On the trip to the capital of the Czech Republic, about the trip to Prague, I dreamed for a long time. But she was postponed all the time. The same summer, the family council approved that we will spend our vacations in Prague. Preparation for it began with the article “What to Pack for Vacation”. I hope, and my experience will help you to get from the trip to Prague the maximum of positive emotions and memories.
Today, more and more tourists are traveling without the help of travel agencies. Here we have a question, independently book a hotel room, buy air tickets and apply for a visa or contact a travel company. At first we decided to organize the trip to Prague ourselves, but beforehand we asked the several largest travel agencies working in our city about the cost of the vouchers, if you contact them. Already at the stage of choosing air tickets it became clear that making a trip through a travel company is more profitable. Apparently, this is due to the fact that the capital of the Czech Republic is a popular destination, and firms buy a large number of rooms in hotels, air tickets, agree on charter flights.
Flights at very attractive prices can be bought on sales (it’s not just about Prague). Keep track of air carrier offers. My friend bought tickets to Prague in the spring for a similar sale for 6,000 rubles both ways. At the usual time, the cost of the flight only starts there from 10,000.
Regular flights from Moscow to Prague are carried out by two air carriers – Aeroflot and Czech Airlines. I note that the first company has ticket prices lower. Charter flights offer “Kuban Airlines”, “Transaero”, etc. Keep in mind that if you fly to the Czech Republic by charter, then the city of arrival you will have not Prague, but Pardubice. It is an hour and a half drive from the Czech capital. The airport in Pardubice, although it bears the name of the international, is very small, but cozy. The flight to Prague takes 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Whatever you get from the airport to Prague (by bus, car), do not forget about seat belts. For the ride in the unbuttoned – both driver and passengers – here they fine. The amount is rather large – 700 kroons.
If you arrive in Prague on Sunday, then keep in mind that banks are not working on this day, therefore it will not be possible to exchange money for local currency – kroons. At the airport Pardubice you will be offered such a service. The rate is less profitable than in the exchange offices in Prague, so we did not buy the kroons, having decided that we’d better do it in the city. We did not know that in Prague banks Sunday was a day off. After placement in the hotel we had to walk only around the area of Prague-4, since we did not have kronos with us. In the center of Prague, exchange offices are open on Sundays, but you need to get there. And if there are no crowns, then you can not use the metro. It takes only local currency. Therefore, my advice – change some money at the airport, at least by subway.
Change money in the city is in the Arab exchange offices. They have the most profitable rate and there is no commission for conducting the transaction, as in banks. But the course fluctuates throughout the day. In the morning you can buy crowns at a single price, and by the evening it can decrease or, conversely, grow.
Here are the streets where the exchange offices are located with the most favorable rates: Opletalova, Politickych Veznu, Panska and Kaprova. Pay attention to the signs of exchange offices. If interest is not charged for operations, then this information will be indicated on the facade in the form of phrases “No commissions”, “Commissions 0%”. If you do not see such information at the exchange office, then safely pass by. The commission in it for the exchange of currency with you for sure will take. Also, be careful when studying the course, pay attention to what sell (We sell) and what to buy (We buy).
Often in a hurry you confuse these concepts and take a course according to which in the exchange office the crowns are bought with what they sell. It is better to ask the manager to show you on the calculator the amount you will receive for the money that you are going to change. By the way, many Arab exchange offices accept even rubles (for them it is possible how to buy the crown, and for the crowns buy rubles). By the end of the trip we had a large amount of crowns, and we bought rubles for it so that we would not take money to Russia, where it would be problematic to exchange them.
Do not change money on the street. We were warned about this even at the hotel reception. Trusted tourists are often given old Bulgarian or Hungarian money instead of crowns, which, of course, are not accepted anywhere in Prague.
The choice of hotel and public transport in Prague.
