Our Guide to Prague - Key Sights
Welcome to our Prague Guide. You can find information about the major sights, museums, restaurants, transportation and other useful information, regularly updated and expanded.
|Key Sights||Shopping||Restaurants||Transport & Tips||Our Hotels|
|Special Offers||Prague Album|
Contact us for reservations:
1-(888) 762-7728 (toll free) or email: Foxtours@att.net
|Table of Contents|
This can be classified as the main sight of the city. It is the largest ancient castle in the World according to the Guinness Book of Records, covering an area of 753473 square feet (70,000 m2) with a measure of 1870 feet (570 meter) length and 426.5 feet (130 meter) width. It is something more than a castle, though; it represents the first settlement and city boundaries since its perimeters were the original “city wall” (a palisade). The forerunner to the St. Vitus Cathedral was also constructed around this time and was a small rotunda of a similar style as the St. Martin at Vyšehrad. The original settlement was gradually redeveloped into a castle complex and the St. Vitus basilica, a much larger temple replaced the rotunda and was kept in existence until the final design came into being, namely the cathedral of today, which took approximately 600 years to build.
The key sights of the castle is:
The Czech Crown Jewels are the fourth oldest in Europe
Svatováclavská vinice (St. Wenceslas' Vineyard) on east
It is recommended to purchase a visitors pass, which include as many of the sights as possible, since it means a package price and the ability to get to see the most important parts, which is manageable during a day. One detail to note is that the Treasury of St. Vitus is a separate admission; it isn’t included in the regular passes for the rest of the sights.
Key historical dates of the castle
Year 870 – The first building on the spot is being constructed: the church of Virgin Mary (now a ruin).
A visit to this park is highly recommended. It offers excellent views of the city and also a couple of interesting attractions that were part of the 1891 Industrial Exhibition. The recommended itinerary is to take the funicular from Újezd to the top-level station and to walk up to the Petřínská Rozhledna (Petřin Tower), which is a small copy of the Eiffel Tower. It has a very similar design but is just 200 feet/60 meters high; the interesting detail is that the main viewing platform is on the same level over the sea as is Parisian forerunner due to the height of the hill itself (800 feet/240 meters). The tower is recently restored back to its original glory and provides two ways of reaching the top: by stairs or elevator. A small café is available at the entrance level.
There is also an observatory located close to the funicular station, which also mark the direction for a long and relaxing park walk. By following the path past it, it is possible to walk through the area while gradually descending. Some interesting and little known ruins exist along this path; one of them is a former restaurant, which were a part of the Industrial Exhibition but later disused. There are other ruins close by, also with a similar connection and they provide a nice opportunity for urban exploration as a nice addition to the visit.
The southbound trail, which leads to those ruined buildings, ends at the Ethnographical Museum and a visit there paired with something to eat and drink at the café make a nice grand finale to the walk.
Directions: Tram 6, 9, 12, 20 or 22 to the Újezd stop.
|Czech Museum of Music|
This museum offers an impressive collection of musical instruments including very unique pianos with dual keyboards and a large amount of different unique violins. There are also interesting exhibits of the development of waltz and other traditional styles from the Austrian-Hungarian era beside Czech folklore and its evolution. The location is convenient in Malá Straná and is easy to reach by streetcar.
Address: Karmelitská 2/4,
Opening Hours from 4. June, 2012
Monday: 10.00 AM-6.00 PM
Wednesday - Sunday: 10.00 AM-6.00 PM
|The Dvořák Museum - Villa Amerika|
Everyone interested in the history of this great composer must visit this beautiful, small museum housed in a very elegant villa from the early 18th Century designed by the Czech architect Kilián Ignác Diezenhofer. The house has no particular connection to Dvořák himself but is a great environment where his instruments, including his Bösendorfer piano is on display together with original scripts and his history of life. There is a small gift shop selling excellent Czech recordings of his music together with books and other items such as decorative artifacts.
Address: Ke Karlovu 20, 120 00 Praha 2
Sunday: 10 AM-1:30 PM and 2.00 PM-5.00 PM
Directions: Subway C, station I.P. Pavlova. Tram 4, 6, 10, 22, or 23, stop I.P. Pavlova or Štěpánská.
|The Smetana Museum|
This museum, dedicated to the other main composer of the country, is located in a very beautiful Neo-Renaissance building, originally housing the Old Town Water Works. The location is stunning, immediate at the Charles Bridge with a fantastic view over the Vltava River and the castle. The architectural conception of the structure is enhanced by rich sgraffito decoration designed by Mikoláš Aleš and František Ženíšek (important Czech painters of the 19th century) related to the battles of citizens of Prague with the Swedes on the Charles Bridge in 1648.
The permanent exhibition from 1998 is covering the whole life of Smetana and includes many interesting artifacts such as original instruments, musical notes, documents, personal artifacts and also a section dedicated to his years in Sweden. Another interesting feature is the possibility to listen to his music, which can be played on visitor discretion.
Address: Novotného lávka 1, 110 00 Praha 1
Wednesday–Monday: 10 AM–5 PM
Directions: Subway A, station Staroměstská, Tram 17.
|The Ethnographical Museum|
Everyone interested in Czech folklore and culture from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia is recommended to make a visit here. The museum is located in the beautiful Pálac Kinských in the Kinských Garden and offers a very rich collection of clothing, artifacts, tools, paintings and more showcasing the typical life of people and how the national culture evolved. Many beautiful folkloristic dresses are on display and a small, romantic café with garden view is available, which is a great place to unwind after a walk in the Petřin Park paired with the visit to the museum.
