Prague Travel Guide

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Prague Travel Guide

Prague Local History

Farming communities were established in the Prague valley area by Germanic and Celtic tribes around 4000BC. In 600AD Slavs had settled along a stretch of the Vltava River, the land then being known as Bohemia. By the 9th Century, these tribes were defeated by the Moravians.

'Good King Wenceslas' (known from the Christmas Carol) who was actually a Duke, introduced Christianity as the state religion in the 930s. He remains the patron saint of the Czech Republic. Under the rule of Charles IV (1346-78) Prague really took off as a city, acquiring its lovely buildings and landmarks and developing into a prosperous city. It is here too, that the Thirty Years War, which devastated much of Europe, was started.

In 1861 the Czech majority defeated their German candidates in the Prague council election, thus gaining the Czech's their independence and in 1918, with the help of Allied support, Czech and Slavakia joined to become Czechoslavakia, an independent nation, with Prague as its capital.

Having endured 40 years of communist rule, the splitting of Czech and Slovakia into separate republics, today Prague is one of the top tourist attractions in the world, having survived a very long and turbulent history.

Prague Attractions

Prague Shopping

Galerie 'Z'Letenska 1 The Czech Republic is famous for its handblown glass and if its quality you're looking for, this is the shop where you'll find it. Many of the pieces have been designed by the Professor from the Academy of Creative Arts. These pieces are 'one off' designs and therefore are not cheap.

Dum Porcelanu Praha Jugoslavska 16 This is the shop where you will find the famous Czech 'onion' (cibulak) china, with its blue on bone cobalt patterns. Becoming popular throughout the world, the china is all reasonably priced.

U dvou Luceren U Luzickeho seminare 10 Art Nouveau silver-plated glass vases and plates, contemporary decorative glass and Czech-made jewellery is what will be found in this shop. If you are totally fascinated by the city's buildings, take home a miniature version from here.

Prague Activities

Krizik's Fountain In the Vystaviste Fairgrounds A water system spouts tall streams of colour-lit water in a light show set to recorded classical and popular music. Small children are fascinated by this spectacle and when the show is over, there is the fairground to visit.

Museum of Children's Drawings Dum U Zelene Zaby Situated near to the Old Town this house shows various children's artwork. Visit the Museum on Sundays for your children to create their own artwork, which may, one day, become masterpieces.

National Marionette Theatre This is a wonderful way to introduce your children to opera with the help of puppets. A few performances are done in English, but even if they do not understand the language, they will love the music and the antics of the performers.

Prague Parks & Gardens

Pruhonice This attractive village 15 minutes from the centre of Prague is home to a beautiful landscaped park, now the best botanical garden in the Czech Republic, surrounding the main chateaux. During the summer it is packed with families at the weekends but on a slightly drizzly week day you could have the gardens, woods and three artificial lakes all to yourself. The best time to see the rainbow colours of rhododendrons is during May.

The Royal Garden Surrounding the Old Royal Palace and laid out in 1569, this beautiful garden is filled with flowers and shrubs and kept in pristine condition throughout the year.

Petrin Hill This hill is topped with eight parks comprising of Prague's largest green spaces. At the top are picture perfect views of the 'City of 100 Spires.' From here one can still see the quarry that provided the city with its stone for most of its buildings. If walking is your thing, take a hike from the bottom of the hill or for those less ambitious, take the funicular railway, to the top.

Prague Zoological Garden This zoo is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Housing over 1, 960 animals, representing 360 species of mammals, birds and reptiles, 50 of which are very rare, makes this a 'must see' on your agenda.

Prague Restaurants and Bars

An essential part of old Czech culture is their love of boiled beef and heavy soups made from chicken or potatoes.

Starters usually consist of soups with garlic, onion or beef broth with noodles. They are extremely thick and nourishing.

Czech main courses consist of three national foods, pork, dumplings and cabbage. The pork is usually shoulder or brisket which is seasoned, smoked or breaded and fried like schnitzel. The cabbage is boiled in a light sugar sauce and the dumplings that are light and spongy are made of flour or dense and pasty if made with potatoes.

Prague Restaurants

Cafe-Restaurant Louvre Narodni triIacute;da 20 - The Art Nouveau interior with huge original chandeliers is always busy with shoppers, businessmen and students. Reasonably priced, with adequate portions, starters include smoked salmon, fried asparagus and ham with vegetables. Main courses range from trout with horseradish to beans with garlic sauce. A good place to take a break from your sightseeing.

Kampa Park Na Kampe 8b This left-bank chalet has a riverside view from its patio, below the Charles Bridge. Try out there large portions of beef, pork, ribs and fish, all grilled to perfection, while the kids are treated to strawberry cappuccino. During the colder weather, fresh salmon, beefsteaks and venison can be found on the menu.

Ambiente Manesova 59 If its American-style you are looking for, then this is the place to go. It is popular with the locals, but very overrated.

Govinda Vegetarian Club Soukenicka 27 Yes, even in Prague you can find a vegetarian restaurant which serves rice, lentils, vegetable curries and bread. Most of the ingredients are grown on an organic farm outside the city.

Prague Bars & Clubs

Duplex Club & Cafe Vaclavske nam 21 Situated in the middle of Wenceslas Square, this reasonably priced club is the most popular in Prague. From the roof terrace, panoramic views of the city can be taken in whilst listening the best DJs perform on the high-tech sound system.

Karlovy Lazne Novotneho lavka 5 - This club which consists of four floors of music, different on every floor, with a cafe at the top which attracts a number of types. Open daily from 9pm to 5am, this club is well worth a visit.

Lucerna Music Bar - Vodickova 36 Big, dark, dingy and very popular with the locals, this club really rocks with the sounds of reggae, blues and the best of Czech garage bands. It even has the obligatory mirrored spinning ball.

Mecca U Pruhonu 3 Very trendy, with the best dressed people, this club situated in a converted warehouse is where everyone who is anyone hangs out. Loud, noisy, techo sounds with blaring lights is where to go, if the bouncers let you in.

Prague children's activities

Krizik's Fountain In the Vystaviste Fairgrounds A water system spouts tall streams of colour-lit water in a light show set to recorded classical and popular music. Small children are fascinated by this spectacle and when the show is over, there is the fairground to visit.

Museum of Children's Drawings Dum U Zelene Zaby Situated near to the Old Town this house shows various children's artwork. Visit the Museum on Sundays for your children to create their own artwork, which may, one day, become masterpieces.

National Marionette Theatre This is a wonderful way to introduce your children to opera with the help of puppets. A few performances are done in English, but even if they do not understand the language, they will love the music and the antics of the performers.

Useful Prague Links

Prague tourist info
Prague database covering Prague Galleries, Prague Theaters, Prague Museums and Prague Universities.

Prague Complete Guide Prague.Biz
Prague complete independent tourist guide.

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