CZECH REPUBLIC

CZECH REPUBLIC

CZECH REPUBLIC

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Name: Prague Castle
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Castle is a castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic, dating from the 9th century. It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of almost 70,000 square metres (750,000 square feet), at about 570 metres (1,870 feet) in length and an average of about 130 metres (430 feet) wide. The castle is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague attracting over 1.8 million visitors annually.

The castle buildings represent virtually every architectural style of the last millennium. Prague Castle includes Gothic St Vitus Cathedral, Romanesque Basilica of St. George, a monastery and several palaces, gardens and defense towers. Most of the castle areas are open to tourists. The Summer Shakespeare Festival regularly takes place in the courtyard of Burgrave Palace.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague_Castle
Name: Dancing House
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
The Dancing House, is the nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building on the Rašín Embankment in Prague, Czech Republic. It was designed by the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić in cooperation with Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot. The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996.

The very non-traditional design was controversial at the time because the house stands out among the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous, and in the opinion of some it does not accord well with these architectural styles. The then Czech president, Václav Havel, who lived for decades next to the site, had avidly supported this project, hoping that the building would become a center of cultural activity.

Gehry originally named the house Fred and Ginger (after the famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – the house resembles a pair of dancers) but this nickname is now rarely used; moreover, Gehry himself was later "afraid to import American Hollywood kitsch to Prague", and thus discarded his own idea.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_House
Name: Lennon Wall
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
The Lennon Wall or John Lennon Wall is a wall in Prague, Czech Republic. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles' songs. Located in a small and secluded square across from the French Embassy, the wall received its first such decoration following the 1980 assassination of John Lennon when an unknown artist painted a single image of the singer-songwriter and some lyrics.

In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs wrote grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described as "Lennonism" and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Western capitalism.

Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, by the next day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of global ideals such as love and peace.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lennon_Wall
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO CZECH REPUBLIC.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Czech
Currency: Czech Koruna (CZK)
Time zone: CET (UTC+1) / CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +420
Local / up-to-date weather in Prague (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Czech Republic travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Czech Republic, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO CZECH REPUBLIC.

The currency of the Czech republic is the koruna (crown), plural koruny or korun, denoted by the symbol “Kč” (ISO code: CZK). The ISO code is often used internationally and locally, but the local symbol is Kč (for Koruna česká). However, you will more often see amounts just chalked up like “37,-” without “Kč” added at all.

One koruna is made up of 100 haléř (haléřů), but coins have only been issued in whole koruna values since October 2008.

Coins are issued in 1 Kč, 2 Kč, 5 Kč (all stainless steel), 10 Kč (copper-coloured), 20 Kč (brass-coluored) and 50 Kč (copper-coloured ring, brass-coloured centre) denominations. Notes are issued in 100 Kč (aqua), 200 Kč (orange), 500 Kč (red), 1,000 Kč (purple), 2,000 Kč (olive green) and 5,000 Kč (green-purple). See some banknote samples [13]. 20 Kč and 50 Kč banknotes, haléř coins, and older-style 1,000 Kč and 5,000 Kč banknotes from 1993 are no longer legal tender.

Some major stores (mainly bigger chains) will accept euros, and it’s also fairly common for accommodation providers to quote the price in euros. At shopping areas along the Austrian border and petrol stations in the whole country change is given in euros, but supermarkets and similar stores in downtown Prague (and probably other cities) return only Kč, even though they accept euros.

Currency exchange:

Never exchange money on the street. Also, if you’re in Prague, don’t exchange it in the tourist-oriented exchange offices. The “real” exchange rate you should be looking for can be found here. There is no “black market” with better rates, but there is a good chance you’ll end up with a roll of worthless paper. Be very careful when you are exchanging money at a small exchange kiosk. They try to use tricks in order to give you a bad exchange rate. Ask for the total amount you will get and recompute it by yourself. Do not trust “0% commission” in big letter signs (often there is an “only when selling CZK” amendment in small letters, and buying koruny still includes a commission). On this website you can get good overview of reliable exchange places and rates.

Generally, exchange offices at airports, rail stations and main tourist streets do not offer a good rate. Local people exchange money in exchange offices in less frequented areas, such as around the “Politických vězňů”, “Opletalova” or “Kaprova” streets. In some cases, one can get a better rate by using ATMs instead of changing cash. In a pinch, you can also try a bank such as Česká spořitelna – there will be a small commission but the rates are much better than those in the “tourist trap” exchange offices.

