Old Market Square with the Tyn cathedral and the Astronomical Clock
Crowds wait at the Astronomical Clock
The gate to the Charles Bridge
Old Town Square is the center of eventful history of Prague. The Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings were preserved here. The Historical Centre, including most of the city’s major sites, became a UNESCO-listed site in 1992.
Jan Hus monument— That striking man standing atop a patina-green metal mountain in the center of Old Town Square is not Jesus, though he resembles him. It's Jan Hus, the great Czech religious reformer whose Hussite movement caused as much, if not more, friction within the Christian community as Martin Luther. The statue was erected on the 500th anniversary of his death (6 July 1915). Hus preached in the Bethlehem Church in Old Town and was himself not particularly radical, unlike some of the sects who followed him. He believed in Bibles written in the worshiper's language, in the importance of faith instead of a clergyman's intermediation with God - in other words, concepts which threatened the status quo. He was summoned to the Church's Council of Constance in Switzerland by representatives of the Emperor, and given a letter of safe conduct to get there and back. Like every member of the Habsburg family, before and after him, the Emperor was Catholic. After Hus refused to repent for his so-called sins and come back into the Church, he was burned at the stake, despite the promise of the Emperor.
Astronomical Clock (also called Orloj)— The Astronomical Clock located on a side tower of the Old Town Hall (reasonably enough, on Old Town Square) is easy to find - just wait until a few minutes before the hour and look for a large group of tourists standing around waiting for something to happen! It also one of the most popular gathering places in Prague.
Built in 1410 and thought of as an example of 15th century hi-tech device, projected with participation of math and astronomy professor at Prague University. The mail dial is in principle mechanical astrolabe, showing not only the current time, but also the placement of Sun and Moon in Zodiac, phase of the moon, time of sunrise and sunset, length of astronomical night, time in old Bohemian hours, in unequal hours and other data. From gathering crowds, hardly anybody understands all data astronomical dial displays.
Then there is a slow-moving 12-month calendar with incredibly delicate, small figure paintings by 19th century Czech painter Josef Manes. Every day on the hour, the upper, glockenspiel-style section of the clock performs the same scene: Death waves an hourglass, the 12 apostles shuffle past small windows, and a rooster crows. After the hour strikes, a Turk wags his head.
Long after the Turks had ceased to be a threat in Central Europe, their use as an allegorical figure in genre paintings and other art continued. The Czechs often sided with the Hungarians in various battles against increasing imperial power as exercised by the ruling Habsburg family over their dominions, and though the Turks never occupied Prague as they did Budapest, both countries' artists used "the Turk" (a dark-complected figure, usually wearing a turban) to represent the dangers of the world, and especially threats to Christianity. In the astronomical clock, the Turk is meant to be the stranger.
There is a legend about the clock that states the original master builder of its interior clockworks was blinded by the King who commissioned it after the work was completed so the mechanic could never build such a wonderful clock for someone else.
Municipal Hall - Nám. Republiky 5. ph 222 002 101. fax 222 002 100. email firstname.lastname@example.org . The Obecní dům was built near the Powder Tower (a storage place for gunpowder and a major trade route entry into the city) on a site called King's Court where once a royal residence stood. In 1901, the Prague Civic Society made a proposal to city authorities to build a center for official and social Czech events. As happened so many other times in recent Prague history, the Czechs were trying to balance the grand buildings erected by the German-speaking community of Prague with suitable edifices of their own. The "German House" (now co-opted and renamed Slovanský dům, or Slavic House, on Na Příkopě street) and a German casino were enough to make the Czechs want a place of their own.
Lovers of Art Nouveau should bless the memories of the Prague Civic Society's officials, because the Obecní dům would become one of the most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau in Prague, filled with artwork by the best Czech artists of the day. Neo-Baroque, neo-Renaissance, Western and Oriental influences – all combined with traditional Czech Art Nouveau. This is what makes the Obecnàdum unique among many beautiful examples of Art Nouveau public buildings in Prague. While the exterior is impressive, the interior is both finely crafted and educational. Almost every prominent living Czech artist worked on the Obecní dům. Painters Mikoláš Aleš, Václav Jansa, Alfons Mucha, Jakub Obrovský, Jan Preisler, Josef Wenig, Karel Spillar, Max Švabinský, Josef Ullman, František Zenoek, and the sculptors Josef Maratka, Josef Václav Myslbek, Karel Novak, Ladislav Šaloun, František Uprka, Bohumil Kafka and Čeněk Vosmík carved out an astounding backdrop for the many historical events that would transpire here. Though their contributions are not conspicuously noted, in some cases (such as Alfons Mucha's Mayoral Hall) it is obviously which artist decorated what room.
