- Aqualand Moravia
- Pasohlávky 110 E, 691 22 Pasohlávky
- Czech Republic
- GPS: 48°54'9.936"N, 16°34'28.524"E
- [email protected]
How to get there - By Plane: Many airlines have direct or connecting flights to Prague. To find out how to reach the city center from the airport, please go to our Transportation page. By Train: If arriving in Prague on an international train, you will arrive at one of these train stations: Hlavní nádraží (Main/Central Station) or Nádraží Holešovice (Holešovice Station). Both stations are on the C - Red line of the subway and it's easy to reach your final destination from there. By Car: Don't forget to buy the freeway tax stickers at the customs or at a gas station. It's important! You will pay 100 Kč for a 10-day sticker, 200 Kč for a month and 800 Kč for a year (2001 prices).
The right amount of time to spend in Prague depends on your interests. The minimum time sufficient for a superficial visit is three days (view our three-day itinerary). One week would allow for a more comfortable and relaxed visit, and if you would like to visit the outskirts as well, 10 days would be a good amout of time to plan for your vacation.
The Czech Republic is like the Internet: the longer you "browse", the more interesting places you find. Every little town has a castle or a chateau to visit and the natural landscapes are very impressive, too. There are many castles within a range of 30-50 km (20-25 miles) from Prague that are worth visiting: Karlštejn is the most famous - it's nice outside but the interiors are empty; Konopiště has very rich interiors with impressive collections of hunt trophies and weapons; Mělník has baroque interiors and is situated at a wonderful position on a hill at the confluence of two rivers: the Vltava and Labe; Český Šternberk is of gothic origin and has baroque interiors - it still belongs to the Count Šternberk and some tourists have been lucky enough to be shown around by the Count himself. It is also interesting to visit the Terezín Ghetto, a baroque fortress used as a concentration camp during WW2, most commonly known by its German name: Theresienstadt.
Prague is one of the most visited European capitals and the tourist attractions are sure to satisfy everyone. Unfortunately, not all of you will be able to stay in Prague long enough to be able to take a long tour and appreciate all the aspects of Prague. Many of you may have a longer weekend, three days at the most, which is enough for an overview of the city.
Malá Strana by Day & Night
Malá Strana is one of the most beautiful and awesome areas of Prague. Its beauty has been unchanged for centuries. Just imagine removing cars and a few modern details and you will jump back into the past.
Try to imagine for a while that cars didn't exist and forget about a few other details of the modern and here, more than elsewhere in Prague, you will jump back into the past. This district has remained untouched for centuries, keeping its renaissance, but mostly baroque dress. After a daytime visit I would also suggest to come here after dark to enhance your feelings about the district. The name means Little Town, Lesser District or Lesser Town. It was not always like that though... We know of existing settlements below the Castle already in the 9th century but we would have to wait until the 13th century to have a town. King Otakar II founded the New Town below the Castle in 1257; that was the district's name then but the area was quite small for the growing population. A century later, Charles IV founded the New Town in a larger area on the other bank of the river and from that time on the district was named Malá Strana.
The gothic look of Malá Strana was swept away by two events, one of human origin, the other natural. The city was completely destroyed during the Hussites wars in the 1400s and the little part that was restored was destroyed by a fire that started in the lower part of the main square of the district. Several communities of Italians arrived in Prague in the second half of the 1500s and chose Malá Strana to settle. They brought with them the new styles born on the other side of the Alps, Renaissance and Baroque, and Prague started to change its look.
In 1784, Joseph II joined the different cities to create the historic core of Prague, thus also Malá Strana became part of the newly born city. All the families who arrived here with the Habsburgs chose this district for their residences due to the vicinity to the Castle and their palaces are now embassies, so we could say that Malá Strana is the District of Embassies.
How to get there - The nearest Metro station is Malostranská, line A, Green. Tram 22 crosses the entire district with different stops (one right in front of the Metro station).
Let's start from the Metro station and take Valdstejnska Street to Valdštejnské náměstí. At the beginning of our route, we passed along a side façade of a palace and now we have the main façade in the front. This is the Valdštejn Palace. Valdstejn was a general who was on the Protestant side in 1600, but after 1620, when the Habsburgs got the absolute power, he moved to their side to betray them later during the Thirty Years war. Thanks to his military victories, the Emperor allowed him to build the Palace in early baroque style. A few years ago, it was the Ministry of Culture but later it became the Senate. This is to demonstrate that politics is more important than culture. You can visit the gardens from Letenska Street, open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from April through September.
