You can take a boat trip from Charles Bridge, just look out for the ticket sellers - they're the ones in sailor suits! We paid around 5GBP for a 45 minute round-trip, which included a beer and a slice of cake. Our guide spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable, pointing out all the sights and explaining their history. He was also happy to answer all our questions and chat about his life in Prague.
The picture shows the old water pumping station, there is a nice bar there with very reasonably priced drinks (by UK standards anyway) and a terrific view.
Now we will cross over the VLTAVA RIVER or Moldau via the Charles Bridge, famous for its combination of Gothic construction and Barocque Statues.
"The River Vltava gives the city life both spiritually and practically. Since 920 a 'free highway on water' it is honoured and celebrated as 'the girdle of Prague, the beautiful'. Even today the view of the town from the deck of a boat has its magic." -- V. Dudak
A pleasant relaxing way to see Prague from a different prospective is on a River Boat Tour offered by many different Tour Groups.
The Vltava River runs through Prague and is spanned by many beautiful bridges. Walking along the riverside is a great way to view the river and the variety of boats that constantly move up and down this large waterway. Ferries ply this river and are ideal for tourists who have the option of short 1 hour cruises, or longer trips which provide lunch or dinner, some with entertainment. The river can be shallow in places and a series of weirs and lockes have been built to improve navigation.
Czech and German nationalists used to get all sentimental about this river, and some still do, for instance the obnoxious Sudeten German refugees in Bavaria, now in their third generation of exile and still suffering volubly while driving to refugee conventions in their fat BMWs. (I am distantly related to some of these folks, but I try not to let on.)
Nonetheless, this is still a nice river to walk or cycle along, or look at from the train window on the way to Dresden.
No trip to Prague would be complete without a cruise on the Vltava. There are many points along the river where you can pick up the pleasure boats and the trips vary in length.
The composer Smetana wrote the musical idyll Vltava, which tells the story of the rivers journey from its beginnings as small rivulets in the mountains until it flows majestically through Prague and out into the rural countryside
The largest (widest) bridge in Prague and the most scenic is of course Karluv Most (Charles Bridge). People - tourist or locals - enjoy walking up and down on it, and watch the performers like this band do their thing or sell nice souvenirs (paintings in oil, mugs and stuff).
This is a must see but also a must do activity when visiting Prague. Vltava is a big river and cruising on it when the weather is nice can be a genuine pleasable experience. As I said, pick a nice day, be up early in the morning and start the Prague tour by boat.
We enjoy this every time. It is possible to rent a boat for 1 hour in Strelecký ostrov. It costs 200 CZK ( around 8 euros). Really nice view at Prague castle, Charles bridge, National theatre, Dancing house ...
Numerous boat trips are offered up and down the Vltava River, with salespersons on both ends of the Charles Bridge as well as at Kampa Island. We found this trip to be quite worthwhile, offering a scenic introduction and orientation to Prague and a different perspective on the city. Most offer a drink and pastry on boarding and feature a mix of live and recorded commentary on the buildings visible as well as a brief historical discussion. Our boat went up Devil's Creek which separates Kampa Island from the Little Quarter and offers a particularly scenic and photogenic sidetrip - the images are on the travelogue below.
The Vltava is the longest river in the Czech Republic, running north from its source in Šumava through Èeský Krumlov, Èeské Budìjovice, and Prague (Praha), merging with the Elbe (Labe) at Mìlník.
It is 430 kilometers long and drains about 28,090 square kilometers; at their confluence the Vltava actually has more water than the Elbe, but joins the Elbe at a right angle to its flow so that it appears a mere tributary.
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