Map of Czech Republic with Servas hosts places.
The Czech Republic is a small country (79,000 sq. km, population of 10.5 million). Czech language is spoken here. Although we are a member of EU, the local currency is Czech koruna (1 EUR = 26 CZK, 1 USD = 20 CZK, rates are from July 2013). For more information please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_Republic
The Czech Republic offers scenic variety, the highest mountains can be found on borders with neighboring countries, inland is mostly flat or hilly. Weather is continental with four seasons, summers can be hot and winters cold. There are plenty of interesting sights like castles, chateaus and churches. There are also many picturesque small towns worth to visit. Twelve sights are on the UNESCO list. Prague is for sure the top world tourist destination and majority of tourists come only here. But, of course, if you see only Prague, the picture about Czechs and our country would not be complete. And it might be a pity. Thus we strongly recommend you to visit other Servas members all over the Czech Republic, where people may not be so busy and where you will find comparable attractions to the Prague ones.
How to get to Prague
By car or bus: Berlin (350 km, 4 hours), Budapest (530 km, 5 hours), Bratislava (330 km, 3 hours), Dresden (150 km, 2 hours), Kraków (540 km, 5 hours), München (380 km, 4 hours), Vienna (330 km, 3.5 hours), Warszawa (760 km, 8 hours). Parking in Prague is a hassle. There are parking zones and there is a limited parking space in thecentre. Never park at blue zones, try to find places with parking meters, most of them free at night. Speed limit within built-up areas is 50 km/h, outside 90 km/h and on motorways 130 km/h. For driving on motorways you need a vignette (CZK 310 for 10 days or CZK 440 for a month, July 2013). International buses terminate at Florenc bus station (metro B and C lines). For tickets see www.elines.cz or www.studentagency.cz
By airplane: Václav Havel Airport is well connected with all major European cities. To get to the centre you can take bus # 119 to Nádraží Veleslavín (metro A line) or bus # 100 to Zličín stop (metro B line), 90 minute ticket costs CZK 32 (April 2015). Or take a taxi AAA – there is fixed fee by zones and to the centre it should cost CZK 500-600 (April 2015). www.prg.aero/cs/
By train: International trains arrive to Holešovice station (metro С Line) or the Main Station (Hlavní nádraží, metro C line).
By bicycle: You can follow Prague-Vienna Greenway path. www.pragueviennagreenways.org/
Medical care in general meets Western standards. EU citizens have right for free basic medical care upon presenting European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but travel insurance is always wise idea. In emergency dial toll-free 112.
If you go from Prague to Olomouc or Ostrava, it is the best to use trains. Otherwise use buses. The company Student Agency has vast bus network within our country and also connects major European towns. RegioJet trains connect Prague with Ostrava. For timetables and tickets please refer to www.studentagency.cz/
Food and and drinks
The Czech Republic is a promise land for any beer lover. In which country is a half liter of beer in a restaurant cheaper, than a bottle of a soft drink!? On the top of it the Czech beer is one of the best. Many people have heard of Pilsner Urquell, but do you know, that real Budweiser comes from České Budějovice? Almost every small town has its own brewery, so do not stick with major brands and try also local beers. Best place, where to taste beer, is a pub. Expect to pay about CZK 30-50 for half liter. Good white wine is grown in Southern Moravia.
As to food quality, situation is not so bright, but it improves. Czech dishes are rather heavy and fat, but cooking slowly moves to healthier and lighter versions. Try Czech classics – potato soup, roasted beef with dumplings and sauerkraut or fried cheese with boiled potatoes. For more about Czech food please refer towww.expats.cz/prague/article/czech-food-drink/czech-food/
Standard of food in restaurants improved over the last decade, but the quality can substantially vary. In the capital city there is a good selection of restaurants from ordinary pubs to Michelin restaurants. But you can still find, especially in the tourist places, overpriced restaurants with doubtful quality of food. Avoid restaurants with sign „Typical Czech Cuisine“. In smaller towns the quality of food tends to be poorer. But situation changes and new family run restaurants are being opened all over the country. The best suggestion is to ask locals where to eat. It is not common to offer tap water, but on request some restaurants can provide. In general, do not expect Italian standard for coffee in most of the cheaper places. Ask for non smoking place as most of the restaurants have separate smoking and non smoking rooms. Expect to pay about 100-200 CZK for lunch in pubs or low range restaurants. In midrange restaurants expect to pay CZK 250-400 for meals and for bottle of wine CZK 300-700. To find good restaurant please refer to this guidebook www.grandrestaurant.cz/