The basic facts:
|Surface ||78.864 Kmq.|
|Population ||10.251.000 inhabitants|
|Density ||130 inhab./Kmq.|
|Annual Growth ||-0,01 %|
|Urban Population ||65,5 %|
|IPG per head ||9770 $US|
|Inflation ||8,6 %|
|System ||Parliamentary Republic |
|President ||Vaclav Klaus|
|Main Cities ||Brno, Ostrava, Plzen, Olomouc, Hradec Kralove, Liberec|
|Religions ||Roman Catholic 39.2%, Protestant 4.6%, Orthodox 3%|
|Money ||koruna (Kc)|
Czech, a consonant-rich Slavic language, is among the world�s most complicated. It contains sounds quite difficult for English speakers to produce. However, a growing number of young people, business people, politicians and shopkeepers in Prague speak English (particularly in the city�s centre). Many, especially the older generations, also speak German.
Many guidebooks to Prague use English-language names for sights around town. This is helpful, but can be confusing when maps and street signs use the Czech spellings. Here are the most common translations you'll see:
Old Town = Stare Mesto
Prague Castle = Hradcany
Charles Bridge = Karluv most
National Theatre = Narodni divadlo
Main Station = Hlavni nadrazi (hl.n.)
Wenceslas Square = Vaclavske namesti
Old Town Square = Staromestske namesti
Lesser Town = Mala Strana
Most Czechs are aware that their language is a nightmare for foreigners, but a well-timed word or two might reward you with a smile if not noticeably better service, and --who knows -- it may open a few cultural doors.
|English ||Czech ||Pronunciation |
|Please ||Prosim ||PRO-seem |
|Thank you ||Dekuji ||D'-e-kwee-ee |
|Yes ||Ano (or "no") ||AW-no |
|No ||Ne ||neh |
|Hello ||Dobry den ||DOE-bree-den |
|Goodbye ||Na shledanou ||NA SKLE-dawn-o |
|Do you speak English? ||Mluvite anglicky? ||MLOO-vee-tay awn-GLITS-kee? |
|One ||Jeden, Jedna, Jedno ||YED-en, YED-na, YED-no|
|Excuse me ||Prominte ||Pro-MIN-tay |
|Where is ...? ||Kde je...? ||GDAY ye ... ? |
|Where is the metro? ||Kde je metro? ||GDAY ye metro? |
|Where is the bathroom? ||Kde jsou toalety? ||GDAY sow TOWA-aletty? |
|One beer. ||Jedno pivo. ||YED-no pi-vo. |
|please ||prosim ||PRO-seem |
|Another, please. ||Jeste jedno, prosim ||YESH-ty-e, YED-no, PRO-seem. |
|How much does it cost? ||Kolik to stoji? ||Koe-LEEK toe STOY yee? |
According to the most recent census, in 1991, the Czech Republic has a population of 10.3million, or 131 per sq km.Like the Slovaks and Russians, Czechs belong to the Slavic group of peoples, which is divided into East,West and South Slavs. Poles, Czechs, Slovaks and Luatians, belong to the West Slav group.
Romanies, or Gypsies one of the most conspicuous minorities, are thought to be descended from migrants from India in the 15th century. They have always experienced particular hostility in central Europe, which now seems to be on the increase. Their numbers here have increased sharply since the 1950s, both from births and from migration into the republic for work. The Communist government tried to integrate them into Czech society, with mixed success.
There is a small Vietnamese minority, originally brought here as guest workers. They have also faced racism and claim to be underpaid. Their future is uncertain as the government would like to see most of them return to their homeland.
The estimated 1992 population of the capital, Prague was 1 212 000. The other big cities were Brno 392 600, Ostrava 331 500 and Plzen 175 000.
The Czech unit of currency is the crown (korun or koruna, abbreviated
Kc) and the heller (haler or haleru, abbreviated hl). One hundred
hellers equal one crown. Banknotes come in denominations of 20,
50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 crowns. Coins are available
in values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 crowns, as well as 50 hellers.
While the Czech currency is floating and could increase or decrease
at any time, it rarely falls below a rate of 25 Kc to one US dollar.
For exact currency rates use the currency convertor on the homepage
What's the best way to change money? The best option is usually one of the major banks, which generally charge the lowest commissions (about 2 percent with a minimum transaction). For smaller amounts, the charge can go up dramatically. Visitors with American Express travelers cheques can redeem them at the American Express office for local currency at full value, with no commission charged.
The many "exchange" outlets around Prague may be convenient, but they tend to charge higher commissions, which can sometimes be misleading or surreptitiously loaded with hidden costs (such as the city map that you thought was free).
One caveat: Do not change money with strangers on the street. It is illegal and you could end up with a handful of worthless paper.
One of the unpleasant risks travelers take is the possibility of becoming ill in a foreign country.
In case of a real emergency you should call for an ambulance. Dial 155. No card or coin is needed for this number from a pay phone. If you don't speak Czech it would be a good idea to have someone who does act as an interpreter.
If you don't need an ambulance but need to get to the hospital, take a taxi to Na Homolce Hospital in Prague 5. The foreigner's clinic there will be able to provide a physician who speaks English.
If your medical problem isn't an emergency, Prague is now home to several clinics that cater to English-speaking clients and which, for a fee, can provide a network of services from a simple examination to accompanying a patient to the hospital.
