October 3, 2008
SIGNAL's guide to Web resources Situated in the heart of Europe, the city of Prague has been an imperial capital, an artistic center and a trade and political hub during its long history. Its worldrenowned medieval and Renaissance architecture has served as a backdrop to some of the most riveting historical events of the last century such as the Velvet Revolution. This grand city will host AFCEA's TechNet Europe 2008 symposium October 15-17. Prague has many things to offer visitors from business travelers to tourists, and this selection of World Wide Web sites serves as a starting place to plan and enjoy a trip to this storied place.
Prague Information Service
The city's main information home page offers quick reference points for visitors. A guide for tourists explains issues such as the local currency (the crown), medical care, entrance fees, local weather and holidays. The home page features a list of links for local government and historical sites such as Prague City Hall, city guides, city transportation information, hotel locators and exchange rate guides. Travelers looking for restaurants, shops, museums or other services can look them up with a search tool that provides the location's address and Web page.
Finding lodging is a key part of any trip. This Web site provides a searchable list of accommodations across the city, ranging from bed-and-breakfasts to four-star hotels. The site includes a thumbnail history of the city, but visitors may be especially interested in the "Dog Eat Blog," a Web log managed by the site's administrators. The blog discusses upcoming cultural events in the city such as concerts and museum openings. It also covers a range of other topics, including night life, local travel and food guides.
Travelers seeking a more detailed guide to Prague's many attractions may want to visit this Web site. Prague Experience provides a range of subjects such as accommodations for hotels to apartment rentals, travel packages, restaurants and concert information. Dining, bars and other nightlife are listed alphabetically with a description of the overall theme, cost and closing times (in the case of bars). The site also includes links to restaurant home pages and a map feature. Cultural events such as opera, ballet and concerts are listed by month. Tickets also can be purchased online via the home page.
Sometimes learning about a place is best left to the professionals. This site lists a variety of guided tours through Prague. Tours include visits to Prague Castle, walks through the Old and New towns, and river cruises. The tours last an average of three hours and accommodate one to four persons. Group discounts also are available.
My Czech Republic
This home page is dedicated to the broader aspects of Czech culture, both in Europe and abroad. It highlights things to see and do in Prague and towns such as the famous resort town of Karlovy Vary (also known as Carlsbad) and Olomouc. The site also offers information about a three-day tour of Prague for time-pressed visitors. For those interested in seeing more of the country, information is provided about the republic's various regions such as Bohemia and Moravia. The site includes practical information such as a trip planner with links to national mass-transit home pages.
Prague also is known for its lively expatriate life as people from all over the world have settled there, attracted by the city's lively culture. This home page offers a range of advice for individuals interested in settling in the Czech Republic. Information is available on topics such as businesses, real estate agencies, doctors, schools, technology issues and language training. Visitors can register to participate in discussion forums. More casual travelers to the republic will be interested in the site's accommodation, dining and event guides that are geared for a range of prices.
Recording a place for memory is an important part of any trip. Qik (pronounced "quick") is a software program that allows users to stream videos directly from their wireless telephones to the Web. It can be used to stream video to a Facebook or Twitter page or to a personal home page to preserve the memory. Qik supports video streaming on Nokia S60 phones and other phones running Windows Mobile software. A complete list of compatible devices is provided on the site's sign-up page. Users should note that the software currently is in its beta release phase.
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