Prague is called the Golden City, the City with the Thousand Spiers and the Heart of Europe. Dear children have many names, and all of Prague’s names are well deserved.
Some still have prejudices when it comes to Prague and the Czech Republic, which they connect with the Eastern Bloc, even though the city is further west than both Vienna and Stockholm. The contradictions that are left behind may be due to the Czechoslovakian era, 1968 and communism, but these disappear like dew before the sun once one has actually been in Prague.
In recent years, Prague has consistently been among the five most visited metropolitan areas for Norwegians. Compared to the rest of Eastern Europe’s capitals, Prague may seem very touristy, but as a Scandinavian you still get good value for money in the Czech Republic, or the Czech Republic as the country is really called.
Prague is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe, with a number of well-preserved Baroque and Renaissance buildings.
Get to know Prague
Prague is located exactly in the middle of continental Europe and has a pleasant climate from spring to autumn. The city has around 1.2 million inhabitants and a very visible and interesting history dating back to the 800s when the slaves arrived. Before that time, the area was inhabited by both Celtic and Germanic tribes.
Although Prague is a big city, the city center itself is quite compact and you do not spend a long time getting to know it. You can easily walk from the National Museum at the top of the main street Vaclavska Namesti, through the Old Town Square, over the Charles Bridge and up to the Castle in half an hour.
Broadly speaking, the center of Prague can be divided into four parts that the ordinary tourist is interested in: the Old Town ( Stare Mesto ) with the main square as the central point, the Nybyen ( Nove Mesto ) with the city’s main street Vaclavska Namesti, the Jewish quarter ( Josefov ), and on the other side of the river Vlatava, and the small town ( Mala Strana ), with the castle area.
- Abbreviation: PRG
- Country: Czech Republic
Prague Old Town
The river Vlatava, or Moldova as it is also called, flows from north to south with a land tongue into the east. On the south side of this turn lies the Old Town, which is the natural starting point. Here lay the original city, with the river to the north and west and with solid city walls to the east and south, where the streets of Narodni, Na Prikope and Revolucni are today.
The Old Town Square is undoubtedly the heart of the city, and here the time has apparently stood still for 600 years. Every hour the spectators gather at the Town Hall from 1338 to see the figures in the famous astronomical clock do their eternal round dance. This mechanical miracle from around 1410 shows not only the time, but also the positions of the sun, moon and planet. The square was the city’s most important marketplace until the 20th century. Today, the square is dominated by tourists, street vendors and outdoor dining.
The 13th-century Gothic-style Tyn church with its two asymmetrical pointed spiers is also an eye-catcher on the east side of the square, and the huge statue of Jan Hus, the Czech church reformer and martyr, is a favorite photograph.
It is a pure pleasure to stroll around the rest of Old Town with its network of narrow streets and well-maintained baroque facades. Between the 65-meter-high Powder Tower ( Prasna Brana ) in the east to the Charles Bridge in the west, there are countless chapels, museums, markets and galleries, and you can easily spend several hours here.
Jewish Quarter (Josefov)
Between the Old Town and the Vlata River in the north lies Josefov, or the Jewish Quarter. It has a fascinating history dating back to the 13th century, when all the city’s Jews were banished from their homes and ordered to settle here.
The buildings are among the best preserved Jewish monuments in Europe. Here you will find six synagogues, the Jewish City Hall and the famous old Jewish cemetery. Most of the attractions go under the Jewish Museum and require an entrance fee.
Mala Strana in Prague
On the west side of the river lies Mala Strana, or Lillebyen, which has a history that stretches further back than the Old Town. There was a marketplace here already in the 700s. Mala Strana was originally located outside the city walls.
This is an exceptionally photogenic, romantic neighborhood with narrow cobbled streets around a Baroque square and many small shops, churches and beer rooms. Here you will find several restaurants with great views of the river, Charles Bridge and Old Town. The area has been widely used in films with action from the Middle Ages, but unfortunately, most tourists tend to just pass right here on their way to Hradcany and Prague Castle, located on a hill above the Little City in an area commonly called Hradcany.
The castle area is visible from large parts of the city and easily recognizable from hundreds of postcards and tourist brochures. The castle is Europe’s largest medieval castle and Prague’s foremost tourist attraction. Here you can spend at least half a day.
Here are both the Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral, several museums, palaces and galleries, tower and a monastery. Today, the castle is also presidential palace, with a change of guards in front of the main gate every hour to the great pleasure of photographing tourists.
Nove Mesto in Prague
Nybyen or Nove Mesto is the area south of the Old Town. The main street of Vaclavska Namesti extends 800 meters from the Old Town and up to the National Museum. This is a 60 meter wide boulevard with greenery and flower beds in the middle, a large equestrian statue of the national hero St. Vaclav and a memorial to the young student Jan Palach who set fire to himself in protest of the Soviet invasion of 1968.
Otherwise, the street is characterized by shopping centers, luxury hotels, sidewalk restaurants and night spots. Be aware that a refreshment here costs many times more than in the side streets where locals frequent.
Other tourist areas in Prague
In addition to these downtown areas, you can enjoy visiting Vyhserad, a pleasant and tranquil park area with a castle from the 11th century that was once the center of power in Prague. The park is located on a hill south of the city center and is excellent for a half day excursion. Here are paths you can walk on and have nice views of the rest of the city. You can see ruins, churches, view towers and a cemetery where among other things. composer Dvorak is buried.
If things get too far, Prague’s subway network is well developed, affordable, and trains run every few minutes. Vyhserad is located on the southbound lane and is reached in a few minutes.
Facts about Prague
Prague is known as the city of Kafka. Prague is both the largest city and the capital of the Czech Republic. For many tourists, Prague is the gateway to Eastern Europe, and the city does not fail its many tourists. Here are culture and sights side by side.
|Population||About. 1.25 million inhabitants|
|Religion||Roman Catholicism is the greatest, but around 60% are non-believers|
|Currency||Czech korunas are about a third of the Norwegian krone. Visa and Mastercard are accepted in most places. ATMs are available almost everywhere.|
|Tips||It is common to give 5-10% in tips.|
|Embassy||The Embassy of Norway is located in Hellichova 1 in Mala Strana. Tel: +420 259323737|
|Tourist||After Prikope in Nove Mesto|
|Emergency||Ambulance 155, fire 150 and police 158|
|Electricity||220 volts as in Norway|
|Holidays and Holidays||May 1, May 8, July 5, July 6, September 28, October 28 (Independence Day), November 17.|
|Visa||Not required for Norwegian citizens|
|Vaccinations||No vaccines are required|
|Water||It is not recommended to drink from the tap|
|Nearest major cities||Plsn, Ceske Budejovice, Brno|
|Safety||Some violent crime, but be aware of pickpockets.|
List of Prague Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Prague is PRG which stands for Prague. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Prague, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.