Hotel prices for the New Year in Prague have been upped around threefold compared with normal according to a survey by the French travel website trivago.fr. Average prices of around 77 euros a night have climbed to around 215 euros for New Year’s eve as hotels offer tailor made celebrations and cash in on the event. The price rises for Prague, of 179 percent compared with December 24, appear to be among the highest in Europe, outstripping the high increases in cities such as Edinburgh and Vienna, according to the site.
Prague City Hall is giving visitors and residents to the Czech capital a late Christmas present in the form of sports facilities free-of-charge for the duration of a week. Between December 25th and December 31st people can make use of selected sports facilities - including swimming pools, ice rinks, fitness centres, football, floorball, beach volleyball, squash, table tennis and aerobics facilities - for free. The tradition was launched three years ago and has proved extremely popular with the public. Last year over 15,000 people took up the offer.
Police in Prague arrested a 39-year-old foreign national on Wednesday night after they found 12 kilos of marihuana in his car, a police spokeswoman said. Officers stopped the man’s car for a regular check and found marihuana plants, dried marihuana leaves as well as electric fans and digital scales. The foreigner, who is already being prosecuted in another drug-related case, faces ten years in jail.
Prague’s Ruzyně Airport said operations returned to near normal on Wednesday following a series of cancellations on Tuesday due to bad weather across Europe. Three flights to London Heathrow, one of the worst hit destinations in Europe, were cancelled Wednesday but one flight was said to be still possible in the evening. More than a dozen flights out of Prague were cancelled on Tuesday due to the weather, mainly to Frankfurt, London and Brussels.
Two dozen fire units were sent to deal with a blaze at in an industrial complex that sent clouts of smoke over the Prague district of Malešice on Friday morning. Over 100 fire officers managed to bring it under control within two hours. By coincidence, a number of fire engines were being repaired in an auto shop inside the complex. Nobody was injured in the fire, the cause of which is as yet unknown.
Unusually cold weather has claimed 13 lives in Prague since October – 11 of them in December alone. A combination of hypothermia and alcohol played a role. With severe conditions expected to continue, the question now is how quickly help for the city’s homeless can be provided to try and stop what should be preventable deaths.
Monday marks the 30th anniversary of the ending of tram services running the length of Prague’s main thoroughfare, Wenceslas Square. Trams had run between Mustek at the bottom of the square and the National Museum at the top for almost a century. The plan that won a competition for the redesign of the entire street in 2005 envisages the return of trams. However, the project has been delayed and no target date for its completion has been set.
Prague residents have long been used to the city’s efficient metro system but efficiency wasn’t the word that came to mind for many commuters on Wednesday, when a part of the oldest line in the system was closed off for more than four hours. Announcements were played in a loop outside stations every few minutes warning travelers of the situation. The crux of the problem? Heavy snow that had melted in the metro tunnel within Prague’s Nusle bridge.
Prague Civic Democrat leader Bohuslav Svoboda was elected mayor of Prague on Tuesday in one of the stormiest sessions City Hall has ever witnessed. Hundreds of protesters turned out for the election to demonstrate their anger against the power-sharing deal between the Civic and Social Democrats, which froze out election winner TOP09. The session had to be postponed four times as police and security guards fought to maintain order and when it finally got underway Mr. Svoboda’s speech to the assembly was punctuated by booing and derisive laughter.
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