What's it really like?
Since shaking off its communist past in 1989 the Czech capital has embraced all the trappings of a major European city whilst cherishing and preserving the buildings and architecture which add to its charm.
Prague is the hidden gem of Central Europe with quaint streets and historic buildings around every corner some dating to the 12 century. These are best explored on foot, although the city and its surrounding area is well-served by trams and the underground rail network.
Note: Plain clothed ticket inspectors patrol the underground watching for fare dodgers and will hand out on-the-spot fines to anyone caught riding for free.
Note: Prague is popular with partygoers especially in the summer but the police will not allow revellers to get out of hand. A law was introduced in 2008 banning drinking in public except on licensed premises.
Old Town Square - the most picturesque part of ancient Prague skirted by pavement cafes, adorned by the fantastic Astronomical Clock and overseen by the fairytale structure of Tyn Church. The Astronomical Clock is the most popular attraction for tourists and there's always a small crowd taking photographs of the procession of the apostles at the top of every hour. Above the clock is an observation tower offering panoramic views of the red roof topped buildings nearby and the sprawling 'City of a Hundred Towers' beyond.
Wenceslas Square is Prague's entertainment and nightlife hub by night and the main shopping centre by day where internationally popular high street chains compete with local traditional stores.
Charles Bridge - one of the highlights of visiting Prague is taking a stroll across the Vltava River on the cobbled pedestrianised gothic structure which is usually lined with souvenir traders and portrait artists. Some of the most picturesque views of the river can be seen from the bridge Thirty statues adorn the walls and there are wonderful views of the vast river and its other bridges nearby. Charles Bridge joins the Old Town to an area known as Little Quarter with more shops and restaurants to explore. It also leads to Prague Castle
Prague Castle - Europe's largest castle houses the beautiful St Vitus Cathedral and its lofty position on the hillside provides magnificent views of the whole of the city down below. The castle is within walking distance of Charles Bridge but there's a steep paved incline to negotiate, however the streets en route are some of the prettiest in Prague. US President Barack Obama visited Prague Castle in April 2010. There's a changing of the guard ceremony after almost every hour.
Winter Markets - these popular markets usually run from November through to late December or early January and bring a magical quality to Prague. The city centre is transformed into a cornucopia of Christmas festivities with hundreds of street traders scattered around the main squares and thoroughfares. The weather is usually chilly but 'live' music and hot drinks warm the atmosphere.