EasyJet is set to introduce a direct flight connecting Prague with the Spanish island of Mallorca, according to an announcement from the Prague airport’s press service.
Commencing operations on June 25, 2024, the British low-cost carrier plans to offer flights three times a week, specifically on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Travelers can expect a swift journey, with a flight duration of 2 hours and 40 minutes.
For those eager to secure their seats, tickets are already available for purchase, with prices starting from CZK 820.
It’s noteworthy that the upcoming summer season will witness increased connectivity on this route, with three additional airlines joining the fray. Eurowings, Ryanair, and Smartwings are set to enhance travel options, providing passengers with a variety of choices for their Prague to Palma de Mallorca journey.
Mallorca first started attracting large numbers of tourist in the 1960s, mainly as a package holiday beach destination, when the concept was just getting started, but it was concentrated to the summer and was relatively quiet.
Over the years’ tourism on the island has grown tremendously, covering all areas, from north to south and it’s not just a summer destination but also popular in winter.
Increasingly travellers come in the spring and autumn for hiking and cycling, particularly to the Serra de Tramuntana mountains in the northwest of the island, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Penta will acquire the entire company ČSAD Praha Holding, which owns the terminal and the adjacent lucrative land. The transaction price has not been disclosed by the companies.
Approximately 450 buses pass through this station every day, making it the largest bus station in the Czech Republic.
Pavel Vráblík, the CEO of ČSAD Praha Holding, estimated in June that in 2019, ten million people passed through the station, but after the pandemic, the number has dropped by about one million.
Vráblík stated in June that the Florenc 21 project would include the bus station as part of a new building, which would house office spaces and apartments. He estimated the investment in the project at several billion Czech crowns.
Penta Real Estate recently completed work on the Masaryčka building complex by Prague’s Masaryk railway station. It was designed by the UK’s Zaha Hadid Studios and is regarded as one of the boldest projects of its kind in the Czech capital in some years.
The construction of the two buildings that make up Masaryčka began in March 2021 and the total investment was CZK 2.5 billion.
Penta Investments is a Central European investment group founded in 1994. It is active in healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail, real estate development, and media. Its portfolio companies employ more than forty thousand people.
The company operates in more than ten European countries and has representations in Prague, Bratislava, and Warsaw.
Penta owns, among other things, media companies Vltava Labe Media and News and Media Holding, betting company Fortuna Entertainment Group, Dr. Max, Empik, Slovalco, and the Penta Hospitals chain.
British low-cost carrier EasyJet is set to launch a new direct flight connecting Prague to the sunny Spanish city of Alicante, beginning operations on 1 April 2024, as announced in their recent press release.
The flight service is scheduled for twice a week, operating on Mondays and Fridays, with a travel time of nearly three hours.
Tickets for this convenient route are already available for purchase, starting at just 650 kronor for a one-way trip.
Notably, starting from 31 March, the German low-cost carrier Eurowings will resume its flights between Prague and Alicante after the winter hiatus.
This renewed competition is expected to positively impact ticket prices, offering travelers even more affordable options.
Situated at roughly the halfway point between Barcelona in the north and Gibraltar in the south of Spain, Alicante is the largest city located on the Costa Blanca stretch of the Spanish coastline.
A historic Mediterranean port, the city has benefitted hugely from the boom of the tourism industry over the last 60 years, as well as from an influx of Spanish and Europeans seeking a second residence by the sea.
This has since led to Alicante being able to offer visitors and locals an impressive range of restaurants and bars to sit in and while away the hours, and also a great variety of things to do in and around the city itself.
You could spend a fortnight based here and find a different day-trip to embark upon each day, be it a boat ride to the beautiful island of Tabarca, a 30-minute train journey to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the city of Elche, or a tram ride up the coast to the charming localities of El Campello, Calpe or Denia.
That same tram will also take you to Benidorm, the infamous party town beloved by the Brits, the Irish and the Northern Europeans.
September 28th is a public holiday in the Czech Republic. It is the feast day of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of Bohemia, and commemorates his death in 935.
Stores with an area exceeding 200 square meters, such as supermarkets and furniture stores, will be closed. The prohibition of operation on this day does not apply to gas stations, pharmacies, and stores located in areas with a high concentration of travelers at airports and train stations.
