American Visa Abolished for Czechs. Now What?

The American President George W. Bush has announced Czechs do not need visas anymore, starting probably on 17th November 2008, the exact date wasn’t released yet. Still, there is a necessity for Czechs to fill the Internet form, where are going to be similar questions as were given in the past visas meetings at the US embassy. Basically, those questions are aimed for sorting out those who could be dangerous for the US.

The registration is free and stay valid for two years. Those who want to go there need a digital passport where is saved a photo and finger-prints. The controls at the US airports continue in the same way as before. Those who have the visas do not need to make a new ones. Those, who received a negative answer after filling the electronic form have to go to the Embassy for a second shot.


CSA strengthening lines to Germany

Czech airlines CSA intend to focus their Boings especially on traffic to Germany and to the Balkan. More planes than the last year head for Stuttgart, Hamburg, Istanbul, Skopje or Belgrade, stated the speaker of CSA Daniela Hupakova. Together, the CSA machines to 129 destinations, 21 more than the last year.

According to Hupakova, the airlines want to satisfy German and all western businessman, who can use the wide net of CSA in southern and eastern Europe. With that is related setting of bigger airplanes to the main German transition station Frankfurt. The in-country flights expect a boost as well, for example the flight from Prague to Brno.

The Prague Airport also plans to reduce some lines. The long-distance flights to New York are reduced from 7 to 5 a week.


Czech Railways – Tickets in grocery shop

The project is now being tested in Ricany close to Prague. The ticket office is closed, tickets are possible to buy in the local Pont shop. They have the machine Ticket Pont Centrum.

The idea is simple: Are you in a hurry, need to buy a ticket, something to eat and read, and have time to stand in only one queue? The point is that it is good for business, and good for the Czech Railways (CD), because they don’t have to pay a ticket seller.

The CD have found inspiration for the project in Switzerland and Scandinavia. If the Ticket Pont Centrum function will be satisfactory, it may spread and be seen all around the republic, so prepare for it.


New Prague Tourist Map: Sightseeing routes by Tramway

There is a new map prepared for tourists coming to Prague. It introduces the main tramway lines and over a hundred destinations, where one can get by it. As the tourist chosen destinations are around the stations, it makes an excellent handbook for everyone interested in Prague sightseeing, entertainment, culture as a whole.

The new map was produced by the Prague City Hall in amount of 180 thousand pieces. They are distributed in the information centres of the Prague City Hall, for example there is one right next to Charles Bridge. It is in Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian.

The map also brings information about funicular to Petrin and about Prague Ferries.


Bem Drove new Prague Tramway

Pavel Bem went to Plzen yesterday, to not only see and baptize the new low-floor Prague tramway, but also to drive it. The metropolis should get about 250 of these trains; Skoda 15T ForCity. “Bem commented Prague deserves new trampark for a long time (the most common tramways in Prague were made in 1960’s)

The Prague Mayor have appreciated especially its black-red-silver design and comfort, which it offers to its drivers and passengers. The first trains of the 15T ForCity tramways should appear in Prague at the end of 2009.

The new tramway unit costs 66 millions czk. “The almost 20 billions order is paid solely from Prague budget itself” Bem said. He also added they only want to keep the ratio, where still the public transport beats the personal transport.


Luggage Weight Limits of CSA

Czech Airlines have changed the weight limit of luggage a traveller can take with him/her without extra charge. CSA wants the passengers to have lighter luggage by 3 kilos – from 23kg to 20 kg. The resolution will be valid from 26th October 2008.

The new limit does not relate to passengers in business class, owners of loyalty cards and flights to USA and Canada. The Czech Airlines expect the action will lead to reducing weight of transported luggage, and so to reducing fuel consumption. The reason is also most of the airlines have the limit set to 20 kg, and travelers had problems at consequential flights.

Payments for excess luggage differ according to destinations. For example the flight from Prague to Roma means every +kg 355 czk.


Prepare for traffic collapse in Prague this weekend

This weekend better take a walk. The Lanový most (Rope Bridge) which is an essential part of the Jizni Spojka which forms a southern by-pass road will be closed in both directions on Thursday 21st August on 11 pm. The cars should not return at it until Sunday-Monday night of 25th August.

All the complications started from the moved console. A regular check of the bridge, which daily carries about 100 000 cars, discovered the bridge has moved of about 5 cm. The repairing company shuts the traffic at the bridge, it will go through Svehlova and Prumyslova street.

Jizni spojka is a part of Prague beltway, which has been build for more than 20 years now.

