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Czech Republic

Independent Prague: Architecture and the Arts

Discover an insider’s appreciation for Prague, gaining a comprehensive understanding of art, architecture and history as you explore this city with local scholars and resident experts.
Rating (4.83)
Program No. 9952RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
1,449
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
900
Czech Republic

Independent Prague: Architecture and the Arts

Discover an insider’s appreciation for Prague, gaining a comprehensive understanding of art, architecture and history as you explore this city with local scholars and resident experts.
Length
9 days
Starts at
1,449
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
900
Program No. 9952 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
airfare
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climate
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Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 18 - Sep 26, 2021
Starting at
1,449
Oct 16 - Oct 24, 2021
Starting at
1,449
Nov 13 - Nov 21, 2021
Starting at
1,449
Special Offer

No extra cost for single rooms! Free singles sell out quickly, so be sure to enroll early.

Dec 4 - Dec 12, 2021
Starting at
1,449
Special Offer

No extra cost for single rooms! Free singles sell out quickly, so be sure to enroll early.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 18 - Sep 26, 2021
Starting at
1,729
Oct 16 - Oct 24, 2021
Starting at
1,729
Nov 13 - Nov 21, 2021
Starting at
1,449
Special Offer

No extra cost for single rooms! Free singles sell out quickly, so be sure to enroll early.

Dec 4 - Dec 12, 2021
Starting at
1,449
Special Offer

No extra cost for single rooms! Free singles sell out quickly, so be sure to enroll early.

At a Glance

The sun glows pale orange on the hazy silhouettes of the Charles Bridge statues, casting humble light on the centuries-old emblem of this medieval city. Marked by the marriage of old and new, a position enhanced over the past decade by the ongoing influx of ideas and innovations brought on by the fall of Communism, Prague is a living archive of architectural styles and artistic inspirations. Expert-led and independent explorations, as well as intriguing lectures, introduce the heart of Central Europe.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to 3 miles and 3 hours per day with periods of standing, many times in crowded areas. One day you may walk up to 4 hours throughout the day. Getting on and off public transportation/motorcoach. Terrain includes cobblestones, and it is partly hilly. Some stairs to negotiate.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Local scholars and resident experts contribute to detailed and personalized guides for use during independent exploration.
  • Enjoy a classical music concert in one of the many beautiful churches near the Charles Bridge.
  • Lectures address the best examples of Czech Art Nouveau, composers such as Antonin Dvorak and the transition of the Czech Republic after World War II and the fall of the Iron Curtain.