The only large supermarkets in Prague that will be legally open are Billa stores at Václav Havel Airport Prague and at the train station Praha hlavní nádraží.
Fines for breaching the law can be levied in an amount up to 1 million crowns.
The law closing most large stores on holidays will continue to be in effect on Christmas Eve on Decemeber 24 (in the afternoon), Christmas Day on December 25, and St Stephen’s Day on December 26.
What to do on Thursday, September 28
September 28 marks also the Open Day of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, which opens the doors of the Nostitz Palace to visitors and welcomes both adults and children with a host of special programs. The Ministry of Finance and the Straka Academy are also open.
This Thursday will also see a free-to-visit wine festival at Písecká Gate, near Prague Castle. It lasts until October 1.
On September 28, members of the public will also be able to attend an open day at the capital’s main hygiene station in Prague 1. The aesthetic building dates back to the early modern period.
Many Czech pubs and breweries will partake in the Days of Czech Beer event that is set to last until September 30.
The Ministry of Finance will open the doors of its headquarters to the general public for free on Thursday, too.
The St. Wenceslas Celebration 2023 family-friendly event, which features “knights” jousting on horseback, a falconer’s show, and live music, will take place at Na Jezerce Park in Prague 4’s Nusle.
On Saturday 7 October 2023 from 19:00, Smíchov Embankment will be transformed into a lively Balkan village.
The charm of Eastern Europe will be brought by the orchestra of Laco Deczi and Sinša Stanković, and the gypsy element will be complemented by Vojta Lavička’s band.
BALKAN: Uncensored will open the door to seven hours of dancing, Serbian specialties, and rakija, but also to unique spaces in the heart of Prague. The second wave of tickets is now available on GoOut.
Laco Deczi, 90% jazz, 10% dynamite. Explosive rhythms, infectious melodies. This and much more combines a jazz symbol not only of the European scene. The trumpeter, composer and bandleader will bring to Prague a brass earthquake, with which he will open the whole evening of Balkan: Uncensored.
The orchestra of Siniša Stanković will then take over the baton of the evening. The fierce Belgrade collective, which charmed the jury of the legendary Serbian Gući, will bring to Prague a mixture of vibrating brass and precise recklessness that will break even the stiffest ice. Its backbone are the Roma musicians who have proved themselves to the Czech audience in the past at the Khamoro festival.
Musician Vojta Lavička will add a generous portion of Roma charisma to the lineup. The sovereign violinist, composer and member of the legendary bands Gipsy.cz and Álom has not been absent from any important event of Romani culture.
He will bring instrumental perfection, lightness, and pure feeling to the Municipal House together with his big band. This is preceded by a reputation as one of the best ensembles in the Czech Republic. The Balkans can only be experienced with all the senses at once.
The taste will be taken care of, among other things, by the choice catering – carefully selected specialties from the Luka Lu restaurant, one of the most famous Balkan establishments in Prague. You can look forward to great cevapcici, grilled pljeskavica, vegetables and other Balkan specialties, fresh Bosnian baklava, Bulgarian moussaka, homemade ajvar, local beer, and wine.
The drinks will be served by Prague’s leading bartenders who have prepared a special Balkan-infused mixology experience. Among other things, the cult Balkan rakije or kdoulovice will help you break down your shyness and inhibitions.
News that the average price of beer in restaurants and pubs in Prague had hit 64 crowns in July came as little surprise to anyone in the city that enjoys a drink.
Beer prices have been ticking up steadily for years now, a trend that accelerated since the cost-of-living crisis kicked in last year.
And this is expected to continue as VAT hikes, labour and hop shortages, and elevated inflation conspire to push the price past 70 crowns, compounding the misery of the hard-up Czech beer drinker and threatening to further sour the mood of the people.
The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Tradesmen of the Czech Republic (AMSP) said on August 31 that, based on data from cash register systems, the average price of a half-litre of 12-degree beer in restaurants and pubs in Prague in July was 64 crowns, up 9 per cent from the year before.
Across the whole of Czechia, the average price in July was 54 crowns compared with 50 crowns a year earlier. A decade ago, the average price was 30 crowns.
