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What to know before go

PragueINTRODUCTION

The capital of the Czech Republic is our most valuable urban conservation area. In 1992 the historical core of the city covering 866 hectares was listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register.

Prague was one of the nine cities awarded by the European Community the title of European City of Culture for the year 2000. The idea of the European City of Culture was coined by the then Greek Minister of Cuture Melina Mercouri. The first city to be honoured the title was Athens in 1985. The European Council highlighted the symbolism of the year 2000 when Europe saw strengthening integration efforts in all areas, by awarding the title to nine cities: Prague, Avignon (France), Bergen (Norway), Bologna (Italy), Brussels (Belgium), Helsinki (Finland), Krakow (Poland), Reykjavik (Island) and Santiago de Compostela (Spain). These cities differ in size, number of inhabitants, historic and cultural heritage as well as budget. Their differences symbolise the idea of a united Europe whose wealth lies in the diversity of regions, nations and cultures.

"Praga caput regni" has been inscribed in Prague's coat of arms. And rightly so. Since the very beginning, Prague has always played an important role in the history of both the nation, country and Europe. Since the Middle Ages, Prague has been known as one of the most beautiful cities of the world, and has been attributed adjectives such as "golden", "city of hundred spires", "the crown of the world", "a stone dream". Throughout centuries, prominent personalities paid homage to it. W. A. Mozart, L. van Beethoven, F. M. Dostoyevsky, A. Rodin, G. Apollinaire, P. I. Tchaikovsky, O. Kokoschka as well as the British Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II professed their beguilement by its attractiveness and architectural beauty. Writers and poets, such as Jan Neruda, Jaroslav Hasek, Jaroslav Seifert, Franz Kafka, Max Brod and Egon Erwin Kisch featured their home town in thier works. Prague represents a unique collection of historical monuments dominated by Prague Castle which towers high above the city. It merges all artistic and architectonic styles and movements. The historical core of the city is situated on both banks of the Vltava river and consists of 6 parts - formerly independent urban units unified in the 18th century. They are as follows: Stare Mesto (Old Town), Josefov (the preserved part of the former Jewish Town - today part of the Old Town), Nove Mesto (New Town), Mala Strana (Lesser Town), Hradcany and Vysehrad. Naturally, most of the historical monuments, museums and galleries are concentrated there.

Prague

In 1992 the historical centre of Prague covering an area of 866 hectares was listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register.

Prague is the capital city of the relatively small Czech Republic which lies in the heart of Europe, neighbouring with Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland. There is a number of non-stop border crossings available with an excellent connection by car, bus, train or plane. A valid passport, which does not expire at least for six months, is required in order to enter the Czech Republic. There is no need of an entry visa for most European countries and the USA. If necessary, you can obtain visa at the Czech Embassy in your country. Two kinds of visas are available: a tourist visa valid for 30 days and a transit one valid for 48 hours. The official language is Czech, the Slovak language is generally understood. Most local people have basic or possibly intermediate knowledge of English or German. English, German and sometimes French is spoken in most hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, historical monuments, shops and services.

Basic data

  • Area: 496 sqkm
  • Population: 1,184,000
  • Geographical situation: north latitude 500 05', east longitude 140 27', height above sea level 235 m (average)
  • Time: Central European (GMT+1), summer time - Central European +1 (GMT+2)
  • Climate: average temperature 9,oC
  • summer season - July 19,00C
  • winter season - January -0,90C
  • The Vltava river flows through the city in the length of 30 km, its maximum width being 330 m
  • Parts of the historical centre: Hradcany, Mala Strana (Lesser Town), Stare Mesto (Old Town) including Josefov, Nove Mesto (New Town) and Vysehrad
  • Administrative division: 22 administrative areas
  • Voltage: 230 V

Important Telephone Numbers

  • Ambulance: 155
  • Police: 158
  • Fire department: 150
  • Municipal police: 156
  • Emergency road service: 1230, 1240

International Dialing Codes

  • Australia 0061
  • Austria 0043
  • Belgium 0032
  • Canada 001
  • Denmark 0045
  • France 0033
  • Germany 0049
  • Great Britain 0044
  • Greece 0030
  • Italy 0039
  • Japan 0081
  • Netherlands 0031
  • Norway 0047
  • Poland 0048
  • Russia 007
  • Slovakia 00421
  • Sweden 0046
  • Spain 0034
  • Switzerland 0041
  • USA 001
  • Czech Republic 00420

Customs requirements

Foreign nationals may export goods from the Czech Republic only for personal use or as a gift without a special permission. If a special legal permission is required to export goods (e.g. if subject to the law on protection of cultural monuments, for objects of museum value etc.), such a permission must be presented to customs officials on departure.

