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Travel Guide – Prague

A city of medieval squares and narrow cobblestone streets, Prague is one of Europe’s finest travel destinations. Its mix of historic sites, friendly atmosphere and European cosmopolitan feel attracts more than 5 million visitors per year and we cover the best of these in the Finnair travel guide to Prague. With so much to see and do a trip to this city on the Vltava is a must-do on your European vacation.

Charles Bridge - Spanning the Vltava river and connecting old Prague with the far bank is this beautiful medieval bridge. It has stood for many hundreds of years since being constructed during the reign of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Since then it has seen millions of visitors who come for the picturesque river views, making this one of the most popular sights in Prague. Walking across towards Prague Castle, perched high above the city, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back into the Middle Ages. The largest ancient castle in the world, its imposing walls and stout fortifications have served as the seat of power in the area for centuries.

Completing the medieval feeling of Prague is the Old Town Square, a hive of activity day and night with tourists, diners, locals and market sellers all coming together to form a lively arena of activity surrounded by beautiful gothic buildings. Check out the Astronomical Clock on the wall of the Old City Hall, a marvel of science in its time. Prague has long had a Jewish population which has formed a valuable part of its identity. The Old Jewish Cemetery is the final resting place of some of these Czechs and is an interesting sight all of its own and worth a visit.

Konopiste Castle – A fairy-tale castle set on a lake among the woods. Less than an hour from Prague by car, enjoy some medieval magic.

Terezin Concentration Camp – An education centre, tours and a memorial give a sobering view of this World War II site.

Karlovy Vary – A few hours from Prague this spa town has the soothing mineral waters and bubbling pools you’ll crave after a hard day’s walking around the capital.

Despite being all about the Old Town, Prague shopping has modern options on top of the usual tourist wares. New shopping malls are springing up and you can find most brands you’ve become accustomed to elsewhere in Europe.

Old Town Square - Geared almost exclusively towards tourists, it’s still a pleasant (if not crowded) place to pick up Czech crystal, souvenirs and natural goods from the many small market sellers.

Palladium - Prague’s modern mall just a short walk from the Old Town Square. Here you’ll find many modern European and international brands along with eateries and cafés, making it a great stop for shopping in Prague.

Wenceslas Square - Actually a long boulevard, this shopping area is similar in content to Palladium but with the addition of some upper-tier brands. The pedestrian streets branching off it provide some good local shopping opportunities.

Pařížská Street - Luxury-brand aficionados need head only here where all the famous labels are located.

Prague’s food & drink scene embraces both traditional czech fare along with modern cuisine. As the city has modernised it hasn’t forgotten its roots however and hearty Czech food & drink is found around every corner.

Svíčková – Beef sirloin served in a creamy sauce with traditional Czech bread dumplings. A true food of Prague.

Lángos – Actually from Hungary, this fried dough masterpiece has made its way to Prague. Topped with garlic, tomato sauce and cheese it is the perfect snack to keep you going on a chilly day.

Guláš – Well-known as Goulash in English. Stewed meat served in a thick brown sauce with a variety of sides.

Řízek – Traditional Czech schnitzel of beef, veal or pork coated and fried then served with dumplings.

Žemlovka – A sweet dish made with apple soaked in milk and flavoured with vanilla then baked until golden.

Beer – Pilsner was first brewed in the Czech Republic and the beer culture here is strong. Well-known brands like Pilsner Urquell and Budvar are very popular while many more styles and flavours are available also.

Wine & Spirits – Both widely available and cheap with Prague’s famous Absinthe available for those brave enough to try.

Coffee – Enjoyed everywhere in all the usual styles. Prague has many small, charming coffee spots tucked away in the alleys, so don’t be afraid to explore.

Getting around on Prague transport is quite easy thanks to its many pedestrian friendly areas and the efficient metro system. Transportation in Prague is relatively cheap compared to other European capitals.

Metro – Three lines serve the city with several stops being in places of interest for tourists. The system is affordable, especially with a 24 hour or 3 day ticket, and reliable. Always validate your ticket when entering the metro station.

Bus – Buses start running earlier and end running later than the metro so can be a good option if you’re out late. They can also take you outside the city to farther-away destinations. Validate your ticket when you get on the bus. If you are not able to make the climb up to Prague Castle a bus is recommended.

Tram – Trams work the city across more than 20 lines so make a convenient way to quickly get around town.

By foot – Prague is very easy to walk around. The narrow streets of the Old Town can mean pedestrians share limited space with cars but it is not dangerous. Many areas are for pedestrians only. Distances between sights can be quite long but if you have time, there are many beautiful scenes to see by foot.

Currency – Czech Koruna (Kč).

Electricity – 220 volts, 50Hz, European type-C plug.

Tips – Not formally expected but appreciated if given. Most restaurants will include a service charge and perhaps a cover fee.

Payment / card – Widely accepted. Carry cash for shopping at the markets.

Time zone – CET / UTC+1.

Water - Usually safe to drink but bottled water is available everywhere.

Václav Havel International Airport (PRG)

The airport is located 15km west of Prague.

  • Finnair flights: Terminal 2
  • Check-in opens 2 hours before departure
  • Check-in closes 45 minutes before departure

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