At the heart of the rise is that the cost of producing beer has simply become more expensive – inputs from the hops and the grain, to the labour and energy, to the packaging and transport have all increased markedly since the start of 2022.
With restaurants and bars now having to pay the country’s largest brewer, Pilsner Urquell, 59 crowns (including VAT) a litre for its beer (29.5 per half litre), owners have a choice of either narrowing their margins or passing on the whole rise to the consumer. So far, it seems to be the former.
If the price of beer were to reflect previous profit margins, the customer would be charged nearer 90 crowns per half litre, more in line with the 3.50-4.00 euros customers pay in other European capitals like Berlin, Brussels or Paris.
This suggests further price rises are in the offing. On August 31, Pilsner Urquell said it would be raising the price of most of its products by an average of 5.7 per cent from October 1, the Czech News Agency reported.
Then there is the planned VAT hike on draught beer to 21 per cent from 10 per cent that the government announced in May as part of its fiscal reform package to come into effect from January 1, 2024.
This has been bitterly opposed by groups like the AMSP as well as the Association of Breweries and Malthouses, which worry about the effect this will have on the already-suffering restaurant and bar trade.
They cite figures that show in 2022 the proportion of beer consumed in restaurants and bars fell to 31 per cent of the total, down from about 50 per cent in 2009, as punters stay home and drink more.
However, Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny has argued that there’s little evidence to suggest beer prices will rise over 70 crowns, as food prices have begun falling. Thus, with the government not seemingly minded to change course, the question is what the struggling consumer in small towns and villages across the Czech Republic will make of this.
The Euro 2024 qualifying match between Ukraine and North Macedonia will take place in the Czech Republic. Ukrainian team’s head coach, Serhiy Rebrov, announced this on Saturday, September 9.
The match is scheduled for October 14 (Saturday). Rebrov did not specify the Czech city where it will occur, and the Football Association of Ukraine has not yet made an official announcement.
However, in August, Slavia Prague offered Ukraine a free qualifying match at its stadium in Vršovice. Most likely, the game will take place there.
“The Ukrainian national team asked our partners to host their qualifying match somewhere. We offered our stadium with the condition that if they choose it, we will provide a full set of services absolutely free of charge. This means we will provide training sessions and the match itself. When the Czech national team plays, the rental cost is usually around 2.5 million crowns. By providing Ukraine with free rent, we want to assist this country,” said Slavia chairman of the board, Jaroslav Tvrdik, earlier.
The Eden Arena (Fortuna Arena) is currently the most modern soccer arena in the Czech Republic. It was constructed in 2008 and can accommodate 19,370 spectators, with all seats under a canopy to protect spectators from the weather.
The Ukrainian national team will play its next Euro 2024 qualifying match on September 12 away against Italy, followed by a nominally home match against North Macedonia.
Currently, after four games, Ukraine is in second place in its qualifying group.
Visitors can taste African, American, Asian or European specialties. The Festival of International Cuisine takes place at Karlínské náměstí.
The Karlín International Cuisine Festival is a celebration of the many cultures and diversity represented across the world.
Through live music, cultural displays, international food and drinks, a kids’ zone, and craft and merchandise vendors, visitors are able to explore a mosaic of different countries.
“We have representatives of four continents. You can taste something from each continent, and of course, there are also different stands selling authentic products, spices, and drinks,” said Veronika Brabcová, market organizer.
“We will introduce you to Peruvian cuisine, you will discover the charms of Armenia and its culture, and of course there will be Asian cuisine in its many forms”, added Brabcová.
“The festival showcases the rich cultures and diverse communities that contribute to our vibrant city,” added Brabcová.
Organizers will also set up creative workshops and a stand for henna body paint. Live music will be provided by the IBBI and CREW, and DJ Hlava.
Find more information here
On April 16, right-wing populist political party PRO (Právo Respekt Odbornost) organized a gathering in Prague’s Wenceslas square, serving as a continuation of the party’s newest campaign: the Czech Republic Against Poverty.
The campaign was launched on March 11 and seeks to spur action from the government in several different sectors, including freedom of speech, energy policy, and foreign policy.