When we were preparing to travel to Prague and studied the reviews about hotels on different sites (considered three-star), then came across, mostly negative. Therefore, by the time I arrived in Prague, I was determined that we would have to live in a very modest apartment. In fact, the hotel, in which we settled, was very cozy. The only drawback was the lack of a refrigerator in the room. There was no air-conditioning either, but the summer in Prague is not as hot as in most regions of Russia, so there was no stuffiness in the room, even though the windows of our room were sunny.
We lived in the Prague 4 area, the ILF hotel. Within five minutes walk is the metro station Budejovicka and a bus stop. It takes 10-15 minutes to get to the center of Prague. Therefore, when choosing a hotel for reviews of Internet users do not strongly rely. As a rule, hotels of this level are similar. This is a feature of Prague, about which I was told in a travel agency. Apparently, the Soviet past of the country is affected. Therefore, safely choose the “three” and admire the beautiful views of the Czech capital. You came to spend your time outside the hotel, right? When choosing a hotel I came across in the Internet sources many reviews that the rooms in three-star do not clean, towels do not change. In our hotel room was cleaned every day, the same was with towels – in the evening, when we returned, they were always fresh.
The only point to which you need to pay attention when choosing a hotel is its distance from the center. According to this indicator, hotels are really different. The farther from the center your hotel is, the less you will get the impression that you have moved beyond the statistical Russian city. I also note that the difference in cost between living in a hotel located closer to the center and what is on the outskirts is not great (about 50-100 euros if you take a week of accommodation). Also keep in mind, the farther away from the center of the hotel, the more likely that next to there will be a metro station, and you will have to get to the nearest station by bus or tram.
There are no problems with public transport in Prague. In the Czech capital, there is a system of a single ticket for the metro, bus and tram. Having bought a ticket, you can use any kind of public transport. But the travel cards have time limits. The cheapest costs 24 kroons and lasts 30 minutes. When we were preparing for the trip, I read on the Internet that this travel card does not give the right to transfer to other modes of transport. But already at the hotel, we specified this information from the administrators. It turned out that all types of travel (in Czech jizdenka, yizdenka) give the right to travel on all types of transport and, accordingly, transplant. The main thing is to get around the time that you need to get from one point of the city to another and buy a suitable travel card. The fare for traveling by “hare” in public transport in Prague is 700 kroons.
Passes are sold at all metro stations in special automatic devices of yellow color. They can also be purchased at the ticket offices, but they are found only at some metro stations, from bus drivers, trams and newsstands (Trafika). Vending machines for the sale of travel at metro stations accept only coins. Therefore ask in shops and cafe to return to you change in trifle.
Using automatic machines is easy – first choose the type of travel (for 30 minutes, an hour and a half, a day), then throw coins and wait for the machine to give you a pass and, if necessary, change. Children under 6 years of age use public transport for free, and for children from 6 to 15 years old, as well as the elderly (from 60 years old), the journey is two times cheaper. When you go into the subway, bus or tram, punish the ticket. The composter will indicate the travel time and the date of landing. From this moment the action of the ticket begins. They are checked by the inspectors. As I already wrote above, the penalty for a stowaway ticket or a ticket with an expired time is 700 kroons. We were in Prague for eight days, during this time in the subway our tickets were checked twice.
The Prague metro has three branches, each of which is indicated by its letter and color (A green, B yellow, C red). The first train departs from the terminal station at 04.45, the last – at midnight. The stations are short, the subway is shallow, trains run often. We have not waited more than two or three minutes.
Also developed in Prague are the tram and bus networks. Transport is very convenient, with soft chairs, it rides noiselessly. If you need to call a taxi, I recommend these two companies: + (420) 222-333-222 – “Radiataxi”, + (420) 777-092-045 – “Eurotaxi”. We were advised by a representative of the tour operator, from which we flew to Prague. I will not say the name of the tour operator, so as not to be considered for advertising, but the company has specialized for many years on trips to the Czech Republic, so its experience can be trusted. We used the services of both Radio Taxi and Eurotaxi. Claims to the quality of services there. The car is served quickly (they were waiting for 10 minutes each time). When a taxi arrives, a sms appears on the mobile phone, indicating the number of the car, its brand, color and the cost of the trip. But keep in mind that they are not reporting the state number of the car, but a special one, working, which is indicated on the body of the machine. When we called the taxi for the first time, at first we did not understand that it was our car, as in sms came one number, and on license plates there was another one. And only then we saw on the driver’s door the number that came to us in the message.
