Day to Day Living in Czech Republic
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Day-to-day Living in the Czech Republic
How do I get to the Czech Republic?
There is one Czech air-company to travel to the Czech Republic with, called the Czech Airlines (CSA). It is possible to fly from most of the world's cities. Other world's air-companies fly to the Czech Republic too, e.g. British Airways, British Midland, EasyJet, KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, Alitalia or El Al Israel Airlines.
The main airport is in Prague - Ruzyne, other smaller ones are in Pardubice, Brno and Ostrava.
Trains travel daily to Prague from most major European cities. There are comfortable International trains signed "IC" (Intercity) or "EC" (Eurocity). They go e.g. from Bonn, Frankfurt am Main, Vienna or Warsaw. The international railway stations are Prague Main Railway Station (Hlavni nadrazi) and Prague Holesovice.
Going by coach is the cheapest way to get to the Czech Republic. Kingscourt Express operate a direct service from London to Prague which runs daily except Mondays in summer and three times a week in winter. It takes approximately twenty hours and arrives at Prague's main bus terminal - Florenc. Eurolines also run coaches to Prague, departing from London.
The Czech Republic is covered by a network of generally good roads, though them old routes often follow through villages and small towns. There are some 500 km of European-style motorways, the main ones being the D1 or E50/E65 between Prague and Brno. Motorways and country roads tend to have light traffic. The quickest way of taking your car over to the continent is to drive to the Channel Tunnel. The most direct route from Calais to Prague is via Lille, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt and Nuremberg, entering the Czech Republic at the Waidhaus - Rozvadov border crossing - a distance of over 1000 km.
As in the rest of Continental Europe, you drive on the right-hand side of the road. The legal driving age is 18. The speed limits in built-up areas are 50 km/h, on major roads the limit is 90 km/h, and on motorways 130 km/h. Children under 12 years old mustn't sit in the front seat.
Drivers from the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand need no international driving permit, only a full domestic license, along with the vehicle registration. You'll also need a certificate of insurance or "green card", normally valid for three months, showing you carry full liability insurance. Your car must carry a first-aid kit and a red-and-white warning triangle.
The standard of living in the Czech Republic has rapidly improved since the fall of the socialist regime. According to results published by the European statistics office EUROSTAT, in 2005 the Czech Republic managed to be the first new EU member to overtake Portugal in terms of GDP.
At the same time, the GDP of the Czech Republic reached 81% of the EU average. According to some economic forecasts, the Czech Republic's standard of living should catch up to that of other developed European economies by around 2013.
Thanks to an efficient economy and the interest of foreign investors, the Czech population can expect to see even more improvements in its standard of living. In comparison to countries belonging to the old European 15, the Czech economy is growing at twice the rate and is among the fastest growing in the European Economic Zone.
Improvements in living standards have been seen in the availability of the Internet, mobile services and banking, increased housing development and in the area of transportation, including automobile ownership and highway development.
What is the media like?
Private media in the Czech Republic mushroomed in the 1990s, and private radio and TV stations provide stiff competition for public broadcasters. Press freedom is protected by a charter of basic rights. Public broadcaster Ceska Televize (CT) operates two TV networks and a 24-hour news channel. Public radio, Cesky Rozhlas (CRo), operates three national networks as well as local services. Two major private TV channels broadcast nationally and there are scores of private radio stations. The country is pressing ahead with the digitisation of TV broadcasting; there are plans to switch off analogue signals by 2012. BBC World Service is available on FM in many cities and towns.
Lidove Noviny - Prague-based national daily, former dissident publication
Mlada Fronta Dnes - Prague-based national daily
Pravo - Prague-based national daily
Blesk - Prague-based tabloid daily
The Prague Post - English-language
Czech TV - public, operates mainstream channel CT1 and cultural channel CT2
CT 24 - public TV news channel
TV Nova - private
Prima - private
Czech Radio - public broadcaster; operates national and regional networks
Radio Prague - Czech Radio's external service; programmes in a number of languages including English
Frekvence 1 - private, national
Radio Impuls - private, national
Evropa 2 - private, national
Is the water safe to drink?
In all parts of Czech Republic there is drinking water. Water coming from the tabs in households, restaurants or hotels is drinking and can be used for cooking as well as for drinking. In public places, water is usually signed whether drinking water (pitnŠ voda) or non-drinking water intended for washing your hands only.
Organisations that can assist with Day to Day Living
British Corner Shop is the online British supermarket with worldwide delivery. Ideal for British Expats, Forces and Brits living and working abroad who can't get hold of their favourite British food locally.