Prague Basic Information
This pearl of a city is not only the capital of Czech Republic; it’s also the historic capital of Bohemia Proper – a historical region of Central Europe. Want to know more about this Bohemian fairyland? Read on.
Australians travelling to the Czech Republic will not need a visa under some circumstances because of the Schengen Convention. This states that Aussies can stay for up to 90 days within 180 days. There are a few things to note though. Firstly, if you’re travelling from outside the EU and you’re carrying more than 10,000 euros (or equivalent), you’ll need to declare it on arrival. Secondly, make sure your passport has 6 months validity. Thirdly, if you’re staying in private accommodation for longer than 3 days, you’ll need to report to the local Foreigner’s Police Branch. Bring your passport and details of your health insurance. It is mandatory to have traveller’s health insurance if you’re entering the Czech Republic. This is all general advice, for the latest information refer to the Consulate or Embassy of the Czech Republic.
In Prague, you will use the Czech Koruna (or Czech crown). While Czech Republic had planned to adopt the Euro in 2012, the plan was suspended by the government. The Koruna is divided into 100 hellers. You can change your Aussie dollars to Korunas before you leave, however there are plenty of places to change cash in Prague as well. The main Czech banks are the cheapest places to change money. They’ll even give you cash advances on your MasterCard or Visa without commission. If you want to save your pennies, avoid private exchange booths in the centre of Prague.
Influenced by many surrounding countries, modern Czech cuisine has a major focus on meat. Pigs are often the source of many meals because of its short production time (compared to beef). A pretty popular Czech dish is roast pork with dumplings and pickled cabbage. However, the most popular Czech dish is Guláš – a stew generally made with beef, onions and spices. There are also a few vegetarian varieties made with cabbage and potatoes. Potato dumplings filled with smoked meat, sour cabbage or spinach are also a popular dish. Dumplings in general are a staple of Czech cuisine.
The Czech’s are famous for producing arguably some of the finest brews in the world like Urquell, Budvar and Staropramen. So while you’re in Prague, you’d better have a pint or two. In most pubs and bars you’ll find a massive range of beers, many with names almost impossible to pronounce, especially after you’ve had a couple - Velkopopovický Kozel anyone? We suggest pointing at pictures. There are hundreds of restaurants, pubs and bars at Nusle, Zizkov, Staré Město and Malá Strana with good Czech beers. There are also a few pubs and bars that are influenced by American culture too, like Bukowski’s – so named after the hard-drinking literary genius. This place has a dark and debauched atmosphere, quality cocktails, cigars and sweet tunes. There’s a pretty large dance scene too, so if you want to dance ’til dawn you’ll have no trouble finding a place to party. Check out Bunkr Parukarka – a converted 1950s nuclear bunker pumping out electro-pop and industrial tracks.