USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT PRAGUE

Bars/Discotheques/Nightclubs

The most popular place is the city centre around Wenceslas square and Old Town Square. Here, you will find all different kinds of bars, clubs, discotheques, coffee-house-bars and casinos.

Business and Banking hours

Most government offices are open from 07:00 a.m. to 03:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Many close at noon on Fridays.

Commercial offices are open from 08:00/09:00 a.m. to 05:00/06:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday, very few on Saturday from 08:00/09:00 a.m. to noon.

Shops in the city centre are open daily from 09:00/10:00 a.m. to 06:00/06:30 p.m. Some grocery stores, souvenir shops and supermarkets remain open until 10:00 p.m. Some supermarkets open 24 hours a day.

Post Offices are open between 08:00 a.m. and 07:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday and Saturday until noon. The Central Post Office in the city centre and post offices in the main train stations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Most banks open Monday to Friday from 08:00 a.m. to 04:30 p.m. Banks are closed over the weekend and on public holidays. There is several money changing offices available opening until late at night, 7 days a week.

Clothing - what to wear

During the daytime dress casually unless you are attending a business meeting. Walking shoes for wandering around are recommended, as in most historical cities there is a lot of cobblestone streets.
The appropriate attire in the evening for cocktail parties, formal dinner functions, dinner in first class or gourmet restaurants is jacket and tie for the men and appropriate attire for the ladies. For dinners at grand palaces dark suits or tuxedos and fancy cocktail dressed or gowns are very common. And even in casual places people wear jackets except in wine-taverns or pubs.
For concerts and theatre performances people in Prague wear formal clothes and for the opera you really dress-up.

Cultural performances

To classical music lovers, the Czech Republic is literally a paradise. Music festivals take place across the country from spring to autumn.
* INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL PRAZSKE JARO(Prague Spring): Parade of excellent international artists, symphonic orchestras from 1952. Starts with the cycle of symphonic poems Ma vlast (Bedrich Smetana) and ends by Devata symphony from Ludwig van Beethoven.

Customs regulations

Import: Non-commercial goods may be imported duty free in the following amounts per person:

  • Tobacco products: 250 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos (up to 3g per piece) OR 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco OR a proportionate combination of the above.
  • Alcoholic drinks: 1 lt. of alcohol OR 2lt. of wine.
  • 50g of perfume or 0,25l of toilet water.
  • Medicines of the type and in the amount corresponding to the personal needs of the traveller.

Export: Any amount of non-commercial goods can be freely exported from the Czech Republic with no permit necessary. The export of items regarded, as cultural heritage is not permitted. For the export of antiques and other works of art, a certificate is needed stating that they are not regarded as cultural heritage.

Electricity

220 volt, 50 cycle. For your electrical appliances you need a converter and an adapter. They are available at most hotels in limited amounts.

Emergency information

From any public phone - free of charge:
Police 158
Fire Brigade 150
Ambulance 155
Municipal Police 156

General destination information resource

www.czechtourism.com, www.praguetourist.com

Health regulations

No immunizations are required for travel to Europe.

Language

The official language is Czech. English and German are spoken in most hotels, restaurants and shops.

Lost and Found

If you loose something, you should first go to the nearest police station and inquire there. Most lost articles turn up - but not until a few days later.

Currency

The Czech currency is the Czech Crown. There are coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Crowns and bank notes of 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 Crowns. The 5000 Crown note is difficult to get changed especially by taxi drivers or in small shops.

Museums

Prague is a city with about 25 museums. Visitors with an interest in art and culture find a wide variety of different collections. To mention the main museums: Main Building of the National Museum (Museum of Prehistory of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia; Palaeontological, Zoological and Mineralogical collections), Náprstek Museum (Cultures of Australia and Oceania; Indian cultures of North and South America), Lapidarium (Czech Stone Sculptures from 11th to 19th century). Many museums are closed on Mondays.

Public holidays

January 01 (New Year), April 20 & 21 (Easter Sunday & Monday), May 01 (Labor Day), May 08 (National Holiday - Liberation Day), July 05 (National Holiday - Cyril and Methodius, the Slav missionaries who introduced Christianity), July 06 (National Holiday - Death of Master John Hus), September 28 (National holiday - Day of Saint Wenceslas, Patron of the Czechs), October 28 (Independence Day), November 17 (National holiday - Day of the fighting for freedom and democracy "Velvet revolution"), December 24, 25 & 26 (Christmas).

Religion

Roman Catholic is the predominant religion in Czech Republic. Czechoslovak Husite Church (founded after 1918) is the second most common religion. The largest Protestant community is the Slovak Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession. Recent estimates put the number of Jewish inhabitants at about 1,500.

Restaurants

There are a wide variety of different restaurants available. Apart from traditional Czech cooking, many restaurants also offer international cuisine as well as other nations' specialties.

Shopping

In Prague you still find a lot of individual boutiques and shops versus large shopping centres. The main and most exclusive shopping area is the city centre around the Wenceslas Square. The shopping centres and supermarkets are usually located at the edge of town (Pruhonice, Cerny Most, Zlicin). Most Supermarkets and shops in the City Centre are open daily from 09:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m. Food shops and supermarkets usually open at 06:00 a. m.
Good buys are:
Antiques Jewelry, Leather, Costume Jewelry, Porcelain, Ceramics, Crystal, Tapes/Records/CD's of classical music, Books, Puppets, Wooden Toys
Typical Czech Items: Becherovka (a herbal liqueur), Slivovice (plum brandy), Bohemian and Moravian wines, Czech crystal, variety of Czech beers, Bohemian garnets, Tapes/Records/CD's of classical music, Puppets, Wooden Toys
Typical Handicrafts would be: porcelain, lace, ceramics, puppets, and wooden toys.

Smoking

Is still quite common in the Czech Republic. No smoking in public transportation, during cultural performances & at government buildings. Other non-smoking areas are clearly marked.

Sunrise/Sunset: aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.html
Time varies over the month. Times stated are times for first and last date of the month.

Sunrise

January: 08:01 a.m. / 07:39 a.m. July: 04:57 a.m. / 05:30 a.m.
February: 07:37 a.m. / 06:47 a.m. August: 05:31 a.m. / 06:16 a.m.
March: 06:45 a.m. / 05:41 a.m. September: 06:17 a.m. / 07:01 a.m.
April: 05:38 a.m. / 05:40 a.m. October: 07:03 a.m. / 06:51 a.m.
May: 05:38 a.m. / 04:58 a.m. November: 06:52 a.m. / 07:38 a.m.
June: 04:58 a.m. / 04:56 a.m. December: 07:40 a.m. / 08:01 a.m.

Sunset

January: 04:10 p.m. / 04:53 p.m. July: 09:15 p.m. / 08:46 p.m.
February: 04:55 p.m. / 05:43 p.m. August: 08:45 p.m. / 07:48 p.m.
March: 05:45 p.m. / 06:33 p.m. September: 07:46 p.m. / 06:42 p.m.
April: 06:35 p.m. / 07:20 p.m. October: 06:40 p.m. / 04:40 p.m.
May: 08:21 p.m. / 09:02 p.m. November: 04:38 p.m. / 04:03 p.m.
June: 09:03 p.m. / 09:15 p.m. December: 04:03 p.m. / 04:10 p.m.

Time difference

The Czech Republic lies in the Middle European Time Zone. Between April and October clocks are put ahead one hour for "daylight saving time". GMT plus one hour, during daylight saving time pus two hours. The Czech Republic is 6 hours ahead of Eastern time, 7 hours ahead of Central time, 8 hours ahead of Mountain time and 9 hours ahead of Pacific time.

Transportation

Taxis: Taxi fares are composed of a flat rate and a charge per kilometre. The price list must be displayed outside and inside the car. Taxi drivers are obliged to hand out receipts stating the amount paid. Hotel taxis charge their own rates.

Public Transportation

Prague has a well functioning public system including trams, underground and buses. Travelling by city transport is only possible with a valid ticket. Passengers have to obtain their tickets before boarding the vehicle or entering the Metro system. Regular transfer tickets cost 20.-- crowns. The regular ticket is valid for 60 minutes after marking (on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays for 90 minutes). Short-hop ticket costs 14.-- crowns. These tickets are valid for 15 minutes in trams and buses and for 30 minutes in the metro system. In the underground it is valid for 4 stations after marking only.

Tipping

It is customary to give a tip of about 5-10%.

VISA and Passport regulations:
All U.S. and Canadian Citizens, including infants and children, need a valid passport to enter the Czech Republic. The ticket agent at the check-in counter (at the originating airport) is required to check the passport, which must be valid for three months beyond the departure from the country. No Visa is required for US citizens travelling to the Czech Republic. Canadian citizens do need a Visa for travelling to the Czech Republic! All non U.S. citizens, please contact the Czech Consulate or Diplomatic Mission nearest for assistance regarding entry requirements (www.mzv.cz).

Water

Tap water is of good quality and safe to drink.

Weather - average temperatures

At a latitude of 50° North, the climate is continental (warm summers and cold winters) and generally agreeable:

January: - 8°C / 18 F July: +21°C / 70 F
February: 0°C / 32 F August: +20°C / 68 F
March: +5°C / 41 F September: +17°C / 63 F
April: +10°C / 50 F October: +10°C / 50 F
May: +15°C / 59 F November: +4°C / 39 F
June: +19°C / 66 F December: 0°C / 32 F

Wheelchairs

Can be arranged for, however, electrical wheel chairs are not available for rent.