Prague, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic, Europe
Location: North-central Czech Republic on both sides of the Vltava River, Central Bohemia, Europe
Time Zone: 1 PM = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: Czech, Moravian, Slovak, German, Polish, Gypsy, and Hungarian
Elevation: 300 m (1000 ft) above sea level
Coastline: Vltava River
Climate : Winters are cold, cloudy, and humid, with little snow and ice; summers are warm and sunny.
Annual Mean Temperature: January, high of 0°C (32°F) and a low of 6°C (22°F); July, high of 24°C (76°F) and low of 56°F
Government: Mayor and a city council
Weights and measures: Metric
Monetary Units: The koruna (Kc) equals 100 haleru.
Telephone Area Codes: Country code 420; area code 02 (It is sometimes necessary to dial several times before making a connection because the system is old.)
Although the roadblocks of communism have only recently been lifted, Prague is not hard to access these days. Numerous flights, trains, and buses connect with the city every day, and the roads are getting better as the city strives to forge closer ties with the West.
Prague has been undergoing a major reconstruction project, including a redesigned highway system that will connect this "Eastern" country with the West. The speed limits have been raised to other European standards, 121 kilometers (75 miles) per hour on four-lane freeways, 88 kilometers (55 miles) per hour on open roads, and 48 kilometers (30 miles) per hour in built-up regions. Seatbelts are compulsory on all roads in Prague, a transportation system that covers over 55,557 kilometers (34,524 miles).
The city of Prague is connected to most major European centers by rail and bus, especially to locations in the Czech Republic, including Plzen, Kutná Hera, and Brno. Most trains arrive at Praha Hlavmi Nadrczi (Main Station), or Praha Holesovice, Praha Sovichori or Praha Marsarykovo Nadrezi stations. The major bus companies, CAD and the express coach of the CEBUS firm and Czech National Express, have buses running from Prague to Brno and other destinations.
The airport serving Prague and the general vicinity is Ruzyne Airport, located about 15 kilometers (9 miles) northwest of the city center. Transportation to and from the airport is provided by Cedaz shuttle bus 119, taxis, and Belinda, a private shuttle company. Air France, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Czech Airlines, Delta, Lufthansa, Sabena, Swissair, and other airlines operate at this airport.
There are three metro lines, trams, and buses that traverse Prague. Tickets can be purchased from automats, ticket booth attendants, or local Trafika shops that offer tickets good for three, seven, and 15 days. Transportation information centers are located at Karlovo Namesti, Muzeum, Mustek, and Nadrazi Holecovice metro stops. The underground operates from 5:00 AM until midnight.
Prices are not regulated for Prague taxis; therefore, rider and driver usually agree on a price before entering the car. It is necessary to call the taxi company in advance; AAA Taxi and ProfiTaxi are recommended companies.
Parks, public gardens, and a zoo adorn the city of Prague, and weekend excursions to castles and historical cities are popular. The city's many museums are accessible by bus and rail, especially close to the metro stations, and are sometimes located directly inside metro passageways. By train, one may also visit the famous Marianske Lazne spa town, a three-hour journey west from Hlavni Nadrazi train station. The Bohemian Express tour guide company organizes customized itineraries in Prague and the rest of the Czech Republic.
Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. [Online] Available http://www.vlada.cz.index.eng.htm (accessed January 7, 2000).
Official site of the Czech Republic. [Online] Available http://www.czech.cz (accessed January 7, 2000).
Prague cybercafe. [Online] Available http://www.cyberteria.cz (accessed January 7, 2000).
Prague Post. [Online] Available http://www.praguepost.cz (accessed January 7, 2000).
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
125 10 Prague 1
tel.: (12) 2418 2125
fax: (12) 2431 0018
tel.: (12) 2451-0847)
CKM: Zitna (Student Travelers)
Tel.: (12) 2491-5767
Fax: (12) 2435-1297
Prague Informtion Service (in Czech only)
Staromestske nam 22, Napikoke 20er
Betlemske nanesti 2
Tel.: (12) 264022
110 000 Praha 1
Tel.: (12) 2481-4020
Fax: (12) 2481-4021
The Prague Post
What, Where, When
The Czech Republic and Economic Transition in Eastern Europe. San Diego, Calif.: University Press.
Holy, Ladislav. The Little Czech and the Great Czech Nation: National Identity and the Post-Communist Transformation of Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
King, John and Richard Nebesky. Lonely Planet Prague. Hawthorne, Aus.: Lonely Planet, 1999.
Skalnik, Carol. The Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic: Nation vs. State. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997.