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The Rough Guide to Prague (Travel Guide eBook)

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Discover Prague with the most knowledgeable and entertaining guidebook on the market. Whether you plan to explore the hidden gems of the Old Town, sightsee by tram or simply enjoy the best beer in the world, The Rough Guide to Prague will show you ideal places to sleep, eat, drink, relax and shop along the way.
Inside The Rough Guide to Prague
- Independent, trusted reviews written in Rough Guides' trademark blend of humour, honesty and insight, to help you get the most out of your visit, with options to suit every budget.
- Full-colour maps throughout - navigate the winding cobbled streets of the Old Town as well as the metro, tram and bus systems without needing to get online.
- Stunning, inspirational images
- Itineraries - carefully planned, themed routes to help you organize your trip and see the very best of the city.
- Detailed coverage - whether negotiating the twisting lanes of the centre or on a day-trip to the magnificent Karlštejn Castle, this travel guide has in-depth practical advice for every step of the way. Areas covered: Hradcany, Malá Strana, Staré Mesto, Josefov, Nové Mesto, Vyšehrad and the eastern suburbs, Holešovice and the western suburbs, day-trips to Melník, Terezín and Kutná Hora, Konopište chateau, Karlštejn Castle and Lidice. Attractions include: Wenceslas Square, astronomical clock, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Old Town Square) Obecní Dum, Trade Fair Palace, UPM, Petrín.
- Listings - a rundown of the best accommodation (from budget to luxury), cafés and restaurants, pubs and bars, plus clubs and live music, the arts, shopping and sports.
- Basics - essential pre-departure practical information including getting there, local transport, a new city tours section, the media, festivals, entry requirements, public holidays and more.
- Background information - a Contexts chapter devoted to history, Prague personalities, and books, plus a handy language section and glossary.
Make the Most of Your Time on Earth with the Rough Guide to Prague

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 04 January 2018
Reads 0
EAN13 9780241343920
Language English
Document size 23 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0027€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.


E
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Y
PRAGUE

F
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S
O
M

THE ROUGH GUIDE TO
PRAGUE
FULLY
UPDATED
10th EDITION
E
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K
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M

H
T
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N
O8
Wenceslas Square
Charles Bridge
INSIDE THIS BOOK START YOUR JOURNEY WITH ROUGH GUIDES
INTRODUCTION What to see, what not to miss, itineraries and more – everything
you need to get started
BASICS Pre-departure practical information
THE CITY Comprehensive, neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood guide to the city,
with full-colour maps featuring all the listings
DAY-TRIPS Great places to visit within a day of Prague
LISTINGS Where to sleep, eat, drink and shop, plus the best theatres, concert halls,
clubs and cinemas
CONTEXTS Prague’s history, famous personalities, recommended books and a TRUSTED TRAVEL GUIDES Since 1982, our books have helped over 40 million
useful section on the Czech language travellers explore the world with accurate, honest and informed travel writing.
MAP SECTION Detailed city plans for easy navigation
We’ve fagged up our favourite places – a perfectly sited hotel, an atmospheric café, a special
restaurant – throughout the Guide with the symbol★
Prague chapters
8 HOLEŠOVICESparta
stadiums
7 LetnáSTŘEŠOVICE
POCKET ROUGH GUIDES “Things Not To Miss” section, essential itineraries and
Pražský hrad a unique pull-out map featuring every sight and listing in the guide. Hip, handy
(Prague Castle)1 and perfect for short trips and weekend breaks.
JOSEFOV Florenc
MasarykovoHRADČANY Bus
nádraží4 stationMALÁ STRANA 3 (train station)
STARÉ MĚSTO
Praha hlavní nádraží2Petřín
(Prague main
train station)
Strahov Národní divadlo 5
stadium (National Theatre)
Národní muzeum
6(National Museum)
SMÍCHOV NOVÉ MĚSTO
VINOHRADY
N DIGITAL Choose from our
easyto-use ebooks and great-value
Snapshots to read on your tablet,
phone or e-reader.
0 250
VYŠEHRADmetres
ROUGHGUIDES.COM Buy all our
latest ebooks and get inspired 1 Hradčany 4 Josefov 7 Holešovice and the western suburbs
with travel features, quizzes 2 Malá Strana 5 Nové Město 8 Day-trips from Prague
and more.3 Staré Město 6 Vyšehrad and the eastern suburbs
Make the Most of Your Time on Earth at roughguides.com
This tenth edition published January 2018

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8THE ROUGH GUIDE TO
PRAGUE
This tenth edition updated by
Marc Di DucaINTRODUCTION 3
Contents
INTRODUCTION 4
What to see6 Things not to miss 10
When to go9Itineraries 16
BASICS18
Getting there19 The media25
Arrival21Festivals 26
City transport 22 Travel essentials27
THE GUIDE 32
1 Hradčany 32 5 Nové Město 100
2 Malá Strana 54 6 Vyšehrad and the eastern suburbs 123
3 Staré Město 68 7 Holešovice and the west 135
4 Josefov 90 8 Day-trips from Prague 151
LISTINGS 164
9Accommodation164 13 The arts 198
10Cafés and restaurants 174 14 Shopping 205
11Pubs and bars186 15 Sports 211
12Clubs and live music193
CONTEXTS215
History216Czech 248
Prague personalities 242Glossary254
Books 244
SMALL PRINT & INDEX 255
CITY PLAN 266
OPPOSITE CHARLES BRIDGE PREVIOUS PAGE MALOSTRANSKÁ METRO STATION4 INTRODUCTION
Introduction to
Prague
With almost a thousand years of architecture virtually untouched by natural
disaster or war, few other cities anywhere in Europe truly compare to Prague.
Straddling the slow-moving River Vltava, with a steep wooded hill to one
side, the city retains much of its medieval layout and the street facades
remain smothered in a rich mantle of Baroque, Rococo and Art Nouveau,
most of which successfully escaped the vanities and excesses of
twentiethcentury development.
For forty years the city lay hidden behind the Iron Curtain, seldom visited by
Westerners and preserved in the formaldehyde of Communist inertia. All that changed
with the end of totalitarian rule in 1989, and now Prague is one of the most popular
city-break destinations in Europe, with a highly developed tourist industry and a list of
attractions many other places in Central and Eastern Europe can only envy from afar.
Its emergence as one of Europe’s leading cities has come as a surprise to some – but not
the Czechs themselves. After all, Prague was at the forefront of the European
avantgarde for much of the twentieth century, boasting a Cubist movement second only to
the one in Paris and, between the wars, a modernist architectural fowering to rival
Germany’s Bauhaus.