Major stores throughout the country accept Visa and EC/MC, as do all the tourist stores in Prague.

Find your connections on one of following websites:

  • Jízdní řády Seznam
  • IDOS

Both sites cover all Czech trains, buses and city transport and many train and bus lines abroad.

BY PLANE:

There is a domestic flight from Prague to Ostrava, operated by CSA Czech Airlines twice daily, but this is usually expensive and used mainly to connect with other flights to/from Prague.

BY BUS:

A cheap and excellent means of travelling between Prague and other major cities are the buses from Regiojet. These buses are usually a bit faster and cost less than the Czech trains (not considering discounts). On some routes (e.g. Prague to Brno) this is marginal, but on others such as Prague to Karlovy Vary or Liberec, there is no direct train connection so the buses are by far the best option. Usually, you do not have to book a seat but if you travel on Fridays or during holidays from or to Prague, it is recommended. You can reserve seats online at the Regiojet website. Apart from this operator there are many other bus companies that link Prague and other cities and towns, even remote villages, regularly. Most buses leave Prague from the central bus station at Florenc, but other major bus stations can be found at Na Knížecí (metro station Anděl), Černý Most, Zličín and Roztyly, all of which are located next to metro stations.

Local bus travel between small towns and surrounding villages is usually operated by companies named ČSAD (district name), a remnant of the nationwide state-run company Československá Autobusová Doprava from communist times. On local buses you simply tell the driver where you’re going and pay him a fare as you get on.

BY CAR:

Czech drivers may seem aggressive sometimes, especially in Prague, but it is far from the “madness” found in some southern European countries.

The Czech Republic is a zero tolerance country for alcohol. It’s illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of any amount of alcohol, and violations are heavily punished.

In order to drive on the well-kept motorways, however, you need to purchase a toll sticker unless you’re riding a motorcycle. These stickers cost 310 Kč in 2018 for ten days (for vehicles lighter than 3.5 tonnes), but can be purchased for longer periods of time (1 month for 440 Kč or 1,500 Kč for a year). If you don’t display a toll sticker on your car when you drive on the motorways, the fines can be very steep (5,000 Kč minimum).

Make certain that you purchase the correct toll sticker: there are those for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes in weight and those for vehicles between 3.5 and 12 tonnes. Vehicles larger than 12 tonnes in weight must use an on-board unit (“premid” unit) to pay tolls based on distance.

The condition of many roads is continually improving, but to be economical and fast, drive on the motorways as much as possible, although if you want to get to remote parts of the country you will not avoid side-roads that may be a little bumpy sometimes. Even after reconstruction, second-class roads in the countryside are ofter quite narrow, without dividing line in the middle.

Speed limits in the Czech Republic are usually 130 km/h on motorways, 90 km/h off the motorways, and 50 km/h in towns. Petrol is cheaper than the rest of Europe (33 Kč, Sep 2018), but it is expensive compared to the United States, as it is heavily taxed. If driving for a longer distance, it is economical to shop around for petrol – the price range between petrol stations is extremely wide. Petrol can cost 40 Kč in branded highway petrol station and 31 Kč in small town. Sometimes you can save 200 Kč on full tank just by going off the highway to tank. Petrol stations ONO usually have the best prices of petrol. There are usually three or more kinds of car fuel labeled by different colours – black is diesel, green is gasoline, with latter being usually sold in different kind – 95, better 98 and sometimes 92 (do not use 92).

Traffic fines can usually be paid on the spot, but always demand a receipt.The use of either daytime running lights (dlr) or dipped headlights is mandatory even during daytime all year. Failure to have your lights on while driving may result in a police fine.

BY TRAIN:

Trains in Czech Republic are operated mostly by state-owned company České Dráhy (Czech Railways). RegioJet (a subsidiary of Student Agency) and LeoExpress operate modernised trains between Prague and Ostrava.

The trains go to the most remote locations of the Czech Republic and unlike buses, they usually operate regularly during off-peak hours and during weekends. However, outside the modernised main corridors, the standard of travelling is often the same as it was in the 1970s, and therefore it is quite time-consuming to get to the provincial towns or villages, the trains tending to meander around the countryside.