General Notes

Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with select dates of "Independent Budapest: Hidden Gems in the “Pearl of the Danube”" (#23250) for even more learning in Eastern Europe! We’ll even transfer you for free between locations.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Wall, Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
by Peter Sis
With his usual flair and attention to detail, illustrator Peter Sis deftly sketches the events, experiences and history of his youth in Prague.
Open Letters, Selected Writings: 1965 - 1990
by Vaclav Havel, Paul Wilson (Editor)
This inspired anthology of writings by the Czech poet-president Vaclav Havel collects 25 essays, letters and speeches written between 1965 and 1990, including those that directly influenced the Polish Solidarity movement.
Life with a Star
by Jiri Weil, Philip Roth (Introduction)
A fictional account of the Holocaust told through the story of a young Czech Jew.
Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance
by Charles Novacek
Novacek recounts his life from his birth in Czechoslovakia in 1928 through his time fighting the Nazis and communists as a member of the Czech Resistance up to his immigration to the United States in 1956.
Eyewitness Guide Prague
by Eyewitness Guides
This superb guide features color photography, dozens of excellent maps and a district-by-district synopsis of the celebrated city's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.
Prague, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Paul Wilson (Editor)
This anthology of 24 vivid stories by Czech writers, both contemporary and well-known, brings the city, history, spirit and people to life.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
by Milan Kundera
Kundera's intriguing novel, praised for its meditations on the nature of men and women, and on the fearful emptiness of life in Prague under Communist rule. We also carry Kundera’s collection of short stories The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.
Prague in Black and Gold, Scenes from Life in a European City
by Peter Demetz
Both a history and an accessible guide to the neighborhoods and architecture of the city.
Prague Map
by Berndtson & Berndtson
A laminated, detailed map of the center of Prague at a scale of 1:10,000.
Prague Tales
by Jan Neruda, Michael Heim (Translator), Ivan Klima (Introduction)
A collection of stories set in the Little Quarter of 19th-century Prague. Neruda has been referred to as the Charles Dickens of Czechoslovakia.
I Served the King of England
by Bohumil Hrabal
A rollicking trip through the history of 20th century Czechoslovakia, Hrabal's comic masterpiece follows the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism,
Danubia, A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
by Simon Winder
Winder, author of Germania (GER270), considers the legacy of the Habsburg Europe in this charmingly digressive history and travelogue.
Danube
by Claudio Magris
Mixing history, personalities and literature, Magris traces the course of the Danube from its source in the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea in this anything but conventional travelogue, first published in 1986.
The Magic Lantern, The Revolution of '89 Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin, and Prague
by Timothy Garton Ash
With a chapter each on Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague, this eyewitness account by an astute journalist and historian shows these vibrant cities during a time of great change.
Gottland, Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslovakia
by Mariusz Szczygiel
A cultural history told through a collection of stories about human survival during Czechoslovakia’s 80-year existence. Szcygiel focuses on artists, writers and performers who responded with craftiness when confronted with the absurdity and pressures of their eras.
The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War
by Jaroslav Hasek, Cecil Parrott (Translator)
The deeply funny story of a hapless Czech soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army, dismissed for incompetence only to be pressed into service by the Russians in World War I, then captured by his own troops.
The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History
by Derek Sayer
A sensitively written and lively portrait of the highs and lows of Czech history over the past century with special attention to the fate of Prague in war and peace.
The Czech Reader, History, Culture, Politics
by Jan Bazant (Editor)
A fascinating survey of Czech history, culture and politics, part of the World Readers series, and composed of the writings and impressions of luminaries, leaders and ordinary Czechs. Among the highlights are Joan of Arc’s letter to the Hussites, the composer Antonin Dvorak’s letter from the New World and literary selections from Kafka, Kundera and Vaclav Havel.
Lonely Planet Czech Phrasebook
by Lonely Planet
A palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary.
A Traveller's Companion to Prague
by Jan Kaplan (Editor)
A portrait of the city, its neighborhoods, architecture, society and culture as seen through the eyes of writers over the centuries, including Petrarch, Hans Christian Anderson, Graham Greene and Patrick Leigh Fermor.
Conversations With Kafka
by Gustav Janouch
The young poet sketches his friend Kafka and his world in this revelatory brief portrait, now with an appreciative preface by Francine Prose.
Dvorak and His World
by Michael Beckerman
A fascinating view of the Czech composer's personal life and his influence on the world around him.
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9 days
8 nights
11 meals
7 B 2 L 2 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Prague, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Prague
D
Hotel Petr

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 2:00 p.m. Getting on/off bus; driving about 1 hour.

Afternoon: We will arrive at hotel and settle in, meeting in the hotel lobby for an orientation and general information meeting at 5:00 p.m. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European-style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea, water. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all meals. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: We will enjoy a welcome buffet dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: We will get acquainted with the city during a private bus trip led by the Group Leader.

DAY
3
Lesser Town, Charles Bridge, Old Town
Prague
B,L
Hotel Petr

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach and public transportation, walking/standing up to 3 miles for about 3 hours on city streets and cobblestone. Some stairs to negotiate.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We will learn about some of the oldest styles of architecture in Prague during a discussion and lecture with a slideshow, led by a local expert. We’ll be able to see visual examples of everything from Romanesque via Gothic and Baroque architecture to present day, as well as hear the stories that surround these incredible Prague monuments. We’ll receive detailed information about the many buildings we will see during our expert-led and independent explorations of Prague.