Today Prague is back at the heart of Europe, where it has always felt it belonged – no
longer an Eastern Bloc city but a cultured Western-leaning metropolis. It is more than a
quarter of a century since the fall of Communism, and an entire generation has grown
up feeling very much part of a wider, united continent. Te Czech capital has changed in
recent years, and mostly for the better – boasting more restaurants, new hotels and
improved roads – but with the Czech koruna riding (too) high and prices rising across
the board, it is no longer the budget destination it once was. Te new-millennium stag
and hen parties may have largely moved on to pastures new – to the relief of many – but
one thing you can be sure of is that the beer is still cheaper, and better, in this beautiful
old city than anywhere else in Europe.
ABOVE STAROMĚSTSKÉ NÁMĚSTÍ (OLD TOWN SQUARE)
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6 INTRODUCTION
What to see
With a population of just one and a quarter million, Prague (Praha to the Czechs) is
relatively small as capital cities go. It originally developed as four separate self-governing
towns and a Jewish ghetto, whose individual identities and medieval street plans have
been preserved, to a greater or lesser extent, to this day. Almost everything of any
historical interest lies within these compact central districts, the majority of which are
easy to explore quickly on foot. Only in the last hundred years has Prague spread beyond
its ancient perimeter, and its suburbs now stretch across the hills for miles on every side.
Prague is divided into two unequal halves by the River Vltava. Te steeply inclined left
bank is dominated by the castle district of Hradčany, which contains the city’s most
obvious sight: Pražský hrad or Prague Castle (known simply as the Hrad in Czech), where
you’ll fnd the cathedral, the old royal palace and gardens, and a host of museums and
galleries. Squeezed between the castle hill and the river are the picturesque
seventeenthcentury palaces and crooked lanes of Malá Strana. Tis neighbourhood of hidden
courtyards and secret walled gardens is home to the Czech parliament and some embassies,
and dominated by the green dome and tower of the church of sv Mikuláš, the city’s fnest
piece of Baroque architecture. At the southern end of Malá Strana, a funicular railway
carries you away from the cramped streets to the top of Petřín hill, Prague’s most central
leafy escape, with a wonderful view across the river and historic centre.
Te city’s labyrinth of twisting streets is at its most bamboozling in the original medieval
hub of the city, Staré Město – literally, the “Old Town” – on the right bank of the Vltava.
Karlův most, or Charles Bridge, its principal link with the opposite bank, is easily the most
popular historical monument, and the best place from which to view Prague Castle. Staré
Město’s other great showpiece is its main square, Staroměstské naměstí (Old Town Square),
where you can view Prague’s famous astronomical clock and its hourly mechanical show.
Enclosed within the boundaries of Staré Město is the former Jewish quarter, or Josefov.
HISTORIC HOUSE SYMBOLS
One of the most appealing features of Prague’s old residences is that they often retain their
old house symbols, carved into the gables, on hanging wooden signs or inscribed on the
facade. The system originated in medieval times and still survives today, especially on pubs,
restaurants and hotels.
Some signs were deliberately chosen to draw custom to the business of the house, like
U zeleného hroznu (The Green Bunch of Grapes), a wine shop in the Malá Strana; others, like
U železných dveří (The Iron Door), simply referred to a distinguishing feature of the house,
often long since disappeared. Stone clocks, white Indians, golden tigers and trios of black
eagles are harder to explain, but were probably just thought up by the owners of various
long-since defunct establishments as memorable symbols for a largely illiterate populace.
In the 1770s, the imperial authorities introduced a numerical system, with each house in the
city entered onto a register according to a strict chronology. Later, however, the conventional
system of progressive street numbering was introduced, so don’t be surprised if
seventeenthcentury pubs like U medvídků (The Little Bears) have two numbers in addition to a house sign,
in this case nos. 7 and 345. The former, Habsburg, number is written on a red background; the
latter, modern, number on blue.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT CHRISTMAS MARKET, OLD TOWN SQUARE; ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK; STŘELECKÝ OSTROV8 INTRODUCTION
Te ghetto walls have long since gone and the whole area was remodelled at the turn of the
twentieth century, but various synagogues, a medieval cemetery and a town hall survive as
powerful reminders of a community that has existed here for more than a millennium.
South and east of the Old Town is the large sprawling district of Nové Město (“New
Town”), whose main arteries make up the city’s commercial and business centre. Te
heart of Nové Město is Václavské naměstí (Wenceslas Square), focus of the political
upheavals of the modern-day republic. Further afeld lie various suburbs, most of which
were developed only in the last hundred years or so. One exception is Vyšehrad, which
was among the original fortress settlements of the newly arrived Slavs more than a
thousand years ago and whose cemetery is now the fnal resting place of leading Czech
artists of the modern age, including composers Smetana and Dvořák. To the east is the
eminently desirable residential suburb of Vinohrady, peppered with gentrifed parks and
squares, and neighbouring Žižkov, whose two landmarks – the Žižkov monument and
the futuristic TV tower – are visible from far and wide.
Nineteenth-century suburbs also sprang up to the north of the city centre in Holešovice,
now home to Prague’s main modern art museum, Veletržní palác. Te area boasts two huge
swathes of greenery: the Letná plain, overlooking the city, and the Stromovka park, beyond
which lie the chateau of Troja and the zoo. Further west, leafy interwar suburbs like Dejvice
and Střešovice, dotted with modernist family villas, give an entirely diferent angle on Prague.
Prague’s outer suburbs, especially to the south where most of the population lives, are
more typical of the old Eastern Bloc, dominated by bleak high-rise housing estates known
locally as paneláky. However, once you’re clear of the city limits, sleepy, provincial Bohemia
(Čechy) makes itself felt. Many locals own a chata, or country cottage, somewhere in these
rural backwaters, and every weekend the roads are jammed with folk heading for the hills.
Few places are more than an hour from the city by public transport, however, making INTRODUCTION 9
SIGHTSEEING BY PUBLIC
TRANSPORT
If there’s one thing every visitor would like to
take home with them from Prague, it’s the
public transport system. The metro – one of
the few legacies of the Soviet period that the
locals are truly grateful for – is clean and
constantly expanding, while the much-loved
cream and red trams negotiate the city’s
cobbles and bridges with remarkable dexterity.
