The City of a Thousand Spires has seen it all. Centuries of Bohemian kings, classical composers, invading Nazis, Soviet tanks and Velvet Revolutionaries have passed over Prague's cobblestones, and the spires survived it all, creating one of Europe's most romantic and beautiful skylines. Stroll the Charles Bridge at dusk or row a boat down the Vltava River to discover what makes this Baroque jewel so alluring.
Things to Do
Baroque churches, a royal palace, flagstone courtyards and bejeweled reliquaries comprise Prague Castle, a complex of buildings perched regally on a hilltop above Prague. Visitors routinely spend an entire day exploring this centerpiece of the city that also boasts one of the finest views of the Charles Bridge and the City of a Thousand Spires. Get lost in a labyrinth of picturesque, medieval, cobbled streets in the Old City, or avoid the crowds and see the city via rowboat down the lazy Vltava River.
The goods aren't of the highest quality, but the shopping is memorable along the 14th-century Charles Bridge spanning the Vltava River. Street artists sell pen-and-ink and watercolor cityscapes, cheap jewelry and mementos of city son Franz Kafka. Return at sunset, when the crowds thin and the bridge's 30 statues look somehow pensive. The world's best crystal and glass is sold in this Czech city. Storefronts full of the glittering pieces surround the Old Town Square.
Nightlife and Entertainment
No matter that the shows aren't in English, the magical performances at the National Marionette Theatre are just that: magical. The marionettes' mainstay is Mozart's "Don Giovanni," which premiered in Prague, and who needs a translation for that? The music of the beloved Mozart (the feeling was mutual) and hometown musician Dvorak make regular appearances at concerts across town. Buy inexpensive tickets to performances in glorious Old Town chapels or spring for an unforgettable evening at Smetana Hall.
Restaurants and Dining
It scarcely matters which restaurant you select. When in Prague, expect menus with the staples of tender, seasoned pork, mildly sweet cabbage and soft dumplings to soak up the rich sauce. Czech dessert favorites include crepes or dumplings filled with fruit. You can't miss with an authentic Czech meal prepared at U Modre Kachnicky, lightened a bit for modern palates and served with a refreshing Bohemian beer. U Vejvodu serves up Prague's best spicy goulash.