Welcome to Prague the capital city of the Czech Republic, the historical capital of Bohemia and one of the great cultural centers of Central Europe. The city developed as a crossing point for the river Vltava which runs through the heart of the city close to our new office - and our offices will be here in a dynamic redevelopment of a former docks which branch off the Vltava river in a district known as Libeň. The development is a great mixture of facilities, retaining the character of the traditional boat yards where a hundred years ago river-going ships were being built and repaired. Today the new office and apartment buildings have been built around open spaces with
shops cafes and sports facilities, there's even a driving range for golf enthusiasts. While it is possible to rent accommodation here there are also excellent communications which allow you to choose from several popular neighborhoods a short journey away. As well as the tram and buses, which leave from right outside, the metro station at Palmovka is a short walk away.
There are plenty of great neighborhoods to live in close to the office let's start by heading east to Vysočany. So in Vysočany you will find it is well serviced by two large shopping malls. and parks, a cycling path is just nearby here as well. It can have on in certain parts a bit of an industrial feel but it's just the nature of of the district. Vysočany is connected to the metro transport system by the yellow line which is the B line, together with number of trams and bus connections it makes really for a convenient and fast commuting within the city and in addition to this nearby is the Praha-Libeň train station which is served by city trains to Austria Slovakia and Poland. So let's take a look at some of those popular neighborhoods where the short walk or tram ride along the river to the district of Karlín.
So we're in Kaizlovy sady in Prague 8 in Karlín. Nearby primary school and a kindergarten Lyčkovo náměstí and uh there's a invalid building which was built during the Austro-Hungarian empire. It's a recovering uh as a place for recovery for soldiers from uh from the war which is now used as a cultural center with uh open air cinema ice ring in the winter, restaurants and all types of activities. Karlín is a well-established neighborhood with traditional apartment blocks and some well-known restaurants and bistros but there are newer developments and some interesting renovation projects. Forum Karlín is a concert venue built on the site of a steam boiler factory which was first constructed in 1908 and this area used to be the site of the Karlín film studios and is now apartments and offices.
By the riverbank in Karlín you can get a good idea of how close you are to the historic center of the city. S o we are now at the Rohanský ostrov and we can see in in the distance the center of Prague and what we call the Petřín tower which is the equivalent of Eiffel tower but miniature which is in Prague 6, where the castle is also and as we as we move along the river we can see the spires of the cathedral in prague seven holy shovitzer so we're overlooking Holešovice area across the river. There's also a rather different form of transport to the opposite bank. This passenger ferry runs regularly to Holešovice, which is another popular neighborhood.
So we are in the Holešovice market which is made up of various buildings used in the past as workshops.You can find a big market with fresh fruits and vegetables small, shops selling household goods. restaurants So on our right side in this Hala 25 is a famous restaurant, SaSaZu, with asian fusion specialties - great for parties as well. This area has good communications with our office either by public transport or by car.
The properties for rent, as you will see a bit later on, are mostly in these traditional apartment blocks. There are plenty of local services and small shops close at hand. Holešovice is also home to one of the city's most famous football teams Sparta Prague and Stromovka park - an oasis of peace in the center of the city. So it's the largest park in Prague we are on the side of the Výstaviště tram stop, by the industrial palace here by the planetarium which can be quite fun to go to when the weather is not that great and the park is huge it's offering a lot of sporting facilities outdoor sporting facilities. Plenty of playgrounds workout areas people run, there's in line cycling, there's even a path for horse riding this is the equivalent of New York city's Central Park in Prague. This area was a royal game reserve going back to the 13th century but was converted into a park in the late 19th century. There's an academy of fine arts and an
extensive exhibition ground. It's a great place for recreation amongst the trees and the lakes. A short distance further along the river to the west from Holešovice and we come to another attractive neighborhood Letná, this time with the advantage of some impressive views across the old town. We're in Letná Park which is one of the biggest parks in Prague overlooking, this one is overlooking the river as well and uh as you can see with the nice weather people are out enjoying the sunshine and there is a big beer garden which is very popular, especially in summer. In Letná you can
cycle, you can roller blade, there are a number of playgrounds and beautiful space just to relax. Letná is a small area dominated by the park from here it's an easy walk or tram ride across the river to Prague's world famous old town, the city's medieval center that was once guarded by a semi-circular moat and wall. This area is known as Prague One and is, of course, the tourist center of the city. It's been an important trading center for about a thousand years and its heyday was from the 14th century onwards.
This bridge the Charles Bridge, named after the king that started it in 1357, linked the old town to Prague castle and also formed a vital link in an important trade route between eastern and western europe. In the old town you'll find the cultural centers that you normally associate with the national capital - such as the National Museum, Library and Theater. There are numerous bars and restaurants and some more modern architecture and art, such as this building nicknamed the Dancing House because it looks like two dancing figures. Given its importance for tourism it's hardly surprising that this part of the city isn't ideal for living. Prices are higher and most city centre apartments are rented out for short-term lets for tourists. The old town may be impractical for anyone living here, but it offers an historical and cultural reminder of the city's past.
Having visited a few popular neighborhoods close to the office let's take a closer look at some of the practicalities of living in Prague starting with the transport system. We are going to buy a ticket at a ticket machine in one of the metro stations in Prague 8. The ticket machines offer a number of language options here i am choosing Russian language and selecting an option to buy a 30 minute ticket at 24 Czech crowns, payment can be made with coins or by card. Ticket needs to be validated at the start of the journey.
