Prague

Full of fairy-tale vistas, Prague is beautiful in a way that makes even the most jaded traveler stop and snap pictures. The city is physically divided in two by the Vltava River (also sometimes known by its German name, the Moldau), which runs from south to north with a single sharp turn to the east.Originally, Prague was compos
Full of fairy-tale vistas, Prague is beautiful in a way that makes even the most jaded traveler stop and snap pictures. The city is physically divided in two by the Vltava River (also sometimes known by its German name, the Moldau), which runs from south to north with a
Full of fairy-tale vistas, Prague is beautiful in a way that makes even the most jaded traveler stop and snap pictures.

Full of fairy-tale vistas, Prague is beautiful in a way that makes even the most jaded traveler stop and snap pictures. The city is physically divided in two by the Vltava River (also sometimes known by its German name, the Moldau), which runs from south to north with a single sharp turn to the east.

Originally, Prague was composed of five independent towns: Hradčany (the Castle Area), Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter), Staré Město (Old Town), Nové Město (New Town), and Josefov (Jewish Quarter), and these areas still make up the heart of Prague—what you think of when picturing its famed winding cobblestone streets and squares.

Hradčany, the seat of Czech royalty for hundreds of years, centers on the Pražský hrad (Prague Castle)—itself the site of the president's office. A cluster of white buildings yoked around the pointed steeples of a chapel, Prague Castle overlooks the city from a hilltop west of the Vltava River. Steps lead down from Hradčany to the Lesser Quarter, an area dense with ornate mansions built for the 17th- and 18th-century nobility.

The looming Karlův most (Charles Bridge) connects the Lesser Quarter with the Old Town. Old Town is hemmed in by the curving Vltava and three large commercial avenues: Revoluční to the east, Na příkopě to the southeast, and Národní třída to the south. A few blocks east of the bridge is the district's focal point: Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square), a former medieval marketplace laced with pastel-color baroque houses—easily one of the most beautiful central squares in Europe. To the north of Old Town Square the diminutive Jewish Quarter fans out around a tony avenue called Pařížská.

Beyond the former walls of the Old Town, the New Town fills in the south and east. The name "new" is a misnomer—New Town was laid out in the 14th century. (It's new only when compared with the neighboring Old Town.) Today this mostly commercial district includes the city's largest squares, Karlovo náměstí (Charles Square) and Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square).

Roughly 1 km (½ mile) south of Karlovo náměstí, along the Vltava, stands what’s left of the ancient castle of Vyšehrad high above the river. On a promontory to the east of Václavské náměstí stretches Vinohrady, the home of Prague's well-to-do professional set. Bordering Vinohrady are the scruffier neighborhoods of Žižkov to the north and Nusle to the south. On the west bank of the Vltava lie many older residential neighborhoods and several parks. About 3 km (2 miles) from the center in every direction, communist-era housing projects, called paneláks, begin their unsightly sprawl.

Recommended Fodor’s Video

Sort by: 11 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
CLEAR ALL Area Search CLEAR ALL
Loading...
Loading...
  • Chrám svatého Víta

    1. Chrám svatého Víta

    Pražský Hrad | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    With its graceful, soaring towers, this Gothic cathedral—among the most beautiful in Europe—is the spiritual heart of Prague Castle and of the...Read More

    Chrám svatého Víta
  • 2. Bazilika svatého Jiří

    Pražský Hrad | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Inside, this church looks more or less as it did in the 12th century; it's the best-preserved Romanesque relic in the country. The effect is...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 3. Druhé nádvoří

    Pražský Hrad | Plaza/Square/Piazza

    Except for the view of the spires of St. Vitus's Cathedral, the exterior courtyard offers little for the eye to feast on. Empress Maria Theresa...Read More

  • 4. Informační středisko

    Pražský Hrad | Information Center

    This is the place to come for entrance tickets, guided tours, audio guides with headphones, and tickets to cultural events held at the castle...Read More

  • 5. Královská zahrada

    Pražský Hrad | Park/Playground

    This peaceful swath of greenery affords lovely views of St. Vitus's Cathedral and the Castle's walls and bastions. Originally laid out in the...Read More

  • 6. Lobkovický palác

    Pražský Hrad | Museum/Gallery

    Greatly benefiting from a recent renovation, this palace is a showcase for baroque and rococo styling. Exhibits trace the ancestry of the Lobkowicz...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 7. Matyášova brána

    Pražský Hrad | Building/Architectural Site

    Built in 1614, this stone gate once stood alone in front of the moats and bridges that surrounded the castle. Under the Hapsburgs, the gate...Read More

  • 8. První nádvoří

    Pražský Hrad | Plaza/Square/Piazza

    The main entrance to Prague Castle from Hradčanské náměstí is certain to impress any first-time visitor. Going through the wrought-iron gate...Read More

  • 9. Starý královský palác

    Pražský Hrad | Castle/Palace/Chateau

    A jumble of styles and add-ons from different eras are gathered in this palace. The best way to grasp its size is from within the Vladislavský...Read More

    View Tours and Activities
  • 10. Třetí nádvoří

    Pražský Hrad | Plaza/Square/Piazza

    The contrast between the cool, dark interior of St. Vitus's Cathedral and the brightly colored Pacassi façades of the Third Courtyard just outside...Read More

  • 11. Zlatá ulička

    Pražský Hrad | Neighborhood/Street

    A jumbled collection of tiny, ancient, brightly colored houses crouched under the fortification wall look remarkably like a set for Snow White...Read More

No sights Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName }} Sights in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions:

Around the Web