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A Walker's Prague

May 1, 2006 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Home-Based Travel Agent
 

Tell travelers bound for the Czech capital to hit the pavement


On a recent visit to Prague, Home-Based Travel Agent discovered that it's one of the most user-friendly cities you or your clients are likely to find. A solid recommendation would be for clients to stay near the town center, exploring the city's historic sights and cultural treasures on their own two feet.

A good strategy would be to book clients a room on or near the Old Town Square, which holds a number of attractions. The Grandhotel Bohemia is a charming, four-star property connected to Old Town Square via Celetna, a cobblestone street lined with restaurants and upscale souvenir shops. The footpath across Charles Bridge is a popular Prague walk.

The hotel provides 78 rooms and suites; try to book rooms that face outward, as they offer a better view and are slightly bigger. For upscale clients, try the three top-floor suites, which have aesthetically pleasing sloped ceilings, triangular windows and a small sitting area. The best one by far is room 805, which has a clear view of the city and Prague Castle. Contact General Manager Petr Beranek at 011-420-234-608-111; visit www.grandhotelbohemia.cz.

The Old Town has a great range of attractions and sights. Visitors can tour the historic rooms of Old Town Hall and view the city from atop its tower. On the hour, crowds gather to watch the Astronomical Clock display a revolving show of apostles. Other attractions on the square include many al fresco dining spots, statue of martyr Jan Huss and the National Art Gallery. Resources

Your clients can also walk around the New Town, which features the bustling Wenceslas Square, the city's contemporary hub. Dining and shopping options are available on both sides of the street (think a much smaller version of the Champs Elysees), and the iconic statue of good King Wenceslas (in Czech, Vaclav), the country's patron saint.

Several Jewish sites are clustered together near the Old Town; these include several synagogues and a cemetery, and are some of the most powerful sites travelers are likely to see. And if Prague visitors are up for a bit of a hike, a 15-minute walk from Old Town will reach Charles Bridge, lined with Hapsburg-era Catholic statues. A walk across the bridge leads into yet another charming section of town, the Little Quarter. A picturesque walk up a hill leads to the city's major attraction, Prague Castle. Here clients can explore some of Prague's proudest sites—such as the cathedral that was completed only a century ago.

Breaching Barriers

A big part of Prague's user-friendliness is the lack of any sort of language barrier. You might think that because Prague is in a former Soviet Bloc destination, it would be a little difficult to manage in certain ways—the Czech language, after all, is extremely complicated and hard for most Americans to pronounce. But the city has placed a huge emphasis on tourism and experienced an influx of British, American and Italian visitors in recent years; as a consequence, most signs and restaurant menus are in English (along with German and Czech), and more often than not, when they go into a store or buy a ticket, your visiting clients will be greeted in English. Czech children in traditional dress.


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