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Zvíkov bridge bungee jumping in Prague

City trades on past culture to delight modern-day visitors

The Old-New Synagogue.When we travel to places that are radically different to Malta, both visually and culturally, we gasp in delight at our new surroundings, feeling like we’ve landed someplace special and almost mysterious.

In recent years the beautiful Czech capital of Prague has garnered much attention from tourists, although unfortunately it also has its fair share of attention from noisy, drunken stag parties.

Yet its dreamy, riverside location also makes it a favourite jaunt for couples looking for a romantic weekend city break and because of its small size, a couple of days are just about enough to get a taste of the city (although, be warned… it will leave you wanting to return for more).

The secret to Prague’s diverse appeal lies in its beautiful architecture and surroundings, which are dipped in a contemporary cosmopolitan charm, all the while subtly acknowledging its Communist past.

You can choose to explore the winding cobblestone streets of the historic Old Town while admiring the medieval buildings, take in the beautiful castle alongside the equally beautiful Charles Bridge and then discover why Prague is now heralded as a city with some of the best beer in the world by visiting the hospody, or beerhouses, which are stationed on every street corner.

Another major selling point is that Prague’s most important areas are best explored on foot, meaning you will not waste time in taxis or on public transport.

The most important areas are the central districts of Staré Mesto (Old Town), Josefov, Nové Mesto (New Town) and Malá Strana (Lesser Town). Within these areas you can visit some of the following places:

Staromestské námestí (Old Town Square)

As its name suggests, this historic square is located in the Old Town, between Wenceslas Square and the Charles Bridge.

The Old-New Synagogue.

It is considered to be one of Europe’s most beautiful squares with its pastel baroque houses, Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn and baroque St Nicholas Church, and is also home to the statue of a religious reformer from the 1400s, Jan Hus.

Also found in the Old Town Square is the Astronomical Clock, which has been ticking since 1490. Be there on the hour to see the wooden apostles as they appear every day between 8am and 8pm.

Obecní dum (Municipal House)

If political history is your thing, then schedule time for a visit to this art nouveau palace formed by the creative input of the Czech artist elite in the early 1900s and today considered as one of Europe’s best art nouveau monuments.

It was renovated in the 1990s and now houses a gallery, beer cellar and a bar.

Staronová synagoga (Old-New Synagogue)

For those who are into seeing historical places of worship, Staronová Synagoga is one of the oldest synagogues with a double-nave design in Europe and was the preaching spot for Rabbi Loew – the person who legend says created a golem, a clay figure that was to protect Prague’s Jewish population from persecution in the 16th century. It is one of the city’s oldest Gothic buildings.

Inside the Prague National Gallery. Photo: Popova Valeriya/Shutterstock.com

Veletržní palace (Prague National Gallery)

A must-see for art and architecture lovers alike. Inside you’ll find modern, international and Czech art, while the outside building is from the 1920s and was the home of trade fairs until the early 1950s.

A visit to this capital is incomplete if you don’t visit Prague Castle and its surroundings. Said to be Europe’s largest castle, its history dates back to the 11th century. Alongside is the impressive Gothic St Vitus Cathedral, which took more than 600 years to build.

Karluv most (Charles Bridge)

The beautiful Charles Bridge was built in 1357 under the guidance of Charles IV, and until the 19th century remained the only one connecting both sides of Prague.

Apart from the impressive architectural sights, Prague also offers cultural and lifestyle events. Live music is a great way to start, or end, your night out and you can catch local musicians at various places such as Akropolis, Lucerna Music Bar and Vagon.

Puppet shows are very popular with all ages

For something slightly different to the norm, puppet shows are very popular and have historical significance in the country.

Note that these are not solely for children, but have a huge adult following. If you are after attractions for children, Prague Zoo is sure to be a hit, with its lovely views and exotic animals.

However, if you’re more of a thrill-seeker than a culture vulture, Prague now offers bungee jumping from Zvikov Bridge.

If it’s the thrill of the casino that lures you, then Palais Savarin comes highly recommended, and even if you’re not planning on gambling, simply the grandeur of the interior is well worth going in to see.

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