From this square we turn to Sněmovní and then Thunovská Street. Before the street gets narrower you will find a bust of Churchill marking the English Embassy. The narrowest part of the street was used in the movie Amadeus. Let's go up and turn down into the first street on the left. We are now in the upper part of the main square divided by the ex Jesuit College - now the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University - and the Church of Saint Nicholas, considered the Baroque masterpiece in Prague.
We turn to Nerudova, one of Prague's most picturesque streets, which takes its name from Jan Neruda, a novelist who lived on this street and wrote novels and stories placed in this district. Pablo Neruda, after reading these novels, "stole" the name to use it as his pseudonym. If you are already tired and need an alcoholic-relaxing break, you can stop at the beer house U Kocoura (At the Cat) at Nerudova 2. Nerudova street has the most famous house signs in Prague: No.12 - House At the Three Violins, where a famous family of lute-makers used to live. No.16 - House At the Golden Chalice; this was a goldsmith shop.
Prague house signs - Before 1700, Prague houses had no numbers and they were marked with signs according to the professions of their inhabitants or something religious or natural. Marie Therese of Austria founded the Land Register in the second half of the 1700s. The numbering is still in use and it is always the number on the red background; the other on the blue background is the modern civic number.
A little further than the place when Nerudova Street gets narrower, we turn down the stairway on the left and turn to Sporkova Street. With a little left turn we reach a little square dominated by the Lobkovitz Palace, now the German Embassy. Look back and you will see the Italian Cultural Center part of the Embassy. They have many activities to join the two cultures. This has been the settlement of the Italian Community in Prague for centuries. We go down along Vlašská and Tržiště. A little further we can see the American Embassy. This was a palace of apartments at the beginning of the 1900s and also Kafka lived here for a while. During the communist regime, the baroque pavilion of the Embassy held the flag of the Country of Liberty. It was a contradiction and an unreachable dream for those who lived outside.
From Tržiště we take a detour to see the lower part of the main square, and we turn left. No. 21 - this was the Town Hall until 1784, now it's a concert hall for pop music. No.19 - the location of this palace was the place of the construction at which the big fire started in 1541, which reached the upper part of Hradčany. No.18 - it is now the Parliament but in the past the cellars hosted the reunion to decide about the Prague Defenestration of 1618. We go back to Karmelitska and visit the Church of Our Lady of the Victory on the right side, famous for the Baby Jesus of Prague. This is a small statue of Spanish origin and it has been in Prague since 1600. It's made of wood and covered with wax and people say that it has the power to help children and women in difficult childbirth.
From the church we turn left and cross the street to enter Harantova and continue to Maltezske Náměstí. On the square we turn right. We are in front of the Church of Our Lady Under the Chain, the oldest church in this district, which is part of a large ensemble of buildings belonging to the Maltese Knights. The church was founded in the Romanesque style but later turned down to be re-built in the gothic style, but the restoring never came to an end and instead of the nave, we have a lawn. On the left we have the Maltese Embassy but before 1989 it was the Museum of Musical Instruments and was used for the movie Amadeus as the house of Salieri, Mozart's rival in the film.
We now enter the square nearby with the French Embassy. A little further on the left, there is the John Lennon Wall. The wall was started soon after the assassination of the popular singer in 1980. At that time his music was forbidden in the Czech Republic because it was praising freedom that didn't exist here. Prague youth dedicated this wall to John Lennon and of course the police didn't like it. They even placed cameras to monitor who was coming there to arrest them. It is a symbol of the fight of the youth against the regime. Unfortunately this is not the original. It was damaged by a movie company that placed a set in this square. You can see the original portrait on postcards or t-shirts.
We now cross the bridge and take the narrowest street at the end. This is the Kampa Island. Kampa comes from the Latin Campus because there was only a lawn here in the past. Many houses were built from 1600 on to create the little square where we stand now. This square and the river bank on our right are famous for the movie Mission Impossible I. Let's go to the bank to take advantage of a wonderful view of Charles Bridge and the Old Town. The last house on the bank near the snack bar has a sign marking the level of the water in the two most recent floods. People who lived on this island didn't pay taxes because of the humidity in their houses.
From this square we can take the staircase to the Charles Bridge or pass under the bridge and continue to U Lužického Semináře to reach the Metro station where we began our tour.