PRAGUE by wanghonghx

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									PRAGUE,                           Czech Republic

There is no place on earth as magical as Prague.
            Discover it for yourself.

                                                                                   en t t
                                                                                          o St
                                                                                    Guid udent

                                                           This guide was created and compiled by the following
                                                           NYU Study Abroad students:
                                                           Emily Lindsey (Guide Lead)           Alisha Gandhi

                                                           With submissions by:
                                                           Caitlin Boehne, Jeremy Sperling, Joyce Kim, Katie Peck, Kaitlin Plat, Nora
                                                           Udell, Patricia Bradby, Paula Kupfer, Rachel Clark, Sophia Tkac

                                                           Guides Creative Director & Editor
                                                           Marti Grimminck, NYU Graduate Student, Gallatin
                                                           Global Ambassador Program Coordinator
                                                           Meret Hofer, Office of Global Programs
                                                           Special Thanks
                                                           Eric Canny, Rebecca Pisano, Matthew Pucciarelli

                                Picture by Emily Lindsey
    Letter from the Editor                                                                           Table of Contents
    Welcome to the 2008-2009 student-written Study Abroad Guide on Prague. This                      Introduction                           the city, the people, the language
    guide was compiled by the Global Ambassador program – a leadership
    organization of returnee study abroad students. Through this guide the students                  Preparing for Life Abroad              visa documents, the jitters, pop culture inspiration
    discuss their time abroad, including practical information and insider tips on
    everything from places to visit to things to do. Though we have tried to make                    Welcome To Prague!                     what to do when you first arrive, a few notes of advice
    this guide as comprehensive as possible and applicable to all of the study abroad
    populations, please keep in mind that some information may be more or less                       Things To Do                           tourist sites, museums, film/cinema, theatre & dance,
    relevant to your situation. We encourage you to seek out the relevant office                                                            religious, concerts, sports
    running your study abroad program to answer specific questions about housing,
    health and safety, student life. Our hope is that this guide will not only give you              Food                                   restaurants, drinking, menu help
    insight into what your time abroad can potentially be, but also provide you with
    a launching point for exploring your new “home.”                                                 Nightlife                              bars & lounges, clubs, hang out spots

    In addition to the Prague Guide, we have created eight city-specific guides on                   Shopping                               markets, retail, convenience stores/groceries
    studying abroad at NYU’s sites in Berlin, Buenos Aires, Florence, Ghana
    (Accra), London, Madrid, Paris, and Shanghai, as well as topic-specific guides                   LGBT                                   the rundown, resources, places to go out
    including tips for European Travel, experiences of Women and LGBT students
    studying abroad and Students in Transition for Freshman and Transfer students                    Women                                  women/men, dress, activities
    that spend their first year abroad. Finally, our newest guide, Lost in the
    Translation is a collection of real stories from previous study abroad students                  NYU Info                               on campus residences, academic center, internships
    that highlight the cross-cultural diversity you will inevitably encounter while
    abroad. All guides can be found online at:                                                       Health & Safety                        doctors, prescriptions/contraceptives/toiletries, physical                                                                                            health, mental health, safety tips, US Consulate info

    We hope you enjoy this amazing experience – it goes quickly!                                     Practical                              transportation, money, packing, weather, communications

    If you still have unanswered questions or feedback on the guide, please contact                  Travel                                 starting tips, transportation, accommodation, cities close to
    us at:                                                                                                       Prague, destinations in Czech Republic

                                                                                                     Coming Home                            changes in myself, reverse culture shock

                                                                                                     New York University does not endorse services provided by the businesses, organizations, or individuals listed in this
                                                                                                     NYU student-written Study Abroad Guide for Prague. The guide is produced by and compiled of information collected
                                                                                                     based on the personal experiences of students who have participated in NYU Study Abroad. Individuals should exert
                                                                                                     the appropriate judgment when using services provided in this guide. Any opinions expressed represent solely those of
                                                                         Picture by Caitlin Boehne   the student writer, not New York University.

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                                                                   | 1
The City
Czech Republic is in the geographical center of Europe and Prague reflects this as a
vibrant intersection of history and modernity.

Prague was one of the few European cities not largely destroyed during World War II and
as a result, it is home to ancient architecture, a beautiful skyline and the oldest operating
synagogue in Europe. At the end of WWII Prague was liberated by Soviet Russia and
subsequently became a communist nation. Prague’s vibrant intellectual life would not be
quelled by the new regulations and in 1968, they fought for widespread liberalizations of
the Communist regime. ‘Prague Spring,’ as it is now called, was suppressed in 1969, and
Czechoslovakia remained under Communist rule until the Velvet Revolution in 1989.
Visiting the outskirts of the city provides a lens through which one can see the
architecture and lifestyle of Prague’s communist past.

In Prague you will have the resources of a large city and the comforts of a small town all
at your fingertips. Efficient, clean public transportation makes travel within Prague cheap
and fast. Small cafes, bookstores and stunning views are waiting to be discovered in every
corner of the city. Many of the large tourist attractions are located in the center of the
city but this should not keep you from exploring the areas around Prague. Wandering
through the streets can be as rewarding as visiting the largest attractions.

Prague is known for its puppets, crystals, garnets and beer. The Czech Republic consumes
more beer per capita than any other country in the world, and we are not kidding when
we tell you - the beer is cheaper than the water! Hockey games and soccer games are
major events and sports fans in the States will never seem rowdy again after you have
seen the Czech fans!

Between the bars, clubs and lounges, Prague’s nightlife has something for everyone. In
spite of being very quiet on public transportation, Czech people really let loose at night.
A lot of the famous bars and clubs are around Wenceslas Square, but since you will be
there for a whole semester you can check out the more local and unique nightlife spots.

The Czech nation is a largely atheist one. They celebrate Czech Statehood Day or St.
Wenceslas Day on September 28th, as well as a “Second Christmas Day” or St. Stephen’s
Day on December 26th. If you will be in Prague in the spring, Easter is celebrated for two
days, Sunday and Monday.

                                                                                                Picture by Emily Lindsey

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                     | 2
                                                                                            The Language
                             Caitlin - A few days before my magical semester
                             in Praha was to come to an end, I received a note              The Czech language is at first jarring to hear and see. Long strings of consonants will
                                                                                            confront you everywhere (try practicing Zmrzlina and Knedliky). The first week you
                             from my friend on the door: ‘Get your work done                are in Prague there is an intensive language class at the NYU Center. The class will
                             early tonight, because it’s Witches’ Night on                  help you get more comfortable finding your way around the city, grocery stores,
                             Petrin Hill!’ We took the funicular up Petrin and              restaurants, and bars!
                             wandered around for a while, not finding any of
                             the promised bonfires or dancing. Frustrated, we
                             started our downhill climb and, at one point,
                                                                                              These are some useful phrases for getting around the city!
                             there was a clearing in the trees and we could
                             see a breathtaking view of Prague bathed in
                                                                                              Prosím (proseem) - Please, You’re Welcome
                             the moonlight. It was astonishing – Prague
                                                                                              Dobrý den (do-bree dehn) - Good day
                             Caste, Charles Bridge, Tyn Church, and the
                                                                                              Děkuju (dyekooyee) - Thank You
                             Vltava all aglow. The view more than made up
                                                                                              Na shledanou (nah skledah-noh) - Good Bye
                             for the lost festival. Later that night, we found                Nemluvím česky (neh-mloo-veem cheskee) I don’t speak Czech
                             the festivities – it was on Kampe Island, complete
                             with promised bonfire, singing, pivo, and dancing.
                             Witches’ Night was fun but I’ll never forget that
                             view. I think this experience captures the
                             whole study abroad experience: you set out
                             with an idea in mind, it doesn’t always work
                             out the way you planned, but along the way you
                             experience surprising pleasures in places you’d
                             never think to look.

The People
At first the people appear to be cold and distant, and in general the local people mind
their own business and avoid interactions. As American students it was difficult to meet
many Czechs due to their distant demeanor, as well as the language barrier. However,
those that did have interactions felt the Czechs are actually very interested in
foreigners. Time in Prague will reveal for all very polite and helpful people, as long as
you respect their different norms. It tends to be very quiet on public transportation and
it is common courtesy, even expected, that younger passengers will give up their seats
for older men and women, as well as women with children. Always say ‘hello’ when you
enter a store, and ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’ in Czech will go a long way in making the
people you meet and yourself more comfortable.