Train categories:

  • Osobní vlak (Os) – regional local train, stops everywhere.
  • Spěšný vlak (Sp) – regional fast train, skips villages.
  • Rychlík (R) – long-distance interregional express train, stops in bigger towns and cities only.
  • Rychlík vyšší kvality (Rx) – higher quality long-distance interregional express train, stops in bigger towns and cities only.
  • Express (Ex) – higher quality long-distance interregional express train, stops in major cities only.
  • EuroCity (EC) – highest quality international long-distance express train, stops in biggest cities only.
  • InterCity (IC) – highest quality national long-distance express train, stops in biggest cities only.
  • RailJet (rj) – highest quality international long-distance express train, stops in biggest cities only.
  • SuperCity (SC) – highest quality national long-distance express train, stops in biggest cities only.
  • EuroNight (EN) – highest quality international overnight long-distance express train, stops in biggest cities only.

Train tickets:

Tickets should be bought online in advance – for Czech Railways, which run on all national and international long-distance routes as well as on the vast majority (99%) of local railways, or (Czech only) and for the privately held companies, operating trains only on the Prague-Ostrava long-distance route. In each case, there are many advantages compared to buying at the ticket office: tickets are cheaper when bought in advance and the system automatically recommends the cheapest variant (sparing you the trouble of going through the, often Byzantine, tariffs). Visiting the ticket office is only necessary when paying with cash or when needing some special kinds of fares (for example, sleeping car reservations) unavailable online. Ticket purchased online don’t have to be printed: It’s usually enough to show the pdf file to the conductor on a laptop or tablet screen. The main disadvantage when buying tickets on-line is the need to supply the traveller’s name and the number of a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or a passport. You can usually cancel the online ticket for a small fee up to 15 minutes before departure.

The normal train ticket price on the ČD trains, always available even immediately prior to the departure, can be discouraging (roughly 1.40 Kč per km), but Czech Railways (ČD) offer plenty of discounts. Return tickets give you a 5% discount, and a group of travellers (even two travellers are considered as a “group”) is treated roughly as “first person pays full price, others pay half price”. Therefore, ask for “skupinová sleva” (group discount) and/or “zpáteční sleva” (return discount).

Regular travellers can use a ČD loyalty card, called In-karta IN25 [5], for 150 Kč (3 months), 550 Kč (1 year) or 990 Kč (3 years). It offers a 25% discount for normal and return train tickets and 5–25% for the online tickets. Its price will pay for itself quickly. You have to fill in an application form at the ticket counter and provide a photograph. You will get a temporary paper card immediately and start using the discount. After three weeks you will get a plastic chip card.

The complete list of discounts can be found at the ČD website.

On the route between Prague and Ostrava, you can choose between three competing rail carriers: the national Czech Railways (operating both standard “Ex” and premium “SC” trains) and privately held IC RegioJet and LeoExpress (LE) trains. Considering price, LE, Ex and IC trains are equivalent (about 295 Kč), while the SC trains cost usually about 100 Kč more. Speed-wise, SC is the fastest, followed closely by LE, while IC and Ex lag behind. The on-board service is better on the LE and IC trains.

BY BICYCLE:

The Czech Republic is an excellent place for cycling. There are lots of pleasant country lanes, cycling marked paths and picturesque villages along these paths (always with a pub), it’s easy to find the way, and the trains have bicycle racks in the baggage section for when you get tired. Try cycling in South Moravia region (close to Austrian borders) where you can find dozens of well-marked paths that will lead you through beautiful countryside full of vineyards, vine cellars and colourful villages.

Also border mountains (Krkonoše, Šumava, Jeseníky, etc.) are more and more popular among mountain-bikers. There are usually no fences along the trails but always keep to the roads or marked cycling paths here as these mountains are National Parks/Reserves and you can be fined if you cycle “off the beaten track”.

Mapy.cz is a good source for cycling information – switch the map (via Změnit mapu – Turistická) to see cycling routes in violet color.

We Bike Prague offers different options of guided and self-guided bike in the Czech Republic.

