Legend has it that the city of Prague was founded by the daughter of Krok, a mythical Czech king. Looking down on where the city now stands, she said she could see a city “that would touch the stars”. Now, the capital city of the Czech Republic is often called the city of a Hundred Spires.
At well over a thousand years old, this city is a must for those who love history and architecture. A mix of modern and ancient – there’s just too much to miss. For those who want to explore the fun side of this city, you can rely on a quirky underbelly that simply never sleeps.
From the more expensive tourist bars and clubs of the Old Town, which are a surprising delight, to the cheap and cheerful neighbourhood bars down cobbled alleyways (the locals here love to drink with tourists), you’ll find that beer is a beautiful thing in Prague. It’s also a thing you’ll see being enjoyed all day long!
From spying the city capped with snow, from the heights of Prague Castle to wearing a t-shirt on a hike through Průhonice Park (the largest landscaped park in Europe), this city’s beauty never disappoints. Whether it’s sightseeing, late night raving or something altogether more active, we think you’re going to love Prague holidays just as much as us.
Stare Mesto – Prague 1
Stare Mesto, or the Old Town, of Prague is an absolute must for Prague city breaks. It’s the city’s very centre. The beating heart of this old girl. Prague 1 is where you’ll find Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock, and the Jewish Quarter.
Mala Strana – Prague 1
Also found in Prague 1, Mala Strana can be found across the Vltava River from Stare Mesto. It’s a beautiful part of the city, and the high-walled streets are filled with unassuming embassies. Mooch around here, visit the old monastery for a pint of dark beer and seek out the miniature museum…a hidden gem.
Vinohrady – Prague 2
Walk just outside of Wenceslas Square and you’ll cross into Prague 2. One of the prettiest and most desirable neighbourhoods, Vinohrady is hip, young, and fresh. Think trendy cafés and restaurants and an altogether quieter scene than can be found in Prague 1.
Just the walk through the Old Town on the way to the castle is probably enough to satisfy most. With its winding ancient alleyways (and numerous authentic medieval pubs), National Square (complete with must-wait-and-see 15th-century Astronomical Clock), and, of course, world-famous Charles Bridge, you could be mistaken for thinking there was little more to see.
Prague Castle is the world’s largest ancient castle (dating back to 870AD!), it has housed emperors, kings and presidents. It remains home to the Bohemian Crown Jewels, which are kept in a secret room. But once you get to the castle you won’t be thinking about that, you’ll be looking out at the incredible views of the city skyline, which many argue is the best city view in the world. And make sure you get to the main courtyard for 12:00, so you don’t miss the famous changing of the guard.
Walking along 14th century Charles Bridge, you will be surrounded by beautiful black Baroque statues of various saints. It’s a tradition to touch the saints’ toes, but don’t worry about spoiling them, as they are all replicas of the originals, which now reside in National Museum. Come to the bridge at night and trip along the illuminated pathway, as this busy city reflects in the River Vltava.
The museum is located in Wenceslas Square, which by itself is something of a wonder. The main museum itself houses over 14 million artefacts, and is a wonderful example of neo-renaissance architecture.
Petřín Hill and Observation Tower
If you’re looking for green space then look no further than this 318m high hill. Perched up above the rooftops of Prague, it’s an easy walk from Strahov Monastery. Or you can take the funicular railway to the top (or get off 2/3rds of the way up and walk the rest of the way). Prepare to be spoiled by spectacular views of the city and several attractions, including a lookout tower and a mirror maze.
Hop on a bus or a train (public transport is very easy to manage in Prague), and an hour’s ride will take you to the town of Plzen, where the Pilsner Brewery is found. Rated one of the best beer tours in the world, the Pilsner Brewery tour contains a model of the brewery from the 19th Century, a 1930s Brewhouse, historic cellars, and a tour round the traditional brewing method and tools. The tour costs CZK 200 (under £10), and lasts 100 minutes. And of course, the tour ends with a beer tasting in the Pilsner cellars.