                                                                                                                                                                  Picture by Caitlin Boehne

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                                    | 3
Visa Documents                                                                             Pop Culture Inspiration

GET STARTED ON YOUR VISA EARLY. If you have to apply for a                                 If there are only a few weeks left until your head off to Prague and
passport, do so well in advance. Once you have your passport, get                          you have some free time, check out some of these things before you
your visa documents in order right away. Apply for the documents                           go!
that need to be sent from the Czech Republic itself. Make every                                                          WATCH
                                                                                                                          Start off with the three films that have won an Oscar for
attempt to get to the Czech Consulate at least two months in
                                                                                                                          Best Foreign Film:
advance, because it takes that long for a visa to be ready.                                  READ
                                                                                                                          The Shop on Main Street (1965)
                                                                                             • Under a Cruel Star by
                                                                                                                          Closely Watched Trains (1966)
                                                                                             Heda Margolius Kovaly
Read the instructions very carefully. Fill out a draft of the                                                             Kolya (1996)
                                                                                             (also called a Prague
applications and then a final copy if you need. Have everything in                           Farewell)
                                                                                                                          Then don’t miss these other important Czech Stories:
order, with multiple copies, before you get to the consulate.                                • The Twelve Little Cakes
                                                                                                                          The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)
                                                                                             by Dominika Dery.
                                                                                                                          Actors: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lena Olin, and Juliette
                                                                                             • Summer Meditations by
                                                                                             Vaclav Havel
The jitters                                                                                  • The Metamorphosis by
                                                                                                                          Fireman's Ball, Milos Foreman (1967)
                                                                                             Franz Kafka
As exciting as studying abroad is, it can be a little intimidating,                                                       Czech humor at its finest!
                                                                                             • Unbearable Lightness of
especially before you leave. Being by yourself in a “far-away” country is                    Being by Milan Kundera
                                                                                                                          Prague has also been a favorite of the American film
no small deal. It’s understandable to face your upcoming semester                            • The Joke by Milan
                                                                                                                          industry and many use the gorgeous streets of Prague as
abroad with apprehension. No matter how you feel, know that it’s okay                        • Prague in Black and Gold
and that you’re most definitely not alone.                                                                                Hellboy (2004)
                                                                                             for History by Peter
                                                                                                                          Actors: Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair
                                                                                                                          This action film may not be all about prague but it was
    Anah - I was terrified to go to abroad. I had spent two years                                                         filmed entirely in the Czech Republic and throughout the
    psyching myself up for it, and then when I got in, I realized that                                                    movie scenes from the Czech landscape appear.
    I actually had to go. Everyone else was talking about how
                                                                                               LISTEN                     Hart's War (2002)
    excited they were, or how they were “only a little nervous.” I
                                                                                               • Dvořák's 9th             Actors: Bruce Willis, Colin Farrell
    felt like I was the only one whose nerves were                                             Symphony                   This film was shot entirely in the Czech Republic, it
    greater than excitement. I found it helpful to talk to                                     • Smetana                  takes place in Milovice, a town that used to be a training
    people who had studied abroad before. I also did a lot of                                  • Janacek (classical)      camp for the Soviet Army during Soviet occupation of
    journaling – I just wrote everything I was feeling, because I                              • Nohavica - wonderful     Czechosolvakia.
    knew I would never get sick of listening to myself.                                        folk singer
                                                                                                                          XXX (2002)
                                                                                                                          Actors: Vin Diesel, Asia Argento
                                                                                                                          This action film was filmed in Prague, there are plenty
                             Jennifer - I definitely did not have a fear of                                               of scenes from around the city that you will recognize
                             going abroad; actually, it was almost the complete                                           once you get there!
                             opposite. I was glad to be getting out of my house because
                             I’m a commuter, and I live at home with my parents. I was                                    Mission: Impossible (1996)
                             really looking forward to independence halfway across the                                    Actors: Tom Cruise, Jon Voight
                             world. I also thought it was good for me because I was born                                  Parts of this movie were filmed in Prague, it visits all of
                             and raised in New York City.                                                                 the main sites- the Charles Bridge, Kampa Island, the
                                                                                                                          National Museum and Wencelas Square.

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                         | 4
 What to do first when you arrive

 Now that you are here you should get a few things done before classes
 start.                                                                           …a few notes…
 1. Get a Metro Pass                                                         LANGUAGE:
 The NYU in Prague Staff are very helpful with this, they will provide you               • Invest in some kind of phrasebook before you
 with forms and hopefully you will have brought with you a passport                      go. It helps to translate food that has
 sized photo which they can make your ID out of. (If not, go to Tesco and                instructions on the packaging or when you go
 you can have photos taken) You need to fill out all of the paperwork,                   grocery shopping.
 and head down to Namesti Miru (ask NYU in Prague Staff where the                        • Make an attempt to learn the phrase for
 closest location for you is) where you must wait in line, hand in all of                • “thank you” for every country you visit. Locals
 the paperwork and money, and within minutes they will laminate a card                   really do appreciate that you are making some
 for you! Most are only good for three months so you might have to buy                   attempt to speak their language.
 some individual rides at the end of your trip, but don’t worry about that
 now! Make sure you ALWAYS carry your Metro Pass with you! Have fun!         CULTURE:
                                                                                         • Czech culture is very different from American
 2. Make Sure You Have Your ISIC (International Student Identification                   culture. People smile less, may not talk to you
 Card) and Your NYU in Prague ID                                                         on the street, and can seem a little bit stand-
 You get some great student discounts as a European university student,                  offish at first. Don’t be put off by this – the
 so bring it with you when you travel!                                                   Czechs are some of the nicest people you will
                                                                                         ever meet.
 3. Take a Walk Around Your New Neighborhood                                             • There are a lot of new things to see and do.
 Check out restaurants, and try to find your local grocery store                         Be open minded, and try everything.
 (potraviny).                                                                            • Take the time to really get to know the city of
 Locate the nearest trams and subway stops!                                              Prague – not just as it is now, learn about its
                                                                                         history, the art that has come out of it, and the
 4. Buy the Basics                                                                       effect that it has had on the world. So much
 Head down to Tesco (trams 22, 23 and many other stop at Narodni                         culture has come from Prague.
 Trida) and pick up the toiletries you didn’t bring with you from the US.
 Everything you need can be found on the ground floor! Head downstairs       BE PREPARED TO HAVE THE TIME IN YOUR LIFE! THE
 for some cheap groceries, they even have some US brands if you get          SEMESTER WILL GO BY TOO SOON – SO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
 brandsick, and want some Skippy.                                            EVERY SECOND YOU ARE THERE!

 5. Be Sure to Check in With Your Parents
 This seems obvious, but for some reason people forget. Just do it.

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                  | 5
Tourist Sites

Nora - Go to as many as you can!! You do not want to come back and have
someone ask you ‘did you go to…?!’ and have to reply, ‘No I didn’t get to
that in the whole 4 months I was there!’

• Charles Bridge – You will not be able to avoid the bridge while you are in Prague.
There are vendors along the bridge with handmade artwork (great gifts!). Grab a guidebook
and learn about all the statues along the bridge itself. Try walking across the bridge at
sunrise or sunset as the silhouette of the city is stunning. Also, walk across one of the other
bridges along the Vltava to catch a different great view of Karlov Most.

• Petrin Hill – Take the funicular up to the top of the hill, check out the mirror maze
and the mini Eiffel tower. Explore while you are up there, the views of the city are

• Vysehrad (Red Line to Vysehrad stop) - Built in the 10th century Vysherad is a hilltop
castle and an important part of the Prague skyline. The attached cemetery is the burial
site of many famous Czechs. Many people forego visiting Vysehrad and instead see Prague
Castle, but you will be there for a whole semester so you will have time for both!

