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Destinations: Prague

Here's your essential guide to getting the best out of a city-break in Prague.

Location nickname: City of a Hundred Spires

Don't miss: Wenceslas Square

Best avoid: Karlova Street

Don't miss: Svickova (beef sirloin served with dumplings and drowned in a creamy sauce)

Best avoid: Drstkova Polevka (tripe soup) - some folks rave about it…

Franz Kafka Museum: Despite a dying wish that his manuscripts be burnt, Kafka is Prague's most famous literary son, best remembered for his novels, Metamorphosis and The Trial.  Across the Vltava in the Lesser Quarter, first editions, letters and photographs pertaining to the author's life are gathered in suitably dimly-lit collection, whilst outside a sculpture of two urinating men makes a surreal water feature.

Havelska trziste:  Between the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square this market is the place for souvenir shopping.  Many stalls offer Czech handicrafts, admittedly often mixed with tat from China, but if you're adept at haggling and happy to traipse around prices are better than in shops.  Elsewhere, fruit and vegetable stands are abundant and the produce is excellent.

Karluv most (Charles Bridge):  Since the early 15th century the bridge's 16 spans, stretching 516 metres across the Vltava, river have connected the Prague's Old Town with its Lesser Quarter.  30 Baroque statues depicting saints, many by renowned Bohemian artists, line the balustrade, look after the spiritual well-being of those taking an evening stroll across the river.

Museum of Communism:  It's somehow fitting that this fascinating collection of Communist era memorabilia is located above a McDonalds.  Displays are divided between The Dream, The Reality and The Nightmare and cover art, media, censorship, propaganda, the secret police, show trials and labour camps.  Remarkably the curators inject humour into what was a prolonged dark period of Czech history.

Pivo (Beer):  Czechs each chug 157 litres of 'Liquid Bread' every year and beer is a subject surrounded by strong loyalties and opinions. Pilsner Urquell, Staropramen, Gambrinus and Budvar are all popular, though some brands are now cover for brewing conglomerates.  Head to a tankovna bar to sample fragrant unpasteurised beers or for total immersion take a Prague brewery tour.

Prague Symphony Orchestra - Smetanova sin:  Classical music performances are frequently touted in the city, some resembling an accelerated playlist from Classic FM.  Smetanova's beautiful Art Nouveau auditorium offers the real McCoy.  Full orchestral concerts combine with chamber music and solo Czech virtuosos of string, wind and piano who will make you wish you'd persisted beyond Grade 2.

Prazsky hrad:  At almost 70,000 square metres Prague Castle combine palaces and churches from 10th century Romanesque to 14th century Gothic, including the landmark St Vitus Cathedral, and claims to be Europe's largest castle.  Today it's the official residence of the Czech President and repository for the Bohemian Crown Jewels. 

Sex Machine Museum:  Already have the James Brown album?  Now visit the museum.  Billed as 'an exposition of mechanical erotic appliances' this is not a diversion for those of a sensitive disposition.  Over 200 novel devices are displayed on three floors.  The collection includes erotic art, a cinema playing vintage erotic films, and other items focusing on human sexuality.  All very Bohemian.

Staromestske namesti:  Prague's Old Town Square is tourism honey pot, crowds jostling for hourly views of the city's famous astronomical clock.  Visit early or late to avoid the pointiest elbows and enjoy the clock's animatronic procession of the 12 apostles.  Climb to the top of the town hall tower and take in the richness of the square's other architectural sights, including the 14th century Tyn Church and later St Nicholas Church.

Vaclavske namesti: (Wenceslas Square):  In 1945 the square witnessed heavy fighting against German occupation, and in 1968 it was the scene of desperate protests against the Soviet invasion following the Prague Spring. Czechs hopeful for a new beginning packed Wenceslas Square during 1989's Velvet Revolution.  Today, though strip clubs and stag bars are too prevalent, the square's importance as focus for change endures.

This article has been produced in association with www.talkholiday.com

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