Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Located in the northwest of the country on the Vltava River, the city is home to about 2 million in its larger urban area.
Prague city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.
With a history dating back over a thousand years, Prague has many famous cultural sights, museums, theatres, galleries and other historical exhibits, attracting more than 4 million visitors a year.
The Czech Republic is one of the most liberal countries in Central Europe when it comes to LGBT rights. Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1962, and homosexual prostitution was decriminalised in 1990.
The age of consent is 15. In 2006, the country legalised registered partnerships for same-sex couples. The Army doesn’t question the sexual orientation of soldiers and allows gay men to serve openly.
In 2016, the Czech Constitutional court struck down a ban which forbade people living in registered partnerships from adopting children as individuals. However, joint adoption of children by same-sex couples and adoption of a same-sex partner’s child remains illegal.
Czech Republic has become very gay-friendly destination for travellers in recent years. There is no gay epicentre in Prague, but much of the gay scene is concentrated around the trendy Vinohrady district, close to the Old Town city centre.
Prague Castle – see below
Ruzyně International Airport (PRG), located 20 km northwest of the city center, is served by a number of airlines with direct connections from European cities. It normally takes about 30 minutes to reach the city center from the airport by car.
The cheapest way to get to the city from the airport is by bus. Buy a ticket from the kiosk or the vending machine next to the bus stop. You can also buy the ticket from the driver, but it is more expensive. Lines 119 and 100 take you to Nádraží Veleslavín and Zličín metro stations respectively, with a journey time of around 15-20 minutes and costing 32 CZK
Operated by Czech Railways, there is also the Airport Express bus. These buses leave the airport every 30 minutes from around 6am-9pm. Tickets are 60 CZK per person and available from the driver. The Airport Express will take you to the railway and subway station Dejvická and Masarykovo nádraží and end at Prague’s main train station Hlavní nádraží.
Taxis are the most convenient way to reach the city center costing around 650 to 850 CZK. Although there will be taxis waiting outside it is cheaper to arrange one via a shuttle service. Various companies run shuttle services to the hotel and back. They can be found at the airport arrival halls. They usually charge around 400 to 500 CZK per trip and are generally slightly cheaper than taxis.
Prague is a very walkable city. One can easily walk from Wenceslas Square to the Old Town Square, or from the Old Town to Charles Bridge and the Castle district. Pedestrians should enter crosswalks carefully in Prague, as drivers are not as likely to yield as they are in other European cities. In the Czech Republic, it is illegal to cross at a pedestrian crossing on a red man.
Tram and metro
Prague public transport is fast, efficient and quite simple to use. Sometimes you have to change a few times. There are three metro lines, numerous tram and bus lines, regional (S) trains within Prague, as well as a few ferries across Vltava river. All are part of Prague integrated transport (PID).
Avoid getting a taxi on the street, but if you have to, try to negotiate the price in advance.
Old Town – the centre of Prague filled with houses, churches and buildings dating back to the 13th century.
Charles Bridge – Prague’s most familiar monument connecting the Lesser Town with the Old Town.
Prague Castle – the most popular attraction in the city, reflecting “Bohemian Baroque” architecture.
Lobkowicz Palace – a small museum of the Lobkowicz family’s remarkable collections.
St. Vitus Cathedral – the most important and largest church in Prague, located at the Prague Castle.
Old Town Square – the heart of Prague since the 10th century with its Old Town Hall and astronomical clock.
Lesser Quarter – one of Prague’s most historic sections with many Renaissance houses, baroque palaces and spacious squares.
The best times to visit Prague are spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) when the weather is mild and tourists are fewer than in the summer.
Consider a winter trip if you want to enjoy Prague without having to push through crowds, but the city has a fair amount of snow.
Czech Republic is within the Schengen visa area. If travelling from outside Europe, you should check to see if you require a Schengen visa.
The currency in Czech Republic is crown (koruna – Kč). Some stores, restaurants and hotels accept payments in euros but the exchange rate may not be very good.
Cash dispensers are widely available. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.
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