Czech Republic

Facts for the Visitor

US citizen: No visa required, visitors permitted to stay 30 days.
Japanese citizen: No visa required, visitors permitted to stay 90 days.

Language Skills Needed
English is sufficient to get around as a tourist.

Cash Machines
Available everywhere. Most are on the Plus and Cirrus networks.

US$ 1 = 40 Czech Koruna (CSK) on September 28, 2000.

220V, 50Hz. Plugs have 2 round pins.

International Certificates of Vaccination are not required.

Czech, but many people in the service industry speaks English and German.

A 5 to 10% tip paid directly to the server is customary.

In addition to hotels and youth hostels, inexpensive rooms at private houses and apartments are profuse. Apartments can be rented for a single day and rates are typically discounted for stays longer than 2 days.

Finding accommodation in Prague is simple. On the train arrival platform, several independent people hawk rooms to tourist. The Lonely Planet guide warns that some of these people aren't honest. A more prudent option is to visit an accommodation service. One of the best is AVE (see details below). AVE charges a tiny commission (buried in the quoted room rate) and gives the tourist tremendous flexibility. AVE allows the cancellation of nights with 100% refund if the keys are returned by 12:00 and a 50% refund if returned by 16:00. Credit cards are accepted.

Prague accommodation service:

AVE Travel: Tel: 2422-3226 (Int'l +420-2-2422-3226)
Fax: 2423-0783 (Int'l +420-2-2423-0783)
Office Locations: Hlavní nádraží train station, Holešovice train station, and the airport.

Luggage Storage
Many train stations have luggage storage lockers.

Public Telephones
About half of the public telephones accept coins. The other half accept Czech Telecom pre-paid cards. None of the phones accept both. If you need to make a call at night, take a flashlight - the phone booths aren't lit.

Public Transportation
Public trains and buses are cheap, convenient, and cover the entire country. Buses service more places than trains and are cheaper. Delay by a many minutes is typical.

Prague city transport tickets are straight forward. A CSK 10 ticket is valid for all city transport for 1 hour on weekdays between 05:00-20:00, 1.5 hours on weekday nights 20:00-05:00, or 24 hours on weekends. In addition, Prague has several short-term pass options: 24-hour, 3-day, 7-day, and 15-day tickets.

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