Convent of St Agnes, U Milosrdných 17. The Anezsky klaster is the first Early Gothic building in Prague (founded 1234) - something notable in a city filled with amazingly well-preserved examples of Gothic architecture such as St Vitus, the Charles Bridge and the Powder Tower. Over the years the complex's convent, chapels and several churches deteriorated and in some cases, were completely destroyed. After Habsburg emperor Josef II's religious reforms, the convent was shut down in 1782 and converted into lodgings for the poor. St Anežka, (Sv. Anežka česká) who is pictured on the pink 50-crown banknote, is the patron saint of Bohemia and founder of the convent complex. She was a daughter of the ruling Premyslid family, but no wallflower in terms of her activism, intelligence and energy. St Francis of Assisi, after whom one of the churches in the complex is named, founded his religious order in 1209 without the sort of financial backing earlier orders had enjoyed. As communism was crumbling, the remaining religious leadership, decimated over years by Communism's anti-religious influence, lobbied the Vatican to finally declare Anežka a saint. This happened 12 November 1989, though Anežka's niece Elizabeth had started the process in 1328! Today, the convent is used to house part of the Czech National Gallery's collection. Admission: Full: 100Kč, Reduced: 50Kč, Family: 150Kč. edit
Museum of Communism, Na Příkope 10, ☎ +420 224 212 966 (email@example.com), . Hours: Daily 9AM-9PM excluding December 24. A interesting museum that follows the history of communism in Czech Republic until it's fall with the Velvet Revolution. The museums has several interesting communist propaganda artifacts, which are worth a look. Admission: Adults: 190 CZK, Students with ID: 150 CZK, Children (under 10 with paying adult): Free. edit
Mucha Museum, Kaunický palác, Panská 7, ☎ +420 224 216 415 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Hours: 10AM-6PM. This museum is dedicated to the life and works of Alphonse Mucha, a leading artist in the Art Nouveau movement. Entrance fees: Adults: 240 CZK; Children, Students and Seniors over 65 years: 140 CZK. edit
Museum of Czech Cubism, Ovocný trh 19, ☎ +420 224 211 746, . Hours: 10AM-6PM. Closed M. The Museum of Czech Cubism is in the recently renovated House of the Black Madonna. This unique Cubist building, designed by Josef Gočár, was built in 1911–1912. Adult: 100 CZK. Discounts: 50CZK. edit
Cotto Crudo, Veleslavínova 2a, Prague 1, ☎ +420 221 427 000, . Every Day: 07:00 - 23:00. Chef Andrea Accordi serves up modern Italian cuisine in this restaurant located inside the Four Seasons Hotel in Prague. Considered by many to be the best restaurant in Prague, it is also the only restaurant in the city to be awarded a Michelin star, with prices to match. Very Expensive. (50.0877694,14.4143250)edit
Ambiante Pizza Nuova, . An upscale place which does a very accurate rendition of Neapolitan pizza, but whose real selling point is the amazing play area for small and smallish kids.edit
La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise, Haštalská 753/18, Prague 1, ☎ +420 222 311 234, . M-Sa: 18:00 - 24:00. Often voted as the best Czech restaurant, with price matching the quality. But if you have the cash, it's supposed to be a culinary experience as no other. Menu from 2200 CZK to over 4000 CZK with wine included.edit
Grand Cafe Orient, Dům u Černé Matky Boží, Ovocny trh 19, ☎ +420 224 224 240 (email@example.com), . Coffee, tea, cakes and sandwiches with free wi-fi between Namesti Republiky and the Old Town Square.edit
La Casa Blu, Kozí 15, ☎ +420 224 818 270, . Spanish/Mexican food at good prices, close to Dlouha Trida tram stop. Free wi-fi internet. Service can be slow.edit
Lokál, Dlouhá 731/33, Prague 1, ☎ +420 222 316 265, . Every Day: approx. 12:00 - 24:00. A new member to famous Ambi restaurants group, this is the place, where traditional and modern blend together. While evoking czech pubs from times years ago, everything is brand new. Both beer (35 CZK / 2 USD) and food (100 - 200 CZK, 4 - 9 USD) is very good. edit
Needle House Restaurant, Hybernská 7, ☎ +420 224 226 004. The name of this restaurant comes from the enormous skewers of meat and vegetables they serve, balanced vertically on an especially designed plate. Once you figure out how to handle them, they're great. The restaurant has great service and strongly flavored dishes. Entree approximately 250-300Kč, bottles of wine 350-1000Kč.. edit
