Situated in the banks of the Vltava River, Prague is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations. Perhaps Prague owes this distinction mostly to its beautiful vestiges of baroque architecture, which were miraculously spared the ravages of war. Following Czechoslovakia’s ‘Velvet Revolution’ in 1989, tourists flocked to Prague in record numbers to rediscover one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
The baroque religious statues of the Charles Bridge make it one of Europe’s most famous and unusual bridges. A major restoration of the bridge began in 2007 and will continue until 2020. In Lesser Town (Mala Strana) is Malostranske Sqare, frames with Renaissance and baroque facades; in the neighboring Hradcany (castle) district are the palace, royal castle (collection of paintings by Rubens and Titian), and St. Vitus Cathedral.
Across the Charles Bridge is Old Town (Stare Mesto), around Old Town Square, then New Town (Nove Mesto) and Wenceslas Square – once the heart of the Velvet Revolution, but now without a trace of its tumultuous past. The Jewish Quarter of Josefov, degraded to a ghetto well before World War II, has six synagogues (of which the Old-New Synagouge, built in 1270, is the oldest in Europe) and the Old Jewish Cemetery, with more than 12,000 haphazardly scattered tombstones.
Prague was once the cultural center of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, its ancient heritage is preserved in several of the city’s museums, most notably the National Gallery.
The warmest month to go to Czech Republic are from May to September, however Prague is equally beautiful in the winter if you can stand pretty low temperatures. Surprisingly, travel can be expensive, and not only in Prague. High-season accommodations can be hard to find in the capital so make sure you book in advance. There are many hotels to choose from in Prague with spas and other facilities, such as Corinthia Hotel, which is ideally suited for both business and pleasure, close to the all the attractions in the centre of the city.