Assorted Prague Resources
This is my page greenhouse where I grow webpages. Here you will find the services that do not rate a whole page of their own yet. At some point I usually pick one of the categories and expand it into a proper post.
www.globebookstore.cz. Globe Bookstore is the most recognised name even though it has moved location from it’s original Janovskeho address. It has both new and used books in hardback and paperback. There is a nice cafe at the back as well, very popular with Americans.
www.shakes.cz. The Shakespeare bookshop in U Luzickeho Seminare in Mala Strana is largely a “used” bookshop with a small “new” section. Recently I’ve bought books from here more often than the other second-hand shops.
www.neoluxor.cz. Palac Knih (page in Czech only) is the latest “megastore” addition to the Prague book scene. Located half way up Wenceslas Square on the left it has two basement floors and two upper floors all stuffed with bookstore merchandise. The foreign language section is in the 1st basement and is really “paperback only” with a few hardback “bestseller” exceptions. This shop has the best children section with original English stories and Czech Stories translated into English.
Almost all the laundries open Mon-Fri but, Laundryland is 7 days. The two most popular serve different parts of the city;
http://www.laundryland.cz. Laundryland has assorted places around Prague (my recommendation). Some are collection points and others are self service. At present the Vinohradsky Pavilion, Zlaty Andel and Agora Flora are collection points only. Price is based on weight or item and large items like ski suits, duvets and curtains etc are priced individually. Offers services 24 hours or 7 days (for patient people I guess!!). It now does clothes alterations.
www.cistirna.cz. Cistirna is now open in three locations (Narodni, Seifertova and Namesti Jiriho z Lobkovic). It has all the options for cleaning/ironing for items and overall weight.
www.praguelaundromat.cz. Prague Laundromat is at Korunni 14 (Prague 2) just up from Namesti Miru (I used this when I first came here). Free internet and free tea/coffee.
You’ll find many places offering 1kc per minute. Alternatively, look out for places where if you buy lunch you get 30 mins free internet time (like Le Chateau in Jakubska). There are other options like those below:
http://www.britishcouncil.cz. The British Council has two terminals for FREE. Located at Politickych Veznu (one street over from Wenceslas Square on the other side of the main post office). Take the lift to the first floor.
www.globebookstore.cz. Globe bookstore has four fixed terminals but, also has other sockets located around the shop and cafe for people with their own laptops (with LAN ports). 50kc deposit, 1kc per minute.
Kotva 3rd floor (rear entrance escalator) coffee bar charges 20kc for 15 mins but, it’s got nice screens.
If you want to surf and print details then go to the 2nd basement of the “Palac Knih” bookshop on Wenceslas Square. They have terminals hooked up to printers for 5kc per A4 sheet.
Plenty of WiFi options in the centre. Starbucks and Costa both generally have free access after you buy something. Look for a thrown away receipt from either chain and it will have the passcode for that day written on it.
There is one good fruit and veg market in Havelska (when walking from the tourist office to the Old Town Square, it’s the next but one road on the left). The market also has many tourist souvenir stalls.
www.cellarius.cz. The Cellarius wine shop in the Lucerna Passage (next to the cinema) has a very good selection of wines from all over the world. If you are only interested in drinking wine then look out for the sign “Vinny Bar” as this indicates a wine bar. Note that all wine bars listed on my Wine Bars page also sell bottled wine.
I’ve come round to downloading tickets but if its the paper version then usually I collect tickets at the office on the corner of Rytirska and Melantrichova. Online service for all types of gigs and concerts for modern music are available at Ticketpro (www.ticketpro.cz). For a cultural event ticket office try Bohemia Tickets International (www.ticketsbti.cz).
I usually make all travel arrangements direct with www.csa.cz (Czech Airlines) or Easyjet but, remember if you book a flight from Prague, the fare must be paid in Czech Korun. If you pay by credit card, only the holder of the card can collect the tickets from the airport CSA ticket office. Beware booking an internet ticket for a future route i.e. you want a CSA flight from Amsterdam to New York. These kind of tickets must be picked up from the main office just off Republic Square (V Celnice). If you try and pick them up from the airport it can be a problem.
