To make your stay in Prague more pleasant, we put together a few tips for daily routine.
The easiest way how to get to Prague is by plane to the Prague Airport of Václav Havel. To get to the venue, take bus 119 to Nádraží Veleslavín, then switch to Metro (line A) to Malostranská station. From there you can either walk (about 10 minutes) or take a tram (12, 15, 20, 22, or 23) to Malostranské náměstí.
If you come by train to the main railway station, take Metro line C to Muzeum, then change to line A to Malostranská. From there you can proceed as described above.
When planning your trips, Google (and similar) maps work fine, but we would also suggest using mapy.cz, which are slightly superior in local details, especially in exact locations of bus/tram stops and Metro entrances.
The local currency is called “Czech Crown” (CZK) and 1 USD or 1 EUR (which are currently almost on par) are roughly equivalent to 25 CZK. Just to give you a few ideas about regular prices:
- lunch menu in a common restaurant in Prague would be typically between 150 and 200 CZK,
- 120 CZK costs the 24h ticket for public transport,
- large beer comes at about 50 CZK (depending on the brand and the selected establishment),
- and taxi usually charges 30-40 CZK/km (plus about 50 CZK per ride)
Visa and MasterCards are widely accepted; however, some card terminals and ATMs will let you choose whether you wish to exchange the money from your currency to CZK at the terminal side. In most cases, it is best to reject this offer and let your bank handle the currency exchange as you will get a far better rate.
You can also exchange cash in an exchange office. Make sure the exchange ratio is fair and there is no commission fee before proceeding with the transaction. If you feel you did not get what you were expecting, Czech law grants you 3h period when you can abort the exchange and get your money back (hold to your receipt after the transaction). Here is an example of fair exchange ratios for various currencies.
A good piece of advice is not to conduct any sort of money-related business with strangers on the streets, that includes also changing the money for smaller or larger nominations.
Prague offers you three types of mass transport – buses, trams, and the Metro (subway). Unless you travel outside the city, you will be needing tickets for the basic zone denoted P or P0. All the trams and Metro operates in this zone, but some buses at the edge of the city can go further and cross to other zones. You can buy unified tickets in vending machines which are located in all Metro stations and selected other important locations (e.g., at the airport, railway stations, or selected tram stations). They are also sold in certain shops which typically sell newspapers and refreshments (e.g., Relay).
The tickets are time-constrained (listed prices are for zone P0):
- 30 CZK ticket = 30 minutes
- 40 CZK ticket = 90 minutes
- 120 CZK ticket = 24 hours
- 330 CZK ticket = 72 hours
You must mark the ticket in a marking machine so it becomes valid (the machine will print the current time on the ticket). Marking machines are located on every bus, every tram, and just before the escalators in the Metro stations.
We trust nothing is going to happen to you and Prague is considered to be quite a safe place. However, it is better to be prepared, so there are a few things to remember:
- 112 is the unified number for emergency calls within the whole EU (this is the number you should really remember),
- 150 is the emergency number for the fire department
- 155 is the emergency number for the health service
- 156 is the number for local (city) police (handling smaller incidents)
- 158 is the number for the state police (handling more serious crimes)
There is a popular cell phone app called Záchranka which can be used for emergency calls as well (it also relays your GPS position, thus making it quicker to locate you in distress).
When you need to quickly relay your position to the emergency services and you do not happen to have a working GPS, try to find the nearest street lamp. Each lamp has a serial number located somewhere in the height of an adult person’s eyes and the emergency services can easily translate these numbers into locations.
Despite the fact that Prague is considered safe, we would still advise you to exercise general caution — e.g., not to venture into secluded, suspiciously-looking locations, especially alone and at night.
We sincerely hope that you will enjoy the conference and your stay in Prague!