We are starting our journey on metro so i'm validating the ticket at the entrance. You can also buy ticket directly on a tram by using contactless card. Paper tickets for the public transport can be bought at the yellow ticket machines in the metro stations or at major tram and bus stops. Alternatively you can purchase them at news agents or public transport information centers. Tickets can also be bought by sending a text message
and there are several good value longer period and season tickets available. Prague's mainline railway station was built just over 100 years ago in the Art Nouveau style. From here you can catch regional trains to Czech cities and further afield across Europe and to Russia. The metro has three lines which crisscross the city running close to our office, with 61 stations. The use of bicycles and electric scooters is becoming increasingly popular as a means of transport as designated cycleways are built making this type of transport more safe and efficient.
In our look around the popular neighborhoods we've seen the outside of some apartments, but what do they look like on the inside. We've got a selection of mid-range properties in some of the neighborhoods we've already visited. We're viewing a three bedroom apartment in a development called Harfa Park which is just a couple of minutes away from the cycling path by River Rokytka. This development has an Albert supermarket within the grounds, which is very convenient and there is a restaurant and a coffee place and couple of playgrounds and a ball game beach for the children. This apartment is unfurnished and is located on a fifth floor accessible by a lift. From the entrance to the apartment, we immediately come to the hallway and we access all the rooms separately from this hallway.
Directly opposite the entrance you can see the smallest of the bedrooms immediately to the right is the second and slightly larger bedroom. The largest bedroom, the third one, is intended as a master bedroom and is located near the bathroom. There is one bathroom in this apartment. The washing machine is placed in a bathroom, in this apartment which is quite standard in Czech homes. On the left side of the entrance is the toilet with a small sink - further down the hallway we are entering the living room with open planned kitchen. As you can see this modern kitchen is
fully equipped with oven combined with microwave, an induction hob, standard size dishwasher and a free-standing fridge freezer. The big plus of this apartment is its large 151 square meter terrace which can be accessed from all the rooms - making it a great extended living space in a warmer season and compensating for the smaller interior space. There is plenty of space on the terrace for children's play area, alfresco dining and barbecues as well as plants. The sun comes to set on the side of the living room and can be very pleasant in the evening. We are viewing two bedroom apartment on a fifth floor which can be accessed by staircase and there is also a small lift. While this is a historic building, the apartment itself has been added as part of repurposing of a big loft area. Opposite the entrance is smaller of the two bedrooms, it
has sloped ceilings and a space for a single bed and a wardrobe. It can be used either as a child's bedroom or a study or a guest room. From this bedroom we can see the Lyčkovo primary school. Around the corner from the entrance on the right is the main bathroom with a bathtub toilet and a large vanity unit this bathroom also has a washing machine installed. Continuing from the hallway is the main living room with a space for dining area and open plan kitchen on our right. The kitchen is equipped with ceramic hop it has an oven fridge freezer and a dishwasher.
The second and larger bedroom is accessed from the open plan living area and is intended as a master bedroom with its own ensuite bathroom. The ensuite has a shower unit sink and a toilet. We are going to be viewing a one bedroom apartment in Holešovice, in this historical building located on the main street leading from the river. This unfurnished apartment is on the third floor and accessed only by staircase, but first we need to pass through this beautifully restored main common area with its impressive ceiling. Once you're through the main door and on the right hand side is an entry to a modern bathroom with shower unit, toilet and freestanding washing machine. This bathroom is also benefiting from daylight through a small internal window. From the hallway we enter
into a spacious open living and dining area with high ceilings three windows and plenty of light. The kitchen corner is in an alcove on the left and despite the compact size of the kitchen, it offers reasonable storage space and worktop area.The bedroom is accessed from the living room and again it offers plenty of space and already has one built in closet. This apartment is suitable either for a single person or a couple not necessarily for family with children. But if you do have children then you'll want to know about the type of schools you can find in Prague. At one end of the scale are private schools like this one Meridian International
which is in the Prague 8 district. Schools like this offer international qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate. They can take students from preschool right up to 18 years of age and being private they can be expensive. The Russian Embassy secondary school is in Prague 6 close to Stramovka park and is open to students from the Embassy and the wider Russian speaking community.
It offers a high standard of education with an emphasis on the Russian language.Veder school, which is in the centre of the city, specializes in integrating non-Czech students into the national system it runs a Russian school on saturdays. Czech state schools are free, but preschool and most years in kindergarten are fee paying. The choice of elementary school is entirely up to parents although each school gives preference to children living in its catchment area. Generally the state schools are used to accepting
non-Czech-speaking children and education support is guaranteed by law. Another essential for living in Prague is to understand the sort of shopping available. We've already got some clues from our neighbourhood tours. This farmers market, you may remember, is in Holešovice. This type of traditional market selling food directly from the farms has had something of a revival in recent years and they can be found in other parts of the city. but most people will do the majority of their food shopping in supermarkets. They vary in size from convenience stores up to the large supermarkets
in the four giant shopping malls on the edges of Prague. As well as grocery shopping these malls have a wide range of other goods on sale, from well-known fashion brands to furniture. Online shopping and grocery deliveries are increasingly popular, especially since the covid pandemic. In the centre of the city you can still find luxury boutiques and shop selling traditional Czech crafts, such as wooden toys and Bohemian crystal.
These shopping arcades date back to the 19th century and are made up of a maze of smaller shops. If you're looking for food and specialities from home there are several Russian shops selling a wide range of familiar items. So Prague has plenty to offer new arrivals - familiarity and the chance to explore a new culture. A wide and eclectic variety of culinary influences, history, the arts and entertainment. Even within the city you can feel as if you're in the countryside with the rest of Central Europe on your doorstep.