Like other major European capitals, Prague is also crossed by a river that bisects the city: the Vltava. It is not only Prague’s river but also the longest river in the Czech Republic: it originates in the Bohemian Forest and flows into the River Elbe after passing through important cities such as Český Krumlov and Budějovice. In Prague, the river flows under one of the national symbols, the historic Charles Bridge built in the 14th century and today crowded at all hours of the day.
The Czech composer Bedrich Smetana dedicated a symphonic poem to the Vltava River. The poem is named after the river and is at the same time a vivid description of the water’s flow, a hymn to nature and a declaration of love to the homeland. The world-famous melody-rhythm that made ‘Vltava’ famous all over the world draws its inspiration from an ancient pilgrims’ song and is meant to evoke the idea of the river’s flow as a path towards a destination.
It is one of Prague’s favourite weekend activities; weather permitting, a boat trip on the Vltava in the city or out to the famous resorts in the surrounding area (Štechovice, Melník, Slapy, Stromovka) is ideal.
In addition, boats and pedal boats can be rented on request, while cycle tourists can enjoy the Vltava by taking a 400 km long cycle path, almost entirely along the river, on easy mostly flat or downhill terrain.
There are numerous tour operators offering cruises on the Vltava, of one or more hours, also with dinner or jazz music accompaniment. It is a fascinating experience to take because these tours allow you to admire the capital from a different perspective and surrender to the magic of the river.
If you are short on time, choose one of the cruises below. In about an hour, you can admire both sides of the city from the river, day or evening.
One idea to consider is to take a river cruise in the evening, with dinner included. Prague is wonderfully illuminated by the moon and the city lights.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.