EAT:

Traditional local food:

Traditional Czech food is hearty and suitable after a hard day in the fields. It is heavy and quite fatty, and is excellent in the winter. In the recent time there was a tendency towards more light food with more vegetables, now the traditional heavy and fatty Czech food is usually not eaten everyday and some people avoid it entirely. However nothing goes as well with the excellent Czech beer as some of the best examples of the traditional Czech cuisine, like pork, duck, or goose with knedlíky (dumplings) and sauerkraut.

A traditional main meal of a day (usually lunch) consists of two or three dishes. The first dish is hot soup (polévka). The second dish is the most important part, very often based on some meat and side-dish (both served on the same plate). The third, optional part is either something sweet (and coffee) or small vegetable salad or something similar.

Czech cuisine knows many different kinds of soup (polévka). The most common are bramboračka – potato soup (sometimes with forest mushrooms), hovězí vývar – clear beef soup (sometimes s játrovými knedlíčky – with liver dumplings), gulášovka – thick goulash soup, zelňačka – thick and sour cabbage soup, česnečka (strong garlic soup, very healthy and tasty, but do not eat this before kissing), kulajda – thick soup with forest mushrooms and milk, hrášková polévka from young green peas, čočková polévka from lentils, fazolačka from beans, rajská polévka – tomato soup, and many others. A special case not to everyone’s tastes is dršťková polévka (tripe soup). Rybí polévka – thick fish soup made from carps (including its head, some innards, roe and sperm) is the traditional soup of the Christmas Dinner.

Some soups are eaten with bread, sometimes small croutons are put inside the soup just before eating. Soup can be also eaten as the only dish, especially for a smaller dinner.

The second dish (main course, hlavní jídlo) of a meal is (in the traditional cuisine) often the famous heavy and fatty part, very often based on pork, but also beef, chicken, duck, or other meat. Important part of most main courses is side-dish (the whole dish including the side-dish is served on one plate) – usually cooked or baked potatoes, fries, rice, pasta or the most typical side-dish of the Czech cuisine – knedlíky.

Knedlíky (usually translated as dumplings) come in many different kinds. Most kinds are used as side-dish, however some kinds with filling are used as dish by itself. The most common type, always used as side-dish, are houskové knedlíky (bread dumplings). These are cooked in a shape of a cylinder, which is then cut into round slices about 8 cm in diameter remotely resembling white bread. Houskové knedlíky are served with Czech classics such as guláš, similar to Hungarian goulash but with a thinner sauce and less spicy; Svíčková na smetaně, beef sirloin with a creamy root vegetable (carrot, celeriac, parsnip) sauce, served with a tablespoon of cranberry sauce, a slice of orange and whipped cream; Vepřová pečeně se zelím a knedlíkem locally named as Vepřo-knedlo-zelo, the combination of roast pork, knedlíky and sauerkraut. The latter combines very well with the world-famous Czech beer, the major brands being Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Budvar, Staropramen, Velkopopovický Kozel and Krušovice. If you are lucky enough to enter a pub serving Svijany, you should definitely order it, as it is believed to be one of the most delicious brands worldwide.

Another common kind is bramborové knedlíky (potato dumplings), the slices are smaller, more yellow in color, and are also always served as a side-dish. A typical combination is roasted meet (pork or lamb for example) with spinach and bramborové knedlíky or duck with sauerkraut and bramborové knedlíky (or combination of bramborové and houskové knedlíky). Less common are chlupaté knedlíky (hairy dumplings, but there are no hairs, don’t panic), which are not sliced but cooked in shape of balls. They are also usually served with roasted meat and either sauerkraut or spinach.

Other Czech dishes include pečená kachna, roast duck again served with bread or potato dumplings, and red and white sauerkraut; moravský vrabec, known as ‘Moravian Sparrow’, but which is in fact pork cooked in garlic and onions; smažený kapr, fried carp breaded and served with a very rich potato salad and eaten on Christmas Eve; pečené vepřové koleno, roast pork knee, served with mustard and fresh horseradish; bramborák, garlicky potato pancakes; smažený sýr, breaded deep-fried edam (the most popular cheese in the Czech Republic) served with boiled potatoes or french fries and tartar sauce; párek v rohlíku, long, thin hot dogs with crusty rolls and mustard or ketchup. If you must, you can always get hranolky – french fries. And of course, the ubiquitous zelí (raw cabbage), which is served with absolutely everything. Game is also very good, and includes dishes such as kančí, wild boar, bažant, pheasant and jelení or daňčí, both types of venison. These are almost always served either with dumplings and red and white cabbage, or as guláš.

