These unwritten rules for living in Prague will help even the newest expat blend in with the crowd in no time.
- Reservations are necessary.Not just for meals, but an afternoon coffee as well. If it’s a place worth going to, it’s booked by those in the know. If there is tons of space, it’s likely overpriced and awaiting tourists.
- Pets will show up almost everywhere. Czechs have more dogs per capita than any European country, but you can relax about attacks because they’re usually very well trained. However, if you’re allergic you may want to avoid public transport and restaurants.
- Exact change is a religion.Whatever note you’re paying with had better be within 20% of the price. Exact change is preferred, additional coins to make the change a round number are expected, and glares are guaranteed for anyone using a 2,000 CZK note, ever.
- Filing papers? Prepare yourself for waiting.There’s no chance they’re in the same building or even on the same street. One office is likely to be open only two days a week (during normal business hours) or restricted to appointment-only transactions on Fridays, and the cashier only accepts on-site payments in stamps from 10:57-11:13 on Thursdays.
- The day before a holiday is a holiday.Don’t count on a response to emails or phone calls after 12:00pm on Friday (especially on a long weekend). If the public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, 60% of your office will probably take a 4-5 day trip out of the city with their family.
- Weekends are for getting out of Prague.Any day with decent weather for skiing, cycling, hiking or rafting should be spent outside the city limits. And if the weather isn’t ideal for outdoor activities, you can expect to hear complaints about it throughout the office on Monday morning.
- Be prepared to hear a siren.That siren blaring across the city at 12:00pm on the first Wednesday of each month is simply a test of the city-wide warning system used for emergencies, not the beginning of war.