Area: 496 sqkm
Geographical situation: north latitude 50° 05′, east longitude 14° 27′, height above sea level 235 m (average)
Time: Central European (GMT+1), summer time – Central European +1 (GMT+2)
Climate: average temperature 9,0°C, summer season – July 19,0°C, winter season – January -0,9°C
The Vltava river flows through the city in the length of 30 km, its maximum width being 330 m
Administrative division: 10 municipal areas, 57 municipal parts
Important Telephone Numbers and Addresses
Ambulance service phone + 420 – 2 – 155
Police phone + 420 – 2 – 158
Fire emergency phone + 420 – 2 – 150
Municipal police phone + 420 – 2 – 156
Emergency road service phone + 420 – 2 – 1230, 124, 1054
General information phone + 420 – 2 – 54 44 44 or 187
Directory inquiries (Prague and the whole Czech Republic) phone + 420 – 2 – 1180
Directory inquiries (international) – both telephone and fax numbers, phone + 420 – 2 – 1181
Inquiries on international call services and prices phone + 420 – 2 – 1151
Sending wire messages by telephone + 420 – 2 – 13 30 01
Shoppers will find many a curious and splendid item on the markets and shops in the Czech Republic.
Marionettes are plentiful on the markets in Prague. Since the days of kings and queens, marionettes and marionette theaters have been used to entertain children and adults alike. The Czech craftsmanship is world-renowned. Through the marketplaces in Prague, visitors may find puppets as water sprites, princesses, bartenders, clowns, witches. Of course, a number of classics also are a delight, such as Charlie Chaplin and Pinocchio.
Visitors should stroll along the Havelská Market (Havelská ulice) for a good selection of marionettes, or through Old Town, where a number of shops offer a varied selection.
Crystal and Porcelain. Crystal and porcelain aficionados know that Bohemian glass is of a quality unparalleled. Shoppers will find an array of elegant wineglasses, champagne flutes, candle holders, platters and other goods crafted from this fine glass. Shoppers should visit Old Town, as well as Wenceslas Square, to peruse the fine goods available.
Garnet. This beautiful stone is native to the Czech lands. Garnet necklaces, earrings, rings and pendants are spiced with creative Czech designs. Antique garnet jewelry also can be found at various shops around Prague and the Czech Republic.
Those looking for authentic antiques should look for the sign “Starožitnosti” or “Bazaar”. Karlova ulice in the Old Town has a number of shops. Shops in the Jewish Quarter also have a number of Jewish antiques, including jewelry.
* Remember: keep your receipts as proof of legitimate purchase. If you are purchasing an antique, ask for a document proving that you have not purchased a cultural artifact.
Art. In keeping with its historical role, Prague serves as a home to many artists, both Czech and foreign. Prague’s breath-taking beauty has served as inspiration to many photographers, painters and sculptors. A number of galleries in the Czech Republic and Prague offer unique designs, with a Czech flair.
A number of galleries are peppered throughout the Old Town, and street vendors also often offer pleasant works of art as well. Try the Charles Bridge for interesting pieces of art.
Wooden toys. These are good gifts for the younger friends and family back home. Expertly crafted wooden train sets, animals on wheels, yo-yos or a three-headed dragon are among the multitude of options.
Natural soaps and other goods. A number of terrific natural products shops have sprouted up over the past few years. Hand-made Czech soaps, potpurri and paper can be found at numerous shops around the Old Town.
Looking for a place to get Prague souvenirs? Try the Charles Bridge. Not only is the Charles Bridge a spectacular piece of architecture itself, as well as offering a spectacular view of the caslte, but the bridge also provides an outdoor shopping avenue. A number of hand-crafted works of art can be found here, as well as lovely photographs of the city and interesting jewelry. The bridge itself is an experience – a number of street musicians offer entertainment, from jazz musicians to polka-style bands.
PRAGUE, THE CITY OF 100 SPIRES
Prague is divided into several sections. Visitors will revel in the delights to be found in each quarter. A comfortable pair of walking shoes is advised!
This district overlooks the west bank of the River Vltava. President Havel’s office is in the caslte; a number of galleries, breweries, and tourist shops are found here. A spectacular view of the city can be seen from the Petrin hill. The bells of the Loreta shrine are worth hearing; and the Gothic cathedral, at the castle, St. Vitus, should not be missed. The Golden Lane, a miniature street features houses where court artisans and alchemists resided in yesteryear; Franz Kafka was the streets most famous resident.
This charming district of town features the Baroque St. Nicholas Church, where Mozart once played. A number of coffeehouses pepper the area, and the famous “Bambini di Praga” also can be found here. Visitors from across the globe visit this statue, a symbol of religious faith among Catholics.
Shoppers first stop is usually to the New Town. This section is generally abuzz with activity, with shops and restaurants galore on Wenceclas Square. The Square offers architectural wonders, as well – don’t miss the Art Nouveau beauty, “Grand Hotel Evropa”.
The Gothic-era Charles Bridge links the Old Towon with the Lesser Town. A labyrinth of streets in this area lead to the Old Town Square. The Astronomical Clock should not be missed. Several styles of architecture can be seen on this square, and Paris street, which leads off the square, leads into the Jewish Quarter. A Jewish Museum, the Gothic Old-New Synagogue and the Old Jewish Cemetery are found here.