The beautiful city of Prague offers a long list of unique sights, a finger-licking food scene and lots of history behind the city itself. Whether you’re looking to take long walks, do some great shopping, or eat some delicious food, Prague is always the answer. Here is a list of the top 5 attractions that will give you a good sense of what Prague really has to offer its visitors.
1. Old Town Square & Astronomical Clock
The Old Town square is located at the center of Prague’s medieval Old Town. Both tourists and locals meet up in this gorgeous opening after walking through the small and winding cobble-stoned streets of the city. In the square you will find the Old Town Hall, built in 1338 and paid for by the duty levied on wine consumption. The Town Hall houses the tourist information office, from which you can get access to the tower. On the outside, the Hall is famous for its gorgeous façade clock, commonly known as the Astronomical clock. Every hour, just before the hour from 8am to 8pm, the skeleton on the right opens the clock doors by pulling on a string, while looking at his other hand holding an hourglass. Then, the central windows open and the 12 apostles march across the clock. A cock crows to mark the end of the ritual. The clock tower also features a calendar painted by the famous Czech painter Josef Manes.
2. Charles Bridge
Charles Bridge, originally known as Stone Bridge, is a historic bridge that crosses the famous Vlatava river in Prague. Until 1841, it was the only way across the river, connecting Prague Castle to the Old Town and the surrounding areas. It is adorned with 30 statues of saints and lined with beautiful old-fashioned lanterns. The Charles Bridge is a favorite location for artists, who set up their canvases and expositions along the side of the bridge for locals and tourists to admire. Beware of the bridge in the middle of the day as it is packed with tourists taking pictures from all angles.
3. The Powder Tower
The Powder Tower was built in the 11th century, and was one of the thirteen medieval gates into the Old Town. In the 18th century, the tower was used as a gunpowder depot to protect the Old Town, giving it its original name. When the New Town was created, the tower was no longer needed for protection. Today it is one of the main historical sites of the city and the main entrance to the Old Town Square.
4. Prague Castle & Picture Gallery
The Prague Castle is the most important historical site in the city of Prague. It is also the biggest castle in Europe. Starting in the 8th century, the castle was used as a residence for the kings of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperors. Today it contains the office of the President of Czech Republic. The famous Prague Picture Gallery is exposed within the castle. The gallery contains paintings from the famous collection of emperor Rudolph II. It allows visitors to view a collection of 100 paintings selected from the over 4,000 paintings in the Prague Castle. Visit the official Prague Castle website for information about visiting hours and ticket prices.
After having visited some of the greatest historical monuments of Prague, don’t miss the high end shopping available in the city. Head to Pariska (London’s Bond Street equivalent), just off of the Old Town Square, where you can find brands such as Gucci, Dior, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. The street is lined with restaurants and cafés where you can sit and relax between purchases! For some familiar names and brands visit the Palladium shopping center across from the Municipal house.
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