Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 13th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia.
Situated on the Vltava river, Prague is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.7 million.
The city has a temperate oceanic climate, with relatively warm summers and chilly winters.
Prague is a political, cultural and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors.
The city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries, cinemas and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city. It is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe.
The Czech name Praha is derived from an old Slavic word, práh, which means “ford” or “rapid”, referring to the city’s origin at a crossing point of the Vltava river
Prague is also called the “City of a Hundred Spires”, based on a count by 19th century mathematician Bernard Bolzano; today’s count is estimated by the Prague Information Service at 500. Nicknames for Prague have also included: the Golden City, the Mother of Cities and the Heart of Europe.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and as such is the regular seat of its central authorities. Since 24 November 1990, it is de facto again a statutory town, but has a specific status of the municipality and the region at the same time. Prague also houses the administrative institutions of the Central Bohemian Region.
Prague is divided into 10 municipal districts (1–10), 22 administrative districts (1–22), 57 municipal parts, or 112 cadastral areas.
The municipal office of Prague is called Prague City Hall. It has 11 members including the mayor and it prepares proposals for the Assembly meetings and ensures that adopted resolutions are fulfilled. The Mayor of Prague is Czech Pirate Party member Zdeněk Hřib.
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Prague has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Prague suffered considerably less damage during World War II than some other major cities in the region, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form. It contains one of the world’s most pristine and varied collections of architecture, from Romanesque, to Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic, Art Nouveau, Cubist, Neo-Classical and ultra-modern.
Prague is classified as an “Alpha-” global city according to GaWC studies, comparable to Vienna, Manila and Washington, D.C.
Prague ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination, and the city receives more than 8.4 million international visitors annually, as of 2017.
- Hradčany and Lesser Town (Malá Strana)
- Prague Castle with the St. Vitus Cathedral which stores the Czech Crown Jewels
- The picturesque Charles Bridge (Karlův most)
- The Baroque Saint Nicholas Church
- Church of Our Lady Victorious and Infant Jesus of Prague
- Písek Gate, one of the last preserved city gate of Baroque fortification
- Petřín Hill with Petřín Lookout Tower, Mirror Maze and Petřín funicular
- Lennon Wall
- The Franz Kafka Museum
- Kampa Island, an island with a view of the Charles Bridge
- The Baroque Wallenstein Palace with its garden
- Old Town (Staré Město) and Josefov
- The Astronomical Clock (Orloj) on Old Town City Hall
- The Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn (Kostel Matky Boží před Týnem) from the 14th century with 80 m high towers
- Stone Bell House
- The vaulted Gothic Old New Synagogue (Staronová Synagoga) of 1270
- Old Jewish Cemetery
- Powder Tower (Prašná brána), a Gothic tower of the old city gates
- Spanish Synagogue with its elaborate interior decoration
- Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) with gothic and baroque architectural styles
- The art nouveau Municipal House, a major civic landmark and concert hall known for its Art Nouveau architectural style and political history in the Czech Republic.
- Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, with an extensive collections including glass, furniture, textile, toys, Art Nouveau, Cubism and Art Deco
- Clam-Gallas Palace, a baroque palace from 1713
- Church of St. Martin in the Wall
- Colloredo-Mansfeld Palace, with elements of High Baroque and the later Rococo and Second-Rococo adaptations. Known today for its well-preserved dance hall
- New Town (Nové Město)
- Busy and historic Wenceslas Square
- National Museum at the head of Wenceslas Square. It is the largest museum in the Czech Republic, covering disciplines from the natural sciences to specialized areas of the social sciences. The staircase of the building offers a nice view of the New Town.
