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Prague general guidance & overview

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Prague general guidance & overview

Postby mzawf » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:36 am

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Introduction
On the 6th November 2017, I travelled to Prague for a 3-day trip with 2 of my friends from University. Prague is a very cultured iconic city located in the Czech Republic. It is the capital of the Czech Republic and is the country’s biggest city. It is the European unions 14th largest city and the historical capital city of Bohemia. Prague is a large district split in to several different areas however the main attraction is the Charles bridge area which offers iconic architecture and a good offering of the Czech way of life.

Reaching Prague is very easy. During the winter months, it is possible to get a return flight from London costing just around £130.00 taking just over 2 hours. The best time to visit though is in the summer months since Prague boasts the Vitava river which is home to many attractions which are ideal for the summer months.

Currency
The official currency in the Czech Republic is the CZK Koruna. In Prague Euros are widely accepted however very often this will result in you paying a higher price than usual due to the exchange rate. The exchange rate within the Czech Republic is very generous. The current exchange rate sits at 1 Czech Koruna to 0.35 pence GPB. This co-inside well with the cost of living. A beer will only set you back roughly 70 pence and a standard 2 course meal you should expect to pay in the region of £10-£12.00.
When exchanging currency, it is vital you do this with caution if you intend to change any currency or traveller’s cheques within Prague itself particularly within the Charles Bridge area. Within the Charles Bridge vicinity, you will come across numerous currency exchange bureaus. Be extremely cautious when using these as a lot of them are known to charge substantial commission.
Equally I would advise you to never exchange money on the streets. It is not uncommon to be approached on the streets being offered currency exchange. The people approaching you are often criminals who have been known to rob perspective customers and even if everything is fine often the Czech notes they provide you with are very often counterfeit.
Travel around Prague
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Prague is a very easy city to navigate. There is an extensive network of both trams, busses and underground train services throughout the city. Public transport is extremely affordable there are a range of ticket options available ranging from 1 hour all the way through to 24 hours. A 24-hour travel ticket will set you back roughly £5.00.
It is essential that you buy a ticket prior to travel. Public transport within Prague is not as lenient as it is in Britain. If you are found to be travelling on any part of the network (bus, tram. Train) without possession of a valid ticket you will be liable for a substantial on the spot fine.
Taxis are freely available in Prague however the dos and don’ts surrounding this will be covered below as using a Taxi in Prague requires a whole new level of advice.
Taxi in Prague
Within the Charles Bridge area of Prague, you will find plenty of Taxi`s sitting in taxi ranks. DO NOT use these. These run on a meter and are outrageously overpriced. I had the pleasure of using one of these during my visit and I ended up paying around £100.00 for a 15 min Journey. Instead if you need to use a Taxi call aaa Taxis on 420 222 333 222. AAA are an honest and reputable firm with all drivers fluent in English. They will charge a reasonable fixed fare so these are the go to guys for any taxi requirements in Prague.
It can be tempting to fall in to the trap of using a metered cab from one of the ranks especially when the drivers appear friendly and honest however at large this is a front the majority are overcharging so don’t take the risk just call AAA and wait a few minutes.
Equally Uber are very fairly priced and extremely efficient. So, Uber is another equally safe opportunity.
It is also important you follow this advice when at the airport. Once you have passed through arrivals you will see cab drivers touting as well as a long que of drivers outside the airport. This can be very appealing as you will want to reach your destination quickly however do not take the risk as again these guys are often playing the same game. It is not unheard-of people being charged up to 2000 CZK for a trip from the airport to the city centre.
Safety and security within Prague
Prague is a very safe city with the majority of tourist visits incident free however as with any other major city there are still things you need to be aware off.
1. Carry your passport with you always- You are legally required to have your passport in your possession always for Identification. The police are not going around checking you have your passport on you however if you are asked for this and you fail to be in possession of your passport you will be fined and even arrested.
2. There have been a number of reports of pickpocketing on flights from the UK so limit personal possessions and remain vigilant when on the flight to and from Prague.
3. Street crime is particularly rife in Prague in terms of pickpocketing within the Charles Bridge so therefore limit the amount of personal possession’s you are carrying with you around the city especially the Charles bridge area.
4. Be aware of bogus plain clothes police officers. There has been a small number of reports of bogus police officers approaching tourists to inspect ID and currency. If this happens to you request to accompany the officer to a local police station.
Places of interest
Charles Bridge
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Charles Bridge is the iconic attraction of Prague. The Charles Bridge area Is the main attraction or Prague. The historic bridge crosses the Vitava river. The Bridge is 621 metres long and 10 metres wide.
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Prague Castle is the iconic castle complex of the main square of Prague dating back to the 9th century. It is the official office of the president of the Czech Republic. Records indicate that this is the largest castle area in the World. Guided tours are available daily however if possible it is best to go on one of these during the summer months. The Old Town square
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This is the centre of the Prague life style. The Old Town square is home to the Charles Bridge and Prague castle. When visiting Prague this is the area of which you need to make all plans as this is considered the hub of Prague life. Here you will find historical interests, bars and clubs, restaurants and guided walks.

Experienced & written by Jack Hugill
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