The charm of ancient Bohemia is alive and well in Prague. The cobblestone streets, carved bridges and archways, and stunning views across the Vltava river, give Prague the air of romance at every corner and make you feel like you're lost in time.
Stroll through Old Town and you may wonder how the city has remained untouched for so long. There's not a skyscraper or boxy building in sight, and you will find architecture styles ranging from Baroque, to Renaissance, to Art Nouveau, to Gothic, and Romanesque. Everyone goes to the Ty'n Church and walks across Charles Bridge. The more enthusiastic may even wait until the Astronomical clock puts on its famous performance at the stroke of the hour, or walk all the way up to Prague Castle to visit the cathedral of St. Vitus. But if you've got the time, buy a ticket for a walking tour of the city's Jewish Quarter and find out about the legendary Golem. Fans of Franz Kafka will be able to find a detailed record of the author's life at the Kafka Museum, and visit his grave at the New Jewish Cemetery.
As charming as the city centre is, take some time to explore the suburbs where you will find an entirely different Prague —filled with hip clubs, modern buildings, and well-heeled young Czechs intent on living the good life.
Prague Ruzyne Airport (PRG) serves as a base for the country's national carrier, Czech Airlines, which offers cheap flights to Prague from Canada with its codeshare partners like Jet Airways. Other airlines which fly between major North American cities and the Czech Republic include Air Canada, Delta, British Airways, Lufthansa, and KLM.
Prague flights with stop-overs along the way are likely to fly via New York or Atlanta in the US, or European airports like Paris, London, Dublin, and Amsterdam.
Prague is most crowded during the summer months when most tourists are here to enjoy the city's beer gardens and music festivals. If this is when you're flying to Prague, come prepared for occasional thunderstorms.
Fall and spring are probably better times to visit if you want to avoid for the crowds. The cheapest flights to Prague can be found from November to March (except the Christmas holiday period) when the city gets really cold, but there is still plenty to do with choir performances in Prague's many churches and winter markets where you can sip on steaming mulled wine. Winter sports enthusiasts can also take a skiing day-trip to nearby Krkonose.
The Czech Republic is a part of the Schengen travel zone, which consists of more than 20 European countries and allows non-European Union travellers up to 90 days of travel without any internal passport checks. Terminal 1 of Prague Ruzyne Airport (PRG) deals with air traffic from outside the Schengen travel zone while Terminal 2 is designated for flights to Prague from within the Schengen area. For more information on your transport options from the airport, check the airport's website.
Public Transit: Although Prague's metro system does not have a direct connection to the airport, you can take buses on Routes 119, 100, 179, 225, or the Airport Express bus, to connect to Metro Lines A, B, or C. Detailed maps are provided at the bus stops at both terminals and you can ask for assistance at the Public Transport Counters located in the arrival halls.
Tickets can be bought at the counters, at the bus stop machines, or on-board, and the prices are based on travel zones as well as the duration of use. Adult tickets are less than $2 CAD for 90 minutes of travel time while a three-day pass will cost you about $16 CAD. Airport Express fares are slightly more expensive at $2.60 CAD. Children and seniors can get discounts on their tickets if they can show a valid ID to prove their age.
Airport Shuttle: You can book with companies like CEDAZ Mini Buses and Prague Airport Shuttle for shared-ride and private vehicle shuttle services from the airport to the city centre. Prices range between $3-$7 CAD per-passenger (shared-ride), depending on your destination and the company you book with. While some companies offer on-demand services with counters at the airport, others may require you to reserve seats in advance. Also check the luggage allowance before you book as some vehicles can only carry up to one medium-sized suitcase per person.
Hotel Shuttle: You can ask your hotel to arrange for a car to pick you up from the airport so that you do not have long to wait once your flights to Prague land. However, confirm if this shuttle is a courtesy or value-added amenity as not all hotels will provide the service free of charge.
Taxi: At $25-$35 CAD for a one-way trip to the city centre, taxis are considerably more expensive than other modes of transport from Prague airport. However, they are more convenient if you are travelling with a lot of luggage or a destination off the beaten path. For any assistance, you can contact the taxi operator counters located in the arrival halls of Terminals 1 and 2.
Car Rental: Renting a car is not the best idea if Prague is your only stop in the Czech Republic, as parking is limited and expensive. But if you're exploring the outskirts of the city or travelling into the countryside, this is the most convenient way to get around. During the busy tourist season, make sure you book a car as soon as your Prague flights are confirmed. Once you're at the airport, make your way to the ground floor of Parking Lot C, where the car rental offices are located. Avis, Budget, CS-Czechocar, and Dvorak are some of the companies you will find here.
Other: Several luxury inter-city coaches are operated by Student Agency, which despite its name, operates services for all age groups. Coaches depart from Terminal 1 of the airport's Parking Lot C and tickets can be purchased in the arrival hall of Terminal 1 or from the driver. Destinations include Brno, Karlovy Vary, and Florenc and fares vary depending on your destination.