Tax free:

Foreign nationals who purchase goods of value higher than 1000 CZK and carry the goods abroad within 30 days of purchase, may apply for reimbursement of the Value Added Tax upon presenting a confirmation obtained from the customs office.

Important customs offices:

  • Celni urad Praha (Prague Customs Office)- Praha 8, Sokolovska 22, phone 2481 6256
  • Celnice Hlavni nadrazi (Main Railway Station Customs Office) - Praha 2, Wilsonova 80, phone 2422 1905
  • Celnice Ruzyne (Ruzyne Customs Office) - Praha 6, Ruzyne Airport, phone 2011 3529
  • Vyclivaci posta (Customs Clearance Post Office) - Praha 5, Plzenska 139, phone 5701 9102

Postal services

  • Non-stop Post Office - Praha 1, Hybernska 15
  • Main Post Office - Praha 1, Jindrisska 14, daily 2 a. m. - 12 p. m.

Postage in the Czech Republic in Kc:

  • letter up to 20 g…6,50
  • letter up to 50 g…10,00
  • postcard…6,50

International postage in Kc:


Europe Overseas airmail landroute
letter up to 20 g  9,-  14,-  9,-
postcard
 9,-  12,-  9,-

Phone

Local phone calls from public telephone booths 4,- Kc/minute. Telephone cards in the value of 175,- Kc and 320,- Kc are available at newsagents' and tobacconists', post offices, department stores, hotels, travel agencies, etc.

Currency

Legal tenders - Crown (Kc) = 100 Hellers

Coins:

  • hellers: 50
  • Kc: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50
  • banknotes: Kc 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000

Transport

See Metro

Medical Emergencies

  • Praha 1 - Palackého 5, phone. 224 949 181
  • Praha 2 - Sokolská 27, phone. 224 266 150
  • Praha 3 - Koněvova 205, phone. 284 862 149
  • Praha 4 - Pacovská 31, phone. 241 733 917
  • Praha 5 - Kartouzská 6, phone. 257 323 219
  • Praha 6 - Vítězné náměstí 13, phone. 233 340 912
  • Praha 7 - Dukelských hrdinů 1, phone. 233 373 933
  • Praha 8 - Budínova 2 (the Bulovka hospital), phone. 283 842 222
  • Praha 9 - Sokolovská 304, phone. 266 310 372
  • Praha 10 - Nad Olšinami 4, phone. 274 812 509

Dental Emergencies:

  • Praha 1- Palackeho 5, phone 224 946 981 (Mon to Fri 7 p.m.-7 a.m., Sat + Sun non-stop)
  • Praha 4 - Pacovska 31, phone 241 733 918 (Mon to Fri 7 p.m.-7 a.m., Sat + Sun non-stop)

Pharmacies offering non-stop service:

  • Praha 1 - Palackého 5, phone. 224 946 982
  • Praha 2 - Belgická 37, phone. 222 519 731
  • Praha 4 - Soukalova 3355, phone. 241 770 498
  • Praha 4 - Anny Drabíkové 534, phone. 272 912 743
  • Praha 5 - Štefánikova 6, phone. 257 320 918
  • Praha 6 - Pod Marjánkou 12, phone. 220 514 473
  • Praha 7 - Milady Horákové 22, phone. 233 375 599
  • Praha 8 - Heydukova 10, phone. 266 310 899
  • Praha 8 - Budinova 2 (the Bulovka hospital), phone. 283 840 501

Lost and Found Office

Praha 1, Karoliny Svetle 5, phone 22423 5085

Lost credit cards:

