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Prague - Czech Republic

Prague Castle Prague CastleSt Vitus CathedralCastle District, Prague

Prague is an extremely popular destination and justifiably so. From the outside the city is uninspiring and full of run down concrete tower blocks. However the old centre is a very different place, full of old elegant buildings in a variety of architectural styles.

The old town is where most of Prague's beauty lies. Centred on the town hall and its fantastic astronimical clock, The town centre has some fantastic Baroque buildings and a some impressive gothic architecture too. The astronomical clock draws huge crowds for its hourly performance, with a bell-ringing skeleton and A parade of apostles through the windows above. The clock is an impressive work of art and technology with a zodiac calendar complete with sun and moon rotating it.

The rest of the old part of town is full of lovely buildings and many tourist shops. Parts of the town are extremely busy although it's easy to get off the main streets and leave the majority of the crowds behind. One of the most croweded thoroughfares is the route to the Charles Bridge, the oldest bridge in town linking the old town to the castle district. It's lined with statues, gift stands and portrait painters and provides a nice view of the Vltava river running through the city.

Prague castle is the largest castle complexes in the world, although there's little left of the original fortifications. The castle contains many museums and the huge gothic cathedral of St Vitus and gives wonderful views of the city's many spires and towers.

Further along the ridge that runs around the western side of the city is the Petrin Hill, an area of parkland and gardens that gives one of the best views of the city. There's a replica Eiffel Tower built in 1891 which combined with the hill it's perched on is exactly the same height as its Paris counterpart. It's a little crowded and wobbly at the top but the views of the river, castle and old town are amazing.

Prague has many entertainment options, but the most unique is the Czech 'Black Light Theatre'. This combines puppetry, mime acting and dance all done under UV lights. This has the potential to be amazing and some of the effects are fantastic, with a ship that floated right over the audience complete with actor on board. However the poor soundtrack and bad slapstick humour combined with a terrible plot can let the whole thing down.

Prague is a great city to visit. It's really beautiful in places with a fantastic mix of architectural styles. It is very busy, but avoiding the main streets and their inflated prices can lead to a peaceful day of exploring the streets.

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