You can have a lot of fun with a 24-hour travel
pass (see p.22). Hopping on tram #22 from
Národní třída gets you a free tour of the city,
crossing the river, ploughing through
picturesque Malá Strana and taking on a couple
of impressive hairpin bends before ending up
outside the gates of Prague Castle. Alternatively,
for a few extra crowns, you can catch tram
#91, an old 1930s tramcar with a conductor,
which takes a circuitous route through the city
centre en route to or from Prague Castle. Travel
passes also cover the city’s funicular , which
will whisk you to the top of Petřín hill, home to
the mirror maze and miniature Eifel Tower.
Even more fun are the summer-only boat
services and tourist steamers (see p.24),
which allow a particularly relaxing way to watch
the city’s main sights slide idly by.
day-trips relatively easy. Te most popular destinations are the castles of Karlštejn and
Konopiště, both surrounded by beautiful wooded countryside. Alternatively you can head
north, away from the hills and the crowds, to the wine town of Mělník, perched high above
the confuence of the Vltava and Labe (Elbe) rivers. Further north is Terezín, the wartime
Jewish ghetto that is a living testament to the Holocaust. One of the most popular day-trips
is to the medieval silver-mining town of Kutná Hora, 60km to the east, which boasts a
glorious Gothic cathedral and a macabre ossuary.
When to go
Lying at the heart of central Europe, Prague has a continental climate: winters can be
bitterly cold, summers correspondingly baking. Te best times to visit, in terms of weather,
are late spring and early autumn. Summer in the city can be stifing, but the real reason for
avoiding the peak season is that it can get uncomfortably crowded in the centre – fnding a
place to eat in the evening, let alone securing a room, can become a trial. If you’re looking
for good weather, April is the earliest you can guarantee at least some sunny days, and
October is the last warm month. Te city looks beautiful under winter’s snowy blanket,
though it does get very cold, and it can also fall prey to “inversions”, which smother the
city in a hazy grey smog for a week or sometimes more.
LEFT SMÍCHOV10 19 THINGS NOT TO MISS
19
things not to miss
It’s not possible to see everything Prague has to ofer on a short trip – and
we don’t suggest you try. What follows is a subjective selection of the city’s
highlights, from Art Nouveau masterpieces to medieval backstreets, from
elegant pasážes to traditional pubs. All highlights are colour-coded by
chapter and have a page reference to take you straight into the Guide,
where you can fnd out more.11
STAROMĚSTSKÉ
NAMĚSTÍ (OLD
TOWN SQUARE)
Page 80
Prague’s busy showpiece
square, dominated by the Old
Town Hall, and best known
for its astronomical clock.
VELETRŽNÍ PALÁC
(TRADE FAIR
PALACE)
Page 139
The city’s main modern art
gallery is housed in a
functionalist masterpiece.
MALÁ STRANA’S
PALACE GARDENS
Page 61
Hidden behind the palaces
of Malá Strana, these
terraced gardens are the
perfect inner-city escape.
JOSEFOV
Page 90
Six synagogues, a town
hall and a medieval
cemetery survive from the
city’s fascinating former
Jewish ghetto.
OBECNÍ DŮM
Page 109
The largest and most
impressive Art Nouveau
building in Prague houses a
café, a bar, two restaurants,
exhibition spaces and a
concert hall.PUBS
Page 186
With the best beer in the world on
tap, Prague’s pubs are unmissable.
PETŘÍN
Page 66
Take the funicular up the wooded
hill of Petřín, home to a mirror
maze, an observatory and a
miniature Eifel Tower, as well as
spectacular views across Prague.
SV MIKULÁŠ
Page 58
Experience the theatre of the
High Baroque in this Malá
Strana landmark.
UPM
Page 99
Stylish applied art museum
highlighting the country’s
cultural heyday.
RIVER CRUISES
Page 24
Relax aboard a lazy paddle
steamer on the slow-fowing
River Vltava and watch the city’s
main sights foat by.
PASÁŽE SHOPPING
Page 106
Enjoy window-shopping in the
covered malls, or pasáže, on and
around Wenceslas Square.
KARLŮV MOST
(CHARLES BRIDGE)
Page 69
Prague’s exquisite medieval
stone bridge, lined with
Baroque statuary.15
VYŠEHRAD
Page 123
Leafy, riverside fortress boasting
an important cemetery and
Cubist architecture.
KARLŠTEJN CASTLE
Page 161
Fabulous treasure trove built by
Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.
NIGHTLIFE
Page 193
From DJs to Dvořák, Prague boasts
a surprisingly varied nightlife.
CAFÉ SOCIETY
Page 175
Sip your cofee in one of the
city’s grandiose cafés, and be
swept back to the turn of the
twentieth century.
VIEWS FROM THE
ASTRONOMICKÁ VĚŽ
Page 78
The central tower here provides
the best viewing gallery in the
Staré Město.
TRAMS
Page 23
No visit to Prague is complete
without a ride on one of its cute
red-and-cream trams.
PRAŽSKÝ HRAD
(PRAGUE CASTLE)
Page 33
The city’s most spectacular
landmark, home to the cathedral,
royal palace and a host of
museums and galleries.16 ITINERARIES
Itineraries
From the Hrad to Vyšehrad, Smíchov to Žižkov, the Czech capital is best
enjoyed on your own two feet. The following itineraries will give you the
essence of this beguiling city – a good pair of shoes and sense of direction
are all that’s required.
to Prague’s grandest square, where crowds of DAY ONE IN PRAGUE
visitors gather on the hour to watch the
1 Prague Castle Start at Prague’s
skylineastronomical clock do its thing. See p.80
dominating castle crammed with reminders of
3 Lunch Avoid the touristy restaurants on the country’s past. Reckon on at least half a day
Old Town Square and head to Josefov where to see everything at a gallop. See p.33
Kolonial (see p.180), U Golema (see p.180) or 2 Lunch Hradčany has limited options, so head
Kolkovna (see p.190) are popular.
downhill into Malá Strana for more choice,
4 Jewish Museum Take a whirlwind tour of perhaps a meat-heavy platter at the medieval
the synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery U krále Brabantského (see p.177), Prague’s oldest
tavern, a light snack at U knofičků (see p.176), belonging to this unique museum. See p.91
a typical Czech cukrárna, or a stylish stop at 5 Wenceslas Square Amble through the
Café de Paris (see p.176). Old Town’s crooked streets to Můstek for a
3 Sv Mikuláš Visit Prague’s premier Baroque wander up the capital’s bustling
squarechurch, not forgetting to climb the belfry from boulevard. See p.101
where the Communist secret police once spied 6 Dinner At the end of a hard day’s sightseeing,
on the US Embassy. See p.82
the beer and flling Czech dishes at the
4 Kampa island Stroll along the largest of the Novoměstský pivovar hit the spot. See p.190
Vltava’s islands to admire the view of the right
bank and Charles Bridge. See p.64 BUDGET PRAGUE
5 Petřín Take the funicular railway from Újezd Prague may no longer strictly be a budget
up Petřín hill for a clamber up the tower, a destination, but you can spend time here without
miniature version of the Eifel Tower. See p.66 putting too much pressure on your wallet.
