I returned from Prague last week and had a wonderful time. It's a magical city and we saw all of the sights that you can easily read about here and elsewhere. There were, however, a few highlights and things worth noting....
We stayed at the Iron Gate Hotel and Suites, which is housed in a very charming fourteenth century building. We took advantage of the internet special which gave a 30% discount when you book 3 or more nights. Be aware that the special does not include breakfast (which IS included without the special). Also, we thought we were giving our our credit card number to hold the room, so we were surprised when the hotel charged all three nights to our card before we even left home. When we arrived late on the first night, we were given a fourth floor room with very low ceilings and exposed beams. The ceiling was so low that my taller travel partner was unable to stand in front of the toilet without hitting his head, unable to wash his hair in the shower unless he stood between the beams and had to duck to get through the doorways. Since I am very claustrophobic, we requested a different room. We were told that they were unable to give us one that night, but that they would switch rooms the next day. Per their request, we packed up all of our bags before leaving to sightsee the next morning. When we returned, however, we were told that they didn't have another room available. Since the room was paid in full for three nights, there wasn't much we could do. Lastly, even with using the elevator, it took 26 stairs to get to our room. If you have any sort of disability that would preclude you from climbing stairs, or if you just don't want to have to climb stairs after a long day of sightseeing, be sure to let the hotel know when you make reservations.
I would still recommend this hotel since it is charming, in a great location and, despite them not giving us a new room, has a very nice staff. Just be aware of all of the above when making reservations.
We had a fabulous tour guide, Jana Pehe, who showed us all around Prague and really made our limited time there so much more valuable. We were amazed at how much knowledge she had about history in general and Jewish history, which we were particularly interested in (www.seeprague.cz). We felt lucky to have found this very nice woman whose services were very reasonably priced.
One of the highlights of our time in Prague was attending a symphony concert in the beautiful Smetana Hall of the Municipal House. It was a local philharmonic, but they were very good and the venue made it worthwhile. You can buy the tickets during the day when you pass the Municipal House or at the Prague Tourist Center. If you don't want to spend as much (our tickets were about $65.00 each) you can attend less expensive concerts at several churches and halls around town. We spoke to several people who did this and they all enjoyed it very much.
We took a group tour to Terezin, the concentration camp about a half hour outside of Prague, with Wittmann Tours (www.wittmann-tours.com). Our tour guide, Z, lived through WWII and was extremely knowledgeable about the era, as well as having his own personal experiences to share. If you have the time (about 5 hours), I would definitely recommend this moving memorial to a dark time in world history.
Prague was very crowded when we were there. We had to wait until evening to walk over the Charles Bridge without being squished by the crowds. I would recommend allowing AT LEAST two full days to see the sights, plus whatever time you want to spend on day trips. All in all, I loved Prague and would definitely like to go back to see more!