Sights of Prague.
To visit Prague and not to fall in love with it is impossible. It is a very green city in which ancient customs and centuries-old traditions are easily and harmoniously intertwined with the modern rhythm of life. Even new high-rise buildings are found in the new part of Prague, but there are very few of them. A business card of the city – low houses, cobblestone streets and tiled roofs, in which the rays of the sun are very beautiful at sunrise. You can walk around this city endlessly. The main thing is comfortable shoes, a camera and a good guidebook, because architectural monuments will come across at every step, and you probably will immediately want to find out what kind of building it is in front of you.
Be sure to go to the Old Town Square, where the Town Hall is located with the famous astronomical clock Orla. This is one of the main attractions of the Czech capital. To determine the time for them is labor. On the upper dial there are Roman numerals denoting Central European time, as well as Arabic ones, which show the Old Bohemian. The night is marked on the watch by the black sector, the day is blue, and the twilight and dawn are light brown. The hour hands indicate the position of the Moon and the Sun, the star time marks the star. The lower clock face is given under the calendars. Work on the clock was conducted from 1410 to 1490 years. Do not miss the show, which gathers in front of the town hall a huge number of tourists from all over the world. At the top of the chimes, every hour, from 8 am to 20 pm, two windows open, behind which there are figures of 12 apostles. At this time, under the right window below the symbol of death, skeleton, with one hand shakes the bell, and the other turns the hourglass. Next to him sits a Turk with a mandolin in his hand (a symbol of the danger of the Ottoman Empire for the Czech Republic in the past). On the other hand, opposite the skeleton and the Turk, two more figures – looking in the mirror proud (a symbol of vanity) and a merchant with a purse in their hands (a symbol of greed). All this presentation lasts about a minute. Then the rooster screams, and the clock beats the next hour. two more figures – looking in the mirror a proud man (a symbol of vanity) and a merchant with a purse in his hand (a symbol of greed). All this presentation lasts about a minute. Then the rooster screams, and the clock beats the next hour. two more figures – looking in the mirror a proud man (a symbol of vanity) and a merchant with a purse in his hand (a symbol of greed). All this presentation lasts about a minute. Then the rooster screams, and the clock beats the next hour.
In the town hall there is an observation deck. The entrance to it costs 105 kroons. Climb and admire Prague from a height.
The next point of our acquaintance with the city was the Charles Bridge, decorated with statues of saints. In the XIV century. He was part of the Royal Road, according to which the rulers rode from the Royal Court to the City. On this bridge, tournaments and fairs were held. To build it began in 1357 on the site of the bridge of Judita – the first stone bridge in Europe. It was washed away by flooding, so it was decided to build a new bridge. Originally it was called Kamennoye, or Prague, and the present – Karlov – was received in 1870. Now they sell souvenirs, local artists display their works (you can order your portrait or cartoon right away).
From Charles Bridge, the road leads you to the Prague Castle, which since 1993 is the political residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The main attraction of the Prague Castle is the Cathedral of St. Vita. This magnificent structure, at the sight of which is breathtaking. The cathedral was built for 600 years. In its walls were crowned 30 Czech rulers, 15 of them are buried in the cathedral.
Look at the narrow dead-end Zlatu street, more like a corridor. It arose in the second half of the XVI century. The street stretches along the fortress wall of Prague Castle, just above the precipice. According to legend, she received her name because of the alchemists who settled here. In the XVIII-XIX centuries. The poor lived on the Golden Street. Now all the houses are given for souvenir shops. The street is very narrow, if you place your hands, you can almost reach from one house to another.
I recommend to visit Vysehrad. According to legend, it was at this place that the son of the country’s founder, Cech, Voevoda Krok, founded the future Prague, giving it the original name of Vyšehrad. In Vysehrad, the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, as well as the Memorial Cemetery, which bears the title of National Monument of the Czech Republic. At the Memorial Cemetery, such prominent Czech figures as composers Antonin Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana, writers, artists Karel Čapek, Alphonse Mucha and others are buried. On the territory of Vysehrad there is an exposition of the Visegrad Museum, which tells about the history of this region. Entrance fee is 50 kroons per person, but there is really nothing to look at in the museum. Only one room, where under the glass are found coins, dishes, ornaments found here during excavations. There are no audio guides in Russian.
After leaving Vyšehrad, go to Nove district and get to the “Dancing House”, or “Glass”. Located on the Vltava embankment, address: Rasinovo nabrezi, 80. This office building was built by the architects Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry. Work was conducted from 1992 to 1996. The name of this house is associated with the heroes of the Fellini film, the dancers Ginger and Fred. The glass part reminds a female figure in the dress, which flutters from the dance, and the part towards the river symbolizes the masculine. Previously, this place was an ordinary house, which was destroyed by American aviation in 1945. For 50 years, the place was empty until the Czech president Vaclav Havel took up his job. It is said that the house adjacent to the ruined house was built by his grandfather. Whether this played a role or something else, but the president decided to erect a new building in the wasteland.
To relax, take a stroll to the Botanical Garden (Na slupi Street). Here, under the canopy of trees, it’s cool and fresh. The Botanical Garden belongs to the Charles University, it belongs to the oldest European university gardens, here practical lessons are held by future botanists. The garden was laid in the middle of the XVIII century. Today it grows 10,000 plant species. There are shops in the garden. You can also relax on the green lawns.
On one of your days in Prague, plan a visit to the zoo. You can walk here all day. We arrived at 10 am and thought that we would completely manage three or four hours, but the acquaintance with the inhabitants of the zoo lasted for eight hours, until its very close! Whom you will not find here: a polar bear, giraffes, an elephant, penguins, fur seals, tigers, and many, many other animals. They live in conditions close to natural. There are even in the zoo, arranged as subtropics. In one of the enclosures of the zoo live animals that do not tolerate sunlight. The meeting with these inmates begins with .. bats. It would seem that there is amazing. But in fact, warnings and any pointers that there are bats, there is no input. You will learn about this, when you get inside and you suddenly fly out a small creature, and then one more, and more. So, until you run through the cage to the end, they fly over your head and will. Female cries accompany this whole path.
Prague Zoo is not only entertainment for visitors, but also a research center. The zoo was opened in September 1931. Then it occupied an area of only 8 hectares, on which lived 200 animals. Now it covers an area of 58 hectares, on which live 754 species of animals. Represented in the zoo, in addition to fauna, and more than 300 species of rare plants. The zoo is located on two levels. You can get from one to the other by cable car. The entrance to the zoo is 200 kroons, for children there are benefits. The names of animals are written on special plates in three languages – Czech, English and Russian. The table also gives a brief description of the animal’s type and its main characteristics. Getting to the zoo is easy: first to the metro station Nadrazi Holesovice, where you take the bus number 112. The second option: by metro to Podhori station, and then by bus 236. Buses run every 10 minutes. Near the ticket office of the zoo, at the entrance, there are storage rooms where you can add extra things. We, for example, took an umbrella, because when we left the hotel, it was overcast. But while we reached the zoo, the weather was fine. And we were glad that the umbrella would not have to be carried. On the territory of the zoo there are cafes and vending machines, in which water, juices and sweets are sold.
Visit also Petrshin hill, castles of Troy and Karlstejn, walk in the Royal Gardens. In Prague, the opening is waiting for you at every step. In Petřín, be sure to climb to the very top on the funicular and admire Prague from the observation deck of the copy of the Eiffel Tower installed here. In the territory of the castle of Troy, beautiful apple orchards grow. Tear off the fruit directly from the tree! Come to Karlshtein on Saturday. This is one of the favorite places of Prague’s newlyweds. Therefore, wedding tuples come one after another. I think any fair sex representative will be curious to see what the Prague brides are putting on and which hairstyles they make in one of the most important days of their lives. In general, walk, walk and once again walk!