Touch Restaurace & Lounge, Jakubská 744/4, Prague 1, ☎ +420 222 322 685, . 11:30AM-11:30PM. Specialized in feathery dishes, modern cuisine, meals. Excellent food well presented.150-400Kč. edit
U Mecenase, Malostranske Namesti 10 (Center of Prague, right in Old Town Square). 12p-11:30p. 16th century traditional Caech restaurant with nice atmosphere. Ask to sit in the old executioner's table. The layout has not changed in 400 years.$$. edit
AghaRTA Jazz Centrum, Železna 16, ☎ +420 222 211 275 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Daily 7PM-1AM, live music from 9PM-midnight. AghaRTA is another well known jazz club, and organizer of the Prague Jazz Festival.edit
Akord Jazz Club, V celnici 4, ☎ +420 774 101 091 (email@example.com), . A cosy jazz bar in the basement. Concerts every night of different quality.The entrance fee is payed in the bar when you buy something to drink. Around 300Kč, half price for student with ISICcards. Tap-beer around 50Kč.. edit
Al Capone's Coctail Bar, Bartolomějská 3, ☎ +420 224 212 192, . M-Th 5PM-2AM, F-Sa 6PM-3AM, Su 6PM-midnight. Al Capone's is a small and family-like bar, located in the very centre, with acceptable prices.Beer 25Kč-70Kč, cocktails 45Kč-80Kč. edit
Alcohol Bar, Dusni 6, ☎ +420 224 811 744, . Has one of the largest selections of drinks in the city, they have an extensive cocktail menu that's so big they have some copies in hardback.edit
Chateau Rouge, Jakubská 2, ☎ +420 222 316 328, . Three-floor club in the old town. Plenty of tourists, including Americans and pub crawl groups, to be found any night of the week.free entry, Staropramen 40Kč. (50.088306,14.424917)edit
Fat Boy's Bar, Malá Štupartská 5, ☎ +420 721 737 588. Australian-style bar.Gambrinus 40Kč, Pilsner 55Kč. edit
Karlovy lázně, Smetanovo nábřeží 198, ☎ +420 222 220 502 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . This self-styled "biggest music club in Central Europe" is right next to Charles Bridge, with 5 floors of clubs each featuring a different style of music. It is frequented by Czech teenagers and German high school students. There are security guards at the door who search entering patrons. It is more often than not incredibly dirty and filled with very young males.edit
Music Club Zlatý Strom, Karlova 6, ☎ +420 222 220 441, . Daily 8PM-6AM. Lively half dance club, half go-go club. Watch out for the bucket mojito cocktails for 599Kč!Free entry for women. edit
U Zlatého Tygra (The Golden Tiger Pub), Husova 17, . 3PM-11PM daily. If you aren't easily scared off by smoke so thick you can touch and mean-looking Czechs that look like they would rather shake you than share a table, then this place is a must-stop. It is almost always crowded to standing capacity but if you stop by just before closing during the week, you can usually grab a table next to a local or knowledgeable expat and have some great Pilsner Urquell for 34Kč a half liter, a price that is almost charitably low for the city center. There's also a simple menu of snacks and mains for around 35Kč-90Kč. Check the picture on the wall- that's President Bill Clinton drinking here. Favored hangout of the late Czech author Bohumil Hrabal, whose bronze bust stands watch over the heads of patrons.edit
Chicago Music Bar Praha (Chicago Music Bar), Truhlarska 23, ☎ +420602401225, . Music bar "Chicago" is located in the very centre of Prague and offers its visitors the full range of opportunities for leisure and fun. A stylish and fully equipped bar with wide choice of fine wines, cocktails and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages is at your disposal.edit
Apple Hostel, Náměstí Republiky 7, Králodvorská 16, ☎ +420 777 277534 (email@example.com), . 5 min on foot to Old Town Square or Wenceslas Square. Kitchen, internet, lockers and a TV/music room. Free breakfast and no curfew..From 280Kč for a 12-bed dorm room during low season to 1190Kč for a single room with a private shower. Rates are higher at peak times. edit
Botel Florentina, Dvorakovo nabrezi, Pier no 7, ☎ +420 739 002 550 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Boat moored close in the centre. Cruises, restaurant.Depending on season, last minute deals.. edit