6 Dinner The Klášterní pivovar within the Strahov 1 Hop on a tram For just the price of a 32Kč
Monastery serves hearty pub food. See p.187 ticket, tram #22 provides a top-notch sightseeing
tour. See p.23
DAY TWO IN PRAGUE
2 Malá Strana Gardens Many of Malá Strana’s
1 Charles Bridge Walk across Prague’s iconic gardens are free, including the Prague Castle
Gothic bridge, surely the fnest of its kind in Gardens (see p.45), the Valdštejnská zahrada
central and Eastern Europe. See p.69 (see p.60) and the Vojanovy sady (see p.61).
2 Old Town Square From the bridge, go with Petřín hill (see p.66) can also be seen at no
the tourist fow along the old coronation route cost – if you’re prepared to walk.
ABOVE CHARLES BRIDGE RIGHT SV MIKULÁŠ, MALÁ STRANAITINERARIES 17
3 Art Nouveau cofee stop when it reopens Lunch At a traditional cukrárna or bakery you
following a revamp. See p.108can easily put together a tasty light lunch of open
sandwiches (chlebíčky), soup and pastries for less 2 Grand Hotel Evropa Walk or take the metro
than 150Kč. U knofičků, near the lower station of to Wenceslas Square and the ornate Grand Hotel
the Petřín funicular, is superb. See p.176 Evropa. Under renovation, it is set to reopen as
4 Charles Bridge You don’t need a ticket to a swish period-piece hotel. See p.170
enjoy Prague’s top Gothic structure to the full. 3 Obecní dům Prague’s stellar Art Nouveau
Take a good look at the statue groups as you go, attraction is the handiwork of just about every
but mind the dive-bombing seagulls! See p.69 leading Czech Art Nouveau artist of the period.
5 Prague’s churches Almost all of the churches, The most illustrious of the lot is Alfons Mucha, who
including the magnifcent church of sv Jakub designed the stunning Primátorský sál. See p.109
near the Old Town Square, are free. See p.158 4 Lunch The Obecní dům is the ideal spot for
6 Astronomical clock The Apostles’ hourly show an Art Nouveau lunch, either in the Francouzská
is one of the city’s classic experiences. See p.81 restaurace (see p.182) or the cellar Plzeňská
restaurace.182), both of which are 7 Dinner Beas (see p.177) is a vegetarian
turn-of-the-twentieth-century masterpieces in
canteen where you can fll up on basmati rice
their own right.
and vegetable curry for a pittance. Otherwise
5 Mucha Museum The Primátorský sál in the pubs outside the city centre such as U Houbaře
Obecní dům is just a sample of the amazing (see p.192) do cheap evening mains.
works produced by Alfons Mucha. Get the full
ART NOUVEAU PRAGUE picture at this superb art museum. See p.108
The curvaceous sculptural decoration and foral 6 Josefov Saunter through the Old Town and
motifs of the turn-of-the-twentieth-century Art across the Old Town Square into the old Jewish
Nouveau movement had an immense efect on neighbourhood of Josefov, which has the
the art and architecture of the Czech capital. The highest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings
following itinerary ofers the highlights in a day. in the city centre. See p.90
1 7 Hlavní nádraží Take the metro to Prague’s Masarykovo nábřeží Heading south from the
main railway station, where renovation has most Legií, the embankment provides a nonstop
brought the old station building back to its parade of neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau mansions.
former glory. The Fantova kavárna will be a top Hlahol (no. 16) is the best of the lot. See p.118PRAGUE TRAM
Basics
19 Getting there
21 Arrival
22 City transport
25 The media
26 Festivals
27 Travel essentialsGETTING THERE BASICS 19
Flying time from New York direct to Prague is Getting there
about eight hours. Fares depend very much on the
Unless you’re coming from a neigh- fexibility of the ticket and on availability, with a
bouring European country, the quickest New York–Prague direct return costing $1000–1500.
and easiest way to get to Prague is by
plane. There are direct fights from just Flights from Australia and about every European capital city, with
New Zealandfight times from London just under two
hours. There are also one or two nonstop Flight times from Australia and New Zealand to
fights from North America, though you’ll Prague are twenty hours or more, depending on
get a much wider choice – and often lower routes and transfer times. There’s a wide variety of
fares – if you fy via London or another routes; those touching down in southeast Asia are
European gateway. the fastest and cheapest on average. Given the length
With most airlines, how much you pay depends of the journey, you might be better of including a
on how far in advance you book and how much night’s stopover in your itinerary – indeed, some
demand there is during that period – the earlier airlines include one in the price of the fight.
The cheapest direct scheduled fights to London you book, the cheaper the prices.
Another option, if you’re travelling from Britain are usually to be found on one of the Asian airlines.
Average return fares (including taxes) from eastern or elsewhere in Europe, is to go by train, bus or car.
These take considerably longer than a plane and gateways to London are Aus$1500–2000 in low
season (Oct–April), Aus$2000–2500 in high season may not work out that much cheaper, but it’s
undoubtedly better for the environment. (May–Sept). Fares from Perth or Darwin cost around
Aus$200 less. You’ll then need to add Aus$100–200
onto all these for the connecting fight to Prague. Flights from the UK and Ireland
Return fares from Auckland to London range
You can fy direct to Prague from many regional between NZ$2000 and NZ$3000 depending on the
season, route and carrier.airports across Britain and Ireland, including from
Bristol and Belfast, or from Dublin, Liverpool or
Birmingham. The most competitive fares are normally Trains
with the budget airlines such as Smartwings and
Jet2. If you book far enough in advance or can be You can travel by train from London to Prague
fexible about your dates, you can get returns from overnight in around twenty hours. Fares start at
London to Prague for as little as £60 (taxes included around £140 return but depend on the route you
but usually extra for luggage). From Ireland, return take and how far in advance you book. To reach
airfares start at around €80 return from Dublin. Prague by train you frst have to take the Eurostar
from London St Pancras to Paris. From there,
take  the TGV to Zurich from where there is an Flights from the US and Canada
overnight sleeper to Prague arriving around 11am
the following day. Other routes go via Brussels, Delta and Czech Airlines ofer nonstop fights from
New York to Prague. You’ll get a much wider choice Cologne and Regensburg or Munich.