- The neo-renaissance National Museum with large scientific and historical collections
- The National Theatre, a neo-Renaissance building with golden roof, alongside the banks of the Vltava river
- The deconstructivist Dancing House (Fred and Ginger Building)
- Charles Square, the largest medieval square in Europe (now turned into a park)
- The Emmaus monastery and WW Memorial “Prague to Its Victorious Sons” at Palacky Square (Palackého náměstí)
- The museum of the Heydrich assassination in the crypt of the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius
- Stiassny’s Jubilee Synagogue is the largest in Prague
- The Mucha Museum, showcasing the Art Nouveau works of Alphonse Mucha
- Church of St. Apollinaire, Prague
- Church of Saint Michael the Archangel in Prague
- Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. Charles the Great, Prague
- Church of Our Lady on the Lawn
- St. Wenceslas Church (Zderaz)
- St. Stephen’s Church
- Vinohrady and Žižkov
- National Monument in Vitkov with a large bronze equestrian statue of Jan Žižka in Vítkov Park, Žižkov – Prague 3
- The neo-Gothic Church of St. Ludmila at Náměstí Míru (Peace Square) in Vinohrady
- Žižkov Television Tower
- New Jewish Cemetery in Olšany, location of Franz Kafka’s grave – Prague 3
The Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Church at George of Poděbrady Square (Jiřího z Poděbrad)
- The Vinohrady grand Neo-Renaissance, Art Nouveau, Pseudo Baroque, and Neo-Gothic buildings in the area between Peace Square, Prague (Náměstí Míru), Jiřího z Poděbrad Square and Havlíčkovy sady park
- Vyšehrad Castle with Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, Vyšehrad cemetery and Prague oldest Rotunda of St. Martin
- The Prague Metronome at Letná Park, a giant, functional metronome that looms over the city
- Prague Zoo in Troja, selected as the 7th best zoo in the world by Forbes magazine in 2007 and the 4th best by TripAdvisor in 2015
- Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác), Křižík’s Light fountain, funfair Lunapark and Sea World Aquarium in Výstaviště compound in Holešovice
- Letohrádek Hvězda (Star Villa) in Liboc, a renaissance villa in the shape of a six-pointed star surrounded by a game reserve
- National Gallery in Prague with large collection of Czech and international paintings and sculptures by artists such as Mucha, Kupka, Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh
- Opera performances in National Theatre – unlike drama, all opera performances run with English subtitles.
- Anděl, a busy part of the city with modern architecture and a shopping mall
- The large Nusle Bridge, spans the Nusle Valley, linking New Town to Pankrác, with the Metro running underneath the road
Strahov Monastery, an old Czech premonstratensian abbey founded in 1149 and monastic library
- Hotel International Prague, a four-star hotel and Czech cultural monument
In 2008 the Allegro restaurant received the first Michelin star in the whole of the post-Communist part of Central Europe. It retained its star until 2011. As of 2018 there are two Michelin-starred restaurants in Prague: La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise and Field. Another six have been awarded Michelin’s Bib Gourmand: Bistrøt 104, Divinis, Eska, Maso a Kobliha, Na Kopci and Sansho.
In Malá Strana, Staré Město, Žižkov and Nusle there are hundreds of restaurants, bars and pubs, especially with Czech beer.
Prague also hosts the Czech Beer Festival (Český pivní festival), which is the largest beer festival in the Czech Republic held for 17 days every year in May. At the festival, more than 70 brands of Czech beer can be tasted. There are several microbrewery festivals throughout the year as well.
Czech beer has a long history, with brewing taking place in Břevnov Monastery in 993. Prague is home to historical breweries Staropramen (Praha 5), U Fleků, U Medvídků, U Tří růží, Strahov Monastery Brewery (Praha 1) and Břevnov Monastery Brewery (Praha 6). Among many microbreweries are: Novoměstský, Pražský most u Valšů, Národní, Boršov, Loď pivovar, U Dobřenských, U Dvou koček, U Supa (Praha 1), Pivovarský dům (Praha 2), Sousedský pivovar Bašta (Praha 4), Suchdolský Jeník, Libocký pivovar (Praha 6), Marina (Praha 7), U Bulovky (Praha 8), Beznoska, Kolčavka (Praha 9), Vinohradský pivovar, Zubatý pes, Malešický mikropivovar (Praha 10), Jihoměstský pivovar (Praha 11), Lužiny (Praha 13), Počernický pivovar (Praha 14) and Hostivar (Praha 15).