Is it possible not to be completely enchanted by Prague, with its fabled skyline of spires, fortress-like castle, beautifully preserved architecture and iconic Charles Bridge? A cultural magnet for the likes of artists, writers, scientists and composers, Prague is famous for its dynamic energy and elegant ambiance (and the beers here are pretty amazing, too).
A thousand years of architecture, from ornate Gothic to fanciful postmodern, have been beautifully preserved in Prague, which has been a magnet for artists, writers, scientists and composers for centuries. It also boasts great beer, a lively art scene and up-and-coming fashion designers, making it a fun as well as a beautiful place to visit.
Prague city tour
Get an overview of the city with a panoramic tour that carries you past such sights as the State Opera House, the National Museum and Wenceslas Square on your way to massive Prague Castle. Step inside the castle’s protective walls and enter a self-contained city, with courtyards, palaces, towers, churches and gardens designed for kings and emperors, along with housing and workplaces for all those who tended the rulers. Among the highlights are lofty St. Vitus Cathedral, which took 600 years to finish, and Vladislav Hall, whose complex stone-vaulting system was one of the most advanced engineering feats of the late Middle Ages. After strolling through Golden Lane, a street of quaint cottages where Prague’s 17th-century goldsmiths lived (alas, there’s no truth to the legend that it was named for the royal alchemists), you may reboard the motorcoach for a ride back to the hotel or continue our guided walk through the picturesque Lesser Quarter, the district around the castle, to Charles Bridge. Cross the landmark bridge named for Charles IV, who ordered its construction in 1357; it’s strictly for pedestrians now, so you can pause and look down at the Vltava below you and examine some of the statues that line the bridge, before you head to Old Town Square. This was the original market square; the buildings that surround it form a case study in Prague’s architectural history. You’ll find Prague’s most famous Gothic church, Our Lady Before Týn, there, along with the 14th-century Old Town Hall (which boasts a famous medieval astronomical clock), the beautiful baroque St. Nicholas, the rococo Kinsky Palace and a group of Renaissance houses.
Exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Prague’s Estates Theatre and Municipal House
Prague adored Mozart, and Mozart adored Prague; he wrote his opera Don Giovanni specifically for the city and its handsome new theater and conducted its premiere there in 1787. Get an exclusive insider’s look at the exquisite jewel-box theater, where operas are staged to this day. The proscenium, the king’s box and the putti decorating the rows of boxes all evoke Mozart’s era. Listen to a short concert of music composed by Mozart and his contemporaries in the Mozart Salon before enjoying traditional Czech refreshments at the café in Municipal House, the premier art nouveau building in Prague.