Budapest-Prague Side Trip

Visit Prague, 'The Golden City', capital of the Czech Republic

Budapest-Prague Side Trip
Charles Bridge
Old Town Square
The Castle
Old Town from Charles Bridge
Old Town

Why visit: architecture, Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance buildings, history, arts, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, beer

Getting to Prague from Budapest: Prague is about 330 miles from Budapest. By car it takes about five hours to get to Prague, using Highways M1, E65 and E50. The much quicker option however is to take a flight. Czech Airlines offers non-stop flights between Budapest Ferihegy International Airport and Prague Ruzyne International Airport. The flight takes about one hour and 15 minutes.

Prague Fast Facts

Prague is the capital city and the largest city of the Czech Republic.
Population: 1,2 million
Currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
Language: Czech, a Slavic language closely related to Slovak and Polish
Airport: Ruzyne International Airport (PRG)
Country code: 420
Prague area code: 02
Time Zone: same as Budapest, Central European Time (GMT+1, EST+6), Daylight Saving Time observed
Nickname: The Golden City, The Rome of the North (as Prague was built on nine hills)

Things to Do in Pargue

Prague grew into a magnificent city during the Middle Ages, especially under the reign of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, when Prague was larger than Paris or London. The Habsburgs took over in the 16th century, beginning a rule that would last for almost 400 years. It was not until 1918 that Prague became capital of an independent republic. World War II brought occupation again; however, Prague suffered considerably less damage than some other cities in the region, like Budapest or Warsaw, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form. After four decades of Communism and since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Prague has become one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, ranking the sixth most-visited European city. In 1992, the historic centre of Prague has been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Main attractions in Prague:
Old Town - Old Town is the site of the first settlement. This is where the Old New Synagogue, completed in 1270 in Gothic style, and the Old Town Square with the Astronomical Clock, are located.

Charles Bridge - The picturesque Charles Bridge was for long the only connection between the Old Town and Prague Castle. Its construction started in 1357 under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV.

Prague Castle - Prague Castle is one of the biggest castles in the world. This is where Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices. The Czech Crown Jewels are also kept here. The castle buildings represent virtually every architectural style of the last millennium: the Gothic St. Vitus's Cathedral, the Romanesque Basilica of St. George, the Royal Palace of three different architectural layers, a monastery, defense towers, and much more. The castle also houses several museums.

Josefov - Completely surrounded by Old Town, this is the old Jewish quarter of Prague. The Old Jewish Cemetery and the Old New Synagogue are the most remarkable attractions.

The Mucha Museum - The museum, dedicated to painter Alfons Mucha, showcases his famous Art Nouveau works. It combines examples of his graphic works, posters, and paintings, as well as shows his influence in jewelry, fashion and advertising.

The Metronome - The Metronome is a giant, functional metronome that looms over the city, overlooking the Vltava River and the city center of Prague. Erected in 1991, it stands on the pedestal left vacant by the destruction of an enormous monument to former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (destroyed in 1962).

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