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Prague Old Town

Prague Old TownWhy Prague Old Town is special
It is one of the world's most architecturally beautiful urban sites.

Prague Old Town's must-see attractions
Main Square
It is the heart of Old Town, which is the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The square is lined with period piece Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings (see photo).

Astronomical Clock
The famous outdoor Astronomical Clock displays, besides the time, the astrological positions of the moon and sun. It dates back to the 15th century. On the hour, the two small window doors above the clock's zodiac face open to exhibit the parading statues of the Twelve Apostles. Tourists unfailingly assemble below, patiently waiting for the hourly show to begin.

Beyond the square, but still in Prague Old Town
Narrow, winding side streets branch out from the square in a pattern laid out in medieval times. Most are lined with old, short-storied buildings that take you back in time. Some buildings have restaurants and shops.

One area is named the Old Jewish Quarter. The foremost attraction of this former ghetto is the cemetery. Its tightly packed old tombstones lean in all directions.

Slightly beyond Old Town
Prague is much more than its Old Town. The following two attractions are Hillman Bronze Medal winners: Also don't miss these top Prague attractions
The list embraces historical and cultural attractions:
Escaped war damage
Unlike the case with Warsaw and some other European cities, Prague's rich architectural heritage escaped the widespread World War II devastation.

Photo tip
The best views of the city are from Prague Castle, the Strahov Monastery terrace, and the Petrin Tower. The best in the morning is from the skyscraping telecommunication tower.

Cultural Prague
Cultural events
Prague is known for its world-class cultural events, including two distinguished international music festivals, one in the spring, the other in the fall.

The city has many museums. The National Gallery with its artistic masterpieces is the most eminent. The National Museum is best known for its stunning indoor marbled staircased courtyard.

Creative arts
Many famous writers and artists lived in Prague. Literary giants include Kafka. In the music field, the list embraces Mozart, Dvorak and Smetana.

Prague restaurants and pubs
Prague is known for its small, delightful restaurants and cafes. The tables of some spread outdoors.

Beer pubs
The city has many "working man's" beer pubs oozing with character. The authentic ones are noisy, packed and smoky. U Zlateho Tygra is the insider's favorite. This pub is so popular for post work libations that it is almost impossible to find a seat (the regulars stay for long stretches).

More Prague Old Town tips and insights
Prikope and Parizska are the two most fashionable shopping streets.

Getting around
Prague Old Town is compact. It's usually best explored on foot.

The Metro
It is usually a faster means than surface transportation in getting to areas of the city beyond the old town. It is admirably modern, clean, inexpensive, and convenient.

However, whether you are in a crowded subway car or bus, or at a crowded tourist attraction, be wary of pickpockets.

Superb film location
Prague is a filmmaker's dream because of the Baroque and Renaissance architectural backdrops it provides. Many films have taken advantage of the city's picturesque shooting locations, including the Academy Award-winning film Amadeus.

Prague New Town
Just south of Prague Old Town lies Prague New Town. It's "new" in name only because it gained its appellation 600 years ago.
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