Although you can crash out on the seats, it makes of fights and ticket prices, though, if you opt for an
indirect fight with one or two changes of plane, sense to book a couchette, which costs an extra £15
one way in a six-berth compartment, rising to £25 in a allowing you to depart from any number of North
American cities and travel via one of the major three-berth compartment. Couchettes are mixed-sex
and allow little privacy; for a bit more comfort, you European gateways.
A BETTER KIND OF TRAVEL
At Rough Guides we are passionately committed to travel. We believe it helps us understand
the world we live in and the people we share it with – and of course tourism is vital to many
developing economies. But the scale of modern tourism has also damaged some places
irreparably, and climate change is accelerated by most forms of transport, especially fying.
All Rough Guides’ fights are carbon-ofset, and every year we donate money to a variety of
environmental charities.BASICS GETTING THERE20
can book a bed in a single-sex two-berth sleeper for from Calais is via Brussels, Liège (Luik), Cologne (Köln),
around £50. Frankfurt, Würzburg and Nuremberg (Nürnberg),
Fares for continental rail travel are relatively fexible, entering the Czech Republic at the Waidhaus–
so it’s worth shopping around for the best deal, rather Rozvadov border crossing. Motorways in Belgium
than taking the frst ofer you fnd. Tickets are usually and Germany are free, but within the Czech Republic
valid for two months and allow as many stopovers you need to buy the relevant vignette (dálniční
as you want on the specifed route. If you’re travelling známka), a sticker available from all border crossings
with one or more companions, you may be eligible and petrol stations: a ten-day sticker costs 310Kč,
for a further discount. a month-long one costs 440Kč. If you’re travelling by
The cheapest way to book tickets is usually online, car, you’ll need proof of ownership and proof of
thirdbut you may have to use several websites to get the party insurance. You also need a red warning triangle
best deals. For more details, visit the superb website and refective jacket in case you break down, a
frst-aid kit, a set of replacement bulbs and a set of Wseat61.com.
replacement fuses, all of which are compulsory in
the Czech Republic. From 1 November until 31 March Buses
your car must be equipped with winter tyres.
One of the cheapest ways to get to Prague is by bus.
AGENTS AND OPERATORSThere are daily direct services from London’s Victoria
Station. Coaches tend to depart in the evening, ČEDOK W cedok.com. Former state-owned tourist board ofering
arriving eighteen hours or so later in Prague’s main fights, accommodation and package deals.
bus terminal, Florenc, in the early afternoon. The ebookers W ebookers.com. Low fares on an extensive selection of
journey is bearable (just about), with short breaks scheduled fights and package deals.
every three to four hours. Prices between companies Martin Randall Travel W martinrandall.com. Small-group cultural
vary only slightly; best value is Student Agency (see tours, led by experts on art, archeology or music.
opposite), who ofer a one-way ticket on their daily North South Travel W northsouthtravel.co.uk. Friendly,
service for as little as 900Kč. competitive travel agency, ofering discounted fares worldwide. Profts
are used to support projects in the developing world, especially the
promotion of sustainable tourism.Driving
STA Travel W statravel.com. Worldwide specialists in independent
With two or more passengers, driving to Prague travel; also student IDs, travel insurance, car rental, rail passes, bus tickets
can work out relatively inexpensive. However, it is and more. Good discounts for students and under-26s.
not the most relaxing option, unless you enjoy Trailfnders W trailfnders.com. One of the best-informed and most
pounding along Belgian and German motorways efcient agents for independent travellers.
for the best part of 15 hours. Travel CUTS W travelcuts.com. Canadian youth and student
Eurotunnel operates a 24-hour train service travel firm.
carrying vehicles and their passengers from Folke- USIT W usit.ie. Ireland’s main student and youth travel specialists.
stone to Calais. At peak times, services run every
RAIL CONTACTSten minutes, with the journey lasting 35 minutes.
Of-peak fares in the high season start at £150 Deutsche Bahn W bahn.com. Competitive discounted fares for any
return per vehicle (passengers included). The alter- journey from London across Europe, with very reasonable prices for
native is to catch one of the ferries between Dover journeys passing through Germany.
and Calais/Dunkirk or Newhaven and Dieppe. Prices Eurostar W eurostar.com. Latest fares and youth discounts (plus
vary enormously but if you book in advance, online booking) on the Eurostar service, plus competitive add-on fares
summer fares can be as little as £80 return per from the rest of the UK.
carload. Journey times are usually around ninety Idos W idos.cz. The most widely used online timetable in the Czech
minutes. If you’re travelling from north of London, Republic, giving train times across the continent.
it might be worth taking one of the longer ferry Man in Seat 61 W seat61.com. The world’s fnest train website, full of
journeys from Newcastle, Hull or Harwich. To fnd useful tips and links for rail travel anywhere in the world.
the cheapest fares across the Channel, check out National Rail W nationalrail.co.uk. First stop for details of all train
Wdirectferries.co.uk. travel within the UK – fares, passes, train times and delays due to
Once you’ve made it onto the Continent, you have engineering works.
some 1000km of driving ahead of you. Theoretically, Rail Europe W raileurope.co.uk. SNCF-owned information and ticket
you could make it in twelve hours solid, but realisti- agent for all European passes and journeys from London. It also has an
cally it will take you longer. The most direct route ofce at 193 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EU.ARRIVAL BASICS 21
EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES IN Train Tours 4U W traintours4u.co.uk. Rail specialist ofering
PRAGUEcompetitive prices on international tickets from the UK.
Trainseurope W trainseurope.co.uk. Agent specializing in discounted Australia Klimentská 10, Nové Město (T 221 729 260; metro
international rail travel. Náměstí Republiky).
Canada Ve Struhách 2, Dejvice (T 272 101 800, W canada.cz;
BUS CONTACTS metro Hradčanská).
Busabout W busabout.com. Busabout includes Prague (and the Ireland Tržiště 13, Malá Strana (T 257 011 280,
South Bohemian town of Český Krumlov) on its North Loop. W embassyofreland.cz; metro Malostranská).
Eurolines UK W eurolines.co.uk. Tickets can also be purchased from New Zealand Vaclavske Namesti 11, Nové Město (T 234 784 777;
any National Express agent. metro Můstek).
Student Agency W studentagency.cz. Despite the name, anyone South Africa Ruská 65, Vršovice (T 267 311 114, W saprague.cz;
can travel with this excellent Moravia-based company, which runs a very metro Flora).
cheap daily bus service between London and Prague. UK Thunovská 14, Malá Strana (T 257 402 111, W gov.uk;
metro Malostranská).