Česky Krumlov is a proper day trip out of the city. Taking between two and three hours on the train (which is direct from Prague), Česky Krumlov is one of the most beautiful parts of the Czech Republic. With the River Vltava running through it, and a beautiful castle sitting on the hill, expect lively bars and backpackers blended with peaceful picnic spots and quiet cobbled streets. There are even a few river-side beaches, where canoeists draw up their boats for a rest. Česky Krumlov is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and with its medieval fairy tale vibe, you’re sure to understand why.
The Old Jewish Cemetery
Found at the heart of the Jewish district, surrounded by high walls, Prague’s Old Jewish Cemetery is a chilling yet fascinating sight. Set within a tiny space, the cemetery contains almost 12,000 tombstones. Some 100,000 Jews are buried within the tiny graveyard, with tombstones marking spots mere centimetres from each other. Go, pay your respects, then continue wandering for a hearty lunch and a giant beer in the peaceful and charming Jewish district.
The best time to visit Prague varies depending on the kind of Prague city break you’re after. Generally, for fewer crowds, you should plan to go during spring and early autumn. Prague’s busy season generally runs from May to October, and sees another peak at Christmas time.
In spring, Prague is mild and bright without being too busy. Over the summer months, the city gets really very busy, but has the advantage of being sunny and warm. Autumn remains mild in Prague, before dipping into cold weather in the winter. Prague’s coldest temperatures are generally towards the beginning of the year, when you can expect to find snow.
Prague’s festivals run throughout the year, giving a colourful and varied calendar for the city. Prague’s film festival, Febiofest, runs from March 23rd-31st, and tickets cost around £2. The Prague Marathon is held on the 5th-7th May each year, and is hugely popular. Equally popular, for entirely different reasons, the Czech Beer Festival can be savoured on the 11th-27th May each year, while Prague Fringe turns the city colourful between May 26th and June 3rd.
Prague Spring is a classical music festival held between May 12th and June 2nd, and United Islands is the city’s biggest (and free) music festival, on 22nd June to the 25th June. Continuing the musical theme, Bohemia Jazz Fest can be enjoyed between July 11th-19th.
If you’re after a little circus fun, visit Letní Letná between August 17th and September 3rd. October’s Signal Light Festival, between the 12th and the 15th, sees Prague’s buildings lit up in ghostly and ethereal fashion. And finally, Prague’s Christmas Market fills the city with classic smells of cinnamon and grog throughout December.
Cuisine in Prague
A great way to enjoy the cuisine in Prague is probably to go on a walking food tour. From the wonders of the steak tartare, which always manages to surprise, to the wonderful Kulajda, pronounced “ku-lay-dah”, a creamy traditional Czech soup, but don’t miss the excellent goulash or the sensational schnitzel. Or the wieners. Honestly, there’s just too much to discuss here!
But let’s be honest, although the food is delicious, many people coming to Prague are really just after a good pint. The Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita in Europe, and that means they have to make the best. You won’t be disappointed. From the mainstays of Staropramen Pilsener and Budweiser Budvar to the many microbreweries and craft beers, the best advice is to try it all.
Prague is bursting at the seams with restaurants, from hundred year-old restaurants to the more modern kitchens that serve a fusion of traditional Czech food but with contemporary twists. For something cheap and traditional, don’t miss Lokál. And it’s not too hard to find a restaurant with a view. For a delicious Italian meal, try Marina – a restaurant on a river boat! Though you will pay extra for the view, it’s all so affordable in Prague, you really won’t mind!
When you’re wandering around, don’t miss out on the Trdelník. Available on most street corners, this is a delicious warm pastry wrap, covered in sugar, cinnamon and nuts – perfect to keep you warm in the early morning.
Prague holidays are made for holidaymakers from all walks of life; from party animals to families. With day trips to the nearby national parks, hundreds of museums, quirky architecture and of course the flourishing nightlife; this is a vibrant and beautiful place to visit year-round.
Booking your Prague city breaks with easyJet holidays is the best way to get to this must-see destination hassle-free. Best of all, you can save on your Prague holidays when you book your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays.