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  • 1.1 GENERAL
  • 2.1 GENERAL

  • 1.1 GENERAL No. It is always better if you know the language which is used in the country you are going to. However it is not necessary. If you talk English or German you are all set. Citizens of European countries without a visa can stay for up to 90 days (UK and Irish Republic citizens for up to 180 days) and are not required to get any extra permissions. Just take your passport. However for citizens of Albania, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia a Czech visa is reguired. Regarding non-European states, citizens of the USA, Mexico, Argentina, South Korea, Malaysia, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and Israel (all for up to 30 days) are not required to have a visa. All other nationalities must have a visa. These can be obtained from the Czech embassy offices abroad. List of them is at www.mzv.cz. The following non-commercial goods can be brought into the Czech Republic without the payment of customs duty: *things for personal use, *medicines of kind and quantity required for individual use, *tobacco products (200 cigarettes or 50 cigars), *alcoholic beverages (1 litre of distilled liquor, 2 litres of wine table), *scents (50 grams or 0.25 litre of eau de cologne), *other goods with a total value not exceeding 6000 CZK per person. Gas (petrol) is a little bit cheaper than in the European Union, but much more expensive than in the US. Penetration of gas (petrol) stations is pretty high, they usually have a shop and a clean bathroom. If you are going to use a highway (which you probably will), you need to buy a highway sticker. It is not that expensive (annual sticker costs 800 KC, monthly 150KC and ten days 70KC). And you can buy it at every gas station or a post office. The highest speed allowed on highways is 130km/h. Speed limit on a normal road is 90 km/h, in the village/town 50km/h. Watch the signs. The consumption of alcohol is not allowed before or during driving. Seat belts must be fastened during the entire journey. Czech drivers are quite tolerant. We have all four seasons- winter (december- february), spring (march- april), summer (may- august), fall (september- november). It gets pretty cold in the winter (-10C/ 16F) and we get some snow. In the summer temperature during gets to the (30C/ 90F). If you don't want to be too cold or too hot the best months to come are May and September. Also Prague won't be that crowded as it is in the peak season. The state holidays are 1.1.(New Year's Day), Easter Monday, 1.5.(Labor Day), 8.5.(Day of Liberation from Fascism), 5.7.(Day of Slavic Missionaries), 6.7.(Master John Huss), 28.9. (St.Wenceslav), 28.10.(Independance Day), 17.11.(Student's Day), 24.-26.12.(Christmas) We have Central European Time (GMT+1) like most of the other countries in Europe. From April till October there is a summer time (GMT+2).
  • 2.1 GENERAL I would say that Prague is pretty much safe not only during day time, but also during night. If you would like to know more about this topic, I write about it in the Prague guide. There are plenty of possibilities. I have gathered some useful links here. It is worth it to do some research because there are big differences in quality and in prices. Basicly if you want to stay in the center it is much more expensive than in other parts of the city. When you will be looking for a place to stay, always check how it is with the public transportation, especially if it is near subway. You have three possibilities. 1)Walk- that's the cheapest way but a little bit slow :). 2)By car- I would not recommend that, Prague was built a long time ago and thus its narrow, crooked streets are always stucked with cars. It takes forever to get somewhere. One plus is that going by car is comfortable. 3)use public transportation- that's the best choice. To read more about public transportation, click here . Ask someone. People are usually (if they are not in a hurry and know the language) friendly and will do the best to help you. However this is not true if you need something from the state administration. Usually it takes forever and is not something you would enjoy.
  • 2.2 ACCOMODATION & FOOD Yes. Our site has a partnership with one of the largest databases of Prague hotels and pensions. We are getting a lot of very positive feedback. Abaka.com will give you a huge list of variety of choices. You choose and book online. I wrote more about accomodation in the Prague guide. Good question. But it is hard to answer. Czech cousin has a lot of specialities and you should definitely try them out. First, before you enter look at the offer list- what you can order and how much does it cost. In the center some restaurants are very expensive and it is worth it to look around a little bit. Choosing and ordering what you want shouldn't be a problem. Paying- usually we pay in cash but you can use your credit card, too. It is consider to be of a good manner to give a 10% tip in a restaurant with table service. However it depends on your satisfaction. Waitors get a fixed salary and tips are a bonus for them. So if you didn't like the service or food, you don't need to give a tip. The usual protocol is for them to tell you the total food bill and for you, as you hand over the money, to say how much you are paying with the tip included. Yes, we have McDonald's in Prague. We also have some other famous fast food restaurants here :). We have supermarkets where you can buy everything. We also have specialized small shops, such as bakery, butchery etc. If you want to buy some food I would recommend you to go to a supermarket where the food is usually fresher and you have more time to think what you want to buy. If you forgot to buy something and it is already very late, it's no tragedy. There are quite a lot of small shops that are opened for 24hours.
