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As one of Europe’s most visited and most historic cities, Prague is a crossroads of Old World charm and 21st-century splendor. Meticulously preserved buildings tell the story of this ancient city through Gothic, Romanesque, baroque, and art nouveau architecture and its medieval center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the flip side, the Czech capital has leapt into the modern era, with acclaimed restaurants, art museums, and cutting-edge shops popping up amid cobblestone streets and towering church spires. Your accommodations put you in the center of a city that has been an international cultural hub for centuries – and, likely, centuries to come.
In the heart of Prague’s oldest neighborhood, Old Town Square’s ancient architecture has been carefully preserved. Today, it’s the city’s bustling hub, featuring alfresco cafes, street performers, and the iconic Astronomical Clock.
Prague has always been an epicenter of classical music; Mozart himself lived and worked in the city. Today, it’s home to three major opera houses and dozens of other venues featuring beautiful music and eclectic shows nightly.
Ride a funicular to the 1,043-foot-tall peak of this popular urban oasis. Among the sights are parks, gardens, a mirror maze, and an observation tower (designed as a replica of the Eiffel Tower) with stunning views of the city.
Prague’s eclectic museums illustrate its rich past through fascinating exhibits and artifacts. Czech National Gallery and Prague City Museum are among the best, and art lovers shouldn’t miss the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.
Visit in December to see traditional Christmas markets across town. Elaborate Christmas trees, authentic food and music, and locally made wares exude Old World charm. The largest are in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
Dozens of shops and artisans sell famous Bohemian crystal in both traditional and contemporary styles. Ask your hotel concierge for recommended dealers, as fakes and overpriced peddlers are all too common.
Coffee shops and beer halls have been a way of life in Prague for centuries. Just like generations of Czech writers and artists, get inspired over a local beer or turecká káva – Czech-style Turkish coffee served with grounds at the bottom of the cup.
Many restaurants add a kovert or couvert charge to your bill, meant to cover seemingly complimentary items like bread, bar snacks, and condiments. Most of the time it will be printed on the menu, but when in doubt, ask your server what you might be charged for.
Though it’s part of the European Union, the Czech Republic’s official currency is the Czech crown or koruna (shortened to “Kc” or “CZK”). You might find some shops or restaurants that accept euros, but don’t count on it.
On weekdays from roughly 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., many restaurants offer deeply discounted lunch specials. Offerings vary by restaurant, but you can likely expect the same hefty portions you’d get at dinner in prix fixe-style at a very agreeable price point.
Prague’s climate is typical of central Europe, with mild average temperatures that rarely stretch into extreme territory. Winters are cool, cloudy, and snowy; summers are sunny and temperate. Rain is common from late spring into early summer, but this is a great time to visit Prague: crowds are sparse and between showers, the weather is lovely.