There are various facilities available. Where I mention “attended” there will be a person looking after the facility and a plate on the table. You may have to pay before or after and change is given. I would advise you carry your own paper and a small plastic doorstop (not all doors are lockable). Here is what you will need to know;
There are automated toilets in some locations, these take a 10kc coin. In general, the shopping centres are moving to a credit system i.e. you have to pay 10-20 Crowns but you get a ticket which can be redeemed at various places in the centre.
- Department Stores
- My – Toilets on stairs side of store. 10kc. attended, pay before.
- Myslbek – 1st Floor, 20Kc
- Cerna Ruze – Basement, 10kc, attended, pay after.
- Kotva – Main entrance escalators, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and restaurant. 10kc.
- Quadrio – Basement and Food Floor, 10Kc
- Other convenient locations;
- Old Town Square – Old Town Hall is Free, Kotleta restaurant and Kinsky Palace are both 20kc
- Old Jewish Cemetery (exit) – 15kc
- Templova – passage off Celetna. Attended, 20kc pay before.
- Malostranske Namesti – Opposite tram stop under the arches. Basement. Attended, 20kc pay before.
- Restaurace Zofin – Public toilet under the bandstand. Attended, 10kc pay after.
- National Theatre – downstairs on the left. 20kc.
- McDonalds – The usual stop for most freeloaders hence, bring the doorstop.
- Petrin Tower – Basement. 10kc pay after.
Photo Development and Passport Photos
There are many Kodak shops offering normal processing requirements, next day collection, 1 hour quick service and 5 hour services etc. For photo equipment, film, batteries and a large selection of professional standard cameras I would pay a visit to the Langhans building in Vodickova where you’ll find Foto Milan Skoda (www.fotoskoda.cz) photographic shop. Here you will also find options for burning digital media onto CD’s and printing done by the staff. For only enlargements, paper/colour variations and other options for the discerning photographer I would go for Milan Skoda or the Fuji film professional lab at the junction of Vladislavova and Lazarska. You can do your own burning and printing and all media formats are supported.
For Passport Photos there are automatic booths at the main railway stations and the airport (4 pics for 80-100kc). Most people here will go to the video booth at Tesco. You sit down as usual but, someone will point a video camera at you and freeze a frame. This will be done twice to give you a choice of picture. In Tesco it is located at the base of the stairs and it will be @100-120kc for 4 pics.
Fitness and Sport
The YMCA provides a large range of sports services. It is located at Na Porici 12 close to Namesti Republiky. The YMCA (www.scymca.cz) webpage is only in Czech language but you’ll get the basic info. Another option is the Hotel Axa (www.hotelaxa.com) further down the same street. It’s gym facilities are more expensive and it does not have the overall services of the YMCA Sport Centrum. If you are more inclined to Martial Arts try Delroys Gym (www.delroys-gym.cz) for Taekwondo, Muay Thai, yoga etc. Personal trainers available. At the expensive end you’ll find that www.worldclass.cz now has places throughout Prague.
For people looking for a challenge of short-duration high-intensity training then look at www.crossfitpraha.com. I did Crossfit training in the UK and its not for the faint hearted. Based on olympic weightlifting techniques to build strength and untold numbers of WODs (Workout of the day). Great place to get fitter and make friends.
The Hotel Cechie (www.hotelcechie.cz) has tennis indoor hard courts, outdoor clay courts, 4 squash courts, golf driving range, pitch and putt area, swimming pool, gym and 2 bowling lanes. Cechie has the advantage of being accessible by Metro (Palmovka – Prague 8 – Yellow line) and the hotel is located behind the hotel Olympik Garni.
The best public swimming pool is at Podoli which has Olympic sized indoor and outdoor pools.
