Old meets new in a cultured capital

Dvořák, Mozart, Einstein, Kafka, Havel – they all lived in Prague at some point, and with good reason. Sometimes called ‘The heart of Europe’ or the ‘City of a Hundred Spires’, Prague has Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture that’s as varied and inspiring as its history is eventful. Beyond the buildings, holidays in Prague spent exploring the cobblestone streets will turn up a wealth of historic sites, and contemporary innovation in culture and cuisine.

Small in size and cheap to travel around, Prague has a wealth of interesting districts. The beautiful Old Town is a great place to start, but check out some of the more up-and-coming areas, too – Prague 7, a district that includes the Holesovice quarter, is fast becoming known as a cultural and artistic hotspot, with trendy galleries, cinemas and more. Meanwhile, the former industrial districts of Smichov and Karlin are now home to chic restaurants and boho cafés. Zizkov remains famous for its bars and nightlife (with many attracted by the famously affordable Czech beer), but it has upped its game in recent years, with hip speakeasies replacing many ageing ‘herna’ (slot machine) bars. With a vibrant combination of old and new, and many stories to tell, holidays to Prague are an enticing prospect.

All resorts in Prague

Three tips for a top trip

Trams are the way forward
Travel overground and try Prague’s fantastic citywide tram system, as it will give you the chance to experience a number of lesser-known sights, bars, cafés and restaurants.
Explore on foot
Once you veer away from the main sights, prices in cafés, bars and restaurants change dramatically. Going off the beaten track reveals fantastic hidden spots.
Go to the cinema
A trip to the pictures might not spring to mind as a holiday activity, but Prague has some beautiful ones featuring early 20th-century décor and subtitled films.

Best attractions to see in Prague

Havlicek Gardens

Nestled in the Vrsovice (Prague 10) district, these tranquil Italian Renaissance-inspired gardens have a small vineyard, fountains and beautiful flowers and plants – a great place to relax.

Dox Gallery

Located in trendy Holesovice, the Dox Centre for Contemporary Art is the country’s largest contemporary art museum – with no permanent exhibitions, it always has something new to see.

Prague Astronomical Clock

This intricate medieval clock is the oldest in the world that is still operational. Join the crowds in the Old Town Square to see the animated display when it strikes the hour.

Your Prague questions, answered

Heavy and meat-based, but vegan, vegetarian and international restaurants are emerging, while a large Vietnamese diaspora means there are plenty of southeast Asian restaurants.

At the higher end, marionettes and wooden toys are a particular feature of Prague’s traditional crafts. Or take home unusual tea from one of the many café-culture offshoots.

Prague is a true year-round destination. In the run-up to Christmas, the cobbled streets are lined with markets scented with spiced mulled wine. In the summer, it’s always possible to escape the heat by heading to the river, parks and beer gardens. The light in spring and autumn makes the buildings even more beautiful. Prague will always be busy, but its character changes a little with the seasons and it’s worth going back at different times of year to properly get to know this city.

People have visited Prague for a weekend and stayed for a lifetime. It’s ideal for long weekends as the city is so walkable. Three or four days mean you’ll see all the highlights in the city and start getting to know it. A week here and you'd be able to explore further afield. With UNESCO World Heritage towns just a few hours away, it would be worth hiring a car if you’re there for more than a couple of days and want to properly explore.

Beer and brewery tours will get you on an insider track – just remember that, as well as cheap lager, there are delicious historical brews and craft creations to discover.

It’s a great place for shopping. There are bargains to be had at Europe’s largest flea market, and there are also all the high-end designer stores you could want. Quirky boutiques line the 19th-century shopping passages and everywhere cute cafes are waiting to give you a rejuvenating shot of coffee. Kids will love the handmade wooden toys and puppets. The locally-sourced crystal and garnet make for beautiful souvenirs.

Prague is ideal for families. You can take boat trips on the river, check out the Castle and, if you want something a bit different, head over to the Artwork at the Rudolfinum. It’s a huge concert hall with a ground floor dedicated to kids, with interactive learning and craft stations. Kids will love the handmade wooden toys and puppets in the street markets and don’t miss out on Gulliver’s Airship – inspired by Gulliver’s Travels – at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. Just outside the city is Aquapalace, a waterpark with waterslides and a spa that is great whatever the weather.

If you thought Prague was busy during the day, wait for the night to fall. The city has it all, from beer halls to floating restaurants. Some of the bars have spectacular views over the rooftops and are perfect places to head for a sundowner. Whether you’re after flashing lights and pumping tunes or a chic bar with classy cocktails, you’ll find it here. And there aren’t many places in the world where you can visit a zoo at night!

Yes! One of the best things about Prague for tourists is that it’s compact. All the main sights and viewpoints can be reached on foot and, if you do get tired, there are cafes all over the place – or even the underground metro to whisk you back home. From Old Time Square you can walk to almost anywhere you’ll want to see within 30 minutes. Prague is a city where a walking tour with a local guide is a good option. These are when you’ll learn the fun facts, like Charles Bridge is held together with egg yolk.