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Among Prague's cobbled streets you’ll find high-end fashion stores, sleek computer software companies and restaurants serving high quality local cuisine. With all this waiting for you, it’s easy to forget that it’s only relatively recently that Prague came out from behind the Iron Curtain, and since then has taken centre stage as one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations.
Book a flight to Prague with Qatar Airways and you’ll uncover a historical city with plenty to offer visitors, couples, and families alike. If you don’t mind the crowds, travelling to Prague between June and August puts you right in the heart of the action when the city is at its busiest and best. However, if you’d prefer a more relaxed visit then come during the Autumn season, when the crowds are at a minimum.
First on the list of things to do when travelling to Prague ought to be a trip on the Vltava River. Dividing the city in two, it allows visitors an understanding of local geography, with the Castle District and the Lesser Town on one side, and the New Town and the Old Town on the other. In addition, it doesn’t get much more romantic than cruising down the river surrounded by soaring Gothic spires, Cubist architecture, and beautiful gardens. You can either hire your own boat or climb aboard a guided cruise-ship and enjoy a leisurely dinner.
The Guinness Book of World Records names Prague Castle as the oldest in the world – and no trip to Prague would be complete without seeing it. Built in the 9th Century, the castle sits on top of a hill, appearing as though it’s fallen out of the pages of a fairytale. With medieval ramparts capped with Dracula-esque towers, the castle is immense; more like a small settlement than a fortification. Visiting the castle is an easy and fascinating way to spend the day.
Prague offers plenty to do for visitors who want a break from sightseeing. If you want your trip to Prague to be a relaxing one, you can immerse yourself in the city’s café culture. Cafés are almost part of the wallpaper in Prague and there are plenty in which you can enjoy a leisurely coffee and watch the world go by. Some of the local cafés have achieved near-legendary status among coffee fans and are patronised by locals and visitors alike.
However, if you’d like to keep on top of your fitness regime, there are plenty of facilities, gyms and sports centres in the city. In the height of summer, you’ll find most of the locals seeking respite from the heat in one of the many public swimming pools here. Slavia Swimming Pool and Podoli Swimming Pool are popular but those visiting Prague with children might like to head on over to the Aquapark Barrandov, for water-filled fun and waterslides.
There are plenty of restaurants serving excellent food, from the rich, meaty stews known as Gulàš, to an extraordinary range of delicate desserts. If you do have a sweet tooth, be sure to try trdlenik; a sugared pastry roasted over an open flame, dusted with cinnamon, and topped with nuts. The Old Town is the best place to go for traditional food.
Shopping is something of a national pastime in Prague and your trip wouldn’t be complete without exercising your bargain-hunting muscles. The main shopping areas are in the Republic Square and Wenceslas Square. Here you’ll find local businesses rubbing shoulders with big, international names and you’ll find everything from handmade jewellery to designer clothing. For something on the quirkier side, head into the Old Town, where you’ll find boutique stores tucked among the cobbled alleyways.