Don’t expect a wide selection of zelenina, vegetables, unless in the countryside – peppers, tomatoes and cabbage are the most commonly-seen side dishes, often served as a small garnish.

Visitors may be surprised when they find “American potatoes” on the menu. These are actually potato wedges, usually spiced.

Beer snacks:

Also try traditional beer snacks, often the only food served in some pubs (hospoda, pivnice), and designed to be washed down by a good beer:

  • Utopenec – (means ‘drowned man’ in Czech) a pickled sausage with onion, garlic and other vegetables and spices.
  • Zavináč – (rollmop) a slice of pickled fish, most often herring or mackerel, rolled-up and filled with various pickled vegetables (sauerkraut, onion, sometimes carrot or pepper).
  • Tlačenka s cibulí – (brawn with onion) a slice of haggis-like meat pudding, sprinkled with vinegar and garnished with fresh onion slices. Beware, can be rather acidic due to vinegar.
  • Nakládaný Hermelín – pickled Brie-like cheese, often marinated with garlic and chilli.
  • Pivní sýr – beer cheese – a soft cheese, with a strong, Cheddar-like flavour. You should add a splash of beer to the cheese, and then mash it all together, and serve it on traditional Czech bread – Šumava (the name of a region in South Bohemia) is the most common bread, a very tasty dense loaf made from rye and carroway seeds.
  • Tvarůžky or Syrečky – traditional cheese with a very strong aroma, and very much an acquired taste. Often served deep-fried, but can be eaten alone, just with some chopped onion, mustard and bread. Sometimes also marinated in beer (‘syrečky v pivu’). This cheese naturally contains almost no fat (less than 1%).
  • Romadur – traditional cheese with strong aroma. Aroma is similar to Tvarůžky, but Romadur is different type of cheese.
  • Matesy s cibulí – (soused herring) cold fish served with onions.

If you want a warm, bigger, and more complicated meal which goes excellently with beer, get some of the typical Czech meals based on fatty meat (pork, duck, or goose) with sauerkraut and knedlíky (dumplings). Another excellent option is a whole pork knee with horseradish and bread (ovarové koleno s křenem).

Sweets:

Czechs like sweets but consumer patterns are different compared to France, USA or the UK. As everywhere some traditional treats have become a mass-market production for tourists, others are pretty difficult to find.

On the street:

  • Lázeňské oplatky – spa wafers from Mariánské Lázně and Karlovy Vary (major spa towns in Western Bohemia, better known by their German names of Marienbad and Karlsbad) are meant to be eaten while “taking the waters” at a spa, but they’re good on their own, too. Other major spas are Karlova Studánka (favourite destination of Václav Havel – former Czechoslovakian president), Františkovy Lázně, Jánské Lázně, Karviná, Teplice and Luhačovice. You will find them most easily not only in spa resorts but also in Prague. Have them either out of the box on your own or heated and iced with sugar, cinnamon, etc.
  • Trdlo or trdelník – is available in dedicated sell-points in the streets of Prague. It is a mediaeval style sweet roll made from eggs and flour.

In restaurants:

  • Jablkový závin or štrůdl, apple strudel, often served warm with whipped cream.
  • Medovník – a newcomer having quickly spread in most restaurants. A brown high cake made of gingerbread, honey and walnuts.
  • Ovocné knedlíky – fruit stuffed dumplings served either as main course or a filling dessert. The smaller ones (‘tvarohové’) come with plum, apple or apricot filling, the bigger ones (‘kynuté’) come with strawberries, blueberries, povidla (plum jam) or toher fruits. Knedlíky are served with melted butter, iced with tvaroh (curd cheese) and sugar, and topped with whipped cream.
  • Palačinka – not much in common with French crepes, these pancakes are usually thicker and served with a wide choice of fillings including chocolate, ice-cream, fruit and whipped cream.

Cukrárna:

Also try the wide variety of rich cream cakes usually found in a Kavárna (a cafe), or a Cukrárna (a shop which sells all things sweet together with ice cream and drinks, found throughout the Czech Republic and often the only place open in small towns and villages on Sundays). Czech cakes are similar to their Viennese cousins due to the shared history of both countries under the Austro-Hungarian empire. Also sample Vídeňská káva (Viennese coffee), coffee served with a mountain of whipped cream.

