Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Discover Prague and Its Holiday Market

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

Prague is a city of unknowns to most Americans even though we've read about it in our history books. It is the most visited city for those enjoying a European river cruise and we know after your visit, you'll say it's a picture postcard at every turn and a delight for all seasons, especially when their Holiday Market is in full bloom [Nov 17-Dec 20].

Today's very free Prague is steeped in colorful history and marvelous architecture. Known as the "City of Spires," it has morphed into one of the most vibrant, beautiful ancient cities in all of Europe, one we know your will find captivating and very affordable. And, if you enjoy exploring cities on foot and being able to truly mingle with the locals, you'll quickly discover that Prague is one of the best walking cities in all EuropePrague is about a thousand years old with a very similar history path as Budapest [Hungary], which is just down the road a piece. Like Budapest, the ever-friendly Habsburgs ran rough-shot over Prague from about the early 16th century until they were literally and figuratively thrown out of the castle chancellery window in 1848.

After WWI, the Republic of Czechoslovakia emerged from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to ultimately become a socialist republic in 1960. Like Hungary, 1968 found the Republic embroiled in a failed "freedom fight" with the Soviet Union.

Like other Eastern European Republics that had been ruled by the Soviets, the Czechs were freed during what is now called the "Velvet Revolution" of 1989. At that point the former Republic of Czechoslovakia separated into the Czech and Slovak republics. Today, the Czech Republic embraces parliamentarian principals and has been an active member of the EU, [European Community] since 2004.

A two or three nights stay in this very affordable and tourist friendly city should be on your "bucket list" for any river cruise that begins or ends in Passau or Nuremberg. Three days allows you to see it all at a leisurely pace and still have plenty of time to shop [ladies you won't believe the bargains].

We generally associate "spires" with churches and Prague has its share, but in the compact confines of the city you'll see more castles, churches, synagogues and public buildings adorned with gingerbread-like spires than any other city in all of Europe.

Prague is easy to see and acclimate to because the Vitava River [pronounced Vitavma] divides the four main sightseeing areas of the city with the Castle District and Lesser Town on the left. The incredible Charles Bridge [a walking only bridge] connects the two sides of the city. On the right bank you can explore the fascinating Old Town, the Jewish Quarter and New Town. We found it really easy and affordable to navigate around Prague. There's a very efficient 3-line metro augmented by a very good system of trams.

We feel the best place to start your touring would be on the "right bank" where you can spend an entire day visiting Old Town, the Jewish Quarter and New Town. Begin in Nove Mesto or New Town, a beautiful expansive part of Prague. You may feel you are in Paris as you stroll through Wenceslas Square, a remarkable boulevard that will quickly remind you of the Champs-Elysée in Paris. It's breathtaking, fun place to grab a bench, maybe a picnic and watch the world go by. Ladies, it's also similar to Paris in the quality of the shops that are found along the Square and nearby.

You're now just about at the foot of the Old Town, the most mesmerizing and our favorite part of Prague. Walk west on Celetna, possibly the oldest street in all of Prague and today a pedestrian only area. In the era of the Hapsburgs Celetna was known as the Coronation route for the obvious reasons. Nearby at No. 34 you'll find a fascinating "cubist" building known as the House of the Black Mother of God, another great photo op. If you look up, you'll see the Old Town Square, a remarkably well preserved medieval marketplace that is still functional even today. Have a cup of coffee and pastry at one of the local cafes on the square and enjoy the moment.

If you have an interest in Jewish History, a must is a walk along Paris Street [Parizska] and enter Josefov or the Jewish Quarter. There's much to see in this gorgeous turn of the century area including the old Jewish ghetto and the world famous Spanish synagogues which today form the Jewish Museum dating back to the early 1900's. There's also a remarkable 1000 year old cemetery on the grounds.

The crowning jewel of this spectacular city is Hradcany [pronounced Hadcany] know as the "castle district." Tighten your walking shoes, clean the camera lens because you are really in store for a treat as you are about to immerse yourself in an incredible display Baroque architecture and a vast art collection found in castle.

Prague's second most popular tourist attraction is actually a 14th century stone pedestrian bridge, called Charles [Karluv Most] which connects the Old Town with the Lesser [Mala Strana] and Prague Castle. Walking the Chain Bridge is a must and it's like strolling parts of the left bank in Paris, artists, street vendors and musicians' line the bridge as the river flows swiftly below.

