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Your guide to Prague
All About Prague
With the picturesque Vltava River running through its heart and Prague Castle overlooking its architecturally significant buildings, bridges, and expansive town square, Prague is one of Europe’s most distinctive cities. Although it is known as “the city of a hundred spires,” almost a thousand towers and spires actually rise from the spectacular mix of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance buildings in Czechia’s capital.
A wander through Old Town Square will pass the Gothic Church of Our Lady Before Týn and the medieval Astronomical Clock, along with an array of open-air cafes and restaurants. You can walk up to the imposing Prague Castle, where the Schwarzenberg Palace showcases Renaissance architecture at its best, and head across the medieval Charles Bridge, where you’ll find 30 striking Baroque statues of the saints as well as dramatic views of the city.
Prague is also famous for producing some of the world’s finest beers, and the city is full of pubs and beer gardens where you can sample local pilsners and enjoy popular Czech snacks like nakládaný hermelín — pickled cheese served with bread.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Prague?
Summer is a great time to stay at a vacation rental in Prague. From June through August, you can expect comfortably hot and sunny days, but the nights can be cooler, and Prague’s weather can be changeable, so it’s a good idea to pack a jacket with your sunscreen. In spring, the weather is mostly mild, and Prague comes to life with major events like the Prague Food Festival in April and the Czech Beer Festival in May, where you can try hundreds of beers accompanied by live music. In the fall, cooler temperatures prevail. The temperatures drop below freezing and generally stay there in December and January, and snow collects on the rooftops, making winter a magical time to wander around town. Like most of Central Europe, Prague can get bitterly cold, so bring a windproof coat as well as a scarf, gloves, and a warm hat. The famous Christmas markets in Old Town Square start at the end of November and run until January.
What are the top things to do in Prague?
Overlooking the city, Prague Castle sits inside the largest castle complex in the world. Built in the ninth century, the castle is surrounded by the gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, defense towers, museums, the Presidential Palace, and Golden Lane — a street full of colorful houses where the castle guards once lived and which today are filled with souvenir shops and exhibitions. The Daliborka Tower, the castle’s prison until the late 18th century, was named after its first prisoner.
In Old Town Square, you’ll find the oldest clock of its kind still operating. Built in 1410, this remarkable clock not only tells the time, it also shows the months and the astronomical position of the sun and moon. It’s ornately decorated with Gothic sculptures and wooden statues of the 12 apostles, and if you’re there on the hour, you’ll see the apostles put on a show.
Petřín Lookout Tower
The Petřín Lookout Tower is one of Prague’s most striking landmarks. Built in 1891 for the city’s Jubilee Exhibition, it was inspired by the Eiffel Tower and, when you see it, you’ll notice that it’s even the same height. Once you climb the 299 steps to the top, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city.