  • Rakvička (literally a little coffin) is a light crispy biscuit with cream,
  • Větrník is a round French éclair style cream cake,
  • Punčák is a rum soaked yellow/pink biscuit sugar-glazed cake,
  • Laskonka is a coconut and cream based sandwich cake, and many more!

Home made:

  • Bábovka – a traditional cake, similar to marble cake, fairly dry, and usually served dusted with icing sugar.
  • Buchty – (singular Buchta)traditional buns filled with tvaroh (curd cheese), mák (poppy seeds), or povidla (plum jam)
  • Koláče – (singular Koláč) rather popular flat tarts topped with various sweet fillings like tvaroh, povidla, mák, fruit jams, chopped apples and nuts. Their size ranges from bite-sized (‘svatební koláčky’) to pizza-sized, which often contain several fillings combined into an elaborate pattern (‘Chodský koláč’ or ‘frgál’).

DRINK:

Beer:

The Czech Republic is the country where modern beer (pivo in Czech) was invented (in Plzeň). Czechs are the heaviest beer drinkers in the world, drinking about 160 litres of it per capita per year. Going to a cosy Czech pub for dinner and a few beers is a must!

The best-known export brands are Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj), Budweiser Budvar (Budějovický Budvar) and Staropramen (freely translatable as “Oldspring”). Other major brands which are popular domestically include Gambrinus, Kozel, Bernard (a small traditional brewery, with very high quality beer), Radegast, and Starobrno (made in Brno, the capital of Moravia). Other fantastic beers worth tasting are Svijany and Dobřanská Hvězda. Although many Czechs tend to be very selective about beer brands, tourists usually don’t find a significant difference. And remember, real Czech beer is only served on tap – bottled beer is a completely different experience. High-quality beer can almost certainly be found in a hospoda or hostinec, very basic pubs which serve only beer and light snacks. Take a seat and order your drinks when the waiter comes to you – going to the bar to order your drinks is a British custom! But beware, the handling of the beer is even more important than its brand. A bad bartender can completely ruin even excellent beer. Best bet is to ask local beer connoiseurs about a good pub or just join them.

Beers are sometimes listed by their original sugar content, which is measured in degrees Plato (P/°). The difference is generally apparent in the final alcohol content. Normal beer is about 10° (such as Gambrinus and Staropramen, which results in 4% ABV), lager 12° (such as Pilsner Urquell, which results in about 4.75% ABV). The latter is stronger and more expensive, so you should specify which one you want when you order.

Czech lager is nothing like the fizzy lagers found in many other countries. Instead, it has a very strong, hoppy, almost bitter flavour, and goes very well with heavy dishes like duck or pork and dumplings or strong cheeses. It always has a thick head on the top when it is served, but do not be afraid to drink “through” it, it is fun and it slowly disappears anyway, nevertheless do not drink the beer too slowly as the fresh cold taste (especially in hot summers) quickly fades – the “true” Czech connoisseurs do not even finish this “tepid goat,” as they call it.

The right beer bought in shops is only in half-litre brown glass bottles with sheet-crown cap. Experienced earthy beer drinkers drink it directly from the bottle. Some breweries distribute also big (two-litre or 1.5 litre) plastic bottles but they are considered a bit barbarian and degraded by Czechs, and the better breweries ridicule such form. Also sheet-can beer is perceived as an alien.

Wine:

Wine (víno in Czech) is another popular drink, particularly wine from Moravia in the south-eastern part of the country where the climate is more suited to vineyards. White wines tend to be the best as the growing conditions are more favourable for them. For white wines, try Veltlínské zelené (Green Veltliner), Muškát moravský (Moravian Muscatel), Ryzlink rýnský (Rhine Riesling) or Tramín (Traminer), or red wines such as Frankovka (Blaufrankisch), Modrý Portugal (Blue Portugal, named after the grape, not the country), or Svatovavřinecké (Saint Lawrence). Also try ice wine (ledové víno) made when the grapes are harvested after they have frozen on the vines, or straw wine (slámové víno) made by leaving the grapes to ripen on straw) – these wines are more expensive and are similar to dessert wines. Bohemia Sekt is also popular with Czechs, and is an inexpensive sweet, fizzy wine, similar to Lambrusco, and drunk at celebrations. The best places for wine are either a wine bar (vinárna), or a wine shop (vinotéka) which sometimes has a small bar area too.

