Praha. This ancient capital of Bohemia is today home to almost 2 million people and the capital of the Czech Republic. Its epic history, legendary myths, medieval squares, Gothic cathedrals and spires, cobblestone streets, majestic bridges and delicious beer all contribute to making this charming UNESCO Heritage Site one of my favorite cities in Europe.
You’ll probably encounter more tourists than you care for in this relatively small city – it’s become a very popular destination since my first visit in 1999 – but relax, have a Pilsner Urquell (still cheaper than bottled water!!) and discover for yourself Prague’s magical atmosphere.
Wander through the cobblestone streets, ponder at the antiquated architecture, and marvel at the buildings that have literally…stood… the test…of time.
Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock
Located in the center of Old Town, this medieval square was once Prague’s main marketplace for over a millennium. Ahem, that’s a LONG time. Today, it is the main tourist attraction for the millions. The twin Gothic spires of the Týn Church, the 600 year-old Astronomical Clock, and the Old Town Hall are the makings of fairy tales and legends.
The Charles Bridge
Built in the 15th century, this iconic bridge is a must-see in Prague. Connecting the Old Town to Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter) and crossing the Vltava River, this magnificent structure boasts 3 bridge towers and 30 statues (all replicas today). There are lots of street vendors on this bridge so take care of your personal belongings while you stroll down what I think is one of the most beautiful examples of Baroque and Gothic architecture in Europe.
This 70,000 m2 UNESCO Heritage Site is the largest castle in the world! Built in the 9th century, it consists of both Roman-style architecture and Gothic-style modifications in the 14th century. Once the seat of the Kings of Bohemia, it is today the seat of the President of Czech Republic.
You can spend an afternoon here wandering its palaces, gardens, museums and the St. Vitus Cathedral, which dominates the grounds. Walk down the Golden Lane and check out the cute little colored souvenir shops.