  • American Express - phone 22280 0111
  • Visa - phone 22412 5353
  • Diners Club - phone 26719 7450
  • MasterCard/Eurocard - phone 22411 3116

Czech Republic Red-Letter Days

  • 1 January - New Year, Day of Restoration of the Independent Czech State
  • Easter Monday
  • 1 May - Labour Day
  • 8 May - Liberation Day (1945)
  • 5 July - Cyril and Methodius Day - the Slavic Christianity Prophets
  • 6 July - Master John Hus burning at the stake (1415)
  • 28 September - Day of the Czech Statehood
  • 28 October - Independent Czechoslovak State Proclamation Day (1918)
  • 17 November - Day of a Struggle for Liberty and Democracy
  • 24 December - Christmas Eve
  • 25 December - Christmas Day
  • 26 December - St. Stephen's Day

Embassies

  • Austria - Victora Huga 10, 151 15 Praha 5, phone 257 090 511, fax 257 316 045
  • Belgium - Valdstejnska 6, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 257 533 524, fax 257 533 750
  • Brazil - Susicka 12, 160 41 Praha 6, phone 224 324 965, fax 224 312 901
  • Canada - Muchova 6, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 272 101 800, fax 272 101 890
  • Cyprus - Sibirské nám. 6, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 224 316 833, fax 224 317 529
  • Denmark - Maltezske nam. 5, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 257 531 600, fax 257 531 410
  • Estonia - Na Kampe 1, 118 00 Praha 1, tel. 257 011 180, fax 257 001 181
  • Finland - Hellichova 1, 118 00 Praha 1, phone 251 177 251, fax 251 177 241
  • France - Velkoprevorske nam. 2, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 251 171 711, fax 251 171 720
  • Germany - Vlasska 19, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 527 113 111, fax 257 534 056
  • Great Britain - Thunovska 14, 118 00 Praha 1, phone 257 402 111, fax 257 402 296
  • Greece - Helenska 2, 120 00 Praha 2, phone 222 250 943, fax 222 253 686
  • Hungary - Ceskomalinska 20, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 233 324 454, fax 233 322 104
  • Italy - Nerudova 20, 118 00 Praha 1, phone 233 080 111, fax 257 531 522
  • Ireland - Trziste 13, 118 00 Praha 1, phone 257 530 061, fax 257 531 387
  • Izrael - Badeniho 2, 170 01 Praha 7, phone 233 097 500, fax 233 097 519
  • Japan - Maltezske nam. 6, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 257 533 546, fax 257 532 377
  • Latvia - Hradesinska 3, 101 00 Praha 10, phone 255 700 881, fax 255 700 880
  • Lithuania - Pod Klikovkou 1916, 150 00 Praha 5, phone 257 210 122, fax 257 210 124
  • Luxembourg - Trziste 13, 118 00 Praha 1, phone 257 181 800, fax 257 532 537
  • Netherlands - Gotthardska 6, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 224 312 190, fax 224 312 160
  • Norway - Hellichova 1, 118 00 Praha 1, phone 257 323 737, fax 257 326 827
  • Poland - Valdstejska 8, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 257 530 388, fax 257 530 399
  • Portugal - Nam. Kinskych 7, 150 00, Praha 5, phone 257 311 230 - 1, fax 257 311 234
  • Russia - Pod Kastany 1, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 233 374 100, fax 233 377 235
  • Slovakia - Pod Hradbami 1, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 233 113 051 - 2, fax 233 113 054
  • Slovenia - Pod Hradbami 15, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 233 081 211, fax 233 081 214
  • Spain - Badeniho 4, 170 00 Praha 7, phone 224 311 441, fax 233 341 770
  • Sweden - Úvoz 13, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 220 313 200, fax 220 313 240
  • Switzerland - Pevnostni 7, 162 01 Praha 6, phone 220 400 611, fax 224 311 312
  • Ukraine - Charlese de Gaulla 29, 160 00 Praha 6, phone 233 342 000, fax 233 344 366
  • USA - Trziste 15, 118 01 Praha 1, phone 257 530 663, fax 257 530 583