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Featurette: Prague

Oh, Prague, City of a Thousand Spires. Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. So beautiful, in fact, that I’ve lived there…twice. Previously the seat of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire, its architecture, history and cultural heritage make it a major sightseeing stop in Central Europe. Visitors to Prague flock to its palaces, museums and squares by day, then spend the evenings exploring the delights of Czech beer in the city’s myriad hospodas.

For the art lover: Many styles of art and architecture can be found in Bohemia, but the one most closely linked to Prague in most travelers’ minds is Art Noveau. One of the most prominent artists of this turn-of-the-century style was Alphonse Mucha, who was born in Moravia, part of the present-day Czech Republic. Visit the city’s Mucha museum, see his stained glass work at the cathedral inside Prague Castle, or visit his grave in the fortress Vyšehrad.

For the foodie: Czech cuisine is hearty meat-based fare. The national dish is vepřo-knedlo-zelo, or roast pork with sauerkraut and dense flour dumplings. At open-air stalls in the city’s tourist center, try the flame-roasted Prague ham or comforting portions of piping hot halušky (most often, potato noodles with onion and bacon).

For the drinker: Drinking beer is a time-honored tradition in the Czech Republic, and it’s natural that tourists should want to experience this facet of the culture. Nearby Pilseň lends its name to the style of lager beer called pilsner, and most—but not all—bars, pubs and restaurants will serve lager. In the past ten years, the Czech microbrewery scene has evolved as well. Local spirits include Becherovka, a Jägermeister-like spiced liquor, and slivovitz.

For the nature-lover: During the Communist regime (1948-1989) most Czechs were unable to travel abroad. So, for many, the answer was to explore their own countries.

For many Czechs, the weekend is not complete without an excursion in neighboring forests. Hiking, camping, and nature walks are in easy reach of Prague. A quick train trip will reward visitors with explorations to nature reserve Český Ráj, or around the castle of Karlštejn.

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Hi! I’m Beth. Thanks for visiting Everyday Travel Stories, a site that celebrates all of the glorious travel opportunities on our planet.

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