Tram Closure in Prague

Belehradska Street connecting Vinohrady with Nusle does not allow tramways through starting today, the closure continues until 27th August. The reason is the railway bridge over Belehradska street repair. The Bridge connects Hlavni and Smichovske nadrazi. The tramways to which it refers to are the lines 4, 6, 11 and the night tram 56.

The second place, which will have to do solely with buses, is the track among the stations Jindrizska and Lazarska. On the weekend 23 – 24th August the tram traffic will be interrupted due to filming works. Among Jindrizska and Lazarska, the substitute bus line X-3 will go instead.


Prague introduces more night buses

For Prague citizens or visitors of the city, who are often going home after midnight, there is a good news from Prague Public Transport company – since 31st August 2008 there is planned a notable increase in the frequency of buses.

Also those who live in more distant parts of Prague and don’t nave any night buses at all, should get their night stations, and so the possibility of travelling without taxi.

To forget about necessity of night walks or paying for over-prized taxis will be newly possible in those city parts: Strahov, Nove Vysocany, Hrdlorezy, Zahradni Mesto, Skalka and Kosik. There is also new 50 stations, where the night buses are going to stop.


Another Prague Ferry Finally Put on Vltava

ferry in prague Another ferries start to go to and fro Vltava river in Prague. After long waiting and planning, two new routes were finally put into service. They are called Privoz P4 and Privoz P5 and they should make travelling in Prague faster. Those who simply want to get from one bank to another don’t have to change trains, ferry going from Jiraskovo namesti to Cisarska louka makes it in 15 minutes the second one goes from Smetanovo nabrezi to Detsky ostrov, and it takes no more than 5 minutes.

These two new lines open now, and are opened until 31st October. Capacity at the first ship is about 50 people, on the second one it is 20, as it goes more often.

The other ferries go from Sedlce to Zamky, together with the one from Podbaba to Podhori go on historically proven routes from the past centuries, the other goes to the sport and relax center Zlute Lazne from Lihovar.


Metro In Prague Video from Cockpit

Prague Metro is something one remembers. The whole project was made in cooperation with the USSR, and so it looks up to it – huge, overlarged halls encased with an imitation of marble are undoubtedly impressive. There are three lines of Metro, always being lengthened, upgraded, polished.

Tickets are available to be bought from a vending machine, at newspaper kiosks and also via a mobile phone. When one enters the area, he has to validate the ticket otherwise he may get a fine of about 1000 czk (40€) one ride is worth 26 (two rides or a long one) or 18 (one ride).

But you know all that; what you want to know, of how does it look like when you drive one of these. And here, you can have a look:


Prague Tourism and 'Dark Sightseeing'

New touristic destinations have appeared in the metropolis, new and quite morbid ones. What connects sv. Cyrila a Metodeje church with Vysehrad Slavin cemetery ? People were dying in there. The agency CzechTourism made a research of Dark places and found out ‘most dark and favored’ Czech place is Terezin memorial, visited by 300t every year.

Three places in Prague got into the ‘Darkest Top Ten’; the Cyrila a Metodeje church where the Czechoslovak para-shooters died after assassinating Heydrich. The upper part of the Wenceslas square is notorious as the place where Jan Palach set himself to fire as a protest against the communists.

Attractivity of dark touristics is based on bringing something new, and providing strong emotional experience. You certainly not find an adequate counterpart to the Edinburgh Dungeon, which really can make people of weaker nature sick, we stand at the beginning, but Prague is definitely a place with Gothic energy and a little of horror belongs in here.


Taxi drivers plan rise, km ->31 czk

Prague cabs are going to increase their prices after this holidays already. From the current 28/km to 31/km, a minute of waiting from 6 to 7 czk and the starting fee will go from 40 to 45 czk.

The new prices have a logical reason – rising prices of fuels reflect rising prices of services. The taxi drivers even demonstrated by blocking the expressway to the airport.

Of course, the taxi rivers would increase the prices much radically if they got a chance. But with consideration of those stories one hears, about the taxi drivers being the dark stain of Prague, it is no wonder severe regulations are in place.

We are going to inform you about the mater development.

Have you tried to buy an SMS Ticket?

If yes, you may be interested in the plain fact the Prague City Transport company keeps your number for 10 years. Apart from this curious fact, the SMS tickets became a serious business, which sells 22 000 a day. That, yearly, brings the Prague Transport Company profits of about 200 millions czk.

The SMS are kept for the case travellers would argue with controllers, that they bought the ticket. That doesn’t explain, why to keep the numbers for 10 years, but it makes sense. It is presented like a price for more comfortable buying.

The Office for personal data logically disapproves the doings – according to it piling up telephone numbers of people who didn’t give agreement to it is not kosher and started to investigate it already.