Visiting during the early winter when Prague's Holiday Market [called winters night market] is in full bloom is like stepping back into history via a time machine. It's late November, there's a mild chill to the evening air as you enter the town's cobblestoned square that dates back almost a 1000 years, you're immediately aware that you're immersed in a festival like none you've ever seen before! When the sun goes down, this elegant town is alive with lights and carolers, chestnuts are roasting, the delicious fragrance of the local spiced wine, gluhwein, titillates your senses and hundreds of open-air stalls and street vendors representing dozens of other countries, selling almost anything you can imagine.

There's almost no place else where the romance of the holidays is as vibrantly alive as in Prague during the Holiday Markets period, and there's absolutely no better, more affordable or pampered way to experience these delightful Holiday Markets than on any of a number award-winning river cruise lines sailing the Rhine and Danube Rivers at this time of the year.

Rick Kaplan has been in the cruise business for more than 25 years. He has been assisting new cruisers with the proper selection of the best cruise line and ship to meet their personal needs and desires. Rick is one of the foremost experts on all elements of river cruising and is a great resource for any first time river cruiser.

If you would like more information on an exciting trip to Prague and a river cruise, please visit,

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

River Cruise


Discover Prague


Holiday Markets


Chirstmas Makets



Mauritius is one of the most ideal family vacation spots in the world.Mauritius is one of the most ideal family vacation spots in the world. Travel agencies have experienced a significant rise in the

By: Manya Singh l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l April 03, 2013 lViews: 591

India is a treasure trove of countless holiday destinations each of which is an enigma in itself. One such superb place is called Manali, a hill station in the heart of Himachal Pradesh. No one has

By: Manya Singh l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l April 03, 2013 lViews: 604

Vacation is an event many families look forward to biannually or annually, but some individuals take frequent vacations, depending on their work ethics. The common problem many vacationers face is

By: jhon ford l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l December 30, 2012 lViews: 608

Luxury family holidays are always the anticipated occasion in households. This is especially true when their destination is the one that they have longed been dreaming of visiting. Incidentally,

By: willsmith10 l Travel & Leisure > Hotels Accommodations l December 28, 2012 lViews: 647

Not all the thoughts belong to same world all the time. They are dominated by different colours, different acts and fascinations. Overworked brain start imagining things that it wanted to do even if

By: willsmith10 l Travel & Leisure > Travel Planning l December 18, 2012 lViews: 261

Christmas is fast approaching and also it is an excellent excuse to plan a holiday trip with your family to stay away from the frenetic work. If you are scouting for a great vacation destination

By: willsmith10 l Travel & Leisure > Destination Tips l December 16, 2012 lViews: 263

I am always hyped about going on vacation, especially with my friends. Hearing about the arousing events, activities and tropical climate, being that I am an American; Cancun seemed the perfect

By: james allenl Travel & Leisure > Cruisingl July 30, 2012 lViews: 308

Going on round the world cruise is an extraordinary feat and not something the everyone will be fortunate to experience in their lifetime!. Exploring the world may sound an unrealistic goal for many

By: Andy Cockaynel Travel & Leisure > Cruisingl June 14, 2012 lViews: 198

Of all the cruise destinations, river cruises in Europe offer up some of the most varied cruise choices. The continent has several excellent cruising rivers and this article takes a look at four of

By: Thom Sandersl Travel & Leisure > Cruisingl June 14, 2012 lViews: 259

You've got to love cruises! How else can you combine the comfort and convenience of having to unpack your bags just once, with the excitement of waking up in a brand new place every single day? In

By: Andy Cockaynel Travel & Leisure > Cruisingl June 13, 2012 lViews: 195

Cruising the Eastern Mediterranean seashores is arguably the most relaxing way to explore this magic corner of the world. Superlative beaches, ancient ruins and cosmopolitan hubs are just some of the

By: Andy Cockaynel Travel & Leisure > Cruisingl June 13, 2012 lViews: 188

If you are an owner of a boat, then you must be aware of the increasing cost of maintaining a boat, even if there are simply regular servicing and maintenance. If repairing work is to be included,

By: John Aaric Tylerl Travel & Leisure > Cruisingl June 12, 2012 lViews: 198

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus