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#41 (cervenec 1997 :-)

General information about the Czech Republic and practical tidbits for travellers.

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    About the Czech Republic

    Official Name: Ceska republika
    Area: 78 864 sq. km (30 450 sq miles)
    Population: 10,357,000 (1995)
    Official Language: Czech
    Bordering Countries: Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Austria
    Capital: Prague (Praha) (Population: 1,213,800)
    President: Vaclav Havel
    Prime Minister: Vaclav Klaus

    Currency: Czech Crown (Kc)
    Approximate Exchange Rate: U.S.$1 = 30.5 Kc

    Cash Machine Locations: (Mastercard, Eurocard, Eurocheque, VISA)

    • Cirrus/Mastercard (more common): (800) 424-7787
    • The Plus Network: (800) 843-7587
    Lost credit cards in Prague:
    • Visa, Diners Club: 24-12-53-53
    • MasterCard: 24-42-31-35
    • American Express: 24-21-99-92

    "The ubiquitous "Exchange" outlets around Prague tend to charge much higher commissions (and beware - the maps such outlets "give out" are not free). Some of these rates prominently display the rate at which they buy Czech crowns rather than the selling rate, making it appear that they offer more crowns per dollar, pound, mark or franc than they actually do. But if you need money at, say, 10pm on a Saturday, you might find no alternative to these bank-in-a-box operations." (The Prague Post - weekly)
    "Growing numbers of private exchanges, especially in Prague, are convenient but take the highest cuts; some advertise low commissions but invent their own lopsided rates." (Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit: Czech and Slovak Republics, page 58)
    "In the past 4 years, the bureau de change business has turned into one of the most profitable enterprises in Prague. ... The usual bureau rate is 8% commission, but it's sometimes possible to beat them down to 5%. Most banks ... charge a much lower commission - usually 1 - 3%." (Time Out Guide: Prague, page 5 - 7)
    "We used to have a quote about ChequePoint, a chain of bureau de changes, but they didn't like what it said and threatened to sue us." (Ivan Sever & Philip Greenspun, 6/96)


    • Postcard to U.S. 8 Kc
    • Letter to U.S. 12 Kc
    • Postcard to G.B. 6 Kc
    • Letter to G.B. 9 Kc
    (Stamps, pay-phone cards and public transportation tickets can be purchased at "Tabak" outlets)


    • Tipping: Round the restaurant bill up by about 10%
    • You have to pay to use public restrooms: Drop 2 Kc in the attendant's dish and take the strip of toilet paper. There's none inside.


    • Generally 9-6 (some with lunch breaks)
    • Banks may close at 3:30
    • Saturday: most stores close at noon
    • Sunday: almost none are open

    Time zone: GMT+1 (April-September: GMT+2)
    Voltage: 220V/50Hz
    Video System: :PAL


    "City codes begin with 0 (e.g. Prague is 02). However, the leading zero is not dialed when calling from overseas."

    • Country's Telephone Code: 420
    • Local pay phone calls: 3 Kc
      "Telephone cards can be bought at larger post offices, airports, railway stations, metro stations, big department stores, kiosks and hotels. There are 3 types: 50 'units', 100 'units' and 150 'units'"
      For all international calls from the Czech Republic: dial 00 first.
    • Call to North America: 42 Kc (first minute)
    • AT&T Operator: 00-420-00101
    • MCI Operator: 00-420-0011
    • Sprint Operator: 00-420-87187
    • Bell Canada Operator: 00-420-00151

      Notes on Cellular Telephones: "Your cell phone is most likely 800MHz. In the Czech Republic, the current standard is 450MHz. Therefore, there is no chance that it would work over there. The only provider in the Czech Rep. is Eurotel. The connection fees, the phone (about $1000 US), a phone number and the connection, according to some friends, will cost around $1500 US. (Just passing on what I heard)".
      "Starting in July 1996, there will be a second cellular network available in larger cities and along the main highways, gradually covering up to 90% of the country. This system will use the European GSM standard. It will first be operated by Eurotel and later also by Radiomobil.
      "Current price of 1 unit (30secs) on GSM phones is 9 Kc (US$ 0.30) for EuroTel cellular phones and between 2 Kc (US$ 0.07 - from 22:00 to 6:00) and 8 Kc (US$ 0.28 - 12:00-18:00) for RadioMobil phones. "

    • Beeper services are available in the Czech Republic through:
      • Radiokontakt Operator a.s.,Skokanska 1,169 00 Prague 6,Tel:[420-2] 341-004, 323-434 (Czech only!)
    • EUnet/Internet service providers in Prague

    Cybeteria: Stepanska 18, Praha 1 http://www.cybeteria.cz (about US$ 3.50/hour + the cup of coffee)


    • 4-lane highway: 110 km/h (70 mph) - from 6/97: 120 km (75 mph)
    • open roads: 90 km/h (55 mph)
    • build-up areas: 60 km/h (35 mph) - from 6/97: 50 km/h (30 mph)
    • Speeding fines: 500 Kc (payable on the spot)
    • Seat belts: Compulsory
    "The cheapest way from Canada or US to rent a car: I booked a car from 'Sixt Budget' (49/69 69-70-070) through my travel agent - Holiday House, Toronto. I got a voucher for the rental, flew to Frankfurt, Germany and picked up the car at the airport. I paid with a Gold credit card so I didn't need the Insurance Waiver. (They tried to sell me additional insurance.) I always used "The Club" Steering Lock and always parked in a well-lit place. The Astra ended up costing me only CAN $570 (US$ 420) for the whole 29 days!
    NOTE: to get these almost impossible low prices, you must prepay in your country of origin.
    (Not every rental agency allows all of its cars into former Eastern Bloc countries.
    Ask them when you book!)

    Motorists who wish to use the Czech toll-road, must also prepay ahead of time. The toll (400 Kc - about US$ 15.50), is good for one year. The fine for not displaying the toll sticker on the windshield is 5 000 Kc - about US$ 195. The stickers are available at gas stations andother retail outlets.

    "Gas/petrol (benzin) comes in 2 types: Super (96 octane) and Special (90 octane) both leaded. The unleaded, called "natural", is available at major stations and in bigger cities may come in 2 "flavors", as well. (Diesel fuel is called "nafta"). The APPROXIMATE cost per U.S. gallon is around $3.25. Remember: stations aren't as frequent as in Western Europe, many close for lunch and only some are open past 6 P.M. Get a list of 24-hour ones from Cedok!"


    • Police (tel. 158 or 2121)
    • Ambulance (tel. 155)
    • English/German Speaking Doctors in Prague:
        Praha 2, Vysehradska 35
        Mon.-Fri. 07:00-19:00
        ph: 9000-0686, ph/fax: 29-22-86, 29-89-78
        24-hours on-call service, ph: (06) 0122-5050

    National Holidays: Jan. 1; Easter Mon., May 1, May 8, July 5+6, October 28, December 24-26

    Climate: (Prague)
    Average Maximum Daily Temperatures:

    Jan: 2C (36F) May: 19 (66) Sep: 20 (68)
    Feb: 3  (37)  Jun: 22 (72) Oct: 13 (55)
    Mar: 8  (46)  Jul: 24 (75) Nov: 8 (46)
    Apr: 14 (58)  Aug: 23 (73) Dec: 3 (37)
    5-Day Forecast for Prague

    Some Airline Connections:

      Czech Airlines
      (U.S. & Canada): (800) 223-2365
      (London): 44(071) 255-1898
      Delta (800) 241-4141
    More Travel Info:
      Tatra Travel:
      212 E 51st St. NY ph. (212) 486-0533 fax: (212) 486-1150

    Rail Travel: Traveling Vienna/Prague/Frankfurt, this was the cheapest way: In Austria, I bought a ticket on the train, in schilling, to the border. Then, in Czech crowns, I paid for another ticket to the German border. When I got there, I bought a ticket from the conductor in German marks for the rest of the trip. Rail info: (02/2421-7654)

    "If you want to bring gifts for relatives, bring a 'boom-box' with a CD player or a portable CD player. These are expensive over there."

    Addresses in Prague:

    • U.S. Embassy: Trziste 15, Mala Strana (420-2/2451-0847)
    • British Embassy: Thunovska 14, Mala Strana (420-2/2451-0439)
    • Canadian Embassy: Mickiewiczova 6, Hradcany (420-2/2431-1108); Fx: (420-2/2431-0294)
    • The Czech Chamber of Commerce: Argentinska 38, Praha 7, ph: (02/6679-4111), fax: (02/6671-0805)
    • The American Chamber of Commerce: Karlovo nam. 24, Praha 1 ph: (02/299-887, 296-778), fax: (02/291-481)
    • Main Post Office: Jindrisska 14

    Some Czech Embassies:

    • US: 3900 Spring of Freedom St. NW, Wash. (202) 274-9100, fax: (202) 966-8540 or 244-2147, e-mail 72360.544@compuserve.com
    • Consulate General of the Czech Republic: 10990 Willshire Blvd., Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90024 Tel.: (310) 473-0889,9713 Fax: (310) 473-9813
    • Canada: 541 Sussex Dr. Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario (613) 562-3875, e-mail: czembc@ottawa.net

    Some visa requirements:

    • U.S: Up to 30 days not necessary (with valid passport)
    • U.K: Up to 180 days not necessary (with valid passport)
    • Australian citizens: -Visa required! (no fee)

    Entering foreigners must prove by request they have about US $20/day available for visits up to 10 days, or a fix amount of around $270 for visits lasting longer than 10 days. Foreigners under the age 18 must possess half of these amounts. Presumably, the requirement is waived for citizens of the neighboring countries.

    To obtain a trade license, at least one person in any company must speak Czech fluently. (This person must pass a proficiency test). Existing companies must comply within one year. A failed test can result in loss of the trade license. This law became effective April 1, 1996.

    Czech Tourist Authority
    • Staromestske nam. 6, Praha 1
      phone: (420/2) 2489-7390, fax: (420/2) 231-4227
      (Opening and closing times and dates of various castles, museums & sites)

    Selected regions & some cities:

  • Southern Bohemia (contact: Ferda)
    • Tabor
    • Ceske Budejovice (Budweis)
  • Western Bohemia
    • Karlovy Vary
    • Cheb
    • Plzen (Pilsen)
      American Center: Dominikanska 9, 306 25 Plzen, contact: Mr. John R. Hess,Tel.:(420/19) 353-20.
  • Northern Bohemia
    • Melnik
    • Terezin
    • Litomerice
  • Eastern Bohemia
    • Kutna Hora - about 70 km (44 miles) east of Prague. (There is the "Bone Church" in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora. The All Saint's Cemetery Chapel is decorated with the bones of some 40000 people. It came into being in the 14th century, when development forced the clearing of a nearby graveyard. Monks of the Cistercian order came up with the bright idea of using the bones for decoration. The most recent additions date from the end of the last century.)
    • Hradec Kralove
  • Moravia
    • Brno
    • Jihlava ("Having spent six months in Jihlava teaching English - I highly recommend a cafe called 'Kavarna u Frantiska' at Cajkovskeho 41. Colourful, fresh, imaginative dishes surpassed any western cuisine I tried in Prague. Meals ranged from US$1.50 - 3.50 Kc and about 40 US cents for a 'pivo' (beer). The Kvasnicka brothers have created a great place to go on a Sunday night from 7-9pm when live piano and violin accompany your meal. No cover.")
    • Znojmo
    • Mikulov
    • Moravsky Kras
    • Olomouc
  • "Off the beaten track":
    • Krkonose Mountains (Northern Bohemia)
    • Cesky Krumlov (Southern Bohemia)
      "There are at least 8 daily trains from Praha to Ceske Budejovice. (The ride takes from less than 3 hours to over 4 hours.) Then from Ceske Budejovice, take the 'Volary' train. (7 daily trains.) It will reach Cesky Krumlov in one hour."
    • One place in Bohemia that I love is a small community called Kvilda, in the Sumava Mountains. It is a wonderful place for cross-country skiing or hiking in the summer.
    • Marianske Lazne (Western Bohemia)
    • Telc (Southern Moravia)
      "There are two direct daily trains from Praha to Jihlava; both arrive in the evening. (Otherwise you have to change trains in Kolin or Havlickuv Brod.) Third train runs only on weekdays and another one only on Fridays. It takes 3 hours. The right station for this direction is Praha Masarykovo nadrazi, not Praha hlavni n. From Jihlava, go to Kostelec u Jihlavy (1/2 hour, direction Veseli nad Luznici), where you have to change again. There are 15 trains a day. The ride Kostelec u Jihlavy - Telc takes 3/4 hour and there are 10 trains running daily."

    Recommended Dining and Hotels:
    (Country's Telephone Code is 420 and the City Codes start with 0. However, when calling from overseas, don't dial the city zero!)

    • in Kutna Hora: Cafe U Hradku, Barborska 33 (0327/4277)
    • in Konopiste: restaurant Stodola, Jarkovice (0301/250-71)
    • in Trebon: restaurant Bily Konicek, Hlavni nam. (0333/2248)
    • in Cesky Krumlov: Hotel Ruze, Horni u. 153 (ph. 0337/3498) fax: (0337/3881)
      "Hotel Ruze is beautiful, though extravagent. Try staying at the "U Vodnika" hostel, owned by Cal (from Toronto) and Caroline (from Boston) - a mere US$6 a night and a great time for all ages, not just 'youths.' Also, Parkan Street which parallels the river off the Main St is crammed with pensions and private rooms."
    • in Frantiskovy Lazne: Hotel & Restaurant Slovan, Narodni 5 (0166/94-28-41)
    • in Marianske Lazne:
      • Hotel Bohemia, Hlavni tr. 100 (0165/3251) Fax: (0165/2943)
      • Dining: Koliba, Dusikova tr. (0165/5169)
      • Casino: Casino Marienbad, Anglicka 336 (0165/2056)
      • Nightclub: Hotel Golf, Zadub 55 (0165/2651)
    • in Karlovy Vary:
      • Hotel Dvorak, Nova Louka 11 (017/241-45) fax: (017/228-14)
      • Dining: Karel IV, Zamecky vrch 2 (017/272-55)
      • Restaurace Jeleni Skok (no phone-great view),
      • Casino: Lazne (017/321-00)
      • Nightclubs: Grandhotel Pupp, Mirove nam 2 (017/209-111)
      • Club Propaganda, Jaltska 7 (no phone)
    • in Teplice: KNAK Rock Club, Rooseveltovo namesti 3 (0417/232-84)
      They publish the program in the form of a booklet with reasonable info about bands and their performances. They also have theatre, movies (no Hollywood), art, etc. The club has very good reputation, Ramones played two shows in the Czech Republic, one in Prague, the other in KNAK...
    • in Cheb: Kavarna Spalicek, Hlavni nam. (no phone)
    • Plzen: Beer-hall Na Spilce, inside the Pilser Urquell brewery
    • in Litomerice: Pivnice Kalich, Lidicka 9 (no phone)
    • in Krkonose Mtns: Savoy Hotel & Restaurant, 54351 Spindleruv Mlyn (0438/935-21) fax: (0438/936-41)
    • in Litomerice: Cinska Restaurace, Mirove nam. (0419/80-30-08)

    BRNO (city phone code: 05)

    Tourist Help:

    • American-Moravian Center: Radnicka 10 (259-08)
    • Cedok:
      • Divadelni 3 ( 4221-1049)
      • Nadrazni 2a (4232-1267)
    • CKM: Ceska 11 (4232-1247)
    • monthly bulletin: KAM
    • Hotel Grand (Expensive!) Tr. Maje 18-20 (ph. 4232-1827) fax: (4221-0345)
    • Dining: Stopkova Pivnice, Ceska 5 (4221-1094)
    • Beer-hall Spalicek, Zelny trh 12 (4221-1379)
    • Casinos: Hotel Grand (see above)
      • International Hotel, Husova 16 (4212-2111)
    Some Sights:
    • Stara radnice (Old Town Hall)
    • Spilberg Castle

    Recommended Dining and Hotels in other towns in Moravia:

    • Telc:
      • Hotel & Restaurant Cerny Orel, nam. Zachariase z Hradce 7 (066/96-22-21)
      • Cukrarna U Mateje, Na baste 2 (no phone)
    • Olomouc: GrandHotel & Casino Palac, Tr. 1. maje 27 (ph.: 068/52-240-96; fax: 068/52-232-84)
    • Valtice: Hotel Hubertus, Zamek (0627/945-37)
    • Pavlov (between Mikulov & Valtice): U Venuse wine cellar, Ceska 27 (no phone)

  • Prague Tourist Information

    "Well, more than year ago, the official estimates stated that over 30,000 foreign citizens were living in Prague as long-term residents. Be prepared to bus tables or pour beer at a sports bar, or be night manager of a laundromat in between English tutoring gigs. Also be aware that rents in central parts of Prague are now comparable to those in San Francisco. Unless you have a good source of income, you'll either be living on the outskirts or sharing a 1-bedroom with 3 or 4 people."
    "BTW, a two-room flat in Vinohrady goes for 15,000 Kc/month right now. (The same flat in Smichov would go for about 8 000 Kc/month.) Meanwhile the average salary still hovers around 7,000 Kc/month. Enough to boggle the senses. Oh yeah - that 7,000 is gross, not net. And in the States, they say you are in trouble if you pay more than half your salary for rent!"

    Long Term Residency Permits:

    ("If you're going to work for an English-language school, you might not need to worry about a permit. They will help you arrange such things.")

    PRAGUE (Country phone code starting in March 1997 changed to 420. City code for Prague: 02)

    (City Codes start with 0. However, when calling from overseas, don't dial that zero!)

    • U.S. Embassy: Trziste 15, Mala Strana (ph. 2451-0847)
    • British Embassy: Thunovska 14, Mala Strana (2451-0439)
    • Canadian Embassy: Mickiewiczova 6, Hradcany (2431-1108); Fx: (2431-0294)
    • The Chamber of Commerce: Argentinska 38, Praha 7, ph: (6679-4111), fax: (6671-0805)
    • Main Post Office: Jindrisska 14
    • First Aid: Palackeho 5, Praha 1 (2422-2521)
    • 24-hour Pharmacies (rotating schedule):
      Na prikope 7, Praha 1 (2421-0229) or:
      Pod Marjankou 12, Praha 6 (35-26-41) or:
      Stefanikova 6, Praha 5 (2451-1121)
    Tourist Help:
    • Cedok: Na prikope 18 (2419-7111) Fax: (2419-7387)
    • American Express: Vaclavske nam. 56 (2421-9992) Fax: (2422-7708)
    • CKM (Student travelers): Zitna 12 (2491-5767, fax: 235-1297)
    • CSA Airline: (2481-5110)
    • CSAD-Buses: (22-14-45)
    Car Rentals:
    • Avis: (231-5515 or 284-2043)
    • Budget: (333-0777 or 231-9595, fax: 316-6727)
    • Hertz: (312-0717 or 284-2047 or 312-0717), fax (29-78-36)
    • Pragocar: (692-2875)
    • Unix: (23-36-93)
    • 24-hour Emergency Tow: (77-34-55)

    • New downtown parking system went into effect earlier this year. Parking in the 'Blue Zones' is reserved for residents only. 'Orange Zones' is limited to the maximum of 2 hours (at 10 Kc for each 15 minutes) and the 'Green Zones' for up to 6 hours (10 Kc each 30 minutes).
    • "The most convenient downtown parking is at the garage of the dept. store Kotva."

    Streetcar, Bus & Metro Tickets:

    • single trip ticket (must be purchased before boarding) : 6 Kc
      (6/96: 10 Kc tickets with unlimited transfers within one hour - or 90 minutes on evenings and weekends - become available)
    • 5-day tourist pass: 170 Kc.
    "I accidentally got a child's ticket and got busted by a plainclothes cop. They are everywhere; In three days I was stopped twice."
    "If you take the city bus to the airport, do not get off until the very last stop. The first buildings with airport signs are almost 2 miles from the international terminal"


    • AAA (ph. 6104-3399)
    • Mikrolux (35-03-20)
    • Profi (6104-5555)

    Note:"According to a new law, a cab driver can now set his/her own rates, that should be visibly posted. After the initial 20 - 30 Kc, most drivers now charge between 15 and 20 Kc/km. Insist on a meter-printed receipt before entering the cab and negotiate a fare the best you can."

    English-language newspapers and magazines:

    English-language bookstores:
    • "Big Ben Bookshop" Mala Stupartska 5, Praha 1, tel: (231-8021), fax: (231-9848). E-mail: bigben@terminal.cz
    • "The Globe" Janovskeho 14, Praha 7, ph/fax: (6671-2610), e-mail: globe@login.cz
    • "U Knihomola" Manesova 79, Praha 2 ph: (627-7767), fax (627-7769)


    NOTE: It is impossible to list every hotel and every restaurant. Rather, listed below are only those establishments at different price ranges that were recommended by fellow 'Netizens.'

    Hotel reservations are imperative!

    • over US$ 200/double w. breakfast:
      • Diplomat, Evropska 15, Praha 6 (ph. 2439-4111) fax: (331-4215)
    • US$ 150-200/double w. breakfast:
      • U Pava, U luzickeho seminare 106, Mala Strana (2451-0922), fax (53-33-79)
    • US$ 100-150/double w. breakfast:
      • Kampa, Vsehrdova 16, Praha 1 (2451-0409)
      • Pension U Raka, Cerninska 10, 118 00 Praha 1 (35-14-53), fax: (2451-0377)
        "We stayed here all 7 nights and we were _extremely_ pleased. The setting, in the Hradcany castle district, is peaceful and village-like after the crowds in the town centre; the place is a genuine designer pension, conceived by its photographer owner, with carefully chosen rustic decor and genuine antique objects. Breakfast was copious, there was a minibar and tea available every evening; the staff were very helpful, and there was a night security guard. Guests have the use of a delightful rooftop garden. We even had 2 rooms (downstairs and mezzanine), with private bathroom. It was actually very difficult to fault; well worth the money, and we'd stay there again. Thank you very much for recommending it!"
    • US$ 50 -100/double w breakfast:
      • Botel Neptun, U Ceskych lodenic, Prague 8 (ph. 6631-0134) Fax: (6631-0541)
        "It's a permanently docked boat outside the city center - It is about 5 mins walk from Metro Palmovka. Rooms with own bathroom including breakfast are about $60 single & $70 twin"
      • Hotel Central, Rybna ulice 8, 11000 Prague 1 (ph. 2481-2734; Fax: 232-8404) "This hotel has a marvelous location on a quiet side street about 5 minutes on foot from the Old Town Square. Service at the hotel, headed by English-speaking Karel Pechac is good. There's a pleasant bar adjacent to the lobby and a restaurant with a 1950s decor"
      • Hotel 16 U sv. Kateriny, Katerinska 16, Prague 2 (29-53-29; fax: 29-39-56)
        "It has the advantage of being proximate to the metro as well as the trams on Jecna, without being in the midst of all the tourists. It is a quiet block near the Botanical Garden and the medical school. I was more than willing to walk to the central areas of Nove and Stare Mesto. The facilities were quite nice (even a private terrace on our room) and the staff was most helpful in all respects."
      • Hotel Hlavkova Kolej, Jenstejnska 1, Praha 2 (29-21-39 or 29-58-23) "It is cheap, one block from the Vltava River, clean, and they have an excellent breakfast (not to mention a great little bar). They also have a 24 hour reception desk which is helpful if you don't feel like lugging your key around or you somehow get separated from your companions. Guests share bathrooms (one bathroom for every two rooms)."
      • Hotel Sax Jansky Vrsek 3, Praha 1 (ph: 53-84-22, fax: 53-84-98) "It is located just below the Castle in a quiet area. Best of all it, was off the tourist track and was mostly used by business people visiting Prague. The rooms are clean and bright with their own bathroom. The people working there were all very friendly and helpful. Breakfast is included and it was always very good and plentiful. I would recommend it to anyone."
    US$ 20-50/double w breakfast
    • Pension MAVO, Hlavni 109, 14100 Praha 4, Tel/FAX: (76-28-87)
    • Berhanu Hostel, Terronska 28, 160 00 Praha 6, TEL/FAX: (2431-1107)
    • (15 min. tram ride): Hotel Vaza, Na Petynce 45, Praha 6 (2051-3283)
    • Vlasta Kubcova, Francouzska 26, Praha 2 (74-79-07)
    • (20 min. tram ride): Pension Louda, Kubisova 10, Praha 8 (84-33-02)
    • Antonin Gemroth, U Stirky 2/2033, Praha 8 (689-8131)
    • (Metro Line C): Eva Bartlova, ul. Zateckych 7/1532, Praha 4 (429-0372 or 42-27-50)
    • Family Kos Bed & Breakfast, Celakovskeho sady 8, Praha 2 (235-53)
    (about US$ 10, w. breakfast. Shared bathrooms):
    • TJ Slavoj ("The boathouse") V Naklich 1, Praha 4 (Tel/fax: 46-00-70)
      "It was almost impossible to find from the tram stop, esp. at night. When I arrived they didn't have any beds, but they set me up in the upstairs hallway for the night on a comfy foldout until a bed became free. The groove there is to wake up at 11am run into the dining room to just make breakfast in time, eat and talk, venture into town, hit a bar for happy hour, then dinner maybe back at the hostel, then out clubbing all night....so exhausting, such fun... Some people did this for one or two months. They have Czech ladies living there doing the cooking and cleaning, and they were like Czech Moms after a while (except you couldn't understand them sometimes :) So cheap and warm and friendly.... a great place!"
    Student Dorms:
    • Universitas-tour: Opletalova 38 (26-04-26) fax: (242-2250)
    • Welcome hostel: kolej V. Sinkule, Zikova 13, Praha 6
    FURTHERMORE: AVE, Hlavni nadrazi, Praha 2, (phone 2422-3226, fax 2422-3463), PragoCongress (20-24-19), HELLO, Senovazne namesti 3, Praha 1 (2421-2741), PIS, utvar Pragotur, U Obecniho domu 2, Praha 1, (phone 26-40-22, fax 2481-1651) all offer room-finding services. Most will have photos of the room and show you where the place is on the map. Then, book for ONE NIGHT ONLY. If you like the place, make your reservations directly with the place you are staying. It'll cost you half as much. Check with CKM at Zitna 9 (ph. 2491-0457) on the latest on hostels & dorms. Private accommodations offered at train stations are plentiful and generally safe. THE NUMBER OF PLACES ADVERTISING ACCOMMODATIONS ("zimmer frei") IS ASTOUNDING!


    • Expensive:
      • U Mecenase, Malostranske nam. 10, Mala Strana (53-38-81)
      • Lobkovicka vinarna, Vlasska 17, Mala Strana (53-01-85)
      • Penguin, Zborovska 5, Praha 5 (54-56-60)
    • Moderate:
      • U Lorety, Loretanske nam. 8, Hradcany (53-13-95)
        "Conveniently positioned next to the Loreto convent. Affable management, comfortable furnishings, spacious, clean. Fare straightforward, but decent. Excellent place to eat outside in the summer."
      • U tri houslicek (The Three Violins), Nerudova 12, Mala Strana (53-50-11)
        "In one of Nerudova's most distinguished buildings. Recently refurbished with rustic decor. Prompt service; clean; tasty cheese fritters."
    • Inexpensive:
      • Deminka, Skretova 1, Praha 2 (2422-3383)
      • U Koleje, Slavikova 24, Praha 2 (627-4163)
      • the Goldex, Vinohradska 25, Praha 2 (2421-8386)
        "nice place...friendly service, fairly classy, excellent food... for the four of us, including drinks and wine, the tab was 780 Kc...(about US$ 30)"
    • Some lunch, snack and people-watching joints:
      • Tchibo (Staromestske nam. 6)
      • U Golema (Maislova 8)
      • N.Y. Pizza (Martinska 2)
      • The Globe Bookstore & Coffeehouse Janovskeho 14, Prague 7 tel/fax 6671-2610 e-mail: globe@login.cz
    • "And if anyone wants a U.S. style pizza delivered in Prague, they can call 'Chicago's Famous Pizza Company' (316-4242)"
    • "Country Life" (Melantrichova 15) Note: Closed Saturday.
    • Actually, a very good thing to do is to go to the American Express location and buy a small book that they have there. It was written for Amex by expat Americans, who are vegetarian and living in Prague. It's called "Prague Naturally".
    Pubs near the city center:
    • U Medvidku (235-8904)
    • U Vejvodu (2421-0591)
    • U Zlateho Tygra (2422-9020)
    "Hostinec, translates roughly as a 'neighborhood pub'. If you go off the tourist path into the neighborhoods and see this usually green sign, it'll mean a good, cheap experience in drinking beer and eating gulas. HOWEVER: these pubs are very smoky, often loud, English is rarely spoken, and you share a table with regulars. 'Restaurace' is a step up, with less smoke and noise and (maybe) better food."


    "Hradcany Castle is the number one attraction in Prague. It is smaller than other tourist attractions and therefore, it gets very crowded. The secret is to visit before the other tourists arrive. Although the museums, cathedral, and other sites open at 9 or 10 o'clock, the castle itself opens at 6 am. So if you arrive by 8, you should have enough time to see and photograph the outside of the Sv. Vit (St. Guy) Cathedral, Sv. Jiri (St. George) statue, Zlata Ulicka (Golden Lane), etc. Be ready to enter Sv. Vit at 8:50, since about a dozen 30-member guided tourist groups will arrive 5 minutes before the 9 o'clock opening. Do likewise for the museums that open at 10."

    "Even if you have only a passing interest in modern architecture, it's worth seeking out the Cubist Villas, when you make the trek to the Vysehrad Fortress. They are located on Neklanova St., #2 and 30 and along the Rasinovo nabr. (embankment) around the corner. (Look for the "Kovarovicova vila" and the "rodinny trojdum" further along.)

    "In front of the Panna Marie Snezna church in Jungmannovo nam. is the finest (and only) example of a Cubist Lampost anywhere in the world. And the best view is from the 3rd floor of the Bata shoe store."

    "We went on a day trip to two castles (Konopiste and Karlstejn), supposedly organized by Premiant City Tours. The price was about US$63.00/person. We bought the tickets at the tourist information centre in Old Town Square. We duly showed up only to be shooed away to the booth of another company (Prague Sightseeing Tours - Welcome Touristic Praha), who exchanged our original tickets for others bearing their own company's name. The bus departed an hour late. The standard offered by the guide was, to the say the least, slipshod; neither of his two 'main' languages (English and Italian) was exactly perfect. When we arrived at the Karlstejn car park (about 3.30 p.m.) he announced that 'as the company had an evening programme, he couldn't afford to be late, so anyone who arrived back at the car park later than 5.35 would be left behind. The station was to the left, and there were trains to Prague every hour'. We do not feel attitudes like this are acceptable. The official guide at Konopiste, who showed us round in English, was also substandard. One wonders if they would respond to any complaint, as the tour was 'officially' organized by Premiant. What is behind this peculiar collusion (?) between officially separate companies? Anyway, next time we visit Czech castles we will make our own arrangements!"


    Upcoming events:

    Prague Information Service (IN CZECH ONLY):
    Staromestske nam 22, Na prikope 20 or Betlemske namesti 2 (phone: 26-40-22)
    e-mail: pis@dial-up.cz


    • Ticketpro
      Salvatorska 10, 110 00 Praha 1 (tel: 2481-4020, fax: 2481-4021)
      Email: ticketpro@bsdi.infima.cz
    • Bohemia Tickets International (2422-7253)
    • Obecni dum (232-5858)
    • Villa Bertramka (54-38-93)
    • Narodni divadlo (2491-3437)
    • Stavovske divadlo (2421-5001)
    "Opera is cheap, plentiful, and at least competent. Two companies, three houses. Same ticket for which the exchange charges 550 Kc can be had for 260 Kc at the venue's box office. For 80 Kc, the truly budget conscious can sit in second balcony which is closer to the stage than in an oversized US opera hall like the Met. 10 Kc gets you standing room, but in almost all cases you will end up sitting in a good seat, because the halls are not sold out and the attendants don't care if you fill the empty seats. Both companies are repertory, meaning in a two week period you should have a choice of 15 or more operas, including something by Mozart in the hall that premiered Don Giovanni."


    • Laterna Magika (2491-4129)
    • Gag Studio (26-54-36)
    • Lucerna Palace (2421-2003) and Bar (2421-1170)
    • Variete Praga (235-0861)
    English language theater:
    • Misery Loves Company: Celetna 17 (231-8595)
    American-style bars:
    • Jo's Bar: Malostranske nam 7 (530-941 or 531-251)
    • Piano Bar (Hotel Palace: 2409-3111)
    Casinos: In Hotels Forum, Ambassador, Palace and Jalta

    Jazz: Reduta(2491-2246), Agharta (2421-2914)

    Rock (& Other) Clubs:

    • Palac Akropolis: Kubelikova 27, Praha 3
    • Radost FX: Belehradska 120 (25-69-98)
    • RC Bunkr: Lodecka 7 ( ph. & fax: 231-4535)
    • Kamyk: nabr. Ludvika Svobody (232-7334)
    • Lavka (2421-4797), Classic Club (231-9473), Rock Cafe (20-38-25), Strahov 007 (no phone), Malostranska Beseda (53-90-24), Belmondo Revival (755-1081)
    • PLANET ALFA RAVES, Vaclavske Namesti 17, Praha. Party info line (02) 794-0123 They hold raves once a week (Thursday nights)
    Latino (Salsa & Afro/Cuban) Dancing:
    • Klub Hvezda
      Zvonickova 5
      "ask for Block 2", Praha 6 - Petriny
      Tram 1,2,18,56,8,22,5
      Tel. 3805 387
      Salsa every Friday Night

    • La Bodeguita de Praha
      Underneath the Hotel President
      Salsa every Saturday Night

    • Novotneho Lavka 9
      Praha 1
      Tel.2108 2208, 2108 2357
      Just across the Charles Bridge, on the Old Town Side. Salsa dancing every Saturday evening, starting at 21.30, until next morning. Chic place to dance. Be there early to gather a seat. The rest of the locale is a restaurant with people watching, and is quite crowded. There is enough place to dance, though.

    • U Maleho Glena
      near Malostranske nam
      Latin DJ every Friday Night (with exceptions)

  • Read a review of Prague's gay scene here.

  • Other Sources of Information

    • Radio Prague's daily news in 5 languages
    • The World Factbook 1995 - Czech Republic
      (direct link to the CIA WWW site)
    • USENET newsgroup: soc.culture.czecho-slovak
      (naive and/or silly queries are usually passionately flamed or ridiculed)
    • Fodor's travel guides
      (traditional) Publisher: 201 E. 50th St. N.Y. 10022
    • Frommer's (middle of the road) and Baedeker's (good graphics, maps; more expensive book) travel guides
      Publisher for both: Prentice Hall, 15 Columbus Circle, N.Y.10023
    • The Rough Guide by Rob Humphreys
      (good details on many sights) Publisher: Rough Guides, Ltd.,1 Mercer St. London, WC2H 9OJ
    • "Let's Go..." series
      (youth hostels & student accommodations) Publisher: 1 Story St., Cambridge, MA 02138
    • Czech & Slovak Republics Guide by Open Road Publishing
      "A simple but complete straight-ahead guide to both countries. Instead of glossy pictures you get opinions ('The Best Places' or 'How to Get Along') and instead of fancy fold-outs, you get valuable descriptions of hundreds of hotels and restaurants even outside of Prague."
      PRAGUE,first American ed. 1994,ISBN 1-56458-503-4, $22.95
      "Each area of the city is given its own section in the book and has a map of it's own. Every page has color photographs and there is a time line so one can tour each section of the city and follow the art, architecture and artifacts of every historical period. It also includes 4 premarked walking tours with all of the currently available information about shops and food along the way. If I could only have one of these books, this would be it."
      "William Harkins' MODERN CZECH GRAMMAR (Columbia University Press) used to be a very good textbook in the 50's. Although linguistically sound it is antiquated in many ways. Most universities now use Michael Heim's 'CONTEMPORARY CZECH,' Slavica Publishers, 1982."
      "Speak and Read Essential Czech" (5 cassettes) Pimsleur International (800) 628-2597
      "An excellent repeat-after-me program you can do while driving, jogging or exercising. It will provide you with the essential language survival skills before you go there. And the "natives" appreciate that. :-)"
      "I just wish Pimsleur offered the higher levels In Czech that it offers in some of its other languages; I'd buy them in a flash--they're great for in-car-stereo facilitated learning."
    • This is an English/Czech and Czech/English Dictionary on the Web.
    • Czech-English, Czech-German, Czech-Russian, Czech-French, Czech-Italian and Czech-Spanish interactive dictionaries are distributed by:
      ESAPO, Udolni 25, 602 00 Brno, tel/fax: 05/4221-7667.

    A multimedia CD-ROM on Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution titled 'VOICES OF DISSENT' is available from: 'MicroChronicle,' 34 Aleuian Rd. Ottawa, Canada

    Read about impressions of an American (Philip Greenspun) in Prague


    Here, you can also get information on the neighboring Slovak Republic.

    For expanded information on any of subjects plus other related topics, please visit the CZECH INFO CENTER.

    A useful phrase: "Dekuju, Ivane" - Thank you, Ivan ;-)

    Disclaimer: All descriptions and opinions belong to the various members of the Internet community. I'm not responsible for any errors or omissions. You can send suggestions, corrections or additions to: sever@husc.harvard.edu

    "Ja nic - ja muzikant"