Czechs do not need work permit for France anymore

France now widens the list of countries, which citizens do not need work permit for job in the country. This work liberation concerns especially countries of Middle and Eastern Europe. Czechs, who joined the EU in 2004, need the permit only in Germany, Austria and Belgium.

“Economic situation and employment in France was very different in 2004. Unemployment was reaching 10%, meanwhile now the situation is much better at 7,5% of unemployed. Modernization of farming, modernization of labour market and employment, France is now better prepared for workers of new member states” the business council of French embassy Bernard Boidin sates.

Free migration is one of four base freedoms of the united Europe.


Prague Main Bus Station Florenc Reconstruction

Florenc in its present form of 2008 looks very similar to the way it looked back in 1970’s and 1980’s so when you accidentally appear there, you are contrasted with the reality of a communist country: zero services, concrete falling apart, dirt and homeless people everywhere, unfriendly and dangerous. design of new florenc station. Luckily, someone finally took a notice of it, so the Florenc bus station will get reconstructed. The main railway station reconstruction is going just fine, so let’s hope this will be the case as well.

At the place of former Vietnamese marketplace grows a new terminal building, which should be, according to CSAD Praha Holding, pleasant to passengers and should fit into the location architecturally. So Florenc will get a gift for its birthday – it was instituted exactly 60 years ago. How many hundreds of millions people travelled through the station is not easy to find, but hopefully the next year those who use it will travel with dignity.


Czech Travel Companies Abandon Paper Air Tickets

The association of travel companies IATA announced a move from paper tickets to electronic ones. They expect to raise their profits of 9 mil czk, and also save up to 50 000 trees a year.

According to the association, the electronic tickets are preferred by more than 89% of the passengers. Czech travel companies embrace the proposal with one voice.

Asia and Africa are the only continents where could be problems, so there stay paper tickets. Otherwise, paper tickets will be used only in two cases. 1St: Charter flights with travel agencies, 2nd: Of course those travel companies, which are not in the IATA association, those are especially small companies in developing countries.

It is common to buy the ticket at the Internet nowadays.


Parking Zones in Prague

Are you going to the centre of Prague with your car and do you need to park there? Here is a short guideline how to use Prague Parking Zones.

The districts of parking zones are Prague 1, Prague 2, Prague 3, Prague 7. You can encounter three colours of lines – orange, green and blue, having different functions.

Orange Zone
Short-term parking zones equipped with a parking meter, charging 40 czk per hour. The maximum time possible to spend in the place is limited to 2 hours, the minimum time to pay is 15 minutes, the price is 10 czk. You have to pay there only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. From 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., it is free of charge.

Green Zone
Medium-term parking zone, allowing to stay up to 6 hours. Those are charged 30 czk per hour, or it is possible to pay 120 czk for 6 hour straight away. Again, as with the previous case, the zone is equipped with a coin-operated parking meter, that can collect Czech coins. And again, the zone is effective from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Blue Zone
The long-term parking zone is designed solely for local residents, or companies based in the district. Otherwise it is almost impossible to get a parking card to this zone. Do not park there without the park card, as the police focus on those zones, checking them quite often.

Service Zone
Either for the handicapped, or for other subjects at the base of a special request, in the case of commercial subjects markedly charged.

The trend of Parking zones spreads from the centre of Prague to the other parts, so be prepared that every single year will widen the places of paid parking.


Tourism of the first quarter of the year – quite good, actually

Thanks to mild winter with at least some snow on the mountains, the first quarter of 2008 brought more than 10% tourists than the last year. Accommodation facilities hosted over 2,6 million tourists. Snowing attracted outdoor tourists, no drastic frosts attracted urban tourists. The other factor contributing was the fact this years’ Easter were in March already.

According to statistics, the number of tourists, who use better accommodation facilities. The highest increase of guests – 16,3% noted 3-star hotels. Those 5-star and 4-star hotels didn’t get left behind, as they were used by 15,3 and 12,8% percent more than in the last year.


Toll in Prague inevitable, Probably to start in 2009

The report of Deloitte company expects the toll could be established starting December of the next year. From the analysis it is also clear the most useful system is the camera one, and that toll will be applied, in the first phase, at 8,5 square kilometre.

Toll should be, according to Deloitte, collected approximately from Smichov to the expressway, it should than be extended to other areas, too. In 2012, the drivers could pay in area of 50 square kilometers. The company has also worked out a harmonogram of dispositions, the pilot program would be initiated in the last month of the next year.

The camera system is, compared to the microwave or satellite one, much cheaper and effective. Plus the pictures can be also used for recovery of a sum. The locals should pay nothing, or very little.

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