FERRY CONTACTS US Tržiště 15, Malá Strana (T 257 022 000, W usembassy.cz;
DFDS Seaways W dfdsseaways.co.uk. Newcastle to Amsterdam and metro Malostranská).
Newhaven to Dieppe.
Eurotunnel W eurotunnel.com. Folkestone to Calais through
the Tunnel. Arrival
P&O W poferries.com. Dover to Calais and Hull to Rotterdam
and Zeebrugge. Prague is one of Europe’s smaller capital
Stena Line W stenaline.co.uk. Harwich to Hook of Holland. cities, with a population of just 1.28
million. The airport lies around 10km
northwest of the city centre, with only a Entry requirements bus link or taxi to get you into town. Both
Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia and New international train stations and the main
bus terminal are linked to the centre by Zealand need only a full passport to enter the Czech
Republic. Most EU citizens can enter on their national the fast and efcient metro system.
ID cards and, as the Czech Republic is a Schengen
country, these are rarely checked on the border (but By plane
everyone must still have valid ID with them at all
times). EU citizens can stay as long as they like; US Prague’s Václav Havel Airport (Ruzyně Airport; T220
citizens, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders 111 888, Wprg.aero) is connected to the city by
can stay up to ninety days. Citizens of many other minibus, bus and taxi. The cheapest way to get into
countries require a visa, obtainable from a Czech town is on local bus #119 (daily 5am–midnight;
embassy or consulate in the country of application every 15–20min; 20min), which stops frequently and
(see Wmvcr.cz for a list). Visa requirements change terminates at Nádraží Veleslavín metro station. You
often for non-EU nationals and it is always advisable can buy your ticket from the public transport (DP)
to check the current situation. information desk in arrivals (daily 7am–10pm), or from
the nearby machines. If you’re going to use public
CZECH EMBASSIES ABROAD transport while in Prague, you might as well buy a
Australia 8 Culgoa Circuit, O’Malley, Canberra ACT (T 02 6290 pass immediately (see p.23). If you arrive between
midnight and 5am, you can catch the hourly night 1386, W mzv.cz/canberra).
Canada 251 Cooper St, Ottawa (T 613 562 3875, W mzv.cz bus #510 to Divoká Šárka, the terminus for night
tram #51, which will take you on to Národní in the /ottawa).
Ireland 57 Northumberland Rd, Ballsbridge, Dublin (T 01 668 centre of town. Another cheap alternative is Linka AE
(Airport Express), a nonstop bus shuttle to Praha 1135, W mzv.cz/Dublin).
South Africa 936 Pretorius St, Arcadia, Pretoria 0083 (T 012 431 hlavní nádraží (daily 7am–9pm; every 30min; 60Kč).
If you’re thinking of taking a taxi from the airport, 2380, W mzv.cz/Pretoria).
UK 26 Kensington Palace Gardens, London (T 020 7243 1115, make sure you choose the ofcial airport taxi
companies Taxi Praha (W mzv.cz/london). T220 414 414, Wtaxi14007.
US 3900 Spring of Freedom St NW, Washington DC (T 202 274 cz) and Fix Taxi (T220 113 892, Wairportcars.cz), as
9100, W mzv.cz/washington). Prague taxi drivers still have a reputation for wild
overcharging. Both companies have desks at arrivals BASICS CITY TRANSPORT22
and the journey to the city centre should cost City transport
around 400–500Kč.
The metro will one day be extended as far as the The centre of Prague, where most of the
airport, but this has proved a difcult project for city’s sights are concentrated, is
reasonably small and best explored on foot. the city to kick-start.
At some point, however, in order to cross
the city quickly or reach some of the By train and bus
more widely dispersed attractions, you’ll
need to use the cheap and very efcient International trains arrive either at the old Art
Nouveau Praha hlavní nádraží, on the edge of public transport system.
Nové Město and Vinohrady, or at the unprepos- The public transport network, or dopravní
sessing Nádraží Holešovice (Praha-Holešovice), podník (DP; Wdpp.cz), includes the metro, trams
which lies in an industrial suburb north of the city and buses. We’ve included a transport system
centre. At both stations you’ll fnd exchange outlets map in the Guide, and you can get a clear picture
and accommodation agencies. Both stations are on of the various lines on the city maps given out
metro lines, and Hlavní nádraží is only a fve-minute at DP ofces.
walk from Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Square).
Domestic trains usually wind up at Praha hlavní Tickets and passes
nádraží or the central Masarykovo nádraží on
Hybernská, a couple of blocks east of Náměstí Most Prague folk buy monthly passes, and to avoid
Republiky. Slower trains and various provincial having to understand the complexities of the single
services arrive at a variety of obscure suburban ticket system, you too are best of buying a travel
stations: trains from the southwest pull into Praha- pass (časová jízdenka) for either 24 hours (1 den;
Smíchov (metro Smichovské nádraží); trains from the 110Kč) or 3 days (3 dny; 310Kč); no photos or ID are
east arrive at Praha-Vysočany (metro Českomoravská); needed. Punch the ticket to validate it when you
trains from the west at Praha-Dejvice (metro frst use it. For a monthly (mesíční; 550Kč), quarterly
Hradčanská); and trains from the south very occasion - (čtvrtletní; 1480Kč) or yearly (roční; 3650Kč) pass you
ally rumble into Praha-Vršovice. need ID and a passport-sized photo. All passes are
If you’re catching a train out of Prague , don’t leave available from DP travel information ofces (see
buying your ticket until the last minute, as the queues box opposite), and the 24-hour pass is also available
can be slow, and make sure you check which station from ticket machines in metro stations.
your train is departing from. You can buy inter- Single tickets can be bought from a tobacconist
(tabák), street kiosk, newsagent, Prague City Tourism national train tickets (mezinárodní jizdenky) at either
Praha hlavní nádraží or Praha-Holešovice. ofce or any place that displays the DP sticker. If you
can’t fnd one of those outlets, you’ll need to master Virtually all long-distance international and
domestic services terminate at Prague’s main bus the complicated-looking ticket machines, found
inside all metro stations and at some bus and tram terminal, Florenc (often ÚAN Florenc in timetables;
metro Florenc), on the eastern edge of Nové Město. stops. Despite the multitude of buttons on the
machines, for a single ticket ( lístek or jízdenka) in There’s a new building with clean cafés and free
wi-f, and a less impressive old part. the two central zones (2 pásma), there are just two
WALKING TOURS
Walking tours can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short time in Prague, showing you
aspects of the city you might not notice strolling by yourself. The “free walk” concept arrived in
the city a few years ago – you tip the guide at the end if you are satisfed. However paid walks
given by professional guides are always a better option with smaller groups and no pressure at
the end to donate.
