Welcome to Prague
Here you will find some basic information about Prague, what to expect, and how to get around.
The Václav Havel Airport is located northwest of Prague, about 12 km from the conference venue and about 20 km from the city center. There are two terminals: Terminal 1 for flights outside the Schengen area, Terminal 2 for flights within the Schengen area. Both terminals are connected by a hallway, and are about 5 minutes walking distance from each other. The airport offers all the usual services. Information desks are located in both terminals. There is also a bank as well as several bureaux de change and ATMs.
Prague has a very well developed public transport network. There are buses, trams, and a metro system. Transport tickets are valid for all means of transport except for the Airport Express shuttle bus (AE). For more information, please see
It is advisable to be careful when hiring a taxi on the street as they tend to overcharge unwary customers. We recommend calling a taxi service, e.g. AAA taxi (phone number: 14014). When taking a taxi, always ask what the fare will be in advance and make sure the meter is turned on. A trip from the airport to the center of Prague should cost around 600 – 700 CZK. For trips within the center of Prague expect to pay around 300 – 400 CZK, depending on the distance and the time of a day. Prices are negotiable so look for another taxi if you are not satisfied with the offer.
Planning a trip outside Prague
If you plan a trip out of Prague, you can use buses or trains. Both are safe and comfortable. Again, there is a very well developed regional transport network in the Czech Republic. For train and bus timetables go to idos.cz (switch to English or German in the bottom right hand corner of the home page).
Czech crowns (CZK) are available from any Czech ATM machine via an ATM card, or from bureaux de change at the airport, at most major train stations, and all around the city. The approximate conversion rate can be found on Universal Currency Converter
Credit and debit cards
The Czech Republic has a dense network of ATMs (cash machines) which will accept all major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and others). The majority of shops and restaurants in Prague accept credit or debit cards.
You can change money in the Czech Republic in many places but never do it on the street!
When exchanging money, please note that there may be a commission. At banks, expect to pay roughly 2 % of the total sum in commission. In certain banks there is a minimum fee of 50 CZK. In private exchange offices, we recommend you first ask for the exact sum you will receive for your money; signs advertising 0 % commission often relate to converting CZK to foreign currency! There are many small exchange offices offering good exchange rates and charging no commission.
The only official language in the Czech Republic is Czech, which is spoken by 96 % of the population. However, both at the Airport and in the city center you will find most people understand English.
The Czech Republic is in the GMT +1 time zone, usually referred to as Central European Time (CET). The clock is moved forward by one hour in summer (GTM + 2).
Prague time is
- 1 hour ahead of London
- 6 hours ahead of New York
- 9 hours ahead of Los Angeles
Emergency and safety
In order to comply with European Union regulations, the Czech Republic has adopted a central number for all emergency services – 122 This number is used for ALL emergencies, including medical, fire, and police. Operators are able to speak both English and German.
Prague is a safe place. However, we include some safety tips below.
Violent crime is still rare by the standards of Western Europe, but there is a great deal of theft. There are conmen and pickpockets as in every large city. Watch your bags, and put your valuables and important documents in the hotel safe deposits. Be alert to the danger of pickpockets in crowded places, particularly on trams and in the metro.
AC electricity in the Czech Republic is 230 volts. The plugs are two pin and the same size as in surrounding European countries. For more information, please see the article Electricity in Europe:goeurope.com.
There are many free Wi-Fi access points in Prague, especially in libraries, cafes, and fast food restaurants. Hotels usually offer free Wi-Fi access. The Czech Technical University in Prague uses Eduroam, so if you have Eduroam access set up at your home university, you can use it at the IATUL Workshop.
The international dialing code for the Czech Republic is +420 (or 00 420). When calling from abroad this must be dialed first, followed by the 9-digit number.
Three mobile phone operators provide mobile services in the Czech Republic (O2, T-Mobile, and Vodafone). Almost 100% of the country is covered by the network, which uses the GSM 900 and 1800 system. This is compatible with the rest of Europe and Australia.
If you would like to go to concert, theatre, film, club, gallery, exhibition, etc., check the following websites:
Czech Republic, general information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on topics including travel, business, leisure, study, and work.
CzechTourism.com, an official travel site of the Czech Republic.
My Czech Republic, more than a destination guide: trip planner, Czech food and drink, large Prague guide; practical travel information and tips, a Czech mini phrasebook with audio, etc.
CIA World Factbook , information about the Czech Republic