Prague is an outdoor museum filled with rich heritage of art, architecture, music and history. The city centre is a medieval network of narrow cobblestone streets, which will transport you to the magical atmosphere of old Europe.
Prague was off limits for Western tourists for 50 years. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Prague opened again as the capital of a sovereign democratic nation. Today this “City of a Hundred Spires” has regained its full splendor.
Students in Prague have an opportunity to take full advantage of this marvelous city and its many possibilities. During the first semester students will get a genuine feel of this unique European capital and its people, customs, culture, cuisine and history.
Prague’s downtown area is well-known for its maze-like winding streets, old churches and stunning squares. You can find Czech dishes in most restaurants, but Prague also offers many types of ethnic cuisines, from Italian and French to Thai and even Mexican! An average meal, including a drink, costs around 150-200Kč. If you want to save some money and still enjoy delicious food, just take the metro and visit some of the restaurants outside the city center.
Prague has one of the best public transport systems in the world. It’s network of metro, trams, buses and boats (yes, boats!) makes it one of the most comfortable cities in Europe. A Prague resident can get anywhere in the city, at any time without using a taxi. There is one very helpful website (www.dpp.cz) which gives you a schedule for all means of transport including night transport system. Furthermore, all students are provided with a transport ticket for all types of transport during their stay.
Prague is world-renowned for its parks and outdoor spaces. The city center is surrounded by large green spaces perfect for walking, playing sports, reading and relaxing with friends. Most parks have cafes and picnic grounds. A popular entertainment in Prague is to take a walk along one of the picturesque bridges across the Vltava river. Also, Prague offers a wide range of opportunities for hiking with excellent trails right within the city limits.
Two most popular sports in the Czech Republic are football and ice hockey. Both are represented in Prague by two rival teams: Sparta and Slavia. Sparta players made their contributions to the most Czech national team achievements. Both teams are constant participants of the Champions League and European League.International Football Academy in Prague works together with the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the best football club in the Czech Republic – The Prague Sparta (www.sparta.cz).
For centuries Prague has been an international theatre center. The city is full of antique theatre halls. By the way, Mozart premiered two of his operas in the beautiful Estates Theatre in Old Town.
These days every night of the week there is a ballet, symphony, opera, dance or drama performance to attend in Prague. Students can purchase most theatre tickets for lower rates. Also, Prague regularly attracts excellent musicians and artists from all over the world to give their concerts here.
To see such a carefully preserved city center as in Prague is a rarity in modern Europe. Its architectural heritage includes an array of styles such as Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Art Nouveau and Cubist. The city is surrounded by dozens of castles, palaces and historical ruins. Prague is proud to have buildings designed by renowned architects, including Adolf Loos and Jean Nouvel. Among contemporary buildings, is the world-renowned Dancing House designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry in 1992.
The Prague Zoo is by far the city’s best kept secret. Despite being named the World’s 7th Best Zoo by Forbes Magazine, most tourists (and locals) never find time to visit this paradise just north of the city center. Unlike most zoos, the animals here are kept in open-air environments that are as natural as possible. Visitors are transported to a world which is far more different from the city just beyond the gates. Don’t miss it!
If you’re looking for a trinket, a gift or just a very special atmosphere, head to one of the Prague’s outdoor markets. Prague squares have many colorful markets throughout the year. Christmas and Easter markets are the most famous, and rank among the best ones in Europe. Old Town Square draws the biggest crowds with over 100 vendors selling handmade goods and delicacies. For food markets head for Namesti Miru or Vltava river bank on Saturday morning.
Prague hosts a seemingly endless number of music, film, art and literature festivals throughout the year. Music festivals include the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Autumn International Music Festival and the Prague Organ Festival. Film festivals include the Febiofest, the One World Fest, FAMU Fest and Echoes of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Prague also hosts the Writers’ Festival, the Prague Folklore Days and the Shakespeare Festival.