29 Prague

PopulationMetro: 1,400,000
Still the fascinating gateway into Eastern Europe’s secrets, Praha radiates confidence and dares visitors to keep up.

Prague excels in our Programming category—a buffet of sensory delights: Culture, of course (in which the city ranks #13 globally), Nightlife, (#6), Shopping (#9). It’s even a Top 25 Dining city (#24). Prague’s fairy tale spirit can still be found in its century-old cobbled streets and its castle perched on a hilltop, in its hidden alleys, ancient bridges and dreamy spires.

But take a closer look and you’ll find a city constantly reshaped by citizens eager to write their own history. Here you’ll find shopping that’s at once sophisticated and daring, adventurous chefs creating a new Czech cuisine and an anything-goes club scene. After you’ve crossed (and recrossed) Charles Bridge, after you’ve explored the nooks and crannies of Prague Castle, you might want to see how young artists are creating provocative new works in ceramics and glass at Cihelna, a concept store-cum-gallery that eschews the kitschy knick-knacks found at souvenir shops across the city in favor of high-end, highly collectible homeware by local design talent.

Place 56
Product 43
Programming 36
People 50
Prosperity 27
Promotion 16

Hungry? In Prague you can taste homey dishes like potato soups, roasted pork and dumplings at traditional pubs called (oh so literally) ‘basements’ with local beer as cheap as the hordes of young and broke revelers are boisterous. You can wander Mala Strana, the Lesser Quarter, where tiny lanes end in wondrous courtyards and hidden gardens, and you might find yourself at a trendy little wine bar or converted music venue, taking in the astonishing views of the Church of St. Nicholas surrounded by sloping red roofs as the music surrounds you, begging you to sleep only after the sun rises.