• Josefov – The Jewish quarter is a must see while you are in Prague. It went
undestroyed during WWII and has numerous landmark synagogues. The Jewish Quarter is
just off Old Town Square and close to the NYU Center. At the Pinkas Synagogue you will
find the names of all the Czech Jewish victims of the Holocaust hand painted on the walls.
The cemetery attached to this synagogue is a fascinating look into the life of the Jewish
community in Prague.                                                                                                                                     Picture by Nora Udell

• Old Town Square -         This is the epicenter of Prague and the architecture is               The Jan Hus statue and Tyn Church are pictured here and are located
incredible. You will be here nearly every day for classes but do not forget to see the            in Old Town Square, only steps away from the NYU Center in Prague.
Astrological Clock on the hour, learn about the Jan Hus statue and step inside the Tyn

• Tower Praha        (Mahlerovy Sady 1, Praha 3) - This is a TV tower with some intriguing                         Sophia - I read about Petrin Hill in a guide book and
artwork designed by Czech artist David Cerny. It is utterly unique but tourists do not always                      immediately put it on my “list of things to do while in
get to it. There is a nice restaurant at the top and a 360 degree view of Prague. If you like                      Prague.” My friends made fun of me because I was most
David Cerny’s work check out another one of his unique statues in Cihelna Street in Mala                           excited about the Mirror Maze at the top of the hill.
Strana. The statue is a fountain of two men peeing! If you send a text message to the                              Toward the end of the semester I finally convinced my
phone number listed next to the statue the two men will spell out your message in the                              friends to come with me. It was a bit rainy but it ended
water.                                                                                                             up being a great day! A funicular ride to the top of the
                                                                                                                   hill provided an incredible view of the city. There is also
                                                                                                                   a beautiful garden at the top and the Mirror Maze didn’t
                                                                                                                   disappoint! Petrin Hill is a must see while you’re in

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                           | 6
                                                                                                                            Jeremy - This one night my roommate Ben and I went to this
• Prague Castle - How could you miss this?! If you have the time walk across Charles                                        really cute place called U Sudviku in the New Town District.
Bridge and then up to the castle. It is a hike but well worth the various photo-ops! The                                    It is a really great spot for meeting local young Czechs,
museums and sites are inside the castle itself. Take a tour and ask for the student                                         expats, tourists and American students. We were hanging
                                                                                                                            out in this cozy little room with old wood tables and what
• Museum of Communism (Na Prikope 10, Prague 1) - This is a great way to learn
                                                                                                                            looked like an ancient piano. Ben and I were just talking and
about the political climate of your new home. It is a small, interesting museum right on
Wenceslas Square within walking distance of the NYU center.                                                                 having a drink when a group of Australian tourists began
• Mucha Museum (Panska 7, Prague 1) - A native Czech, Mucha was a major figure in                                           banging out pop tunes on the piano. Most of the Czechs in
Czech Art Nouveau. The Museum is more like a gallery, with an educational video on                                          the room were either turned off by the noise or looked
Mucha’s life. There is a great gift shop and the museum is located just off Wenceslas                                       confused. Suddenly this guy popped out of his seat and
Square.                                                                                                                     calmly asked to play some songs. The first thing he played
                                                                                                                            was this Czech folk song that has recently become a dance
                                                                                                                            mix. Before you know it everyone begins singing and
                                                                                                                            getting up to dance. Ben and I tried to participate (though
Film & Cinema                                    Theatre & Dance                                                            we knew no more than three words of the song!). The Czech
Check out our film suggestions in Pop                                                                                       songs continued and we continued to dance, sing, and make
                                                 National Theatre
Culture Inspiration. However, here are                                               up words. It was an awesome time and so cool to see how
some places to view films while in Prague.                                                                                  easily we were able to connect with other Czechs just by
                                                 Divadlo Ponec                                                              being willing to participate in some good old song and dance.
Alternative film theaters                                                               If only there was a Youtube video of it all….
• Aero (Biskupcova 31, Green Line to             • Modern dance theatre.
                                                 Puppet shows                                     Concerts
• Kino Lucerna Cinema (Vodickova                 • Puppets are a major part of the Czech
36, Green or Yellow line to Mustek)              heritage.                                        The Czechs have a rich history in music so enjoy the wealth of music in the city!
                                                 • NYU has a workshop on puppet
                                                 making. Ask about it and other
                                                                                                  • Rock – 02 Arena has major concerts. Some students saw Bob Dylan!
• Kino Svetozor (Vidockova 41, Green or
                                                 workshops during Orientation week!               • Classical – The Prague Music Festival (held in both autumn and spring) has free
Yellow line to Mustek)
                                                                                                  concerts in the churches throughout the city. You can see amazing orchestras at the
- Features art house movies and shows
Czech films with English subtitles.                                                               Rudolfinum, Prague’s main concert hall.
                                                 Religious Services                               • Jazz
                                                                                                  - Lucerna Music Bar (located at Stepanska 61 off of Wenceslas Square-Mustek metro
                                                 Pinkas Synagogue (Jewish quarter)                stop on the yellow and green lines).
                                                 • Bring your passport because you need an
                                                                                                  - U Stare Pani (located at Michalska 9 - Mustek metro stop on the yellow and green
                                                 official form of ID to get into the temple for
                                                 the services. Security is tight.
                                                                                                  - International Jazz Festival - Various venues throughout the city October/
                                                 Tyn Church (located right on Old Town            November.
                                                 Square)                                          - Agharta (Zelezna 16) - Live music daily 9pm-12am.
                                                 • You can attend regular services at the         - U Maleho Glena (Karmelitska 23 Green line to Malstranska Namesti) - Underground
                                                 church.                                          wine cellar with open jam sessions.

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                                  | 7

                         Source of Information                                         If you are interested in finding tickets to go to concerts (or
                                                                                       sports games), talk to your friendly staff at the NYU Center!
     • NYU center -Check with the staff in the front office, as they                   They are there to help you. The larger the group of people,
     constantly had cheap tickets for everything from the circus and                   the better chance there is for reduced ticket prices.
     opera to hockey and soccer games! Pay attention to the flyers
     that are posted around the building about events!
                                                                                    Sporting Events
     • Think Again - Free magazine, half in English and half in
                                                                                    • Hockey and Soccer games –Fans             • Bobova Draha (Prosecka 34b in
     Czech that listed events in Prague!
                                                                                    are on a different level of enthusiasm in   Praha 9. Take the yellow metro line to
                                                                                    Europe! You must go to at least one         Palmovka, then walk to the bus platform
     • Websites                                                                     sporting event to see for yourself! For     and take either the 187 or 233 only a few                                                           soccer tickets:        stops further) - An outdoor bobsledding
                                                                                                                                track. Bring your ISIC card for discounts!
                                                                                    • Joyride - Extreme sports and music        There is a restaurant/café there and the                                                                                            views of the city from the top of the track
                                                                                    event held at Zlute Lazne in Podoli in                                                   September. Competitions in                  are breathtaking.
                                                                                    breakdancing, wakeboarding, surfing,
     • Cafés - there were often flyers and postcards about clubs/                   beach rugby, bmx biking, and much more.
                                                                                    Live bands played all day!
     bars/concerts at cafes near the register or on bulletin boards!

                                                         Picture by Emily Lindsey
                                                                                                                                                  Picture by Patricia Bradby

