Travelers talk about how great Prague is as a travel destination, but many still wonder "Where is Prague?"
Prague is the capital city in the Czech Republic, a Central Eastern European country. Praha, as Prague is known locally, is nestled in Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic just west of its center. The Vltava River, which runs north to south, bisects Prague and its old town. In fact, its name is associated with water, referencing the river that has been so important to its development.
Prague's location has long been important to the region. As the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, it saw growth in is cultural life in the 14th century under Charles IV. Many monuments in Prague recall this focus on the city as the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia. For example, St. Vitus Cathedral, situated on Castle Hill, was begun during that time and continues to stand as a symbol of both the city's history and its ageless, haunting beauty.
Prague was also the capital of Czechoslovakia and achieved international notice with the Velvet Revolution of 1989, which led to the Communist Party stepping down as the single-party power and, eventually, democratic elections. Czechoslovakia, after these changes were ushered in, split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Since independence, Prague has grown from pleasantly dilapidated budget destination to one of the most popular and tourist-oriented cities in Central Europe. Its rich culture, interesting nightlife, a full calendar of events, relationship with music and art, and an enormous old town that can easily be explored on foot attract increasingly more visitors every year.
Distances of Major Cities From Prague
Prague is included on many tours of East Central Europe and acts as an ideal jumping-off point for day trips from Prague, such as Cesky Krumlov or Plzen, famous for beer. The Vaclav Havel Airport serves international travelers to Prague and acts as a hub for Czech Airlines.
Other popular destination cities are only a few hours' train ride from Prague, like Munich, Vienna, Frankfurt, and Warsaw. Prague makes an excellent weekend trip if you're already in Europe or a worthwhile addition to a travel itinerary including several countries and capital cities. Prague's beauty and history never cease to make an impression on visitors who may not have had any prior experience with East Central Europe.
Praha: Another Name for Prague
The city that English speakers know as Prague is known as Praha by Czechs. The name Praha is also used by speakers of Estonian, Ukrainian, Slovak, and Lithuanian. Some languages outside of Eastern and East Central Europe use the name Praha to refer to the Czech capital city as well.
Other names for Praha include Prag and Praga. Most people in Europe will know what city you're talking about whether you use the name Praha or Prague.
Saying you're visiting Praha might sound pretentious to US English speakers, but almost everyone else will know exactly what you're talking about, so well-known is this city's native name.