Daily Life in Prague
Getting from the Airport
1) Taxi: Taxis are always waiting in front of the exit from the airport. A taxi from the airport to hotel Inos/Podolí dormitories costs between 570- 820CZK, with the average being about 664 CZK (30 USD). If you ask the driver for an estimate ahead of time, he/she won´t be able to rip you off as easily. I know this is obvious but make sure to have the hotel/dorm address with you: Sinkulova 23, 147 00, Prague 4 OR Na Lysině 12, 147 00, Prague 4. Learn more about taxis from the airport here. And, yes, Prague also has Uber.
2) Hotel Inos Transfer: The hotel offers private transportation from the airport (ONLY for people staying at Inos) for the following flat rate:
1-4 people: 730 CZK (33 USD)
5-8 people: 960 CZK (43 USD)
The driver is supposed to wait for you in front of the exit from the baggage claim with a sign that says “INOS”; he/she knows when to be there by tracking you through your flight number. To order this time of transportation, send your arrival time and flight number to Ema Katrovas.
3) Public Transportation: It is also possible to use public transport from the airport to the Podolská Vodárna tram stop (for the hotel) or the Pražského povstání metro stop (for the dorms). You may use the Prague transportation website (dpp.cz/en) to find the best routes or ask the PSP staff for instructions. You will have to purchase a pass from the bus driver for 32 CZK.
With your orientation materials, you will receive a transit pass which will allow you to use all of Prague’s excellent public transportation services (bus, tram, metro, ferry) for the duration of your stay. YOU MUST CARRY YOUR PASS AT ALL TIMES! Checks are random and if you are caught on public transport without your pass you will be charged 1500CZK (about 64 USD).
When finding your way using public transport, we suggest you make the Prague public transportation official website your guide: dpp.cz/en. The nearest stop to the Inost hotel is Podolská vodárna and the nearest stop for the dorms and the school is Pražského povstání. If you click TRANSPORT AROUND PRAGUE and then JOURNEY PLANNER, you can find routes to wherever you´re going along with exact departure times.
Cabs on the streets may overcharge you. We recommend calling one of the following: Nejlevnější Taxi (always cheapest), Profi Taxi, and AAA (contacts below).
Taxi contacts (enter +420 first if calling from a non-Czech phone):
Nejlevnější Taxi: 226 000 226
Profi Taxi: 14 0 15
AAA: 14 0 14
The conversion rate for Czech crowns and US dollars is usually around 25CZK to 1 USD. We strongly recommend that, upon your arrival in Prague, you take out about 2000CZK from an ATM (“Bankomat”). It´s best to take out larger amounts of cash from an ATM rather than to pay with your credit card everywhere, as you are generally charged for each use of your credit card abroad (there are also numerous establishments in Prague that do not take credit cards). ATM machines are the quickest, most efficient means of accessing your funds at home, and give the best conversion rates. There are ATMs located around the corner from the hotel, across from the post office.
There are few trustworthy money-exchange places in Prague. If you must exchange money, we prefer the Exchange on Kaprova 13/14, near the Staroměstská tram and metro stop (see map here and website here.) Avoid all other moneychangers on the streets! They’ll always rip you off.
If your family, friends, and significant others wish to call you while you´re in Prague, be sure to remind them that when they dial a Czech number they must first dial +420. All Inos hotel units have phones from which one may receive calls. You may request the direct number for your room upon check-in. We strongly recommend you simply use Skype, or similar on-line calling.
The central post office (Jindřišská 14 near the Museum metro stop, on the C line) is open from 2 a.m. to 12 a.m., seven days a week. The post office nearest the hotel is right around the corner, on Podolská 21 (open from 8a.m. to 6p.m. on weekdays only). From the dorm, it would be easiest to take one stop on the metro to Pankrác, where the post office (on Na strži 42) is open until 8pm on weekdays and 1pm on Satuday’s. Orange mailboxes on the streets are for stamped post, which is collected several times a day. International postage to countries both inside and outside the EU is 25,00 CZK for letters up to 50g.
Copying and Printing
You may do smaller-scale print-jobs at the hotel for 3CZK a page. The most convenient copy place for larger copying is Copy General, on the I.P. Pavlova metro stop (Londýnská 57) for 2,50CZK under 100 pages and 2,20 above 100 pages. The PSP staff will be in charge of printing for classes and conferences (more at Orientation.)
Medical and Dental
There are several options for medical, dental, or emergency care. English speaking facilities are available at: Doctor – Health Centre Prague, International Clinic (Vodičkova 28, www.doctor-prague.cz), at the Polyclinic at Národní (Národní 9, poliklinikanarodni.cz/en/) or at Canadian Medical Care (several clinics, see website for details, www.cmcpraha.cz/en-US) A pharmacy open 24 hours a day is at Palackého 5 in the Old Town and at Vítězné náměstí 13, Prague 6. There is also a pharmacy just down the street from the hotel on your way to the tram stop which is open from 7am to 6pm on weekdays only. Generally, you will have to pay about 1000-1500 CZK upfront per doctor´s visit, even if you have travel insurance. Most importantly: Do not hesitate to contact PSP staff with your medical needs. They will assist you both in scheduling an appointment and getting you to your appointment. They may also pick up medication for you. (See next page for medical contacts.)
Doctor´s appointment contacts (enter +420 first if calling from a non-Czech phone):
Doctor – Health Centre Prague: 603 433 833, 603 481 361
Polyclinic at Národní: 222 075 119, 222 075 120
Canadian Medical Care: 235 360 133, 724 300 301
Emergency Medical Service: 155
Laundry, Groceries, etc.
The dorms include cloth washing facilities. Hotel Inos may wash your laundry on weekdays if you bring it down to the reception (details are in the Inos info booklet in your room.) There are a couple American-style Laundromats in Prague. We recommend Andy’s Laundromat (praguelaundromat.cz).
There are many small grocery stores in residential areas, including the area around hotel Inos and the dorms. These stores generally only take cash. There is also a Tesco directly on the Pražského povstání metro stop, near the dorms and the school.
Praguers like to recycle, so please do so, too. The nearest recycling bins are just to the left up the street from the hotel.
The tap water is drinkable so we encourage you to drink it rather than buying bottled water.
European cities are generally safer than cities in many other parts of the world including the United States but one should be vigilant as a visitor to any city in the world. Violent crime is rarer in Prague than in both U.S. cities and in Western European cities, for example, but crimes of stealth are quite common. Every other year a PSP student or faculty member is robbed on a tram or the Metro. Hold your purse close to you at all times on public transportation, and put your backpacks in front of you. Keep your wallets in your front pockets, and don’t carry any more cash, credit cards, or identification cards than needed. Never leave your bag unattended anywhere. Make a Xerox copy of your passport before you leave the U.S., and keep it with you so you may leave your passport in your room (where there are safes)! In case of emergency, please contact PSP staff. See below for emergency contacts.
Emergency contacts (enter +420 first if calling from a non-Czech phone):
Emergency (police, ambulance, fire dpt.): 112
Czech Police: 158
Prague Police: 156
Central Police Station (specialized in helping tourists 24/7): 947-851-750