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Prague history reads like a James Michener novel, filled with epic ascents and just as epic declines. The city reached its zenith in the 14th century under Charles IV as the capital of the then Holy Roman Empire. A century later, it lay in ruin, the result of the Hussite Wars. At the end of the 16th century, Prague was back on top as the capital of the Habsburg Empire ruled over by the daft but benevolent Rudolf II. But just a few years later, the Thirty Years War ushered in decades more misery. Modern history is no less dramatic: a young democracy emerges in 1918, it’s trampled in succession by the Nazis and the Soviets, and then saved in 1989 by a mild-mannered playwright-president known as Václav Havel.
Each of Prague’s districts has its own characteristic atmosphere and unique charm. Prague presents itself to you as a changeable city, which likes to alternate styles: it is romantic and successful, ancient and modern, but above all, it is a city that is cosmopolitan through and through and is used to welcoming foreigners. It is time to get acquainted.
Prague’s charms are not limited to bridges and castles. By night, the city shows off a different side. Trams and metro cars fill up with smartly dressed crowds, perhaps on their way to a classical music concert or off to the theatre (though the vast majority of performances are in Czech and largely off limits to most visitors). Even if you’re not fluent in Czech, there are hundreds of nightly options. You can always take in a jazz set, which often means dinner and drinks as well, or a live rock or indie act. There are dozens of discos and dance clubs. Or why not simply spend the evening in the pub, the favourite local. Prague clubs spin their tunes from dusk till dawn, so whether you're into serious clubbing or just a late drink and a quick dance, Prague is a good night out for one and all. Take it easy on the Absinthe though!
Prague is unquestionably a cosmopolitan city. Alongside the diversity of its inhabitants and general metropolitan atmosphere, it boasts a broad range of restaurants offering delicacies of Czech and world cuisine. Discover the tastes and aromas of the city on the Vltava and enjoy unforgettable dining experiences at Prague’s best restaurants in Cheap Holidays to Prague 2019.
Italian, French, Arabic, Indian, Spanish, Mexican, Armenian, as well as kosher, vegetarian and of course traditional Czech – the range of cuisines offered by Prague’s restaurants is almost limitless. After a long day spent in the city centre, you can visit one of many elegant establishments offering first-class service and wonderful views, or check out a traditional Czech pub with welcoming staff and excellent beer. Bon appétit, or as we say in Czech, dobrou chuť!
A glass of excellent beer or South Moravian wine is the perfect accompaniment to most meals. For beer, visit one of Prague’s brewery pubs, where the “liquid bread” is brewed in brass tanks. Among the most highly recommended are the famous pub U Fleků,Pivovarský dům and the Staropramen brewery in the Smíchov district.
Throughout the whole of the country, you can admire over two hundred castles and chateaux which are open to the public, beautiful centers of historical towns, wonderfully maintained gardens or mysterious medieval ruins which remember times long past. Set out to get to know some of the beautiful places which are located only a few hours’ drive from the capital. You most certainly won’t regret it. So are you ready to take a trip? The first of your destinations could, for example, be the most beautiful of Czech castles, Karlštejn. The journey there takes just under an hour by train and the view of its majestic silhouette in the middle of the woody hills will be worth every minute you spend getting there. During your day trip, you can also set out for the Konopiště Chateau, which took its place in history as the summer residence of Franz Ferdinand, the Successor to the Austrian throne who was assassinated in Sarajevo. You can get here easily by train in roughly an hour and a quarter. Do you like mysterious medieval residences shrouded in legend? Then hop on a train and within an hour and a half you can be walking through the courtyard of romantic Křivoklát Castle, one of the most beautiful in the whole of the Czech Republic.
Get to know its national treasures: Do you prefer historical cities pulsating with life and offering everything you need to enjoy a pleasant day? Then you could for example set out for Český Krumlov, which lies three hours by coach from Prague. Once you see its beautiful historical center with its silhouette of the local chateau, which is included in the UNESCO list, you will wish you never had to leave. The same feeling awaits you in Kutná Hora, another city on the UNESCO list, which was one of the wealthiest in the kingdom and boasts two Gothic cathedrals to this very day. The journey here takes only an hour and a half by train.
How about escaping the hectic big city and indulging yourself with some pleasant relaxation in a world famous spa? Karlovy Vary, which is about two hours by coach from Prague, will take you into its soft arms and pleasantly pamper you. Are you tempted by places with a link to history? You could also set out for Terezín, which gained infamy as a concentration camp during World War Two. The trip here takes only an hour by coach.
The Czech Republic does of course also offer many experiences for gourmets. Try superb wine from the vineyard in Mělník or enjoy some of the typical specialties of Czech cuisine, which must not fail to include the world famous beer from Plzeň. Have a nice trip!
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