Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Prague

Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, is bisected by the Vltava River. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires,” it’s known for its Old Town Square, the heart of its historic core, with colorful baroque buildings, Gothic churches, and the medieval Astronomical Clock.

Old Town Square

Old Town Square

 

Old Town Square

Old Town Square

 

Astronomical Clock on Old Town Square

Astronomical Clock on Old Town Square

The historic center of Prague is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Built between the 11th and 18th centuries, the Old Town, the Lesser Town ,and the New Town reflect the great architectural and cultural influence enjoyed by this city since the Middle Ages. The many magnificent monuments include Hradcani Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Charles Bridge, and numerous churches and palaces, built mostly in the 14th century under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV. Completed in 1402, the beautiful pedestrian Charles Bridge is lined with thirty statues of saints.

Charles Bridge at Night

 

Charles Bridge (Detail)

Charles Bridge (Detail), with View Across the River at Night

Hotel Aria, Lesser Town

Charming, commodious hotel centrally located with an innovative musical theme. Private access to Vrtba Baroque Garden, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site (www.vrtbovska.cz). Delicious breakfast.

Vtrba Baroque Garden

Vrtba Baroque Garden, UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Private Entrance from Hotel Aria

Vtrba Baroque Gardens

Vtrba Baroque Garden

 

Restaurants

V Zatisi, Lillova 1

Charming restaurant with lovely ambience and interesting decor, delicious contemporary Czech food, walking distance from the Hotel Aria.

Aromi, Easy to reach by Metro: Stop Jiřího z Poděbrad. Aromi is moving to a larger site nearby.

Marvelous restaurant in upscale Prague residential neighborhood. Super menu with a wide array of freshly caught fish options. Complimentary limoncello after dinner. Very cordial, knowledgeable waitstaff.

Sights

  • Castle Complex
  • Lobkowicz Palace:
            • The Museum offers visitors the opportunity to explore the history of Europe through the unique perspective of The Lobkowicz Collections and the Lobkowicz family. Set in twenty-two beautifully appointed galleries, the Museum displays a selection of some of the finest pieces from The Collections, including many of international significance.
            • Highlights from the Museum include works by masters such as Canaletto, Brueghel the Elder, Cranach, and Velázquez; an impressive display of family and royal portraits; fine porcelain, ceramics and rare decorative arts dating from the 16th to 20th centuries; an extensive collection of military and sporting rifles from the 16th to 18th centuries; and musical instruments and original scores and manuscripts by Beethoven and Mozart, including Beethoven’s 4th and 5th symphonies and Mozart’s re-orchestration of Handel’s Messiah.
            • There is an excellent concert series

     

    Concert Hall

    Concert Hall (Veronika Graulíková)

 

Lobovicz Palace

Lobovicz Palace (Veronika Graulíková)

 

  • Charles Bridge
  • Jewish Quarter
  • Old Jewish Cemetery
  • Old New Synagogue (Altneuschul), completed in 1270 in Gothic style

 

  • Old Jewish Cemetery

    Old Jewish Cemetery

 

  • Synagogue

    Old New Synagogue (Altneuschul)

     

    Old New Synagogue

    Old New Synagogue (Altneushul)

     Private Walking Tour

Veronica, arranged by JayWay Travel, was an excellent, energetic, and flexible guide.

  • Guide for Jewish Quarter

    Anna Krystyna Sion is an outstanding guide, with deep knowledge of Czech Jewry and the Jewish Quarter: annakristynasion@gmail.comwww.terezin-private-tours.com

    Opera

    Carmen, Prague National Theatre

    National Theatre

    National Theatre

    Two other opera houses in Prague: States Opera, Estates Theatre; we chose Carmen based on what was playing during our visit.  The productions at States Opera and Estates Theatre may be more polished, though we loved the National Theatre and enjoyed Carmen very much. Opened in 1884, Café Slavia is a charming spot for dinner before the opera or dessert afterward. It is located on the corner of Národní street and Smetanovo nábřeží, next to the Vltava river and opposite the National Theatre.

    Český Krumlov

    Český Krumlov is a small, picturesque jewel in the Czech Republic, situated on a hill between Prague and Vienna. Český Krumlov Castle is unusually large for a town of Krumlov’s size; within the Czech Republic it is second in extent only to the Hradčany castle complex of Prague. The town is perched on a hill, and pedestrians can wend their way up to the top, passing little shops and restaurants on the way. The historic centre of Český Krumlov is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated on the banks of the Vltava river, the town was built around a 13th-century castle with Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements. It is an outstanding example of a small central European medieval town whose architectural heritage has remained intact thanks to its peaceful evolution over more than five centuries.

    View of Český Krumlov

    View of Český Krumlov

    Restaurant

    Laibon, Parkán 105, is a delightful vegetarian restaurant situated on the lower bank of the river with a commanding view of the town and the castle. The food is delicious. We ate at a riverside table, which we thoroughly enjoyed. There are charming inside tables too.

    Český Krumlov

    Český Krumlov

     

    Laibon Riverside Vegetarian Restaurant

    Laibon Riverside Vegetarian Restaurant

    Travel Agent

    JayWay Travel, Central & Eastern European Vacation Specialists: www.jaywaytravel.com

  • Central Europe Destination Manager: Nataly KarimovaWith her educational background in hospitality and tourism and Prague guide training, Nataly is the perfect fit for her combined duties as Destination Manager and local representative for JayWay’s Central European destinations. Part of the JayWay team since 2012 and based in Prague for a decade, Nataly is originally from the Ukraine and has deep local knowledge of the city as well as the region in general. Nataly provided guidance for our entire Central Europe trip, including seasoned guides, automobile transportation with experienced drivers between places, and tips on sightseeing and restaurants. JayWay arranged for a skillful driver, Ruslan Bilyy, to drive us from Prague to Český Krumlov.

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