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LIFESTYLE: Travel: A TASTE OF PRAGUE

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Prague may not be on your travel bucket list – but it should be. It rivals the beauty of Paris and will capture your heart in more than one way

Prague’s history goes back a millennium. It’s a gorgeous, well-preserved medieval city coupled with a rich history, expansive parks and a hint of romance. The historical Old Town was laid out more than 1 000 years ago, and the winding cobblestone streets, ancient squares, quaint medieval houses and incredible charm make the city unique. And that’s the reason you’ll return more than once to this magical place.

Then, Czech beer is among the best in the world. Since the invention of Pilsner Urquell in 1842, the Czechs have been famous for producing some of the world’s finest beers. And they want you to enjoy it while you’re there – that is why it’s also probably the only city in the world where beer is cheaper than water.

WHAT TO DO

A few things you should do when you visit:

  • Shop. Although the Czech Republic joined the European Union in 2004, it has not adopted the euro yet, so it is very affordable to shop and eat. And you just have to buy crystal ware, as the Czech Republic is renowned for its quality crystal jewelery and glass.
  • Take a free walking tour. This is the best way to orient yourself in a new city and you’ll see the main attractions. All the tour companies meet near the astronomical clock in the Old Town.
  • Visit Prague Castle, which was most likely founded in around 880 by Prince Borivoj. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Prague Castle is the largest coherent castle complex in the world. It covers an area of almost 70 000 square metres.
  • Stroll over Charles Bridge. This is surely one of Europe’s most recognisable bridges. The Gothic-style bridge is lined with baroque statues and offers alluring views over the Old Town from its wide cobbled walkway. This is a perfect place for a stroll, as it’s only for pedestrians.
  • Walk around in Petrin Park. It’s the city’s biggest and most beautiful park with sweeping views of the city. There’s a rose garden, a mirror maze, and even a lookout tower – a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The park is on a hill and walking to the top is a great workout. Alternatively, there is a funicular that can take you up and down the hill if you want to let your feet rest.
  • Visit the John Lennon Wall. Towards the end of the communist regime in the 1980s, youngsters would write their grievances on the wall. Even when the wall was repainted by the authorities, the following day it was again covered with poems and flowers.
  • Explore the Old Town Square. Here you can have a look at one of the most popular attractions in Prague – the astronomical clock. Visit the churches and explore the catacombs under the Old Town Hall.

WHERE TO STAY

Hilton has two hotels in Prague and depending on your personal preference, either one is perfectly situated.

Hilton Prague

The hotel  is ideally located in the heart of the city on the banks of the Vltava River. It has mastered the gift of combining effortless hospitality with the highest professional standards and meticulous attention to detail. This is the perfect place to stay if you visit Prague for business. It’s also across the road from big international financial institutions like Alexander Forbes.

The Hilton Prague ranks among the largest conference hotels in Central and Eastern Europe, featuring almost 800 rooms, suites and well-appointed apartments, as well as a spectacular atrium lobby. It can accommodate more than 1 500 guests in its congress hall. This is the ideal location from where you can explore the vibrant city centre, which is within walking distance. It’s also just three minutes from the metro station.

You can enjoy a massage at the health club and spa, swim in the pool, or explore the thriving museums and galleries of Prague’s Old Town. Savour world-class international cuisine or sample Czech specialities in the CzecHouse Grill.

After a long day, you can take the lift to the top floor en enjoy a cocktail in the Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge offering  stunning views of the city.

For more information visit prague.hilton.com

Hilton Prague Old Town

This hotel is perfectly situated for guests who’d like to expore the vibrant heart of the city. It is set against the backdrop of old world glamour.

Renowned designer David Collins has helped restore the hotel to create the ideal location for meetings and conferences of all sizes. The spacious Dvorak Ballroom hosts up to 340 guests, while more intimate meetings from two to 180 attendees can be accommodated in 14 meeting rooms.

High-speed wireless internet and a wide range of audiovisual technology is personally overseen by a dedicated manager, with catering provided by an experienced team of chefs.

Business and leisure guests staying at the hotel are close to the city’s finest attractions, including the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, galleries, museums, and one of Prague’s largest shopping centres.

For contemporary dining, Zinc Restaurant offers an unforgettable experience, or  guests can relax with a cocktail in the stylish bar.

For more information visit prague-oldtown.hilton.com