If you are wondering, ‘why is Prague famous’ then it is mostly likely because you have never visited our incredibly beautiful and striking city. Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic. Despite being a relatively small city with only about 1.2 million residents within a country of only about 10 million people, Prague continues to receive more and more visitors from around the world. Between 2015 and 2019, the number of international visitors nearly doubled from just over 5 million visitors to almost 10 million visitors to Prague alone. (The Czech Republic in general has been receiving international visitors at the rate of about 20 million in recent years.)
This consistently ranks it within the top 20 most visited cities in the world, which is amazing for a city and country which less than 3 decades ago was almost completely closed off to most international travelers. TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards also continually ranked it within the top 10 destinations.
Prague has received a number of nicknames over the years which hint as to why it is so famous. Some of them include: “The Mother of Cities”, “The Heart of Europe”, “The City of 100 Towers”, “The Golden City”, “The Rooftop of Europe”, and “The City of a Hundred Spires”.
Take a look below as to why our stunning city has become so international acclaimed, recognized and honored in recent years.
Even if you have not visited, you surely have seen pictures of the city of Prague, which are world-famous and captivating. Many people are able to quickly recognize a sweeping panorama view of Prague due to the fact that the city is rich in many distinct forms of architecture which make the city so unique and give it much of its personality.
Prague is known for the fact that it is bursting with stunning architectural feats from several different time periods most notably the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras. However, that is not all! There are still buildings which date from the Romanesque, Rococo, Classic, Art Nouveau, Cubism and the Communist eras.
There is archaeological evidence that the Czech Republic has consistently seen communities and cultures for nearly 3000 years. Originally the area was inhabited by Celtic people which gave this region its still famous name, “Bohemia“. They occupied these lands for several centuries from the 3rd century BC until the 4th century AD.
Following the Celts, Germanic tribes arrived in about 400 AD and within a few more centuries, Slavs arrived from the east and established settlements and kingdoms.
It is just after this, in the 8th century AD, that the famous legend of Prague’s birth originates. A Slavic ruler, Libuše, legendary ancestor of the Přemyslid dynasty, and her husband came upon the spot above the Vltava River and made a prophesy that, “I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars.” It was upon that spot, that according to legend, Prague Castle was eventually built.
Prague was the Residence of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Charles IV was instrumental in creating much of what you still see around you when visiting Prague and further outside in the Czech Republic. This include the world famous Charles Bridge, Karlštejn Castle, Charles University, Karlovy Vary spa town and so much more. He made the country and its heritage what it is today.
Read more about the deep, rich history of Prague and the Czech Republic here.
Romanesque: St. Martin Rotunda, The Basilica of St. George
Gothic: Charles Bridge, St. Vitus Cathedral (seen left), Church of our Lady before Tyn, Powder Tower
Renaissance: Royal Summer Palace, Schwarzenberg Palace, The House at the Minute, Ball Game Hall
Baroque: Church of Our Lady of Victory, Strahov Monastery, Troja Chateau, La Loreta
Rococo: Palace of the Archbishop, Kinsky Palace
Cubism: House at the Black Madonna, Kovarovic Villa, Adria Palace
Art Nouveau: Vyšehrad Train Station, Wilsonova Building at the Main Railway Station, Hotel Evropa, Hotel Paris, and Municipal House
Communism: Hotel Crowne Plaza, Zizkov Tower
Prague found itself on many trade routes during the medieval ages and due to that, the city flourished with the constant stream of merchants, artisans and travelers moving north to south and east to west across what is now modern day Europe. Due to that, not only were many products introduced to Prague from far off lands, but local citizens began to produce many products of great value and incredible quality that still last till today.
One of the most famous products currently fabricated in the Czech Republic is traditional Czech glass. There are many glass factories just outside Prague where lovely, priceless glass ornaments, decorations, drinking vessels and other dishware are hand blown and sold. There is the opportunity to see some of these glass factories on several of our tours.
In early 2020, Lasvit, one of the most prominent of these glass-making factories, took the world by storm when it produced 2 large, flying dragon chandeliers which will be displayed in a hotel in Saipan. The chandeliers are the largest and most ornate of their kind, with over 2.5 million crystals and glass fixtures.
Another major Czech produce which is international acclaimed and recognized is Škoda Auto, with an over 100-year history. The cars are sold throughout the world in over 100 countries and are one of the more popular cars within Europe. There is a chance to visit and tour the Škoda Auto factory located just outside of Prague on several of our tours, including one for children and their families.
And of course, it would be remiss to omit one of the Czech Republic’s major exports: beer! The Czech Pilsner has been one of the most loved and preferred beers in the world over the last decades. Pilsner Urquell is brewed and bottled in the town of Pilsen, located less than an hour from Prague. It is possible to taste this Czech classic beer as well as several others on one of our best beer tours in Prague.
Important Information: Prague is located in the Schengen Zone, which is a free-travel zone within the European Union. It includes 26 countries in total. Depending on where you are coming from, you might need to secure a visa for the Schengen Zone before visiting the Czech Republic. Please be sure to consider this fact before making plans to visit Prague so that you do not experience any problems upon arrival. Also be be aware that the Czech Republic uses the Czech Korona (czk) rather than the euro since we are not in the eurozone. We look forward to your visit!