Prague streets can often become gridlocked, making any tour by car or bus frustrating. But if you want to take a guided English-language bus tour, among the best are those given by Prague Sightseeing Tours, Klimentská 52, Prague 1 (tel. 222-314-655; www.pstours.cz). Its 3 1/2-hour Grand City Tour leaves April to October, daily at 9:30am and 2pm (only 9:30am during winter), from the company's bus stop at námestí Republiky. The tour costs 730Kc adults, 650Kc students, 380Kc children.
Better for the kids is the green, open-air, electric Ekoexpres (an electric bus in the shape of a train; tel. 602-317-784; www.ekoexpres.cz) that usually leaves every 30 minutes from behind the Jan Hus monument on Old Town Square. An hour's drive around the tourist areas of Old Town and up the hill to Prague Castle with a recorded narration in several languages costs 250Kc for adults and teenagers. Children up to age 12 travel free with their parents.
Tourist cruise ships are the only commercial vessels allowed to pass through the city. This is an enjoyable, relaxing way to see Prague.
Evropská vodní doprava (tel. 224-810-030; www.evd.cz), with a four-ship fleet, offers the most interesting sightseeing excursions. From April to October, several tours, including some serving decent inexpensive meals, disembark from Cechuv, most at the northern turn of the Vltava, and sail past all the key riverside sights. A daily lunch tour with a smorgasbord and traditional Czech music leaves at noon, travels to the south end of the city, and returns by 2pm. The price, including meal, is 690Kc. A 1-hour tour, without meal, sails to Charles Bridge and back, leaving every hour from 10am to 6pm. It costs 220Kc. A 2-hour tour, without meal, leaves at 3pm and costs 350Kc. A dinner cruise to the south end of town leaves at 7pm and returns by 10pm. The price, including meal, is 790Kc for adults, 500Kc for children.
A competing service, Jazzboat (tel. 731-183-180; www.jazzboat.cz), offers a similar nighttime dinner cruise along the river, but features a rotating menu of jazz music, including traditional, swing, blues, and Latin, on different nights of the week. The tours begin at 8pm nightly at pier no. 5 next to Cechuv most (in front of the InterContinental Hotel) and last about 3 hours. The trip costs 590Kc adults, 300Kc students; the price includes a welcome drink but not dinner. Food is available onboard for around 360Kc per entree.
Renting a Rowboat
Many people rent rowboats and paddleboats on the Vltava, which is free from commercial boat traffic. The remarkably romantic (if not sparkling clean) river slowly snakes through the middle of town and gleams beneath the city's spires.
You'll find boat rental outlets on Slovanský ostrov (Slavic Island). The docks are at the bottom of the steps on the small island opposite the National Theater. Both rowboats and paddleboats are on offer, and rates run about 80Kc per hour.
Sylvia Wittmann's tour company, Wittmann Tours, Novotného lávka 5 Prague 1 (tel. 222-252-472; www.wittmann-tours.com), offers daily walks around Prague's compact Jewish Quarter. A thousand years of history are discussed during the 3-hour stroll. From May to October, tours led by an English-speaking guide depart Sunday to Friday from Parízská 28 at 10:30am and 2pm. From March 15 to April 30, and from November to December, tours depart at 10:30am. The tour's cost, including entrance fees to sights, is 880Kc for adults and 700Kc for students, free for children under 6 years. Wittmann Tours also offers a bus tour to the Terezín concentration camp costing 1,250Kc for adults, 1,100Kc for students, free for children under 10. The bus leaves from the same spot on Parízská daily at 10am from May to October. March 15 through April, and November through December, the tour is available on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday only. Make an advance reservation online or by calling the office.
The group called Prague Tours (tel. 608-200-912 or 777-816-849) organizes guided walks around the city and visits of its main as well as lesser-known attractions. With them you will discover some of Prague's many secrets and mysteries. Groups leave throughout the day from a meeting point at the horse statue on Václavské námestí (at no. 56; look for a guide holding a yellow umbrella); tickets are available on the spot from the guide. Each walk costs 400Kc per person. A special "All in One/Insider Tour" costs 600Kc per person. Ask about discounts for students and children.
It's not exactly a "walking tour," but tours on a Segway personal transporter have become increasingly popular in recent years. Segway Tours at Mostecká 4 (tel. 731-238-264; www.segwayfun.eu) offers a series of guided Segway "walks" starting at around 1,500Kc per person for a tour of about 3 hours.
An Old-Fashioned Tram Ride
Prague has had a system of tram lines since horses pulled the cars in the mid-18th century. The Communist-era tram cars aren't very attractive, and the new futuristic designs are built for efficiency rather than charm. You have to go back in time to have fun in a Prague tram, and you can, thanks to the Prague Transport Authority's (www.dpp.cz) Historic Tram no. 91.
On weekends from March until November, the old-timer tram no. 91 clanks along a special circuit around town that takes it through major stops at Malostranské nám., Národní trída, Václavské nám., and many others. You are free to jump aboard and exit the tram at any stop you choose. Buy the ticket from the onboard conductor. Tickets cost 35Kc for adults and 20Kc for children under 10.
By Horse-Drawn Carriage
Each day dozens of fiakry, horse-drawn carriages, line up along the western side of Old Town Square to take visitors on a jaunt around the Old Town. It can be quite romantic, especially in the fall in the late afternoon or early evening, when there's a nip in the air and the coachman throws you a blanket to keep warm. Carriage rides don't come cheap, however. Negotiate the fare individually with the driver, but expect to pay around 1,000Kc for a 20- to 30-minute ride. It's customary to toss in a 10% tip for a personable driver.
By Vintage Automobile
Old-fashioned jalopies have become a familiar sight on the streets of Prague's Old Town and Malá Strana as more and more operators offer these popular antique car tours around town. You'll find most of the cars parked in and around Malé nám., near Old Town Square. Prague Vintage Cars (tel. 776-829-897; www.historytrip.cz) is a reliable operator and offers several types of tours starting at 1,100Kc per person for a ride around Old Town and a walking tour of Prague Castle.
Tocná Airport (tel. 241-773-454; www.aktocna.cz) organizes short charter sightseeing flights from a little airstrip on the edge of Prague. The days and times are negotiable, but you have to call 2 days ahead to set up a flight. For example, an 18-minute flight above Karlstejn Castle and back costs 2,000Kc per person. Each flight can carry up to three passengers.
Similarly, the Prague Tourist Information Center at Mostecká 4 (tel. 257-213-420; www.prague-information.eu) offers a series of helicopter tours, including one to Karlstejn Castle and back, from Tocná airport. The cost is around 3,000Kc per person.
To get to Tocná airport, take the metro line C to Kacerov station, then bus no. 205 to the last stop, Komorany, and walk 10 minutes through the forest.
Ballooning.CZ, Na Vrcholu 7, Prague 3 (tel. 222-783-995 or 607-517-535; www.ballooning.cz) offers an hour-long ride in a hot-air balloon for around 4,700Kc Monday to Friday or 5,200Kc on weekends. The takeoff is usually from Konopiste, about 40km (25 miles) south of Prague, so your trip there can be easily combined with a visit to Konopiste Castle.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.