Prague Walks T 608 339 099, W praguewalks.com. Runs group Operates professionally guided walks (from 300Kč) themed around the
and private walks including themed ambles such as a Žižkov pub tour, Royal Way, beer and twentieth-century history, as well as bike and
a Communism walk and a classical music tour. Prices start at around segway tours. Note that segways were banned from the historical
500Kč per person. centre in 2016 so any tour using this mode of transport will steer well
Discover Prague T 731 067 775, W discover-prague.com. clear of the Old Town.CITY TRANSPORT BASICS 23
connecting lines at an interchange. The digital clock
TRAVEL INFORMATION
at the end of the platform tells you what time it is
OFFICES
and how long it is until the next train.
To get free maps (as well as to buy
tickets and passes), head for the DP
information ofces: By tram
Airport terminals Daily 7am–9pm. The electric tram (tramvaj) system, in operation
Anděl metro Daily 7am–9pm. since 1891, negotiates Prague’s hills and cobbles
Hradčanská metro Mon–Fri 6am–8pm, Sat 9.30am–5pm. with remarkable dexterity. Modern Škoda low-foor
Main railway station (Praha hlavní nádraží) Mon-Fri trams are being introduced, but much of the feet
6am–10pm, Sat & Sun 7am-9pm. (traditionally decked out in red and cream) dates
Můstek metro Daily 7am–9pm. back to the Communist era. After the metro, trams
Nádraží Veleslavín metro Mon–Fri 6am–8pm, Sat are the fastest and most efcient way of getting
9.30am–5pm. around (every 6–8min at peak times; every 5–15min
at other times) – timetables posted at every stop
(zastávka) list the departure times from that stop.
Note that stops are often named after the side basic choices. The 24Kč version (krátkodobá) allows
you to travel for up to thirty minutes on trams, buses streets and not the main street along which they
run. Note, too, that it is the custom for younger folk or metro. The 32Kč version (základní) is valid for
ninety minutes. Discounted tickets, or zvýhodněna, (and men of all ages) to vacate their seat when an
older woman enters the carriage.are available for children aged 6–15; under-6s travel
free. All of the above tickets are also valid on the Tram #22, which runs from Vinohrady to
Hradčany via the centre of town and Malá Strana, Petřín funicular.
To buy a ticket you must press the appropriate ofers a good way to orientate yourself and a cheap
button – press it once for one ticket, twice for two, way of sightseeing, though you should beware of
and so on, after which you insert your money. Your pickpockets. Night trams (noční tramvaje; #51–58;
change comes out with the ticket. These rather roughly every 30–40min midnight–4.30am) run
complex machines are being gradually replaced diferent routes from daytime ones; they all pass at
with vastly simpler touchscreen versions that are some point along Lazarská in Nové Město where
even appearing on board trams. When you enter you can change.
the metro, or board a tram or bus, you must
validate your ticket by placing it in one of the By bus
electronic machines to hand. There are no barriers,
but rather unpleasant plain-clothes inspectors You’ll rarely need to get on a bus (autobus) within
(revizoří) make random checks and will issue an Prague itself, since most of them keep well out of
on-the-spot fne of 800Kč to anyone caught the centre of town. If you’re intent on visiting the
without a valid ticket or pass; controllers should zoo or staying in some of the city’s more obscure
show you their ID (a small metal disc) and give you suburbs (or camping in Troja), though, you may
a receipt (paragon). need to use them: they operate similar hours to the
trams (though services are generally less frequent);
route numbers are given in the text where appro-By metro
priate. Night buses (noční autobusy; midnight–
5am) run hourly from Náměstí Republiky.Prague’s futuristic, Soviet-built metro is fast,
smooth and ultraclean (daily 5am–midnight; Outside Prague, you’re more likely to fnd
yourself using buses, though timetables are every 2min during peak hours, every 4–10min in
the evening). Its three lines intersect at various designed around the needs of commuters, and
tend to fzzle out at the weekend. Most services points in the city centre and the route plans are
easy to follow. depart from suburban bus terminals in order to
keep diesel-burning vehicles out of the city centre; Stations are fairly discreetly marked above
ground with the metro logo in green (line A), yellow buses to Lidice (see p.163), for example, depart
(line B) or red (line C). Blue line D is a work in from metro Dejvická. For most minor routes, simply
progress and will be for several years to come. Once buy your ticket from the driver; for popular
longinside the metro, it’s worth knowing that výstup distance routes, and for travel at peak times, it’s best
means exit and přestup will lead you to one of the to book your seat in advance.BASICS CITY TRANSPORT24
Bus timetables (Widos.cz) are more difcult to By ferry and boat
fgure out than train ones, as there are no maps to
help you out. In the detailed timetables displayed Though few would regard them as a part of
at  the main bus station, each service is listed the  public transport system, a handful of small
separately, so you may have to scour several time- summer ferry services ( přívoz) on the Vltava
tables before you discover when the next bus is. operate between the islands and the riverbanks
A better bet is to look at the departures and arrivals (daily 6am–10pm; every 30min). In the summer
board. Make sure you check on which day the the PPS (Pražská paroplavební společnost; T224
service runs; many run only on certain days (see box 930 017, Wparoplavba.cz) also runs regular boat
below). Minor bus stops are marked with a rusty trips on the River Vltava from just south of Jiráskův
metal sign saying zastávka. If you want to get of, say most on Rašínovo nábřeží. Three or four boats a
“Vystupuju”; “at the next stop” is “na příští zastávce”. day in summer run to Troja (see p.144) in the
northern suburbs.
