I used the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide for Prague during an 18 day visit and found that it was excellent. I recommend it highly for its very thorough and detailed information. The history of the Czech Republic including the Austrian-Hungarian Empire of the Hapsburgs, Hitler's Nazi regime, and Soviet domination after World War II all influenced these entrepreneurial energetic people.
The DK Guide focuses primarily on central Prague and the five regions of the city that are most visited by tourists. The book also contains a chapter on each region in more detail.
There is a section on Prague's best museums. This includes the Museum of Decorative Arts with outstanding collections of silver, porcelain, and glass. St. Agnes of Bohemia Convent houses a grand collection of 14th century religious art and wandering around the ancient convent is also a treat. St. George's Convent is full of outstanding Baroque painting as does the Sternberg Palace and Schwarzenberg Palace. The tiny Dvorak museum contains instruments used by the composer as well as some original texts but the museum building, a Baroque jewel by Dientzenhofer, is situated in a small intimate park. In contrast to these 4 museums of the art of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque period, the Trades Fair Palace is a fascinating building designed in 1922 and yet looks more contemporary than most museums in the United States. The collections of Czech and European art of the 19th and 20th centuries is superb. Other museums are recommended but the Loreto is full of diamond encrusted religious items and is actually more interesting for the architecture than for the collection of relics.
There is a section on Prague's best churches and synagogues. These include St. George's Romanesque basilica and the outstanding gothic St. Vitus Cathedral on the top of the city next to Prague Castle. Here are buried St. Wenceslas, Charles IV and his 4 wives, and the first two Hapsburg kings, Ferdinand I and Maximilian II. Also listed is the gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn, located near the Old Town City Center and a church for the Hussites. The Church of St. Nicholas is included, a pink and mint green Baroque masterpiece. The well preserved 11th century Romanesque rotunda of St. Martin is in Vysehrad. The Strahov Monastery allows visitors to see the major libraries in their Hall of Philosophy and the Hall of Theology. The collection of illuminated manuscripts was superb. The small masterpiece of Baroque architecture, St. John on the Rocks, is somewhat challenging to find but well worth the visit.
Another section is on palaces and gardens. It is easy to visit the Royal Palace, Belvedere, South Gardens, and Royal Gardens in Prague Castle in sequence. Wallenstein Palace and Gardens also can be seen together. The Wallenstein Palace is where the Czech Senate meets. Some noted Baroque palaces are not open to the public, such as the Clam-Gallas Palace and the Kinsky Palace.
The book is then divided into 5 sections for the 5 major areas of central historic Prague. The first of these is Old Town. In this section is the Hus Church of Our Lady before Tyn where astronomer Tycho Brahe is buried, a Baroque St. Nicholas Church now used for concerts, and the Bethlehem Chapel where Jan Hus preached. Also located here is the Old Town Square with its fascinating collection of buildings facing the old town hall with a giant astrological clock. In the square is the large green Jan Hus monument. Also, the Estates Theater where scenes from the film Amadeus were filmed is here still offering Mozart Opera. The Municipal house with its grand concert hall is located next to the ancient Powder Gate which once stored gun powder.
In the western section of Old Town is the major route to the Charles Bridge. Along this path the traveler may pass Marianske Square with the impressive new Town Hall, the massive Clementinum University, the Churches of St. Francis and Knights of the Cross Square that face the Charles Bridge, the statue of Charles IV, and the Old Town Bridge Tower under which everyone must pass to cross the Charles Bridge.
The Jewish Quarter contains the Rudolfinum concert hall, Museum of Decorative Arts and from its windows you can see views of the old Jewish cemetery. A major site is the St. Agnes of Bohemia Convent which combines an early Gothic church and convent with a museum of 13th century religious paintings.
Prague Castle is a major tourist site and on top of a mountain overlooking the city is the Royal Palace, the S. Vitus Cathedral, St. George's Convent and Basilica, the offices of the President of the Czech Republic, and magnificent gardens. Tourists are directed to the Golden Lane where housing for the workers on the Cathedral can be found. These have been converted into mini-museums or shops and are much too crowded to be meaningful. The St. Vitus Cathedral is magnificent with tombs of the Holy Roman Emperors as well as a jewel-like chapel for St. Wenceslas. Also in the Cathedral is the tomb of St. John Nepomuk, a cult was developed around him during the Baroque period and many Baroque churches are named after this saint who was thrown off the Charles Bridge. The stained-glass window designed by Alfons Mucha is possibly the most beautiful stained glass composition in the world.
Also in Prague Castle is the Royal Palace with its magnificent Vladislav Hall with intricate rib vaulting and the Convent of St George with an outstanding Renaissance and Baroque art collection. Outside of the Prague Castle is the Sternberg Palace with another magnificent collection of art including an El Greco, a Rembrandt, several Durer paintings, two Bronzino portraits, and a Rubins painting.
The Little Quarter is the part of Prague where the Dientzenhofer church, St. Nicholas, can be found after crossing the Charles Bridge. Also, along the water is the contemporary art museum, the Kampa, with its collection of outstanding Kupka watercolors. North of the Charles Bridge can be found the Wallenstein gardens and palace. The Wallenstein gardens are beautiful, full of interesting sculpture and white peacocks. The Charles Bridge is a major destination in Prague with its series of dramatic mannerist or Baroque sculptures. In the far section of the Little Quarter is Petrin Park, a large park with an Observation Tower at the peak.
The New Town is the fifth region of central Prague covered in the book. This region has the St. John on the Rocks Baroque church, the Hotel Europa on Wenceslas Square, The National Museum and State Opera located near the Wenceslas Monument, the Monument to the Victims of Communism, the train station, Charles Square, the Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, the outstanding Mucha Museum, and the tiny jewel Dvorak Museum. The Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius is an Orthodox Church but during the Nazi occupation it was the site where the Czech assassins of the Nazi governor of Czechoslovakia hide after killing the governor. They hid with other resistance fighters and as the Nazis closed in on them, hidden in the crypt, they committed suicide rather than be taken by the Nazis.
The book also lists several sites outside of central Prague. We visited Vysehrad, the ancient fortress, and we visited the Trades Fair Palace, an incredible art museum in an incredible building.
The book also lists several day trips outside of Prague. We visited Kutna Hora which is only 50 minutes away from Prague by train, a highly recommended trip. The train was very inexpensive, around $6 for a round trip ticket to Kutna Hora. The Cathedral of St Barbara is outstanding as is the Ossuary with human bone garlands. We also drove to Karlsbad, a resort town full of spas and Europeans drinking the mineral water that gushes out of the warm springs.
The book provides four suggested walks. We took 3 of the 4 suggested hikes. The first is the walk along the Royal Route. This is the path from the Municipal House up to Prague Castle. If you spend any time in Prague you will walk this route since many major historic sites are on the route. The second walk was through Petrin Park including going up into the Observatory to see Prague from the heights and ends at the Stahov Monastery. The third walk was through Vysehrad with its magnificent views of the city from the fortress walls.
Practical information is in the back of the book. Consider taking the Cedaz van into Prague rather than a taxi if you don't mind walking from the Hilton and Marriott area to your hotel. It was very reasonable and runs every 30 minutes. I saw very few policemen and never had to worry about pick pockets. ATM machines were everywhere. Metro tickets and bus tickets can be purchased at any kiosk that sells tobacco products, and they are everywhere. The Prague airport is easy to manage; the trams and metro tickets are based on time and are very reasonable. The street finders and maps at the end of the guide were very accurate and useful. Overall the book is a very thorough and detailed guide for an outstanding city.