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                    | 8

 There are plenty of great restaurants in Prague. Be warned that prompt table service
 is not the norm in Czech Republic. If you are not in a tourist area it can be hard to get        Lemon Leaf (Na Zderaze 14, near the                 Radost FX (Belehradska 120 near I.P.
 the attention of a server in a restaurant. Small tips are the standard, but 15-20% is far        Karlovo Namesti stop - yellow metro line)         Pavlova)
 too excessive. Just round up to the next dollar and leave the change. Water will cost            • Great Thai food.                                • Vegetarian restaurant.
 money along with any bread/pretzels that are left on the table even if you have not              • Moderately priced.                              • Great spot for lunch, dinner, and especially
 asked for them!                                                                                                                                      weekend brunch.
                                                                                                  Pivovarský Dům (Lipova 15 near I.P.               • There is also a club downstairs!
                                                                                                  Pavlova and Karlovy Namesti)
Restaurants                                                                 =Vegetarian Options   • Microbrewery with flavored beers!               Siva (Masna 620/8 near Stare Mesto)
                                                                                                  • Traditional Czech food.                         • Hooka bar and tea house.
Ambiente (U Radnice 8 - near the NYU            Coffee Heaven (all over, closest to NYU                                                             • Great baba ganoush.
center)                                         on Pariska)                                       Pasta Fresca     (Celetna 11)
• Brazilian Churrascaria.                       • Somewhat pricey, but located near NYU           • Ambient restaurant with Italian food!           Tiger Tiger (Anny Letenské 5, Prague 2)
                                                Center.                                                                                             • Pretty good Thai food near Machova.
Au Gourmand (Dlouha 10 - located near                                                             Pikante (Revolucni 4 open until 5am!)             • They can accommodate large groups!
the NYU center)                                   Country Life (Melantrichova 15 near             • Great Mexican food.
• Great lunch spot for sandwiches and           Narodni Trida and Stare Mesto)                                                                      Zanzibar (Americka 15 near Machova)
pastries.                                       • Great buffet style with vegan options.          Pizzeria Grosseto       (Francouzska 2, metro     • Great brunch AND American style coffee!
                                                • Near the NYU center.                            stop Namesti Miru)                                • Cozy spot to eat and study.
  Bea’s (Tynska Court)                                                                            • Free Bread (the best in Prague!) and
• Indian food place near the NYU center.        Czech Cafeteria       (across the street from     excellent Pizza.
                                                the market on the way from the NYU Center         • There is usually a short wait, but worth it.
                                                                                                                                                    There is nothing like an after-
Bohemia Bagel (Masna 2 - near the NYU           to Václavské Naměstí)                             • Pretty cheap for quality of food and the        hours smažený sýr from vendors
center on the other side of Old Town            • Good for lunch during the week.                 size of the portions.                             on Wenceslas Square to feed late
Square)                                         • Very cheap!
                                                                                                                                                    night hunger!
• American style café for all meals of the
day.                                            Hong Kong (located in Letenske Namesti.
• Friendly place to hang out and study in       tram is the easiest way to get there; take the
  groups.                                       1,8,15, 25, or 26)
                                                • Chinese restaurant.                                                            Rachel - My friends and I wanted to do something
Café Bogner (Michalska 19 – near the            • Good prices.                                                                   special the last weekend we were in Prague. On
NYU center)                                                                                                                      Saturday we did a bunch of touristy things we had put
• Moderately priced ($8) great food.               Kavarna Holesovice (short walk from                                           off all semester, thinking we had all the time in the
• Sandwich, salad, chicken fondue.              Osadni)                                                                          world. On Sunday morning we went to Radost to get
                                                • Great assortment of food.                                                      brunch. People had been telling us how good it was
Café Ebel (Retezova 9 near NYU center           • Lunch specials on Sunday.                                                      for a while. We went over and waited for a table…the
and Tyn 2 across Old Town Square)               • Try the smazeny syr!                                                           place was packed and the food took a while, but it was
• Small coffee house and cozy café.                                                                                              the best brunch I have ever had in my life….in the
• Several other locations around Prague.        Klub Architektu (Betlémské nám. 5a,                                              U.S., in Prague, anywhere! I really wish we had
                                                Prague 1)                                                                        started going to Radost for brunch the first week we
Cantina (Ujezd 38.    The 12, 20, 22, and       • Good, cheap lunch special!                                                     were in Prague, even then I don’t think I would have
23 trams will drop you a block down the         • In a Romanesque basement, off the tourist                                      gotten enough of it!
street on Ujezd)                                trail.
• Great Mexican restaurant.
• Reasonable prices.

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                                      | 9

                                                                                                                                        Some Help with the Menus…
                                                                                                 For The Homesick
      Drinking                                                                                                                          • Polevka - Soup
                                                                                            Nora - There’s a great
                                                                                            burger place around the                     • Hlavni Chod - Main course
“The Czech Republic is the No.1 beer drinking nation on the planet.”
( Culturally, beer is an important (and cheap!) part        corner from Machova dorm                    • Maso - Meat
of a traditional Czech meal. Pilsner was invented in the Czech Republic, not far from       – Restaurant U Dědka. The                   • Ryba - Fish
Prague in the town of Plzen. Try some different brands, including dark (cerne) ones and     burgers are served with                     • Kure - Chicken
light (svetle) ones. Some of the brands you will find in Prague cannot be found                                                         • Hovezi - Beef
elsewhere. Wine from Southern Moravia and Becherovka (a kind of liquor) are native to
                                                                                            fries and mid way through
Czech Republic as well. Absinthe is also popular in Prague, and please note that it is      the semester that was just                  • Veprove - Pork
banned everywhere else in Europe (besides Portugal). It has an extremely high alcohol       what I needed!                              • Bramborak - Potato pancake
content so be careful!                                                                                                                  • Guláš - Traditional beef stew
                                                                                                                                        • Knedliky - Wheat/Potato
                                                                                                                                        • Smažený sýr - Fried cheese
                                                                                                                                        • Pivo - Beer (*Svetle – light;
                                                                                                                                        Cerne – dark)
                                                                                                                                        • Vino - Wine
                                                                                                                                        • Voda - Water
                                                                                                                                        • Soda means soda water/seltzer
                                                                                                                                        so if you want coke or sprite say
                                                                                                                                        “coke” or “sprite”

                                                                                                                                         Our Favorites!!
                                                                                                                                         • Pizzaria Grosseto
                                                                                                                                         • Radost FX
                                                                                                                                         • Tiger Tiger
                                                                                                                                         • Ambiente
                                                                                                                                         • Country Life

                                                                                                                                         For a Snack:
                                                                                                                                         • Bohemia Bagel
                                                                                                                                         • Coffee Heaven
                                                                                                                                         • Paneria

                                                                                                                                         Sunday Brunch:
                                                                 Picture by Emily Lindsey                    Picture by Emily Lindsey
                                                                                                                                         • Radost FX
                                                                                                                                         • Zanzibar
 Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                            | 10
Bars & Lounges                              Clubs                                            Hang Out Spots!

Akropolis (Kubelikova 27 Prague 3)          Blind Eye (Vlkova 26, near Akropolis)            Jeremy - I hung out a lot in the cafeteria of the National Library. It was just a
• Two rooms - one for dance, one with a     • American karaoke every Monday.                 cozy spot with cheap food where I could do my reading and work for school without being
large bar.                                  • Cheap drinks and American music.               bothered.

M1 Secret Lounge (Masna 1 – directly        Chateau (near Old Town Sq and walking            Nora – There are several Café Ebel locations around Prague and all of the ones that I went
across from Bohemian Bagel. Namesti         distance from M1)                                to were great for studying, reading, and people watching! Try the one in Tyn Court.
Republiky metro stop on yellow line)        • Very popular with ex-pats.                     Bohemia Bagel (Masna 2) near the NYU Center was a good place to hang out with
• Great hangout lounge.                     • Great place to end the night.                  friends, study in groups and grab breakfast and lunch between classes.
• Check out their ‘schedule’ for ladies     • Try downstairs for a dance floor and
nights and 80’s nights.                     foosball tables!
                                                                                             Patricia - The best find near school was a tea place called Dobra Cajovna.
• Small bar but great DJs.
                                                                                             (Located right on Wenceslas Square at Vaclavske Namesti 14. It is closest to the Mustek
• Rolling ottomans to sit and roll around   Cross Club (Plynarni 23)                         metro stop on the yellow and green lines.) They have a few yummy snack foods and a wide
on!                                         • Very funky.                                    variety of teas from all over the world. It’s a great spot to relax and to study. There are
                                            • Maze of tunnels and industrial decoration.     tables set low to the ground with pillows to sit on, as well as regular small tables with
Meet Factory (Ke Sklarne 15)                • Places to sit down and chill with friends as   chairs. The waitstaff is really nice and the atmosphere is very welcoming.
• Industrial warehouse turned into a bar,   well as several dance floors.
gallery and performance space, (check                                                        Paula - Shakespeare and Sons (Krymska 12) a couple of blocks from Machova dorm. A
out the website for events).                Karlovy Lázně (Novotneho Lavka 5 – near          bookstore/café, you could spend hours there studying, drinking cheap wine, playing games,
                                            Charles Bridge – green line to metro             or reading. Very cozy!
N11 (Narodni 11, New Town)                  Staromestska)
• Several small rooms, dance floors and a   • Best place to meet young travelers.
few bars.                                   • 5 floors with a different genre of music on
• Good location for people to meet up       each level.
near the NYU center and Tesco.              • Packed on the weekends.

Peach Pit (near Machova, Budecska 2)        Mecca (U Pruhonu 3 right near Osadni)
• A Beverly Hills 90210 themed bar.         •Two dance floors!
• Cheap drinks, good hang out spot.         •Techno dance room and another with 80’s
                                            and 90’s music, sometimes rap and hip hop.
U Sudu AKA Vinarna (except vinarna
just means “winery.”)                       Nebe (Kremencova 10 - Narodni Trida metro
• Foosball!                                 stop on the yellow line)
• Wide selection of beer and Czech wines.   • 80’s night on Tuesday.
• Cool atmosphere, lots of brick and old
wood furniture.                             Radost FX     (Belehradska 120 – off the I.P.
• Well-known hang out spot for both         Pavlova stop red metro line)
students and locals.                        • Great locals spot.
                                            • DJs are usually spinning Hip Hop.
                                            • Lounge area to relax in, plus a big dance
  Warning                                   floor.
  Many foreigners get ripped off from
  the food stands on Wenceslas square,
  especially if they are American and
                                                                                                                                                                  Picture by Emily Lindsey
  especially if they have been drinking.

 Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                                | 11

Markets                                          Retail Shopping Areas

You will see Street vendors all over             Wenceslas Square
Prague. The ones on Charles Bridge are           • Stores along the square include American
particularly well known. Even if you do not      and European chains as well as smaller local
plan to buy anything, check out the stands.      shops.
The vendors and their goods are an integral
part of the feel and atmosphere of Prague.       Palladium (yellow line – Namesti
Please note that buying from people on the       • Huge mall in the city center.
street is NOT recommended. A lot of the
merchandise is illegal and overpriced. This is
                                                 Chodov (red metro line, Chodov stop)
different than vendors in established markets.
                                                 • Huge mall, worth the extra travel time.

Havelske Trizste (between Wecenslas              Palac Flora (Mall and Movie Theater Metro
Square and Old Town Square, Mustek Metro         A or Tram 5, 10, 11, 16 to Flora)
Stop)                                            • Big modern mall, multiplex movie theater.
• Long outdoor market with souvenirs,
clothes, beads, fruits and vegetables,
puppets and toys!
                                                 Convenience stores
• Very close to the NYU center!

                                                 Tesco (near NYU center at Narodni 26)
Holesovická Trznice (walk from Osadni            • Everything you need is here. Groceries,
in the opposite direction of the Nadrazi         clothes, home goods and school supplies.
Holesovice metro station at the end of the       Peanut butter is hard to find but you can get
street behind the post office)                   it here in the Foreign Foods section!
• Large outdoor market.
• Everything from shoes and underwear to
                                                 Albert Market (several locations)
fresh produce and ski gear.
                                                 • Great for groceries.
                                                                                                                                                Picture by Emily Lindsey

                                                                                                  Be Aware: Plastic bags cost money and
                                                                                                  shopping carts require a deposit. Bring
                                                                                                  your own bag to carry your groceries. You
                                                                                                  are also expected to bag your own groceries
                                                                                                  while you are checking out.

                                                                     Picture by Patricia Bradby

 Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                         | 12
With its history of communism, one could suspect that Prague and the Czech
Republic would be a conservative environment; the real situation is quite to the
contrary. Prague is one of the most accepting places in Eastern Europe with an ever-             Getting Involved/Informed
growing LGBT community, especially strong in the Vinohrady district. Be ready to dive
in and get to know the LGBT community from within.                                               • Downtown Café -
                                                                                                 Ujezd 19
Legislation                                                                                      Located in the heart of Prague, this café is a definite first stop in the city. Besides
                                                                                                 offering delicious food and drinks, this café has a diverse selection of magazines and
• A bill for same-sex marriage has nearly been passed twice in the Czech Republic, most          booklets designed for the LGBT community.
recently in 2005. In July 2006 the country passed a bill allowing civil unions for same-sex
partners, offering nearly all the rights of a married couple.                                    • Two websites to check out are and
• Anti-discrimination laws exist that protect and secure the safety of those discriminated       These websites provide information on the activities of the gay and lesbian communities
against for their sexual orientation.                                                            of Prague, as well as information on LGBT clubs, bars, and restaurants.
• Legislation for transgender individuals is numerous, including laws permitting gender
reassignment surgery, proper recognition of citizenship, and a new birth certificate with this   • While there is no official LGBT newspaper or publication in Prague, the English
                                                                                                 newspaper, The Prague Post ( is highly supportive of
                                                                                                 LGBT rights and writes many articles about the community and its developments.

                                                                                                  Check out this Prague Post article on the status and acceptance of same-sex couples in the Czech Republic:

   Danny - At my internships and jobs, where I actually met with real Czech citizens,
   I was a little bit more careful when discussing my lifestyle. Being gay is just one
   thing that you don’t share with people. Mostly we would discuss the current state of
   politics, the economy, European and American affairs. It was one of those subjects
   that was avoided because none of us would really bring up (but I also never felt a
   need to or had to defend myself either). Like any job, it’s really how you want to
   present yourself to your co-workers and supervisors. Go out, experience the city,
   dine, drink, meet people and have fun. Don’t go thinking you’re going to find
   rainbow flags on storefronts everywhere (though there were a few at some bars!),
   but don’t think you’re going to 1989 Communist Czechoslovakia either.

Cultural Differences

• Many LGBT clubs and bars are underground…literally! Be ready to trek down stairs into
more basement areas at some locales. This is the same for many hetero-normative places
• Unlike America, people in most Eastern European cultures seem reserved in public and
become much more open in private. This means to see the full side of Czech people and
the LGBT community, be ready to enter those private spaces, like clubs, cafes, and other
• The Czech Republic is documented as the most atheist nation in the world (58% of the
population!). Organized religion plays a much smaller role in the overall attitudes of
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Picture by Emily Lindsey
citizens towards issues such as those of the LGBT community

Prague Guide 2008-2009 – Excerpt from LGBT Guide                                                                                                                                                                | 13


Club Termix -
Třebízského 4a
A hip club with a unique design based on the former auto repair shop on which it was        Travel
built. Look for different car parts and pieces sticking out of the walls all along the
dance floor!                                                                                Cesky Krumlov - A cozy town in the southern regions of the Czech Republic. Very
                                                                                            welcoming to LGBT persons and even has a few hostels that cater to the community.
Friends –
Bartolomějská 11
A “friendly” bar in the Old Town district that offers cozy settings of velvet couches and   Brno – The second largest city in the Czech Republic and home to budding LGBT
relatively cheap prices. Tends to attract numerous tourists and expatriates amongst         community. Look for the LGBT Film Festival that is usually held in November.
some Czech locals.                                                                          (

Radost FX –                                                         Karlovy Vary – This historic city has become a popular tourist destination for its
Belehradská 120                                                                             numerous spas and hot springs. Expect to find all different types of people looking
Mainly a heterosexual venue with numerous LGBT nights attracting a wide variety of          for some rest and relaxation.
people to its doors. Also, a great spot for delicious vegetarian cuisine.

 On The LGBT Underground of Prague
 My first gay bar experience was at Friends, a cute place in
 Old Town. When my friend and I first arrived there, we did
 not know what to expect; all we saw was a sign with the
 bar’s name and a large staircase going down. Two flights
 later, we were surrounded by many friendly LGBT people
 and even made friends with one gay male couple - a native
 Czech and his boyfriend who was from London. They told
 us a great deal about how things were changing in Prague
 through the younger generation and the enthusiasm people
 had for the EU. We then proceeded to enjoy the music and
 dance the night away! It was a wonderful experience that
 gave me the confidence to go out and explore other venues
 and LGBT-friendly districts. Lesson of the night: you never                Jeremy
 know what to expect when you go down into the LGBT
 nightlife of Prague!
                                                                                                                                                         Picture by Marti Grimminck

Prague Guide 2008-2009 – Excerpt from LGBT Guide                                                                                                                                      | 14

Czech Women and Men                                                                 SAFETY
                                                                                    Because we carry purses, women are more frequently the targets
In general, the Women are very beautiful in Prague and take                         for pickpockets.
exceptional time to glam-up, even people working in fast-food or
cleaning roles. This is more a reflection of the role of women in this              Around drunk men, any woman should watch out (and Czechs do
traditional and conservative society. The women are also very skinny                like to drink).
and Prague has one of the highest rates of eating disorders in Europe.
Women are making strides in the workforce, but typically they have the             Dress
stereotypical homemaker role. Although, there are incidents of minor
sexism, most of the time women will enjoy the benefits of old fashioned            All of Prague is
traditions like having a door held for them.                                       cobblestone - keep
                                                                                   this in mind when
                                                                                   you are packing
                                                                                   heels …it is awkward
                                                                                   to walk in them and
                                                                                   easy to break them!

                                                                                                                                       Picture by Emily Lindsay

                                                                                   For a ROMANTIC MOMENT – get up VERY early and walk across the
                                                                                   Charles Bridge at sunrise. It is a rare time with hardly anyone on
                                                                                   the bridge and you will find yourself whisked back in time.

                                                                                   For DANCING - check out Radost FX (Belehradska 120 – off the I.P.
                                                                                   Pavlova stop red metro line). There is free admission for women on
                                                      Picture by Patricia Bradby
                                                                                   For FASHION – splurge and buy yourself a garnet as the Czech
                                                                                   Republic is known for them!