Address: Kinsky Folly, Kinského zahrada 98, 150 00 Praha 5
Directions: Tram 6, 9, 12, 20, station Švandovo divadlo, or bus 176 stop Kobrova
|Prague City Museum|
The Prague City Museum provides a very interesting collection of artifacts, models and exhibitions covering the whole development of the city. A very important highlight is the 3D movie that is showing the city how it looked like before the reconstruction of the Jewish quarters in the 19th Century. There is a very detailed model of the city showing the former layout with all buildings, which has been digitized and transformed into street level videos, thus enabling a unique insight in the city structure and a fascinating comparison with the layout of today. The redesign process involved the creation of the Pařišzka Street and the construction of new buildings and the introduction of an airier streetscape in the area. The whole project was heavily debated back then and the model and 3D movie is a very important historical document, which enable people to go back in time and study the before and after moments.
Address: Na Poříčí 52, 180 00 Prague 8
Directions: Metro line B, C, tram: 8, 24, 26, 3, automobile: 133, 207, 135
|National Technical Museum|
The National Technical Museum offers a great exhibition of everything from cars to TV broadcast equipment to printing presses and also mining machinery including a complete iron and ore mine. There are also sections on aviation and shipping, which include a rare model of the German liner Imperator (later to become Berengaria for Cunard Line).
Address: Kostelní 42, 170 78 Prague 7
Directions: Take the streetcar 1, 8, 12, 25 and 26 to the Kamenicka stop followed by a short walk to the museum
|The National Museum|
The National Museum is currently closed for renovations but special exhibitions are provided in the former government palace to the left the main building at Vaclavské Naměstí. The regular exhibitions are not available here due to the space constraints; only special exhibitions are offered.
Directions: Take the Metro, line A or C to the Muzeum stop. Streetcar line 11 stops at Vaclavské Naměstí behind the museum.
|Aviation Museum Kbely|
The aviation museum, located in Kbely outside of Prague is a must for everyone interested in aircraft history and development. One of the key attractions is the finely renovated Tupolev Tu-104A OK-LDA from ČSA, which is an important part of the development of the jet age. The national airline of Czech Republic was the only export customer for this airliner, which was the only passenger jet in service between 1956-1958. The museum also offer an interesting collection of military aircrafts such as the MiG-15 and an Avia CS-92, a license built version of the Messerschmitt Me-262, one of the first jet fighters in the world. The civilian collection consists of different general aviation aircraft beside the aforementioned Tu-104A and also memorabilia and models of ČSA aircrafts. A rare model of the Avia Av-14 Super – a license built Ilyushin Il-14 with pressurized cabin is also on display.
Address: ul. Mladoboleslavská, Praha 9 – Kbely
The museum is open in the summer season, i.e. from May till October, every day except Monday from 10.00 AM to 6 PM
Directions: From Metro line B, Palmovka station: Bus 185
|Museum of Public Transport|
This museum, located in the former Střešovice depot offers an impressive collection of streetcars and buses representing the whole history of the transportation system in Prague. The first electric streetcars were introduced in 1899-1901 followed by bus service in 1908 and the different eras from the beginnings to later models represented by the Tatra T1, T2 and T3 is being shown. It is worth to mention the US connections with those cars since the three Tatra types are based on the PCC design; it was in 1951 the first T1 were delivered to the public transport company of Prague and the era of modern, efficient streetcar service began.
Address: Patočkova 4, Prague 6
Directions: Take the streetcar 1,2 or 18 to the Vozovna Střešovice stop (direction Petřiny).
The museum is open from the 28th March to the 17th November 2015 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9 AM to 5 PM
|Nostalgic Tramline 91|
The Public Transport Museum offers this nostalgic streetcar line during the summer, operating with old, traditional cars of the ČKD make. The line is excellent for touristic purposes since it travels from the museum to Výštavistě Holesovice with a route bringing it through the old town such as Malostranské Naměstí and to the newer areas such as Vaclavské Naměstí (Wenceslas Square) on its way to the terminal station. Regular transit tickets are not valid on the 91 line; tickets are purchased onboard the streetcar.
|Museum of Gastronomy|
This is a newly opened museum fully dedicated to the development of cooking and cuisine with a focus on the domestic but also global sector. It contains a lot of interesting memorabilia and kitchenware, utensils and interesting explanations of everything. Different realistic environments of time typical kitchens and also breweries are created and there are a small gift shop selling books about Czech cooking and cuisine.
Address: Jakubská 12, 110 00 Praha 1, Old Town
Directions: Nearest stop is Náměstí Republiky: Metro B, Tram 5, 8, 24, 26, Bus 207.
|Praha Expo 58|
The Praha Expo 58 former restaurant is well worth seeing for those who appreciate elegant modern and futuristic architecture as well as a great view of the city. The building was originally constructed at the World Expo 1958 in Brussels and won prices for both design and cuisine, which also helped to establish the then Czechoslovakia on the world map. The establishment was dismantled and moved to the Letná park in Prague where it became the Expo 58 Restaurant complete with an outdoor terrace offering an excellent panoramic view during the summer.
Address: Bruselský pavilon - restaurace, Letenské sady 1500/80, Praha 7
The Prague Guide by Matts Lindmark