Photograph by Heimo Aga
Prague’s signature landmark is a 600-year-old gothic stone bridge lined with baroque statues of 30 religious figures, the most recent added in the 1930s. The bridge is magical at any time, but come early in the morning or at night when the crowds thin out.
Prague Castle/St. Vitus Cathedral
One of the largest castle complexes in the world. Once the seat of Bohemian kings and home to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. Tip: Leave plenty of time to see everything, and rent a portable audio guide (available where you purchase admission tickets). Hradcanske Namesti; tel. 420 224 372 423; fee. www.hrad.cz
“It’s like a medieval Bohemian village tucked behind Prague Castle.”—Theodore Schwinke, former managing editor, Prague Daily Monitor. After you’ve battled the throngs of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle, come to this quiet street in the Castle district for a respite.
Old Town Square
One of the most dazzling public spaces in Europe and the city’s commercial center for the past millennium. Lined by a confection of gothic and baroque buildings. Don’t miss the Old Town Hall and its spellbinding Astronomical Clock (chimes at the top of the hour). Come at night to see the twin-spire Tyne Church aglow as it rises from behind a row of tiny Renaissance-style houses. Staromestske Namesti.
Prague Jewish Museum
A collection of five surviving synagogues, the remnants of what was once a thriving Jewish ghetto. Includes the Pinkas synagogue, its walls marked with the names of 80,000 Czech Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps. Also a highly moving exhibition of pictures drawn by children held at the Theresienstadt (Terezin) camp. Next to the Old Jewish Cemetery, impossibly packed with four centuries of headstones. U Stare Skoly 1; tel. 420 222 317 191; fee. www.jewishmuseum.cz
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