“The magic city”, “the city with 100 bell towers”, “the golden city”, the Old Town, the New Town, the Jewish Quarter … all city quarters are amazing places waiting to be explored. Prague used to be known as the ‘Five Towns‘, and although it has now been divided into 10 separate districts, most visitors concentrate on the five historic towns: Hradcany, Stare Mesto (Old Town), Mala Strana (Lesser Quarter), Nove Mesto (New Town) and the Jewish Quarter.
In earlier times, the inhabitants of the congested Old Town and Josefov, the old Jewish Quarter, must have felt envious when they looked across to the New Town, where the far-sighted designs of Charles IV and his architects had created broad, open spaces and avenues such as the Charles and Wenceslas squares. Today, however, the Old Town has been beautifully restored, and Josefov’s Pařížská is a chic avenue lined with expensive shops.
The Royal Way: Intersecting the 4 towns—from the Cathedral of St Vitus to Charles Bridge, and subsequently onto the Powder Tower—is the Královská Cesta (Royal Way), the historical route of coronation marches. These days, this spine of Prague is blighted by cheap trinket stores and overcrowded by tourist groups. Only utilize it for orientation—try to circumvent it if you wish to experience genuine Prague.