To buy even a simple aspirin, it is necessary to go a pharmacy, or lekarna. One good, convenient lekarna is at the top of Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske nam. 64, open Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to noon and 2-4 p.m.) Pharmacies that stay open 24 hours a day are listed near the front of the yellow pages phone directory under Lekarny s nepretrzitou pohotovostni sluzbou. One 24-hour pharmacy near the centre is Lekarna U Andela, Stefanikova 6, Prague 5, near the Andel metro stop (Tel. 53 70 39 or 5732 0918).
American Medical Center: 220 80 77 56
Canadian Medical Center: 235 360 133
First Medical Clinic: 224 923 801
Na Homolce Hospital Polyclinic for Foreigners: 257 211 111
Dental Emergencies: 224 22 76 63
Health centre Prague, s.r.o.: 224 22 00 40
Cold winters, warm summers; springs and summers are the wettest seasons, yet with somewhat more sunny days than in Western Europe.
24-34ºFahrenheit/ -5 to 1ºCelsius;
24-37ºF/ -5 to 3ºC;
30-47ºF/ -1 to 8ºC;
30-38ºF/ -1 to 3ºC.
For the weather forecast go to the Yahoo weather forecast for Prague.
January 1 - New Years�s Day
May 1 - Labour Day
May 8 - Day of Liberation from Fascism
June 5 - Day of the Slavic Apostles Constantin and Methodius
June 6 - Jan Hus�s Day
October 28 - Independence Day
December 24 - Christmas Eve
December 25 and 26 - Christmas Holidays
Important phone numbers
When calling Prague from outside the country, you must first dial
the country code, 420, before the local number. (Note that 420 has
been changed from the old country code, 42.)
; fire 150
; ambulance 155
English is not likely to be spoken at these numbers, and there are no equivalent numbers for English speakers.
To reach the foreigners� medical clinic, call 5292-2146 days or 5292-2191 nights (4 pm-7 am). The service operates 24 hours a day, and English-speaking staff are usually on duty.
The American Medical Center is at Janovskeho 48, phone 8075-7658.
The following are some of the embassies
located in Prague:
Algeria Prague 6, Na Marne 16,
Argentina Prague 1, Washingtonova 25,
Austria Prague 5, Victora Huga 10,
Belarus Prague 7, Sadky Troja,
Belgium Prague 1, Valdstejnska 6,
Bulgaria Prague 1, Krakovska 6,
Canada Prague 6, Mickiewiczova 6,
Croatia Prague 6, V Pruhledu 9,
China Prague 6, Pelleova 22,
Chile Prague 6, U Vorliku 623/4,
Denmark Prague 1, Maltezke namesti 5,
Egypt Prague 6, Pelleova 14,
Finland Prague 1, Hellichova 1,
France Prague 1, Velkoprerovske namesti 2,
Germany Prague 1, Vlasska 19,
Greece Prague 6, Na Orechovce 19,
Hungary Prague 7, Badeniho 1,
Iceland Prague 1, Karlova 20,
India Prague 1, Valdstejnska 6,
Iran Prague 6, Na Zatorce 18,
Iraq Prague 6, Na Zatorce 10,
Ireland Prague 1, Trziste 13,
Israel Prague 7, Badeniho 2,
Italy Prague 1, Nerudova 20,
Japan Prague 1, Maltezke namesti 6,
Korea Prague 5, U Mrazovky 17,
Kuwait Prague 6, Pod Kastany 2,
Lebanon Prague 1, Masarykovo nabrezi 14,
Morocco Prague 6, Ke Staremu Bubenci 4,
Mexico Prague 7, Nad Kazankou 8,
Netherlands Prague 6, Gotthardska 6/27,
Norway Prague 6, Na Orechovce 69,
Palestina Prague 6, Na Orechovce 4,
Peru Prague 3, Hradecka 18,
Poland Prague 1, Valdstejnska 8,
Portugal Prague 5, Namesti Kinskych 7,
Russia Prague 6, Pod Kastany 1,
Romania Prague 1, Nerudova 5,
South Africa Prague 10, Ruska 65,
Slovakia Prague 6, Pod Hradbami 1,
Slovenia Prague 6, Pod Hradbami 15,
Spain Prague 6, Pevnostni 9,
Sweden Prague 1, Uvoz 13,
Switzerland Prague 6, Pevnostni 7,
Thailand Prague 6, R. Rolanda 3,
Tunisia Prague 7, Sadky 642/12,
Turkey Prague 6, Pevnostni 3,
United Kingdom Prague 1, Thunovska 14,
United States Prague 1, Trziste 15,
Venezuela Prague 5, Janackovo nabrezi 49,
Vietnam Prague 5, Holeckova 6,
Yugoslavia Prague 1, Mostecka 15,
Making phone calls
Phone calls can be made using coins -- 4 Kc is the minimum for a local call - or telephone cards, which can be purchased at most post offices and newspaper stands. Phone cards come with different levels of phone-time credit and vary in cost. If you're only planning on making a couple of local calls you may just decide to use the coin-operated pay phones.
Making a call on a card phone is simple: Pick up the receiver, insert the card and dial. The units of phone time count down after you are connected.
Coin-operated phones (motto: "Keep the change") often don't return your crowns if your call does not go through.
There is a plenty of newspaper in the Czech Republic, but not too
many in english. The best English speaking newspaper is The
The same situation, many czech, few english speaking.
BBC: MHz 12.09 9.410 6.195 3.955
Voice of America: MHz 15.20 9.760 6.040 5.995
Are you missing some important information here? Let us know.