Czech Republic //

Travel essentials

Costs

Daily budget Basic €40, occasional treat €50 Drink Pilsner Urquell €1.50 Food Pork and dumplings €4 Hostel/budget hotel €14/€40 Travel Prague–Karlovy Vary: train (3hr 20min) €12; bus: (2hr) €6

Crime and personal safety

Like any major city Prague has a pickpocket problem. Danger-spots are Old Town Square, Charles Bridge, the #22 tram and in the metro. The area around hlavní nádraží (main station) and the park at Karlovo náměstí (Charles Square) are used by drug addicts and prostitutes at night. By law you should carry your passport with you.

Emergencies

Police 158; Fire 150; Ambulance 155

Health

Pharmacies (lékárna) are easy to find but not always English-speaking. If you need a repeat prescription take the empty bottle or remaining pills.

Information

Most towns have a tourist office (informační centrum) with English-speaking staff. You can find maps (mapa) in tourist offices, bookshops and petrol stations.

czech.cz Basic information on the Czech Republic.

expats.cz Magazine for Prague’s expat community with useful practical information and events listings.

praguepost.com Online English-language news.

radio.cz/english News and cultural events.

ticketpro.cz, ticketstream.cz, http://www.ticketsbti.cz Three good sites for finding out what’s on in Prague and booking tickets online.

slovnik.cz Reliable online dictionary.

Internet

You’ll find internet cafés in bigger towns; they usually charge 60–100Kč per hour.

Mail

Most post offices (pošta) are open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm, Saturday 8am to noon. Signs over the counters show where to queue: známky (stamps), dopisy (letters) or balíky (parcels). Stamps are sold at newsagents and kiosks.

Money and banks

The local currency is the Czech crown, or koruna česká (Kč), though some tourist-oriented services list prices in euros. Banks are usually open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and there are plenty of ATMs. Student discounts are up to half-price. Bring an ISIC card, as many places won’t recognize university cards.

Opening hours and holidays

Most shops are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5 or 6pm. Smaller shops close for lunch between noon and 2pm and some stay open late on Thursdays. In larger towns some shops stay open all day at weekends, and the corner shops (večerka) stay open daily till 10 or 11pm. Museums, galleries and churches are generally open daily; synagogues are closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Many attractions are closed on Mondays. Public holidays include January 1, Easter Monday, May 1, May 8, July 5 and 6, September 28, October 28, November 17, December 24–26.

Phones

Some public phones only take phonecards (telefonní karty), available from post offices, kiosks and some shops.