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Prague is divided into 15 districts today. With the last annexation and renumbering in 1967, the city has an area of 496 square km (192 square miles) and in 2001 counted 1,200,000 inhabitants. During its long history, many districts have kept their name from the past, such as "Vinohrady" ("the Vineyards"), ". "Josefov", named after emperor Josef II, "Nové Město", ("New Town"), founded and named by emperor Charles IV in 1348 when he formed this "new" town outside of the city walls, etc. However, it can be simplified by saying that there is the historical center, located on both sides of the Vltava river and the newer sections, the areas annexed to the core of the city during the last 150 years or less. We now have 3 subway lines crisscrossing the city, almost 50 km long (31 miles) with 51 stations and more being built! That is the recent past, having been built only in the 1970ties.
The historical center is where most (but not all) of the beautiful architecture, museums, restaurants, tourist shopping and simply the "charm of Prague" are located. This is again divided into two sections, the "Castle area" and the "Old and New Town areas".
The Castle area, on the left side of the river (facing north) is where you will find the castle (the former residence of the kings), the Little Quarter (Mala Strana), the foreign embassies, the government of our country and more. The Old and New Town areas on the right side of the river (facing north) are home to the Jewish Quarter (Josefov), the Old Town Square, Wenceslas Square, the National Theater, the State Opera, the Estates Theater and more.
The oldest parts of Prague date back to about the 9th century when some of the oldest preserved structures were built. Most of historical Prague has recently been beautifully refurbished. We have had a very moving past with lots of destruction and pain due to disagreements over religion or power and many happy periods with lots of joy during the peaceful and productive stages of our history. They all left their mark.
Although the newer sections of Prague are quite modern, the historical center has retained it's charming and quaint past. Besides the obvious esthetic advantages, this also means cobble stone streets that are difficult to walk on (bring comfortable shoes) and not being able to get everywhere by a motorized vehicle due to lack of space. Therefore, please be prepared to walk at least some.
If you don't have much time we suggest the 4 hour Prague Overview Tour. You get to see all of the most important parts from the outside. If you have more time, stretch it to a full day, the Prague Full Day Tour. If you can, we would suggest taking two half day tours on two different days, our Prague City Tour Old Town and Prague City Tour Castle tours. It gives you more time to assimilate the information you received. Should you be especially interested in our Jewish past, the Jewish Tour is a must, possibly followed by a visit to the Terezin Memorial. You have even more time? Great! Come and see the medieval charm of Cesky Krumlovor take a tour to the beautiful Karlovy Vary, admire the "bone church" in Kutna Hora or visit one of our great castles, Konopiste, Karlstejn, Hluboka, Krivoklat or more.
Thank you for coming to Prague!
We love to have you!