The PPS also ofers boat trips around Prague on By train
board a 1930s paddle steamer. Another option is to
The most relaxing way to take a day-trip from Prague hop aboard the much smaller boats run by Pražské
Benátky/Prague-Venice (is by train (vlak), run, for the most part, by Czech T776 776 779, Wprazske
Railways (České dráhy or ČD; T221 111 122, Wcd benatky.cz), which depart year round for a
thirty.cz). Trains marked “Os” (osobní) are local services, minute meander over to the Čertovka by Kampa
which stop at just about every station; those marked island. The boats leave from the north side of Charles
“R” (rychlík or spěšný) are faster, stopping only at major Bridge on the Staré Město bank.
towns. Fast trains are further divided, in descending
order of speed, into ”SC” (SuperCity) – for which By taxi
you must pay a supplement – “EC” (EuroCity) or “IC”
(InterCity) and “Ex” (Expres). Taxis come in all shapes and sizes, and,
theoretiTo buy a ticket, simply state your destination – cally at least, are relatively cheap. However, Prague
return fares (zpáteční) are slightly less than double taxi drivers have been known to overcharge and
and two or more people travelling together get a although the situation is slightly better than it was,
discount (sleva pro skupiny). say, ffteen years ago, it does still happen, and
Large train stations have a simple airport-style regularly. Ofcially, the initial fare on the meter
arrivals and departures board, which includes infor - should be around 40Kč plus 28Kč/km within Prague
mation on delays under the heading zpoždění. and 6Kč/min waiting time. It’s far cheaper to have
Many stations have poster-style displays of arrivals your hotel or pension call a taxi for you – you then
(příjezd) and departures (odjezd), the former on qualify for a cheaper rate – than to hail one or pick
white paper, the latter on yellow, with fast trains one up at the taxi ranks. A cab company with one
printed in red. All but the smallest stations also of the best reputations in the city is AAA Taxi
have a comprehensive display of timetables; small (T14014, Waaataxi.cz), which has metered taxis
stations may simply have a board with a list of all over Prague, though they no longer operate as
departures under the title směr (direction) followed ofcial carrier to/from the airport.
by a town. Note that a platform, or nástupiště, is
usually divided into two kolej (tracks) on either side. By car
Negotiating cobbles, trams and trafc jams, and
TIMETABLE ABBREVIATIONS trying to fnd somewhere to park, makes driving by
Czech bus timetables – and to a lesser far the worst option for getting around Prague and
extent train timetables – include the this mode of transport should probably be avoided
following crucial information:
by the uninitiated. If you do have to get behind the
jezdí jen v… only running on…
wheel, bear in mind the rules of the road (even if
nejezdí v… not running on…
no one else does). This means driving on the right
(introduced by the Nazis in 1939); sticking to the Followed by a date or a symbol:
speed limit (50kph/30mph) in built-up areas; Cross or “N” Sunday
wearing a seat belt; allowing no under-12s in the “S” Saturday
front seat; and keeping headlights on at all times. Two crossed hammers Weekdays
Watch out for restricted streets (signalled by a blank THE MEDIA BASICS 25
circular sign with a red border) and give way to The Prague Post (Wpraguepost.com) is an
Englishpedestrians crossing the road when turning left or language weekly aimed at the expat community,
right, even when you’ve been given a green light; but good for visitors, too; it’s a quality paper with
drivers are also supposed to give way to pedes- strong business coverage and a useful pull-out
trians at zebra crossings, though they usually take listings section. Of the magazines, you’ll fnd the best
some persuading. You must also give way to trams, coverage of contemporary Czech politics in English
and, if there’s no safety island at a tram stop, must in  the New Presence/Přítomnost (Wpritomnost.cz), a
stop immediately and allow passengers to get on bilingual current afairs magazine, directly inspired by
and of. the Masaryk-funded Přítomnost, which was one of the
The other big nightmare is parking. There are leading periodicals of the First Republic. Various arty
three colour-coded parking zones, with pay-and- magazines run by expats have come and gone over
display meters: the orange zone allows you to park the years; it’s worth calling in at an English-language
for up to two hours; the green zone allows you up book-store (see p.208) for the latest oferings.
to six hours; the recently widely extended blue Czechs aren’t huge news readers, but there are
zone is for locals only. Illegally parked cars will either some (rather thin) newspapers on sale. Left-wing
be clamped or even towed away – if this happens, Právo, formerly the ofcial mouthpiece of the
phone Communist Party (when it was known as Rudé právo T158 to fnd out the worst. If you’re staying
outside the centre, you’ll have no problems; if you’re or “Red Justice”). Its chief competitor is Mladá fronta
Dnes, former Communist youth movement paper, at a hotel in the centre, they’ll probably have a few
parking spaces reserved for guests, though whether now a very popular right-wing daily and the
mouthyou’ll fnd one vacant is another matter. piece of oligarch populist Andrej Babiš. Lidové noviny
(the best-known samizdat or underground
publication under the Communists and the equivalent of By bike
The Times under the First Republic) is now a populist
Cycling is still seen as more of a leisure activity in centre-right daily, while the orange-coloured
the Czech Republic than a means of transport, and Hospodářské noviny is the Czech equivalent of the
in Prague the combination of hills, cobbled streets, Financial Times or Wall Street Journal. The country’s
tram lines and noxious air is enough to put most most popular newspaper is post-Communist Blesk
(Lightning), a sensationalist tabloid with lurid colour people of. Bike rental is still not that widespread,
but if you’re determined to cycle, head for City pictures, naked women and populist politics. If all
you want is yesterday’s (or, more often than not, the Bike, Králodvorská 5, Staré Město (T776 180 284,
Wcitybike-prague.com; metro Náměstí Republiky) day before yesterday’s) international sports results,
pick up a copy of the daily Sport.or Praha Bike, Dlouhá 24, Staré Město (T732 388
880, Wprahabike.cz; metro Náměstí Republiky);
both also organize group rides. A bike (kolo) needs TV and radio
a half-price ticket to travel on the metro or the train
(they’re not allowed on trams and buses); they Česká televize’s two state-owned TV channels, ČT1
travel in the guard’s van on trains, and in the last and ČT2, have both been eclipsed as far as ratings go
carriage of the metro. by the commercial channel Nova (best known for its
short-lived striptease weather programme) and, to a
lesser extent, Prima, which exists on a diet of dubbed
American imports. ČT2 is your best bet for interesting The media
music programmes and foreign flms with subtitles.
The full range of foreign newspapers is On the radio the state-run Český rozhlas
broadcasts numerous stations including ČR1 (94.6FM), sold at kiosks on Wenceslas Square and
elsewhere. They’re generally a day old, mainly made up of current afairs programmes;
but you can buy the European edition ČR2 (91.2FM), which features more magazine-style
of  the Guardian on the day of issue (it programming; and ČR3 Vltava (105FM), a culture
arrives on the streets of Prague around and arts station that plays a fair amount of classical
mid-morning), and the International music. The three top commercial channels are
Herald Tribune – which contains a distilled Evropa 2 (88.2FM), Rádio Bonton (99.7FM) and
English version of the Frankfurter Kiss 98 (98.1 FM), which dish out pop music. More
interesting is Radio 1 (91.9FM), which plays a wide A llgemeine Z eitung – is widely available
the same day. range of alternative music.