Shopping, food, souvenirs.
Czech cuisine is very hearty and tasty, portions are large, so order one for two – just gorge yourself. From the local dishes try garlic soup, Veprevo knee, potato dumplings, “drowned” (sausages), trdlo, fried in breaded cheese. Lovers of sweet will surely like fruit dumplings and a wide variety of pastries, which are sold at every step.
Lunch at a restaurant in the center of Prague will cost about 900 crowns for two (two beers, two bottles of mineral water, two soups and one second dish, which is already served, as a rule, with garnish). When ordering the same dishes in remote areas, you will pay 300-400 kroons. On the Internet in the forums, I found a lot of information that tipping in a cafe is often already included in the bill. We encountered this only in one place, and that waiter honestly warned about this. I also read a lot of warnings that when cheating customers in Czech institutions, catering is often deceived, including dishes they did not order. But in those eight days that we spent in Prague, there have never been such cases with us. On the contrary, the service is always polite and courteous, can advise dishes, answer any questions that are not even relevant to the restaurant (for example,
Souvenirs to buy on the street. Havelska. Souvenir shops in the city at every step, but it is in this place that prices for the same things are several times lower (for example, in the Wenceslas Square, the refrigerator magnet costs 50 kroons, and in the market you can buy the same for 25). This market was also recommended to us by the representative of the tour operator. Here you will find a variety of magnets, beer mugs, card holders, wooden toys, local waffles – pay.
It is impossible to go on a trip to Prague and not to bring at least one decoration with a Czech grenade. Recently, in many stores there are jewelry with African grenades, which are issued for the Czech. To distinguish them is easy – Czech garnet is small in size, from 0.2 to 0.8 cm. But it’s best to buy jewelry with this stone in the branded shops from the Turnov factory. In Prague there are three: Dlouha, 28; Panska pasaz – Na Prikope, 23; Panska, 1/892. The largest selection of jewelry with a Czech grenade at the first address. There works two halls – one presents jewelry in silver, in the other – in gold. The smallest choice in the store, located on the street. Na Prikope, 23. In the branded shops of the “Turnov” factory there are also decorations with African garnets, but the sellers honestly show where the department is with the Czech grenade, and where with the African grenade. The Czech garnet is also given a certificate of authenticity, and all ornaments are packed in a beautiful box. If you say that you are buying it as a gift, then you will also be wrapped in a holiday paper. Prices are average – gold earrings in the form of carnations cost, on average, 2500 crowns. Similar, but in silver, 600 kronor. The golden ring costs an average of 3,000 kroons. Bear in mind that Russian and Czech gold is different in color. Ours with a red tint, and them – with yellow. Therefore, if you buy a pendant, you will have to purchase a chain, as it will differ greatly in color from that made from Russian gold. but in silver, 600 kroons. The golden ring costs an average of 3,000 kroons. Bear in mind that Russian and Czech gold is different in color. Ours with a red tint, and them – with yellow. Therefore, if you buy a pendant, you will have to purchase a chain, as it will differ greatly in color from that made from Russian gold. but in silver, 600 kroons. The golden ring costs an average of 3,000 kroons. Bear in mind that Russian and Czech gold is different in color. Ours with a red tint, and them – with yellow. Therefore, if you buy a pendant, you will have to purchase a chain, as it will differ greatly in color from that made from Russian gold.
Do not miss the opportunity to pamper yourself with local cosmetics Manufaktura. Firm stores are found at every step. Prices for the entire range, on average, 140-160 crowns. You will find shower gels, shampoos, masks and balms for hair, face and body cream, lip balms. There is also a children’s line.
And, of course, do not miss the opportunity to try the famous Czech beer. For those who are against alcohol, local cafes, restaurants and shops offer a wide range of non-alcoholic products. To my taste, Non alcogol beer is even more delicious than alcohol containing. Want to see this? Take a trip to Prague! I hope that my experience will help you to get even more pleasure from this trip!