Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic and fourteenth-largest city in the European Union. It is also historical capital of Bohemia proper. Situated in the centre of Europe on the Vltava river, is a pre-eminent city as it combines the character of a modern city with tradition-based values.
Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of twentieth century Europe. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square, the Jewish Quarter, the Lennon Wall, and Petřín hill. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The city boasts more than ten major museums, along with countless theatres, galleries, cinemas, and other historical exhibits. A modern public transportation system connects the city. Also, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University. Prague is classified as a Beta+ global city according to GaWC studies, comparable to Berlin, Rome, or Houston. Its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination, and the city receives more than 4.1 million international visitors annually, as of 2009[update]. In 2011, Prague was the sixth-most-visited city in Europe.
Travelling by plane
The modern city airport, Ruzyně, is situated about 20 km northwest of the city centre. There are direct flights from most major European cities. Facilities in the main building include a 24-hour money exchange office, a few ATMs, fast food places, several travel and accommodation agencies, rental car companies, a post office. There is also a 24-hour left luggage service in the Arrival Hall.
Getting to the city centre:
Timetables are available at the airport information office in the main hall or on www.dp-praha.cz.
Bus & Underground
Catch a bus No 119 or No 254 from the airport to Dejvická metro station, then follow a green line (A) of underground railway to the centre (stations Můstek or Muzeum). The trip takes about 45 minutes.
Bus & Tram
Bus No 100 will take you from the airport to Zličín – the underground terminal stop of the yellow line (B) that leads to the town centre (Náměstí Republiky station). Catch night bus No 510 (between midnight and 3.30) to the tram-bound at Divoká Šárka, then go by tram No 51 to Dejvická metro station or further to the city centre (Náměstí Republiky).
There are vans operated by Cedaz running from the airport (6 am – 9 pm) to Náměstí Republiky every 30 minutes for 90 Kč per person. Departure from Náměstí Republiky is between 5.30 am and 9.30 pm. Transport to any place of customer's wish within Prague is also possible: for 360 Kč (1-4 persons), 720 Kč (5 and more persons).
Depending on the destination, a trip to the city costs up to 700 Kč per 2-3 persons Before entering the car check the price with the driver. It is not recommended to except a price over 700 Kč.
Travelling by train
Domestic services are provided by ČD (Czech Railways). There are number of daily connections to Prague from major European cities.
Train Stations: Hlavní nádraží is the biggest and busiest railway station in Prague. There are a 24 hour left-luggage service, food stalls, information and booking offices. Other train stations in Prague: Masarykovo nádraží, Holešovice Station, Smíchov Station.
A supplement for fast express trains (rychlík) has to be paid. It is possible to buy plain tickets (jízdenka) or tickets with reservation (místenka) for a seat, couchette or sleeper. It is necessary to make a reservation on the train marked with boxed or circled “R”, an “R” without a box means a reservation is recommended.
Information on rail connections are available on Tel: +420 224 224 200 or online www.cdrail.cz
Travelling by car
Only people older than 18 are allowed to drive a car in the Czech Republic. Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory, children under the age of 12 have to sit at the back. After a consumption of any alcohol driving is illegal. Most foreign driving licences are honoured, Australian and New Zealand drivers should get an International Driving Licence.
If entering the Czech Republic by car you will need:
- a valid driving licence
- a vehicle registration card
- a hire certification
- Green Card (an international motoring certificate for insurance)
- a highway sticker (can be purchased at the border).
Other items you will have to carry at all times are: a first-aid kit, a set of replacement bulbs, a spare tire, red warning triangles.
The speed limit is:
- 130 km/h (81 mph) on motorways
- 90 km/h (56 mph) on dual and single carriageways
- 50 km/h (31 mph) in urban areas.
Relaying on car in Prague is not advisable, as it is very difficult to find a suitable parking place and break-ins are very common. Only residents having a parking card can park their cars in the central area of Prague. If you happen to visit Prague by car, the best places to leave your car are guarded parking lots, especially the underground ones. New or expensive cars are vulnerable to break-ins, so do not leave anything valuable inside the car visible from outside, including car radios. They get stolen quite often.
Travelling by coach
The city main bus terminal is Florenc situated on the eastern edge of the New Town easily accessible by tube (yellow line B and red line C) and trams. The majority of internal coaches are run by ČSAD. Information on bus connection is available on www.jizdnirady.cz Numerous international coach services are run by Bohemia Euroexpress International (Křižíkova 4-6, Prague 8 - Florenc, Tel: +420 224 814 450, +420 224 218 680, www.bei.cz).
Generally, coach travel is cheap but long distance travelling can be uncomfortable and slower than going by train or plane. To make sure you get a seat it is advisable to obtain your tickets in advance.
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