Don’t expect your regular “popcorn and coke” cinema here. Although the Multi-screen cinemas are like this, the majority cater to vastly differing tastes. The small cinemas around Wenceslas Square (i.e. Jalta) do not have fixed seating. You will find tables and chairs in the viewing room and a bar just outside. In Kino MAT next to Karlovo Namesti, they have fixed seating but only 40 seats. Different cinemas suit different people depending on what you want to see and how you want to see it but there are some things that stay the same. All films are shown in their original language and Czech subtitles are added. When you buy your ticket, you are allocated a specific seat and it is usual to select your location when you pay. In the larger cinemas, the ticket seller will show you a screen with what is available). The smaller cinemas may only show one film on one day. Currently, our favourite place is Palac Flora which contains Cinema City (www.cinemacity.cz). This has regular multi-screens and a special IMAX 3D screen. It also allows us to park in the basement and use one of the restaurant/cafes as well.
A separate page has now been made with information on mobile/fixed calling options.
The stations I use in Prague are: Evropa2 (88.2FM and 105.5FM), Radio City (93.7FM), Radio Bonton (99.7FM), Kiss98 (98.0FM) and finally the good old BBC World Service on 101.1FM. The worldwide frequencies and schedules are available at www.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/worldservice/psims/ScheduleSDT.cgiThe Beeb.
There are two English sites available with excellent coverage of business issues in the Czech Republic and especially Prague. They are the Prague Monitor (www.praguemonitor.com) and Cesky Rozhlas (www.radio.cz).
In a restaurant – If you are unsure of the food, let your host order for you.
In a bar – You may top up your guest’s beer with his bottle and he will reciprocate by filling your glass with your bottle.
In a house – Invited guests would be expected to remove their footwear when entering the living area and many people (me included) will offer slippers for the guest to wear if he or she chooses. You are not required to bring a gift if you have not met with the family before. If you buy a gift, check with the person who invited you for what to buy and for whom (buying a gift for a child is favourable and does not require a return gift). A diplomatic way of ensuring that you can eat the food is to inform your host of your favourite.
In a meeting – Czech has a formal side to it’s language and this must be used unless you are addressed informally first. Similar to Germany, if a person has a title you must use it correctly i.e ing, ing.Arch and Dipl.ing are all addressed as ing (inzenyr or engineer). It is a great insult to be addressed without your title or possibly even worse to attribute title to somebody in error.
I took my original lessons with Hana Diringerova, a Charles University graduate teaching Czech as a second language since 1996. She teaches organised groups through established companies but, also does small group and one-to-one lessons of her own. I recommend her style of teaching and for further info take a look at her website at www.diri.cz.
If you intend doing anything official then at some stage you will need an “official” translator. This is somebody licenced to perform translation of official documents in both written and oral forms. I recommend a lady called Martina Levey. She was recommended to us by a friend and we used her services when we got married. It’s always good to have a contact number of an official translator. Her webpage is at www.academia-levey.cz.
www.pragueweddings.com. Prague weddings has been used by at least three different people that I know. I can personally recommend the service. Based in Prague.
www.destination-wedding.cz. Destination Wedding is also known as the White Agency. A specialised wedding planner of destination weddings in one of the most romantic cities, makes Prague, a very unique and attractive wedding destination.
When I was applying for Permanent Resident here in Prague I used Agentura So-ry (firstname.lastname@example.org). They’ll do most of the legwork for you including arranging power of attorney and filling out the first application but, you’ll need to provide the following:
- Four colour passport photos
- Verified copy of marriage certificate (verified by Notary)
- Original passport
- Original ID card of your spouse.
- Proof of private health insurance.
- If approved, the permit is ready in 60 days or less and you have to go to the regional Foreign Police office that covers the area in which you will be living. I found them to be a very reasonably priced option for me to avoid dealing with Czech officialdom. Be aware that you should also register with a Czech insurance company as well.