Prague Guide 2008-2009 – Excerpt from Women’s Guide                                                                                                          | 15
On Campus Residences

Osadni Apartments                                                                                    Nora - I lived in Machova while I was in Prague.
This residence hall provides the most spacious living areas and the newest facilities. Singles,      There was this great café nearby called Zanzibar.
doubles, triples and quads are available, all of which have access to a full kitchen, laundry
                                                                                                     One Sunday afternoon my roommate and I went to
machines and common areas. Osadni is the furthest residence hall from the NYU Academic
Center. The commute ranges from 20-35 minutes involving a metro and a tram ride. The                 get brunch there. We brought homework and sat
neighborhood is a developing residential community with new cafes and stores constantly              there all day! It was the first time I felt I was
popping up. Two of the hottest night spots in Prague are also just a few blocks away.                really living in Prague. Filter coffee, and people
                                                                                                     watching – my two favorite things…and that
Machova                                                                                              moment when you know Praha is where you
Two dorm-style suites are located on each floor and the common kitchen provides a very social        belong…
atmosphere. Located in Vinohrady, Machova is surrounded by a park, various residential
buildings and numerous cafes and restaurants. About a 15-20 minute walk to the NYU Center or
a 10-15 subway or tram ride away, Machova is the closest dorm to the academic building and the
center of Prague.

Four floors of suite style apartments make Jaurisova a small, close-knit residence hall
community. The neighborhood is perhaps less inviting than that around Machova but there are
restaurants and grocers nearby. The commute to the NYU building is approximately 30 minutes.

Slezska facility is about a 15 minute ride on the tram or metro or a 25 minute walk from the NYU
Academic Center. It is in the Vinohrady neighborhood -- a residential area full of cafés,
shopping, and restaurants, and only a five minute walk from the Machova facility. This facility is
a fin-de-siecle neo-gothic building located on a lovely park. NYU in Prague students are the first
residents in the building after its complete renovation. Rooms are grouped together into suites
accommodating 4-8 students per suite.

The NYU Academic Center
• The NYU building is located just off Old Town Square in the Stare Mesto (literally Old Town)
section of the city. The NYU center is in a central location to the city and dorms.
• The building has a computer lab, lounge areas, library, study rooms, music practice rooms
and photography facilities.
• You will discover that the small size of the building and the close knit community at NYU in
Prague makes the academic center feel like another home.

NYU in Prague offers various internship opportunities. Schedules for internships and
responsibilities are developed individually with each company. The schedules tend to be
flexible. More information and sign-ups are available to all interested students during the                             Picture by Emily Lindsey
first week of orientation in Prague.

 Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                   | 16

Health/General Well-being

Doctors – NYU will provide a list when you arrive. However, many students found
Polyclinic at Narodni to be the easiest to use and they take AmEX.

Prescriptions, contraceptives and toiletries - All are easy to find at
pharmacies. In addition, Tesco has everything you need.

Physical Health – Many students run around the neighborhood, during the day or
attend a Czech yoga studio. The local YMCA near campus has workout equipment for a
small fee or NYU has a special deal at the gym Hit Fitness Flora (near Machova/ Slezska –
40Kc per visit or about $2.25) There is also a World Class gym on Wenceslas Square.
(Note: in some gyms the locker rooms are very open and many women and men walked
around nude).

Mental Health – About once a week an in-house counselor drops by the NYU Center for
an hour. All meetings are free and confidential. If you need further assistance that this,
NYU will provide you with information on where to go. However, be sure to check what                                                                                    Picture by Patricia Bradby
insurance coverage you can get from your home plan.

                                                                                                 Pickpockets in Prague are everywhere so keep your belongings close, especially in crowded,
                                                                                                 touristy areas! Prostitution and pimps are prevalent at night around Wenceslas Square, and
                                                                                                 there is a chance you may be approached and conned out of money. Be very aware of your
                                                                                                 surroundings, on buses and trains and when walking through crowds. Be concerned with not
                                                                                                 only what people may be taking from you, but also what they might be giving to you! Check
                                                                                                 your overhead compartments and do not touch ANYTHING that is not yours.

                                                                                                 Violent crimes in Prague are not frequent, but it is helpful to remember that the city is less
                                                                                                 diverse than parts of the United States. Our best advice is to stay away from ‘non-stop
                                                                                                 Herna’ bars in which students have encountered anti-Semitism and racism.

                                                                                                 A good thing to buy and bring with you on trips is a lock in case you need to use a locker at
                                                                                                 an airport, train station or camp grounds. Sometimes you can rent them, but not always.

                                                                                                 US Embassy – Tržiště 15, 118 01 Praha 1, Czech Republic,
                                                                                                 Tel: +420) 257 022 000
                                                                                                 You must travel with your original passport. However, it is advisable to keep a second copy
                                                                                                 of your passport with you when you travel. Also, when you visit other countries go online
                                                                                                 and jot down the address of the embassy or consulate in your destination city. It is
                                                                                                 important to have if you lose your passport, are the victim of a crime, or somehow end up
                                                                   Pictures by Marti Grimminck
                                                                                                 involved with the authorities.

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                                        | 17
                                                            The Czech version                                 Transportation
                                                               of Mapquest
                                                        is helpful to navigate all                   TIP - Invest in a 3-month pass
                                                      those tiny, winding streets!                   (approx. 1480Kc or about
                                                                                                     $88). Works on Metro, Trams,
                                                                                                     A great site where you can look up
                                                                  BE AWARE!                          tram/ bus/ metro times is
                                                     • Although the city’s transportation  
                                                     systems work on the honor code and
                                                     you might not always have to show               Metro
                                                     your pass, we warn you not to cheat
                                                                                                     • Fastest form of transport.
                                                     the system! The fee you are charged
                                                                                                     • Easy to learn and convenient.
                                                     for not having a pass is not small, and
                                                                                                     • Trains stop running at 12am.
                                                     if you are caught more than twice it is
                                                     more expensive than buying the pass
                                                     in the first place!                             Tram
                                                                                                     • Easy to navigate.
                                                     • When on the tram or metro it is               • Fun way to go sightseeing around the
                                                     expected that you will give up your             city.
                                                     seat to an older person or a woman              • Trams run all night on an abridged
                                                     with a child.                                   night schedule.

                                                     • Keep an eye on your belongings on             Taxis
                                                     the busy trams and metros.                      • Call one when you need it. NYU
                                                     Pickpockets are all over Prague and
                                                                                                     Center had phone numbers for trusted
                                                     tightly packed public transportation is         cab companies.
                                                     an easy place for them to make their
                                                                                                     • BEFORE you get in the cab ask how
                                                                                                     much it will cost to go to your
                                                                                                     destination and keep your eye on the

                                                                                                                            Picture by Caitlin Boehne
                         Picture by Caitlin Boehne                       Picture by Caitlin Boehne

Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                        | 18
Money                                                                                                Packing                                          Weather
ATMs                                                   Conversion Rate                               Always pack lightly! Make room for souvenirs     The weather in Prague is like New York –
Ceska Sporitelna machines or Deutsches Bank                                                          and other random purchases!                      very cold in winter and very hot in
                                                       US$1 = CZK 19.00 (as of Dec 08)
machines are located all over Prague.                                                                                                                 summer. The best thing to do is look up
                                                       US $.72 = Euro €1 (as of Dec 08)              Luggage:                                         temperature gauges. We have had good
There are ATMs practically everywhere in               Exchange rates change daily, so for the       • Backpacker bags and/or duffel bags may be      results at:
Europe and most students found this to be              most accurate information look at:            easier for travel, especially jumping on local
the easiest way to get cash. However,                                     transportation. If you use a bag on wheels, it   For current local weather try –
before you leave, speak to your bank about             Note: The exchange rate listed on this        may be better to use a small suitcase, instead
(1) the high fees they may charge for                  website does not equal the rate you will      of a large one.
overseas use and (2) not flagging your                 get when you exchange your money. All         • Book bag for weekend trips and groceries.
account as fraudulent due to the overseas              banks and credit cards seem to charge
use.                                                   commission for the exchange.                  Suggested items:
                                                                                                     • Adaptors & Converters (We suggest a global
To counter the large fees some students took                                                         converter so that you can use it no matter
out large amounts of cash at one time. If you          Travelers Checks                              where you go)
choose to do that be careful with your cash.          • Some students came with them as              • Travel alarm clock.
(watch out for pickpockets!)                          backup for their cash and credit cards.        • Any medication you need.
                                                      • Do not rely on them as they are not          • Comfortable shoes.
Credit Cards                                          always accepted.                               • Camera!!
Western & Northern Europe:                            • If you lose them or if they get stolen you   • Toiletries – the brands are different here
• Used in most places.                                can put in a claim for your money.             and some things can be expensive.
                                                                                                     • Measuring cups if you like to cook
Eastern & Southern Europe:                                                                           (especially if you are not used to the metric
• Many places do not accept credit cards.                                                            system.)
• Those that do more widely accepted
MasterCard and Visa over AMEX.                                                                       You DO NOT NEED to bring:
                                                                                                     • Guidebooks - The NYU library has a travel
                              Making the money go further                                            book on just about everywhere you might go.
                                                                                                     • Towels, pillows and sheets – NYU provides
                                                                                                     these items in the dorms.
  Get ISIC (International Student identification Card) – This card gives you great                   • Ladies - All of Prague is cobblestone, so
  deals at different restaurants and attractions. In fact, there are student discounts available     leave the heels behind.
  all over Europe. Just ask!!
                                                                                                     If you plan on traveling:
  Take local transport – Price-wise local public transportation is always the better                 • Flip flops for the hostel showers.
  option over taxis. However, Validate all train and bus tickets! This will save you lots of         • Towels for the hostels.
  money should a ticket collector fine you!                                                          • Locks (some people felt they needed a
                                                                                                     lock for their bag).
  Buy groceries -      Groceries are very cheap in Prague and far cheaper than eating in             • Do not pack new clothes for every day
  restaurants. Try going to the small fruit and vegetable stores. They are less crazy than           of your trip!
  Tesco and cheaper too.                                                                             • Do not bring valuables that you do not
  Avoid shopping and eating in tourist areas - Food and souvenirs are less
  expensive and often better the farther away you are from tourist traps.
                                                                                                     Also do not forget your passport!!                                     Picture by Caitlin Boehne

 Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                                                                                     | 19
                                               Besides the wireless internet in your dorms,
                                               Bohemian Bagel has internet access and is
                                               a big NYU hangout. Or try Globe Café - nice
                                               internet café located near campus at Tynska
                                               court. These are helpful sites to find places:

                                               It is a free internet phone service to speak
                                               to family and friends. You need a headset
                                               and it is free if the person you are calling
                                               has a skype account as well.

                                               Mobile Phones
                                               You can get a cell phone plan from O2,
                                               Vodafone or T-Mobile which have pay-as-
                                               you-go minutes. The Vodafone and T-Mobile
                                               stores have cheap phones to buy, but you
                                               can get the phone elsewhere too (try E-
                                               bay!) Make sure it has an open SIM card.         Picture by Patricia Bradby

                                               Phone Cards
                                               Another affordable option is to buy a local
                                               phone card or even a US-based calling card
                                               system with local country numbers. There
                                               are calling cards with very cheap rates
                                               (calling a local number on a phone to
                                               connect to a calling card, and then to the
                                               US). They can be used on landlines or cells.

                                               Online Communities & Blogging
                                               Show off your time abroad and connect with
                                      - Free and easy
                                               to use blogging software.
                                      - Free
                                               internet site that connects travelers and has
                                               forums for posting stories, videos, questions,
                                               journals, etc.
                                      – Thorn tree
                                               is a great forum to speak to other travelers.
                                                                                                Picture by Emily Lindsey
                                      – Download
                  Picture by Patricia Bradby
                                               guide books for your Ipod or PDA.
Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                          | 20

Spring/Fall Break Stories

                      Nora – I traveled to Croatia and
                      Bosnia and visited Vienna on my
                      way back to Prague. I highly
                      recommend both Sarajevo and
                      Dubrovnik, although Croatia and
                      Bosnia may seem out of your
                      comfort zone (they were certainly out
                      of mine) Dubrovnik is beautiful and
                      Sarajevo was the most diverse,
                      vibrant, energetic and welcoming
                      places I visited! Just Go!!

                      Patricia - I traveled all
                      over Europe during my
                      semester abroad. I really                                                                                                    Map: Public Domain

                      took advantage of the
                      central location of Prague                                             Starting Tips                           Just before you leave . . .
                      within Europe.
                                                                                                Have an idea of sites you want to
                                                                     Bernier – For fall         visit and things you want to do         Inform someone (your parents, the
                                                                                                during your trip. Besides some of       school, a friend) of your travel plans
                                                                     break I went to
                                                                                                the suggestions we make in this         in case of emergency.
                        Heather – I met up with my mother and        Bruges in Belgium
                                                                                                book (especially the next page!).
                                                                     for a weekend trip.                                                Make sure you have more than one
                        my aunt for a week-and-a-half girls’ trip,                              Here are some places to get ideas:
                                                                     It’s a great little                                                source of money (e.g. cash and a
                        starting in Barcelona, staying in a                                     - Research online. (see online
                                                                     city with really nice                                              credit card, or two credit cards)
                                                                                                communities and blogging info)
               apartment for 3 days, then          people. Finally, for
                                                                                                - Ask friends/family.
                                                                     the last 4 days, I                                                 Make a copy of your passport and a
                        flying to Florence (RyanAir), staying in                                - Read site-specific guide books.
                                                                     went to Marrakesh,                                                 credit card and pack these to bring
                        a castle B&B also found on,                                    (students used everything - Lonely
                                                                     Morocco. It was a          Planet, Let’s Go, Rough Guide,          along with you.
                        then back to Barcelona to rent a car and     major culture shock        Rick Steves, Frommers, Time Out)
                                         Spain (San
                        see some of Northern                         but the sights were                                                Bring email confirmations of all
                                                                     lovely and it was an                                               reservations and arrangements you
                        Sebastian, Pamplona, Girona,                                            Book all travel far in advance.
                                                                     overal very cool           However, do not book anything           have made.
                        etc.) The rest of break I spent by myself    experience.                until after the first week of
                        exploring Sevilla and Córdoba                                           classes. You may find there are         Write down the address of your
                        (Southern Spain), which was quite a                                     NYU-sponsored trips already in          destination to show to a local if you
                                                                                                place.                                  need help. Also, print out directions
                        relaxing experience.                                                                                            of how to get to that location.

Prague Guide 2008-2009 – Excerpt from European Travel Guide                                                                                                                | 21

           Planes                                                                                             Trains
   If you are planning weekend travel, then flying from city to city may be your cheapest          Czech Republic - It is easy to travel by train from Prague. You can buy tickets just a few
option.                                                                                            days in advance at the train station in the Hlavni Nadrazi metro stop on the red line.
   With flights, the earlier you book, the cheaper it will be.                           
   Be aware that the taxes for the flight may be more money than the cost of the actual
flight.                                                                                            Rail Pass - – Lists all your train options and information about the
   Many of the cheapest flights leave very early in the morning from airports outside of the       trains for all the different European countries.
city. In some places it can be difficult and expensive to travel to these airports at these very
early times because public transportation may not run all night.                                   Eurail - If you are planning on traveling (especially after your semester) you may find that
   If you go on a low-fare airline, expect to pay a fee for any stowed luggage you bring.          Eurail is the best option. It is a train pass that gives you train travel within 18 European
   There is a great Airport Express bus that runs straight from the Nadrazi Holesovice metro       Countries. Not only is it a cheap, convenient way to travel around Europe, but also many
station to the Ruzyne Airport. It only costs 40 Kc each way (roughly $2), and it’s a lot faster    Euro trains are super comfy! Buy your tickets in the US as they are more expensive in
than taking the combos of metro and bus system routes.                                             Europe.

Aggregated sites                                                                                    GTS International is also a great resource for – This is a great site that compares all the current deals in the              booking bus and train tickets. They often have
market.                                                                                             great promotional sales on tickets as well. The GTS
http://www/ - A flight amalgam offering information for various locations.            travel agency is located right off of Wenceslas - A flight amalgam, similar to Kayak.                                     Square at Ve Smeckach 33. They have great - This discount flight pass allows you to fly from city to city       student fares but take your international student
within Europe for $100 each way. For odd cities, this is a great price and probably the             card when you go.
cheapest you will find.                                                                    - Student fares for flights, hotels, etc. – This site has a sale sometimes for free flights and all you pay
is taxes. Keep an eye out for those.

Airline companies - Many of the NYU students flew on Ryan Air because they offer
what seems to be excellent deals. Some students had great experiences and others had                                                                                       Picture by Michelle Lo
travel nightmares. – Similar story to Ryan Air. - For Amsterdam. - For Ireland. - Cheap airline based in the Czech Repbulic.

