A creative, cosmopolitan city where cobbled streets wind their way to castles and cathedrals, a Prague city break offers many wonders to explore... and it's not just for Christmas.
Discovering the city's fascinating past is a good place to start if you're tempted by a weekend in Prague. Here, historic buildings line the streets with gothic architecture and baroque statues; cobbled narrow streets hold their own stories; statues of saints are mounted on the balustrades of the must-see 14th century Charles Bridge; and majestic church steeples are dotted around the city, crowned by the most famous religious building in Prague, St Vitus Cathedral.
The city’s bustling squares are a hive of activity, and a place to sit and watch the world go by with a cold pilsner or warm mulled wine. Wenceslas Square is named after the patron of the Czech Republic, and a sculpture of its namesake stands at one end of the square in front of the city’s national museum. Prague Old Town Square is one of the Czech capital’s better-known tourist attractions, home to the famous Astronomical Clock which is mounted on the Old Town Hall. The latter is a complex of medieval buildings rather than just one, and it has a tower which visitors can climb to see panoramic views from the observation deck.
The 9th-century Prague Castle deserves a special mention, with some impressive stats to its name. Thought to date back to 880, it holds the Guinness Book of Records title for being the world's largest ancient castle. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its maze of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings offering you a fascinating wander through Czech history.
Don’t be fooled though, as Prague’s history isn’t just of the ancient kind. Lennon Wall opposite the French embassy is a symbol of peace and love, adorned with graffiti and first created to represent the non-violent resistance, not long after John Lennon was murdered. Then there is The Dancing House in the New Town of Prague; an incredible nod to the city's modern history.
Much of Prague’s finest architecture is found at its ecclesiastical buildings, most notable mentions going to: the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn in the Old Town with its 80-metre-high church towers; St Nicholas Baroque Church on the Market Place; the Strahov Monastery founded in 1143; and the St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, with its Golden Gates and history of Czech royal coronations.
Against this backdrop of historical buildings and must-visit Prague sites, is a thriving food and drink scene to fully immerse yourself in too. Sample Czech beer, pilsner, which is renowned around the world for its smooth flavour; try cinnamon treats and a mug of grog at a Christmas market; and gorge on hearty street food dishes such as roast pork and sauerkraut. More unusual food and drink experiences include the city's Beer Spa! And Lesser Town is the place to head to for casual dining, stylish restaurants and cafés, all served with stunning views and the opportunity to wander in beautiful gardens to work up an appetite.
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