  • 2.3 SIGHTSEEING & CULTURE There are so many things to see that you would need your whole life to explore it. And therefore it is very difficult to answer what you should see. My advice is following: buy a guidebook before you come to Prague, look at it and check the places you would like to see. The historical core of the city consists of - Hradcany (the Prague Castle District and the castle itself) and Mala Strana (the Small Quarter) west of the river, Stare Mesto (the Old Town) and Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslas Square) to the east, and Charles Bridge in between. Those are the most famous attractions. In addition to this I made a list of interesting places and events which are worth seeing but usually are not in the guidebooks. And we prepared special Prague walks for you. Yes. When you will be walking through the center of a city you will be offered concerts of classical music. Usually there are posters or you are given a paper with an offer to buy a ticket for a concert in some church or so. If you would like to attend a concert don't go to this one. They are made just for a profit, tickets are expensive and the performance itself is of no quality. Check out Czech Philharmony or FOK. It is one click away. A complete guide of events in Prague is on the following page: www.ticketpro.cz. This information is usually written next to the information about the event you are planning to attend. For some events it is necessary to get tickets in big advance (such as for Laterna Magika). The good news is that most of them you can order online at www.ticketpro.cz. The same way you would dress if you went to a theatre in your country. Usually they let foreigners in, even when they are casualy dressed but...
  • 2.4 TRANSPORTATION Yes, a very good one. It is based on a subway system. There are three lines: green [A], yellow [B] and red [C]. Subway system is very efficient, fast and reliable. You can't get lost because everywhere are signs and maps of the subway system. What I especially like is that the subway is clean and intervals are short. In the peak hours it gets a little bit crowded. Subway system is completed by trams and buses. Trams usually go through the center, buses are operating mainly on the suburbs. If you would like to see a complete map of public transportation [MHD], click here. Using public transportation is the best way how to get around. To be able to use public transportation you have to buy a ticket at a newsstand or in an automat. Don't forget to mark the ticket when you get in, if you don't have a valid ticket you will pay a fine. Well, you will pay one if there is a controller who asks you to show him a ticket. How do you recognize him? He will show you a special badge. If you are planning to use public transportation more often or you are staying longer, I advice you to buy a special ticket for a certain period of time. It will be a lot cheaper and more comfortable for you. If you are a student and have an ISIC card, you will get a student discount. Read more about it here. You should be very careful. What kind of a taxi you choose can save you a lot of money and a lot of complications. Never take a taxi on the Wenceslas square or in the center. Why? Taxis have reserved special places where they wait for their customers. If you wait on such a place in the center, it is a very lucrative job and therefore these places are occupied by the taxi drivers that are not very honest. So if you want to take a taxi call for one, it will come right to you for free. Before you get in check if there is a sign at the top of the car and if there is a sticker with prices and name of the driver on the doors of the car. When you get in tell the driver where you are going and ask how much it is going to be and don't forget to look at the taxameter if there are zeros on it. When you pay, ask for a receipt. If the taxi driver want you to pay a really unjustified amount, refuse to pay and tell him that you will call police. It is completely legal to do this. Leave your car on a parking near a subway station. If you want to go the center, you will have a lot of difficulties to find a place where to stop and when you find one, it will cost you a lot of money. There are parking places called P+R near the subway stations on the outskirts of Prague. You park your car there, get in the subway and in few minutes you are in the center. Here is a map of P+R's. Yes. It should be no problem, there are rental places near the center, on the airport.. However renting a car is a pretty expensive thing here.
  • 2.5 COMMUNICATION This is no problem. Having Internet at home was (and still is) quite expensive for Czech people and this fact gave a boost to the internet cafes. They are all over the city. Basicly it is a cafe where they have computers and access to the Internet. How much you pay depends on how much time you spend on the computer. You should have no problem to find an Internet cafe you like. If you want to surf with a style, go to the Obecni dum [Municipal house] cafe. Yes, if you have a web based mail account (hotmail, yahoo, AOL etc.) You check it the same way as at home. First you have to know your country code which you dial before the number you are calling. You can call from your hotel, from a phone machine or you can use your cellular phone. Every possibility is quite expensive. Czech Telecom offers you prepaid cards, they are a little bit cheaper. The best thing how to avoid paying big money to the Czech Telecom is, if they call you. I don't have the best experiences with these cards. I had few friends who came over with such a thing and they had big troubles to get it work. It depends on what kind of phone you have and if your provider supports roaming. Currently we have three operators: Eurotel, Paegas, Oskar [from the most expensive to the cheapest one], operating at 900MHz and 1800MHz. If you would like to use a cellular phone and don't have one, you can either rent one or buy one. Calling rates are quite low, sometimes it is even cheaper to use a cellular phone than a normal phone. It is so, because Czech Telecom has a monopoly till the end of this year. The same way as anywhere else. You should have on your envelope Czech Republic, Europe. If you want to ship valuable documents use the well know shipping companies such as DHL or Federal Express.
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