Tour by tram
Dopravní podnik hl. m. Prahy offers tours of the historic tram line 91 through the city center. The round trip leads from Výstaviste to Malá Strana, then across the Vltava to the National Theater, then across Wenceslas Square and returns to Výstaniste via the Námestí republicky. The tram operates on Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (April-October). The entire tour lasts one hour. You can get on at all stops.
Phone: 23 12 33 49, 296 12 49 00 (Dopravní podnik hl. M. Prahy)
Prague Sightseeing Tours organizes three special boat tours . The two and a half hour trip on the Vltava with lunch and music leads under the Charles Bridge. The two-hour Moldau trip with coffee and cake is cheaper and passes the Prague Castle District and the Lesser Town.
The ‘Prague at night’ tour includes a three-hour river cruise with dinner before driving past the most beautiful places in Prague by coach. All boat tours start at the Republic Square, where a bus picks up the participants.
Phone: 222 31 46 61/46 55 (Prague Sightseeing Tours)
Website: http://www.pstours.cz (Prague Sightseeing Tours)
The Prague Sightseeing Tours ride at Námestí Republiky (Republic Square), and end in the city center – by most 4-star hotels will be picked up free of charge. The three-hour city tour takes you to all the well-known sights and also includes a tour.
The ‘Getting Acquainted By Bus’ tour takes tourists to the most famous sights within two hours – including the National Museum, Wenceslas Square and the Hradcany Castle District. All tours are in English (other European languages only on request).
Excursions to the castles in the area, including Karlstein and Konopiste, can be booked at Cedok, Na príkope 18, Prague 1, at various travel agencies and tourist information offices.
Phone: 222 31 46 61/46 55 (Prague Sightseeing Tours); 224 19 76 37 (Cedok)
website: http://www.pstours.cz (Prague Sightseeing Tours)
Prague Walks, Nezamyslova 7, Prague 2, offer a program with tours on specific topics, including the 90-minute ‘Velvet Revolution’ tour, the 75-minute ghost tour and the two-hour Zizkov pub crawl. The meeting points vary depending on the tour, but you usually meet at the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Square or at the nearest street or subway station. There are tours in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish. Individual tours with a guide can be organized.
Pragotur Guides Center, Staromestké námestí 1, Prague 1, also has qualified guides who speak various European languages.
Tel: 261 21 46 03 (Prague Walks); 224 48 25 62 (Pragtour Guides Center)
website: http://pha.comp.cz/pwalks (Prague Walks)
Troy (Trojský zámek)
The only castle in Prague, Troy, was built by the Sternbeck family at the end of the 17th century as a praise to the ruling Habsburg dynasty. A large part of the lavish baroque interior celebrates the Habsburgs, especially the victories of Leopold I over the Turks. The exquisite formal garden extends to the river, where rowing boats can be hired (May-October). Troy can be reached by bus 112 from the Nádrazí Holesovice metro station or on a pleasant walk along the banks of the Vltava (30 minutes). The castle is open Tues-Sun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (April-October) and Sat and Sun from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Nov.-March).
Phone: 26 89 07 16
Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)
The largest health resort in the Czech Republic was founded in 1358 on the Tepla and has long been a decadent place with famous visitors and secret affairs. Among the crowned heads, great intellectuals, statesmen, writers and musicians who visited Karlovy Vary included Friedrich I, the Russian Tsar Peter d. Great, the German statesman Otto v. Bismarck, the Austrian Empress Maria-Theresia, Friedrich Schiller, Theodor Fontane, GW Leibniz, the ‘Teufelsgeiger’ Paganini, the composers JS Bach, Wagner, Chopin, Liszt and Brahms and the actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. The former heyday of the place is reflected in the numerous spas and hotels, of which the Grand Hotel Pupp is the most distinguished. It is also said to be the most elegant hotel in the country. Karlovy Vary is particularly crowded by foreign tourists during the high season. Further information is available from Kur-Info, Vrídelní kolonada, Karlovy Vary. Karlovy Vary can be reached from Florenc train station by bus (journey time: 2 hours 30) or by train from Hlavní nádrazí (journey time: 4 hours).
Phone: (17) 322 93 12 (Kurinfo)
No other place is as closely connected to the country’s history as Vysehrad Castle, three kilometers south of Prague city center. However, archaeological finds do not support the old theory that this is the first settlement of Slavic tribes, but that Vysehrad was of much greater importance than the castle in the 11th and 12th centuries. The neo-Gothic church sv., Dating from the 1880s . Petr a Pavel(St.-Peter-und-Paul) is closed to the public, but it has an impressive facade. Next to the church is the Slavín cemetery, the final resting place of Czech artists, scientists and academics – a sign of how much respect they always have (politicians and soldiers are not buried here). Here you can find the partly very artistic graves of Smetana, Dvorák and Mucha. In the suburb of Vyshrad are the cubist villas (on the streets Neklanova and Rasínovo nábrezí). The designs by architect Josef Chochols are particularly characteristic of Czech cubism. Vysehrad can be reached by subway or tram line 17 (visitors should get off in front of the road tunnels).
Kuttena (Kutna Hora)
Kutná Hora: The Kutná Hora ( World Heritage Site ) is located 65 km east of Prague and became known for its silver mines in the late 13th century. With the introduction of the royal coin in 1308, the city, which was only surpassed in importance by Prague, experienced a brief heyday until the mines were exhausted. The most interesting is the extraordinary Gothic cathedral of St. Barbarawith its tent-like roof, which is only supported by three delicate towers. As with many other Prague buildings, the design of this cathedral comes from the workshop of Peter Parler. The structure was financed by the miners’ guilds in honor of their patron saint. You can get an insight into the hard life of the miners by taking a guided tour of the mines (protective clothing is provided) organized by the Hrádek (fort) of the Museum of Silver Ore Miners (Barborská ).
Kutná Hora Central Station is in the Sedlec suburb. Connections exist to Prague Hlavní nádrazí station and to Masasykov nádrazí on Wolsonova at the eastern end of Hyberská (journey time: around 1 hour by express train). To get to the city, visitors have to change to the local train (direction Sedlec). There is also a bus to Sedlec from the Zelivského underground station.
Although most tourists don’t stay long in Sedlec, the dreary suburb three kilometers northeast of Kutná Hora city center, it’s worth walking from the train station to the macabre ossuaryto see in Zámecká ul. It belongs to a former Cistercian abbey – today the largest tobacco factory in Central Europe. The cemetery became internationally known when Abbot Jindrich returned from Jerusalem with a pot of earth from Golgotha in the Middle Ages, which was said to have miraculous properties of corpse preservation. Burial requests came from everywhere, even from Flanders, and because of the additional 30,000 people who died of the plague in 1318, a crypt had to be added to accommodate all of the bones. The ossuary was bought in 1784 by the noble Schwarzenberg family, who in 1870 commissioned a local wood carver to process the bones. The resulting sculptures, Chandeliers and even the Schwarzenberg coat of arms carved in leg are simply a must-see. Visitors can reach the monastery with the ossuary from the city center by bus line 1 or 4. Kutná Hora has a particularly large number of illustrated signs that show the way to all the sights.
The tourist information office, Palackého námestí 377 and the cultural and information center of Kutná Hora, Sankturin House, Palackého námìsti 377, provide further information.
Phone: (327) 605 80 28 74 (Kutná Hora Cultural and Information Center)