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Insider’s Tips

Electricity

220 volts, 50 cycles. Wall outlets generally take plus with two round prongs

Currency : Czech Krona.

ATMs are common in Prague and most towns in the Czech Republic, and more often than not are part of the Cirrus and Plus networks, meaning you can get cash easily. In Czech, an ATM is called a bankomat, and a PIN is also a PIN, just as in English

Time

The Czech Republic is on Central European Time (CET), one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time

Tipping

Service is not usually included in restaurant bills. In pubs or ordinary places, simply round up the bill to the next multiple of 10 (if the bill comes to 83 Kc, for example, give the waiter 90 Kc); in nicer places, 10% is considered appropriate for good food and service. Tip porters who bring bags to your rooms 40 Kc-50 Kc total. For room service, a 20 Kc tip is enough.

Shopping

The quantity and quality of products available in the Czech Republic has improved dramatically since the early 1990s. The most prominent changes are noticeable in Prague where many new hypermarkets and shopping malls have appeared in the last several years. The increased competition and consumer demand have resulted in a better selection, improving customer service and lower prices, making shopping a more enjoyable activity.

Nightlife

Prague has a rich and varied nightlife that can offer the right type of entertainment to almost anyone. While pubs and restaurants are typically closed by midnight, many bars and clubs remain open and hopping until early morning hours. You can dance all night at one of Prague’s many discos and music clubs, have a cocktail or beer at a bar, enjoy live music of all kinds…

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“Prague by Night” Dinner Cruise (4 hours)

Enjoy a popular Vltava evening cruise with dinner (guided). Includes a bus transfer to the dock with sightseeing commentary. Bookable with Citiescapes €48

Jewish Quarter

Prague has long had a Jewish Quarter. It was originally located in the Castle district but eventually spread over to the Josefov area around the 12th Century. Josefov was little more than a slum area until the end of the 19th Century. In the late 1800s large sections of the Jewish Quarter were demolished and art nouveau apartment buildings went up. Josefov is now a nice area to stroll through with a wealth of historic information on the Jewish history in Prague. The main attractions in Josefov are the Old-New Synagogue and six buildings which make up the Jewish Museum. The six sights are the Maisel Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue, Pinkas Synagogue, Old Jewish Cemetery, Ceremonial Hall, and Klaus Synagogue. These sights combine to form an incredibly moving and informative display on Jewish History in Prague and the Czech Republic.

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Strahov Monastery and Libary

The Strahov Monastery and Library (Strahovsky kláster) dates to the 12th Century and is the second oldest Monastery in Prague. Strahov Monastery is actually a collection of buildings, each with its own unique character. An imposing gateway marks the entrance to the monastery where just inside visitors will find the Church of the Assumption of our Lady (Nanebezveti Panny Marie) and the Church of St Roch (Kostel sv Roch).

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Charles Bridge

The Charles bridge (Karluv Most) boasts 32 points of interest in 520m / 1720ft. Visitors will find everything from a lucky plaque that you rub to one of the finest examples of Gothic gates, and sketch artists lining the walkway. Built in 1357 the Charles Bridge had an auspicious start. To avoid being destroyed by floods a great deal of luck was required. This luck was provided by having the initial bridge stone laid in 1357 on the 9th of July at 5:31. This date is a palindrome: 135797531. Also taken into consideration was the alignment of the bridge. It is perfectly aligned with the tomb of St Vitus and the setting sun on the equinox.

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Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall (Staromestská radnice) on Prague’s Old Town Square is no longer an administrative center. Instead, it seems the building’s main purpose is to attract tourists. Drawing the crowds, which gather around the building at the top of the hour, is the Astronomical Clock (orloj) that adorns the Old Town Hall. The Astronomical Clock was designed by Mikulás of Kadan and built in 1410. It was later redesigned in the late 1400s and the artists in charge or the reconstruction is said to have been blinded following the completion of the project. This was apparently done to prevent him from creating any replicas. On the hour the clock comes to life with the 12 Apostles and other figures that appear and parade by in procession.

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Sternberk Palace

The Sternberk Palace is considered to be the center piece of the National Gallery, housing some of its most famous artworks. The gallery’s banner is “European Art from the Classical Era to the close of the Baroque period. On display are ancient Greek and Roman pieces, and 14th to 16th Century Italian masterpieces from the Konopište Castle collection. On the second floor is where visitors will find some of the main highlights of the gallery, with 16th to 18th Century paintings by such artists as Tintoretto, Ribera, Tiepolo, El Greco, Goya, Rubens, van Dyck, Rembrandt, Hals, Terborch, Ruysdale and van Goyen. 16th to 18th Century German and Austrian art is located on the ground floor. There are also drawings, sketches, crafts, and other artworks housed at the Sternberk Palace. Entrance cost approx €8

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Prague Castle

Located in the neighborhood of Hradcany, Prague Castle (Prazsky Hrad) is the city’s mian attraction and a must see on every visitors list. Within the castle travelers will find some of Prague’s best sites, including the Cathedral of St Vitus, St George’s Basilica and convent, St George’s Basilica, the Powder Tower, the Old Royal Palace and the Golden Lane. Originally the residence of Bohemian kings, the castle is today inhabited by the Czech president. The castle is huge and is in fact known for being the largest ancient castle in the world. Allow a considerable amount of time to tour these sites, and to avoid crowds go early in the day.

Entrance cost approx €18

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