The Top 3 Sights of Prague

Prague the city of a hundred spires is no shrinking violet. She displays her beauty graciously and is much admired for it. From the gently curving arches of her many bridges as they span the river, to the elegant silhouettes of her ancient architecture, visitors are entranced from the moment they arrive in Prague. Airport shuttles that take you to your accommodation are more than just a service – they will give you your first taste of the Gothic spires and Baroque domes of the city skyline and whet your appetite for more. 

Your Prague airport shuttle will take about 45 minutes to cover the 20km to the city. The driver will more often than not give you a running commentary on the city, and it is a great way to get some insider tips. As you weave around the sometimes narrow, cobbled streets to your hotel you will catch your first glimpses of Prague’s most famous sights. 

Prague Castle 

The most famous attraction of all Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. In fact it is more than a simple castle – it actually looks like a small town. On your ride from Prague airport to the city you will not pass directly by the Castle, but you will be able to see the elegant outline as it overlooks the river below, and be inspired to visit. The castle was built in the 9th century and added to in later times. In the 14th century it was almost completely rebuilt in the Gothic style we see today. Within the gates of the Castle is the magnificent St Vitus Cathedral – spiritual symbol of the Czech State. The interior of this beautiful cathedral leads off to numerous side chapels, one of which houses the Crown Jewels and the tomb of Good King Wenceslas. On the outside of the Castle walls is Golden Lane. You can walk along and admire the houses (now shops) built right into the castle fortification. The lane leads to the dungeons and the original castle walls, and was once home to the famous writer Franz Kafka. 

Jewish Quarter 

Depending on where your hotel is situated, your Prague Airport shuttle journey may take you through Josefov. One of the oldest and best preserved in Europe, Prague’s Jewish Quarter was established over 1000 years ago with the first city inhabitants. It is said that the Quarter remained largely unscathed from the ravages of WW2, because Hitler spared it with the purpose of keeping it as a symbol of a vanished culture. There are many beautiful and interesting synagogues in the area, but perhaps the most valuable historical monuments in the Jewish Quarter are the Museum and the Cemetery. 

The Jewish Museum has the world’s largest collection of Judaic art, due to the fact that city leaders were able to negotiate with the Nazis to bring back artefacts and papers from the liquidated communities of Bohemia and Moravia. 

The Jewish Cemetery holds over 12,000 tombstones dating back to 1439. Because of the times of massive overcrowding of the quarter, as the cemetery filled up, dirt was brought in and layered on top and more graves dug. Some of the tombstones you will see are for people buried several layers below. 

If you do pass through the Jewish Quarter on your way from Prague airport to the city, note the position of the cemetery and the museum so you can return on foot. 

Old Town Square (Staromestski Namesti) 

With its old cobbled square and eclectic blend of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture, the Old Town Square emits an aura of old world elegance and grace. As your Prague airport shuttle passes around the perimeter, you will catch a glimpse of the oldest square in Prague and what many people consider to be the centre of the city. When you return later on foot you will have the opportunity to explore the square and the many wonderful delights it holds. 

Horse drawn carriages clip clop over the cobbled stones and past the many lively cafes and restaurants. The wonderful medieval clock – the Orlog – is in the square. It displays various astronomical details as well as being a beautiful piece of craftsmanship and a much loved city icon. To cap a visit to the square you can climb the tower of the Old Town Hall and look over perhaps the most beautiful panorama in Europe.