Four Seasons Hotel Prague, Veleslavínova 2a/1098, ☎ +420 221 427 000 (fax: +420 221 426 000), . On the river very close to the Charles Bridge. The Four Seasons is best known for having lowered the wall in front protected it from the flood. But when dry it's as close as you get on the right bank to everything in Prague.Bed and breakfast for 2 people is approximately €250, advance purchase packages are available for as low as €195 per night. edit
Hilton Prague Old Town, V Celnici 7, ☎ +420 221 822 100 (fax: +420 221 822 100), . 305 rooms, including 20 suites in a central location, 5 min walk from Palladium shopping centre. Gordon Ramsey's Maze Prague restaurant is open throughout the day. Kosher food is available.edit
Hotel Elite, Ostrovni 32, (email@example.com), . 4 star, 78 rooms, containing pieces of original antique furniture, A/C, private bathroom, IDD, payTV, satellite, free WiFi, safety deposit box and a minibar.edit
Hotel Páv, Kremencova 13, ☎ +420 221 502 114 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Newly-renovated 3 star hotel. Rooms have private bathroom, satellite TV, IDD telephone, complimentary WiFi and safety deposit boxes. 4 junior suites and 3 rooms for disabled customers.edit
Intercontinental Prague, Náměstí Curieových 43 / 5, ☎ +420 296 631 111 (email@example.com, fax: +420 224 811216), . One of the older Western hotels in Prague, the Intercontinental is located very close to the centreAround €160. edit
Jilská Apartment, (approximately 50-100 m from Old Town Square), . 14th century recently renovated central apartment building.Around €47 for an apartment, depending on the season. edit
Pension Boršov, Boršov 1, ☎ +420 224 990 940 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Nice and cozy small pension with 5 double rooms located in a quiet location a few minutes from the Charles Bridge and National Theatre. Breakfast is free of charge. There is a famous vegetarian restaurant Clear Head in the basement of the building. Rates start from €40 in the off-season.edit
Pension U Medvídků, (literally: at the bear cubs, 5 min walk form Old Town), ☎ +420 224 211 916 (email@example.com), . On the site of an old brewery that is now a Czech Budweiser (Budvar) restaurant, the pension building houses a brewing museum and shop. It is also connected to a smaller bar that is open until 3AM. The rooms are clean and atmospheric. Ask for a room at the very top (#43 is a good pick) to avoid street/restaurant noise. Rates are seasonal but start from around 1550Kč/2300Kč/3100Kč per night for singles/doubles/triples off peak. Add an extra 10% if you want one of the beautifully restored historical rooms.edit
Residence Karolina, Karoliny Svetle 4, Prague 1, ☎ +420 224 990 990 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 20 large 1-2 bedroom apartments situated on 5 floors. One bedroom apartments can sleep 4 with extra sleeping facilities in additional room. Each of the two bedroom apartments has two en-suite bathrooms to provide for 4 staying guests and you can temporarily accommodate another 2 on a large comfortable sofa located in the living rooms. DVD, LCD TV, itchens are fully equipped with a microwave oven, glass-ceramic kitchen stove & refrigerator. Internet and WiFi connection in every apartment.edit
Residence Masná, Masná 5, ☎ +420 246 087 300 (email@example.com), . In a quiet street close to the Municipal House and the Powder Tower.From €60 for a studio in the low season to over €100 for an apartment in the high season. edit
Residence Rybná, (next to Old Town Square), . 500-year-old building formerly called At The Red Horse, rebuilt in the 19th century in the late classicist style. Recently renovated and refurnished. 1-3 bedroom apartments. Friendly professional staff. From €100-250 per apartment.
The U Prince, (facing the Astronomical clock), . Comfortable beds and beautiful marble bathrooms. The terrace bar has a view of the city and Old Town Square.
Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town, Hradební 9, ☎ +420 296 398 100, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Near Old Town Square Modern equipment and services in a historic building dating back to 1930. Recently completely renovated rooms have internet, free WiFi in common areas.rooms from €68. edit
Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague, Jakubská 8, Prague 1, ☎ +420 221 776300, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Vibrant music and oriental aromas in the historic city centre of Prague.Rooms from €418. edit