Spirits:

For spirits, try Becherovka (herb liqueur, similar to Jägermeister, tastes of a mixtures of cloves and cinnamon, and drunk as a digestive), slivovice (plum brandy, very popular as a pick-me-up), hruškovice (pear brandy, less fiery than Slivovice), and so on. Spirits are made out of almost every kind of fruit (Plums, Peaches, Cherries, Sloes, etc.). Czech unique tuzemský rum (made from sugar beet, not from sugar cane as the Cuban rum, sold under brands like Tuzemák to conform with EU market rules). Be careful as all are about 40% alcohol.

Non-alcoholic:

Generally, fruit sparkling waters (as well as coke waters) are named limonáda in Bohemia or sodovka in Moravia. Draught “limonades” of various types used to be a very cheap and available beverage in common pubs in rural and hiking areas. Now, more expensive “Cola-Fanta-Sprite” choice or draught or bottle Kofola are available usually. Kofola, a coke-like drink is also very popular, and some Czechs say it is the best thing the communists gave them.

Mineral waters are popular, but tend to have a strong mineral taste. Try Mattoni, or Magnesia, both of which taste like normal water and still claim to be good for your health. If you want bubbles, ask for perlivá. If you want it non-carbonated, ask for neperlivá. Sometimes you can see jemně perlivá – it is “lightly bubbled” water. Many restaurants don’t make any difference between “sparkling water” and “sparkling mineral water”. Sparkling water (without flavour) is traditionally named sodovka (sodová voda, soda water) in Bohemia and sifon in Moravia.

Usually, also some fruit juices are on offer.

Restaurants and most of pubs offer also tea and coffee. The basic form of coffee is turecká káva (Turkish coffee) with grounds, but it is offered also drip coffee or instant coffee or milky coffee, especially with whipping cream (vídeňská káva, Viennese coffee). Broader assortment is offered in cafes (kavárna) or tea rooms (čajovna). Cofes are visited especially by seniors, ladies or intellectuals, tea rooms have east-oriented atmosphere and are very popular among non-alcoholic young people in last decades.

At many train and subway stations and other places, cold and hot non-alcoholic beverages are available in 24/7 vending machines.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Czech_Republic
TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Prague Castle
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Prague Castle is a castle complex in Prague, Czech Republic, dating from the 9th century. It is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic. The castle was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman emperors, and presidents of Czechoslovakia. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are kept within a hidden room inside it.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world, occupying an area of almost 70,000 square metres (750,000 square feet), at about 570 metres (1,870 feet) in length and an average of about 130 metres (430 feet) wide. The castle is among the most visited tourist attractions in Prague attracting over 1.8 million visitors annually.

The castle buildings represent virtually every architectural style of the last millennium. Prague Castle includes Gothic St Vitus Cathedral, Romanesque Basilica of St. George, a monastery and several palaces, gardens and defense towers. Most of the castle areas are open to tourists. The Summer Shakespeare Festival regularly takes place in the courtyard of Burgrave Palace.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prague_Castle
Name: Dancing House
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
The Dancing House, is the nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building on the Rašín Embankment in Prague, Czech Republic. It was designed by the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić in cooperation with Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot. The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996.

The very non-traditional design was controversial at the time because the house stands out among the Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous, and in the opinion of some it does not accord well with these architectural styles. The then Czech president, Václav Havel, who lived for decades next to the site, had avidly supported this project, hoping that the building would become a center of cultural activity.

Gehry originally named the house Fred and Ginger (after the famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – the house resembles a pair of dancers) but this nickname is now rarely used; moreover, Gehry himself was later "afraid to import American Hollywood kitsch to Prague", and thus discarded his own idea.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_House
Name: Lennon Wall
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
The Lennon Wall or John Lennon Wall is a wall in Prague, Czech Republic. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from Beatles' songs. Located in a small and secluded square across from the French Embassy, the wall received its first such decoration following the 1980 assassination of John Lennon when an unknown artist painted a single image of the singer-songwriter and some lyrics.

In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs wrote grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described as "Lennonism" and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Western capitalism.

Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, by the next day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of global ideals such as love and peace.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lennon_Wall
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

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