Top 10 Picks of Prague
1. Take a tour of Prague Castle, it was most likely founded in around 880 by the Prince Borivoj of the Premyslid Dynasty. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with an area of almost 70,000 m². A UNESCO World Heritage site, it consists of a large-scale composition of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles, from the remains of Romanesque-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications of the 14th century. The famous Slovenian architect Josip Plecnik was responsible for extensive renovations in the time of the First Republic (1918-1938). Since the Velvet Revolution, Prague Castle has undergone significant and ongoing repairs and reconstructions.
2. Stroll over the Charles Bridge, Prague’s oldest bridge was built to replace the Judith Bridge that had been badly damaged by floods in 1342. The bridge, called Charles Bridge since 1870, was built in 1357 by Charles IV., but completed in 1402. The bridge is built of sandstone blocks, flanked at each end by fortified towers (Lesser Town Bridge Tower, Old Town Bridge Tower). From 1683 to 1928, 30 statues of saints were carved to decorate the bridge, the most famous of them is the statue of St. John of Nepomuk.
3. The library of the Premonstratensian monastery at Strahov is one of the most valuable and best-preserved historical libraries – its collection consists of approximately 200,000 volumes. The oldest part of the library, the Baroque Theological Hall, was established between 1671 and 1674; the main Classicist vaults of the Philosophical Hall date from 1794 and are two storeys tall. Both halls are dominated by ceiling frescoes by Siard Nosecky and Anton Maulbertsch.
4. See a piece of Art Nouveau architecture, an Art Nouveau building, built from 1905 to 1911, is the proof of unprecedented artistic, craft skills and quality. The café, the French and the Pilsner restaurants, the American bar, the Lord Mayor’s Salon and the Smetana Hall are all examples of perfectly executed Art Nouveau interiors, decorated by leading artists and sculptors such as Alfons Mucha, Jan Preisler, Ladislav Saloun, and others. Lovers of Art Nouveau can take a guided tour of the whole building.
5. Spend the day at Kampa, this park – an island between the Vltava River and its side branch, Certovka, where you can find the huge mill wheel of the 15th century former Grand Priory Mill, is one of the most romantic and picturesque places in the city. Not surprisingly, the prestigious traveler’s server VirtualTourist declared it the second most beautiful city island in the world. Grassy areas of the island are widely used for picnics and relaxation.
6. Visit Prague Zoo. Thanks to its unique position, Prague Zoo is considered one of the most beautiful zoos in the world. The rugged terrain offers over 10 km of walking trails through such exotic exhibitions as the African House, the Indonesian jungle, or the Valley of the Elephants. This beautiful slice of nature is a popular destination for families with children who can pet and feed animals at the Children’s Zoo.
7. Have lunch at Kavárna Slavia - Café Slavia is a traditional café in the historical centre of Prague that offers Czech and international cuisine. The National Theatre, Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle can be seen from the tables when enjoying a cup of hot coffee or a glass of good wine.
8. Naplavka - Rasinovo (Rasin´s) embankment is currently the most attractive and liveliest society place on the banks of the river in downtown Prague. Those who come here, enjoy a beautiful view of the Prague Castle panorama, making it a place much sought after by tourists. The Rasinovo embankment area offers a whole gamut of activities throughout the year, ranging from the regular farmers’ markets to sports, cultural and gastronomy events.
9. According to ancient legends... Vysehrad is oldest seat of Czech princes; in fact, the local settlement was established in the mid-10th century. Situated on a rocky promontory above the Vltava River, it offers stunning views of the city, and the park area holds hidden architectural treasures including the rare Romanesque Rotunda of St Martin, the neo-Gothic Church of St Peter and Paul, the national cemetery Slavin, and the underground casements housing some of the original Baroque statues from the Charles Bridge.
10. Visit Dancing House, this pillar of modern architecture in Prague “danced” onto the Rasinovo Embankment in 1996. The project comes from the drawing board of world-renowned architects Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry. Its concept was inspired by the dance skills of the famous film couple – the stone tower symbolizes Fred Astaire and the glass tower, his partner Ginger Rogers. A gallery and a restaurant with a terrace offering a 360° view of Prague can be visited in the Dancing House.