Lunch: We will enjoy a light buffet in the hotel dining room.

Afternoon: We’ll set out to witness the historical center of Prague for the first time on a field trip by bus through its city streets. We will pass the elegant Paris Street (Parizska Street) with its art nouveau houses, the fascinating Jewish Ghetto, and even enjoy a short break in front of the astronomical clock. We will also see the historic Charles Bridge, which was once the only way to cross the Vltava River and connect the Old Town to Prague Castle. For independent exploration later in our program, we will learn how to use the public transportation.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Czech Republic 20th Century to Present, Prague Castle
Prague
B,L
Hotel Petr

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking/standing for up to 3 hours on uneven stone; stairs; walking uphill/downhill. New safety rules and regulations for entry into Prague Castle require that we show a copy of your passport before entering. Please bring a copy of your passport with you on your program.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We will get acquainted firsthand with the impact of communist rule and the changes following the fall of the Iron Curtain during a discussion and lecture about the challenges of European integration. The personal experiences of our lecturer will deepen our understanding of this time.

Lunch: Hotel dining room.

Afternoon: We will set out by bus to discover the wonders of Prague Castle, home of Bohemian kings and a textbook of Prague architecture itself! Standing tall amidst the magnificent Hradcany (castle) District, it is said to be the biggest castle in the world. Generations of Prague’s architecture will unfold before us as we explore the Prague Castle complex with a local expert, including the Saint Vitus Cathedral and the Old Royal Palace.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Trade Fair Palace
Prague
B
Hotel Petr

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking/standing up to 2.5 hours. Some stairs to negotiate.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We will transfer by bus to enjoy an expert-led walk through the Trade Fair Palace, a gallery of magnificent art from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Lunch: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. You will be given a detailed handout with options on where to go during independent excursions. Perhaps you would like to take a walk through the Old Jewish Cemetery, Europe's oldest Jewish burial ground, or visit the Old-New Synagogue, a surviving monument of Prague’s Jewish Town and one of Prague's first Gothic buildings.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Free Time
Prague
B
Hotel Petr

Activity note: Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Free time. We will take a full day to discover Prague on our own. The Group Leader will assist in planning according to our interests and make sure we get the most out of our day as possible.

Lunch: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Afternoon: We will continue our self-led explorations.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Explore the Municipal House, Free Time
Prague
B
Hotel Petr

Activity note: Getting on/off underground, motorcoach. Walking/standing up to 2.5 hours. Some stairs to negotiate.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We will transfer by underground to the Municipal House to enjoy an expert-led visit. We will see the Smetana's concert hall, and the reception rooms that are not open to the public.

Lunch: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Afternoon: Free time. We may use this time to explore Kampa Island, located near the Charles Bridge in the center of Prague. Separated from the Lesser Town by a channel called Devil's Stream, Kampa is the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon. The old mills that are preserved here and the charming houses that border the water's edge are worth the visit.

Dinner: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Czechs: A Nation of Musicians, Classical Concert
Prague
B,D
Hotel Petr

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking/standing up to 4 hours throughout the day.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: At the hotel, we will take in a short introduction to Czech composers, such as Smetana and Dvorak, from our Group Leader. We will also learn about Mozart's stay in Prague. We will then set out on a visit to the Antonin Dvorak Museum by motorcoach. An expert will lead us through this Baroque villa with its permanent exhibition on Dvorak's life and work.

Lunch: Explore area restaurants on your own.

Afternoon: We may use our last afternoon to explore an area of Prague we have yet to encounter. In the late afternoon, we will regroup and journey to St. Salvator Church near Charles Bridge, where we enjoy a classical concert!

Dinner: We will enjoy a farewell 3-course dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: After returning to the hotel, we will say farewell to Prague together at the hotel reception.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
Prague
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Transfer to the Prague International airport (PRG) for departures. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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