The Prague City Council has started delivering on its promise to close down
dishonest exchange offices that rip off foreign visitors to Prague.
A number of them still offer high commissions with some selling the euro for 16 crowns compared to the official exchange rate of just over 25 crowns per euro. Or else the offer „zero commission” and favourable exchange rates that only apply to large transactions.
Two such Chequepoint outlets have been closed since November of last year and councillors are looking at around two dozen others which may follow suit.
Last year MPs approved an amendment to the Exchange Act that will allow customers up to three hours to cancel a currency exchange transaction that they find to be highly disadvantageous and get their money back, but the law will only come into force in April of this year.
Exchange offices set their rates independently of the official exchange rates announced by the Czech National Bank.
A special role has been created to regulate the excesses of Prague’s nightlife. Councillors of the Czech capital’s City Hall elected Jan Štern as “night mayor” on Monday. A special commission made up of district and police representatives will help him out. The man in charge says that he first wants to analyse the situation in detail and meet with his counterpart in Amsterdam for inspiration.
The Prague authorities will begin repairs of the city’s Libeň Bridge
this year, deputy mayor Adam Scheinherr said on Tuesday. Initial work will
focus on parts of the road bridge that are not directly connected to
The renovation work will be carried out according to a plan due for publication by the Czech Technical University by the end of March.
Libeň Bridge, which was built in the late 1920s, is in a hazardous state. There was talk in the past of demolishing it completely.
Prague councillors have elected the city’s first nightlife mayor. The
post has gone to Jan Štern, whose task it will be to deal with complaints
about noise pollution from bars, pubs and restaurants and promote a safe
and vibrant nightlife scene that benefits businesses and residents alike.
According to councillor Hana Třeštíková the nightlife mayor’s task will be to gradually change the image of Prague from that of a city offering cheap alcohol and numerous nightclubs.
In electing a nightlife mayor Prague councillors were inspired by cities such as New York or Paris.
2018 was the warmest year in Prague since 1775, according to records kept
at the city centre Clementinum weather station, which went into operation
back then. The average temperature in the capital last year was 12.8
degrees Celsius, which is 3.2 degrees above the average between 1775 and
2014, forecasters said on Saturday.
The majority of the 10 warmest years registered by meteorologists at the Clementinum since the late 18th century occurred after the year 2000.
A number of renovation projects are planned for Prague Castle, one of the
city’s most visited landmarks, the Prague Castle Administration spokesman
told the Czech News Agency on Saturday.
The administration is set to renovate the façade and roof of the left wing of the New Royal Palace and the residence in the Royal Garden. Works will also continue on the Renaissance building of the Supreme Burgrave’s House.
The overall cost of the repairs at Prague castle next year is expected to exceed 300 million crowns. Most of the expenses, around 75 million crowns, will be used to repair the interiors of the residence in the Royal Garden, where the presidents of Czechoslovakia once lived.
Photographer Jeffrey Martin has just released the largest photo of Prague ever taken and indeed one of the largest photos ever produced anywhere. Martin, who specialises in panoramic photography, spent three days taking thousands of individual images to create a single image containing 900,000 pixels. As he told me, he took advantage of the opportunity to shoot from a unique vantage point.
More than 600,000 tourists are expected to visit Prague during December, many of them coming especially to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in the city. Among the biggest highlights is the traditional Christmas market on Prague’s Old Town Square, which will open this Saturday with the lighting of Christmas tree. I asked Barbora Hrubá from Prague City Tourism to tell me more about what visitors to Prague can see and do during the festive season this year.
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