. Admission is free. prazskamuzejninoc.cz

Sightseeing


Film buffs will want to check out the Prague Short Film Festival, which runs 21-24 January at Kino Svetozor (41 Vodickova) just off Wenceslas Square. Now in its 11th year, the festival features 30-minute bite-sized submissions from local and international filmmakers. Tickets cost €2.90/CZK80 per screening. pragueshorts.com


Prague's famous Christmas markets officially open with a tree-lighting ceremony on Old Town Square on 28 November at 5pm. Vendors sell wooden toys and ornaments as well as embroidered lace, Bohemian crystal, mulled wine and traditional Czech pastries. Most markets, scattered throughout the city's public squares, run through to 1 January.


The wildly popular Signal Festival (15 to 18 October) turns some of Prague's most prominent monuments into large scale light installations. Many of the displays use intricate video mapping techniques and music to create awe inspiring optical illusions. The festival gets underway at various points throughout the city centre around 9pm. For more information visit www.signalfestival.com.


Dvorak Prague (6-23 September) closes out the summer music festival season with classical musicians from around the world coming together to celebrate the work of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. Most performances will be staged in the main hall of the Rudolfinum or at the Covent of St Agnes in the Old Town. dvorakovapraha.cz


Circus performers and street artists from across Europe take over Letna Park from 16 August until 3 September for a series of unique, kid-friendly shows. A highlight of the summer season, Letni Letna also includes photo exhibitions and circus workshops. letniletna.cz


The Czech Republic is hosting this year's Ice Hockey World Championship. Matches will be held in Prague's O2 Arena and the CEZ Arena in Ostrava. The tournament opens on 1 May with Canada and Latvia and the US and Finland facing off against each other. The final match will take place on 17 May in Prague. iihfworlds2015.com

Key Areas


Known national as 'Masopust' (or 'farewell to meat'), the carnival season in Prague always includes numerous neighborhood parades, lavish costumes and a lot of pork and beer. Carnevale Praha will hosts several Baroque concerts and dances, through 9 February at the Clam-Gallas Palace (20 Husova). carnevale.cz


Design Supermarket is one of the highlights of Prague's glitzy holiday shopping season. The annual event brings together dozens of local artisans whose handcrafts will be on sale at Kafkuv dum (3 Namestí Franze Kafky) from 10-13 December. It's the perfect place to pick up a couple of one-of-a-kind gifts. For more information visit designsupermarket.cz.


Considered one of the best secondhand stores in the city, the Prague Thrift Store (Sumavska 29) is well stocked with clothes, kitchenware, books, CDs, toys and jewellery, among other knickknacks. The inventory changes on a fairly regular basis, with a portion of all proceeds going to select non-profit organisations.


Strings of Autumn (5 October to 18 November) celebrates music talents from around the world with a series of concerts staged at various historic venues around the city, including the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle and the Czech Museum of Music. The nine concert lineup also includes a workshop for kids. For more information visit www.strunypodzimu.cz.


Fans of art and design, jewellery and fashion should be sure to check out Dyzajn market, where there are treasures galore to be found. You'll usually also find some great food stalls, decent music and a hip, arty crowd. dyzajnmarket.com.


The fifth annual Prague Pride takes place on 10-16 August. The programme includes numerous concerts, exhibitions, debates and parties at different venues around the city. One of the biggest of its kind in Europe, the festival culminates with a parade through the city centre, followed by a concert at Letna Park on 15 August. praguepride.cz

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