The students mainly used buses for travel within the Czech Republic. It is easy to buy bus
tickets at the Florenc station, which is off of the red and yellow metro lines. It is designed for back-packers which makes it a great way to
                                                                Picture by Michelle Lo
meet people, and a cheap way to get around—may be more appropriate if you plan to do                                                                                     Picture by Emily Lindsey
more traveling during the summer.
 Prague Guide 2008-2009 – Excerpt from European Travel Guide                                                                                                                                 | 22

Let us start by changing your opinion of the idea of hostels. We all thought they were                Tips –
grimy dangerous places until we actually stayed in one. Then we realized that most of the             • Wait until the first week of classes are over, then book your travel
time they are just like hotels without amenities and they are full of young travelers. This           plans.
makes them a great place to meet people and to get travel tips.
                                                                                                      • MAKE SURE you ask which station in your destination city your train/bus
For places to stay, check out these different hostel websites. Check customer reviews and             leaves from. Sometimes there is more than one train and/or bus station!
ratings for more accurate descriptions of the accommodations.                                            Cities Close to Prague    
                                                                                                      Vienna- Only three hours away by train. It is one of the most beautiful cities you will ever visit.
Hostel Tips:                                                                                          Try to stay near Ringstrasse (the historic part of town). Vienna is much more relaxed than other
                                                                                                      European cities, and you will spend most of your time walking around the old city, looking at
  You will most likely need towels and make sure to bring shower shoes.                               the gorgeous white marble Renaissance buildings and lush parks. Definitely visit the palaces as
  Some people even bring a sleep sheet with them.                                                     you will be shocked at the size and luxury of them.
  Lock your stuff up if you share your room with other people.
  In general, do not bring valuables with you and if you do have any, lock them up in the             Berlin- Berlin is only a four hour train ride away from Prague. It is a startling mix of the old
safe box that most hostels have behind the front desk.                                                (war memorials and Renaissance architecture), the modern (Hotel Adlon, where Michael
  Always check the ratings, and get other people’s advice/feedback. The websites are not              Jackson dangled his baby off the balcony) and the futuristic (amazing buildings that put the
what they seem!                                                                                       NYC skyline to shame). The art scene is one of the best in the world. The metro is so easy to
                                                                                                      use, but make sure you bring a good map!
Also, check out for a free and social way to find
accommodation while traveling.                                                                         Switzerland                                        Sweden


                                                                         Picture by Patricia Bradby

                                                                                                                          Picture by Anah Greenwood                               Picture by Paul Karp

 Prague Guide 2008-2009 – Excerpt from European Travel Guide                                                                                                                                      | 23

Take advantage of the NYU sponsored trips. They are free and to places
you might not know to check out on your own!

In Czech Republic

Karlstejn – Castle Karlstejn was built in the 14th century to hold the crown jewels of the
Moravian Empire. There are some stunning hiking paths that take you to a tiny town, ancient
church and stunning gorge.

Cesky Krumlov – The Castle of Cesky Krumlov is the second largest in Bohemia. The center
of town has been preserved in its medieval form and is a UNESCO Monument of World

Pravčická Brána – Fantastic for a day of hiking in breathtakingly beautiful scenery.

Kutna Hora – Only an hour away from Prague, this small ancient town is home to the eerie
and famous Bone Church. The church was decorated by a monk in the 19th century with real
human bones!

Karlovy Vary - A world famous spa town, Karlovy Vary is one of the most frequently visited
and one of the most beautiful places in the Czech Republic. Besides being home to these well
known natural springs, the most recent James Bond film was partially filmed here. This is a
must-see while you are in the Czech Republic! Be sure to visit the Becherovka Museum.

Terezin- It is a quiet village about fifty minutes by bus from downtown Prague. It is a ghost
town in more ways than one; it is the site of a WWII prison and it is combined today with the
Litomerice Concentration Camp (located 3 km away) for a memorial site. Altogether, 10,000
people perished here. There is a large gravesite out front, a museum and tour of the grounds
inside. It is thought-provoking and infinitely sad. Joyce says, “This is one of the things that
impacted me most.”

Mariánské Lázně- This is one of the most famous Czech spa towns. In the fall it is
surrounded by beautiful mountain foliage and year-round by gorgeous buildings. It is a very
small town, and its main point of interest is the Colonnade. Be sure to eat spa wafers, and try
the mineral springs! Also, try to make an appointment for a massage. The whole point of the
town is to relax! At night the fountain lights up, and sometimes even sings!

Hradec Králové-      This is a small town with a young crowd as far as nightlife goes. There
are two Czech universities in the vicinity and a bunch of places to hang out at night. During the
day you can walk around the city, there are tons of small shops, and a beautiful river to walk

                                                                                                    Picture by Caitlin Boehne

 Prague Guide 2008-2009                                                                                                 | 24
Changes In Myself                                                                            Reverse Culture Shock
After spending months in an foreign country and being exposed to the local traditions,       Believe it or not, initially after returning to the states, you may experience a
attitudes, languages, and fashion trends, you will surely notice changes in the way you      period of time where you miss studying abroad and need to readjust to life in the
approach to certain issue or react to thoughts and actions of others. Here are some          States. However, keep in mind that you are not a alone and degree of reverse
examples of what others have experienced upon their return.                                  culture shock varies greatly from individual to individual. Some past students have
                                                                                             thought and talked about their experiences abroad nonstop (part of the reason why
                                                                                             so many of us joined Global Ambassadors!) while others may find it difficult to
                                                                                             reconnect with New York City (join Global Ambassadors and meet others in your
                        For me, it was an interesting experience because I’m Chinese,        position!).
                        but have grown up in New York City where most of the Chinese
                        population is Cantonese (and more recently, Fujianese). Living       I’m still adjusting. I stayed in                                   After my first semester
                        and traveling in China showed me how diverse the country             New York this summer because I                                     abroad, I came back
                        really is.                                   - Patty, Shanghai       thought it would be easier to                                      disgusted at the lack of
                                                                                             return there than to the suburbs.                                  culture in the States, and
                                                                                             What happened was that I                                           was dying to go back to
                                                                                             experienced all my culture shock                                   Europe. After a semester in
                                                                                             in the city I had once loved so                                    Madrid, however, I realized
      I found myself more open minded to different experiences
                                                                                             much. I’ve taken solace in                                         that eight whole months
      and people. Before I left for Shanghai, I felt somewhat distant
                                                                                             blasting Italian music on my iPod                                  abroad helped me realize
      from the NYU community, Since I’ve come back I find myself
                                                                                             every day, and once a month I go                                   what was missing from my
      appreciating America and being grateful for what I have.
                                                                                             to Luzzo’s (1st and 13th), which                                   life without the states, and
      I’ve learned and felt first hand experience that the world
                                                                                             is the most authentically Italian                                  I began appreciating the
      does not revolve around America. I feel that there are plenty
                                                                                             restaurant I’ve seen outside of                                    American things I took for
      of opportunities outside of America, it just takes some effort
                                                                                             Italy. It gives me amazing peace                                   granted before. Beach
      to find it. I feel that I’ve evolved into a much more
                                                                                             of mind.         -Anah, Florence                                   Boys, 24-hour diners, big
      knowledgeable person, not only academically, but also
      socially.                                   -Jennifer, Shanghai                                                                                           breakfasts, and the
                                                                                                                                                                freedom to be who you
                                                                                                 I had trouble reconnecting with New York when                  want to be.
                                                                                                      I returned. It was all too loud, too big, and             -Sarah, Florence & Madrid
                                                                                                   quite different from the more reserved nature
                                                                                                        of Prague. For the first week I felt like a
                                Surprisingly, I felt a bit estranged from American                          stranger in a city I love. No one really
                                culture in general. Living abroad, I watched most                   discusses with you the difficulties of studying
                                American news stories (especially the election primaries)                 in two different cities and the trouble of
                                with a wary eye. I was fascinated by the world’s                     returning. In order to reconnect with NYC, I
                                perception of America and a bit disgusted to see                    did the things that made me happy: go to my
                                American tourists who acted like they were somehow                         favorite café, take long walks, do some
                                superior to the rest of the world. I’m also more likely to                 shopping and especially see my friends.
                                show interest in European news stories, since I can now
                                associate with many of the cities.     -Stephen, Florence                                         -Jeremy, Prague

                                                                                              Immediately upon leaving the airport, I made several comments about the sizes of
           Perhaps the biggest thing I have learned from traveling is to always
                                                                                              automobiles and the strangeness of the scenery. Only initially, I felt sort of distant
           understand who you are from the inside out, but to also remember
                                                                                              from my group of friends at home. I guess I coped by sharing lots of stories with
           what people perceive from the outside in.      - Margaret, London
                                                                                              them, but eventually I started feeling like I was talking about my experiences too
                                                                                              much.                                                            - Stephen, Florence

 Prague Guide 2008-2009 - Excerpt from Lost in Translation Guide                                                                                                                       | 25

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