The PRO is a right wing party formed in June of last year as a reaction to vaccine mandates issued by the government. Its leader, Jindřich Rajchl, was a former member of the Tricolour citizens’ movement, a fiscally conservative national-conservative citizens coalition which advocates for a unilateral and ubiquitous Czech-first policy.
The gathering on April 16 was the culmination of a series of rallies and demonstrations: for the past two months, the far-right populist party has been hosting demonstrations in smaller towns across the Czech Republic. Between the protest on March 11 and the protest on April 16, PRO has held 15 demonstrations, typically in more rural areas of the country, such as Litoměřice, Teplice, Otrokovice, and Žďár nad Sázavou.
Startingat 14:00, the crowd steadily grew, with thousands of protesters. The protesters, many from smaller villages across the Czech republic, emphasised the economic issues facing the Czech Republic.
“I have worked for 30 years in international companies. My motivation [for being here] is not my current social situation, but the future for my children and so on. Regarding Ukrainian refugees, we do everything okay. The only topic I’m not happy with is our government, and the economic situation.”
Jindřich Rajchl presented a speech on the price of energy, and the reforms his party seeks to actualize. Ondřej Svoboda, another manager of PRO, spoke about domestic and international security, discussing concerns of involving Czech citizens in international military conflicts, such as the Russian war in Ukraine.
Finally, Petr Vacek discussed potential solutions to the war in Ukraine, and how PRO wishes for the government to modify foreign policies to reflect neutrality.
While members of the anti-government protest remained predominantly concerned with domestic issues and the Czech-first policy presented by the speakers, the counter-protesters were far more concerned with the negative consequences of such nationalism and its implications for the war in Ukraine.
“We need to care for Ukraine, we need to care for our western values, but on the other hand I understand the frustration of the people. These people are very frustrated because everything is very expensive, our current government is not taking the steps they should to solve the issue. [We should] try to understand each other’s perspective, and try to not win the argument. It’s not about winning, it’s about living here together,” spoke one of the counter-protestors.
Another counter-protester spoke about why they attended the demonstration. “This is a symbolic action against aggressive Czech people who want to burn the Ukrainian flag. We are symbolic defenders. A lot of people support ukrainians against [Russia], but are against NATO and the EU, they are against international support. They are the same people that were against covid [regulations]. They are a small part of Czech society.”
Shortly after 15:30, the PRO gathering began their march towards the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, passing directly past the counter-protesters. A wall of riot police quickly formed around the counter-protesters, preventing anyone from entering the vicinity.
Members of PRO will be petitioning in front of the government office for 24 hours – until 19:00 on April 17, as well as from 9:00-17:00 on April 18 and 19
After a steady increase in unemployment since June 2022, the job market in the Czech Republic has finally fallen.
Unemployment rate in the Czech republic has increased every month since June 2022, but the end of winter marks a shift in these trends.
Projections for the unemployment rate in the Czech republic exceeded expectations this spring. Hovering at 3.9 percent during February, the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent by March – exceeding predictions that it would only decline to 3.8 percent.
Experts attribute the rapid decline of unemployment to favourable weather conditions, which allowed for the resumption of work in the industrial sectors, such as agriculture, construction, forestry, and mining.
Regardless, the unemployment rate in March 2023 was 0.3 percent higher than last March, although it remains the lowest among EU member nations. January 2023 marked the first month in a 5 year period where there were fewer job vacancies than reported job applicants.
By February, the pressure of the job market eased, although the number of job vacancies exceeded the number of applicants by less than 600.
This trend continued to accelerate in March, with the surplus of job vacancies reaching 10,000. Despite unemployment continuing to fall and the job market stabilising itself, the surplus of job vacancies remains substantially lower than previous years.
In March 2022, there was a surplus of 150,000 job vacancies.
Attributed to an increased demand for outdoor labour, the unemployment rate is projected to fall to 3.5 percent during the summer, but it remains a worry that the unemployment rate will steadily rise again once the warmer months come to an end.
Seasonal work is far from the only factor which determines the unemployment rate in the Czech Republic. In an effort to mitigate the pressures from soaring energy costs and inflation, people worry that businesses will start looking towards layoffs.
This is most evident in government sectors: as of July 1st, 2,269 positions will be eliminated from the Czech Post (Česká pošta).
Construction Company, Metroslav, has begun large-scale renovations on Prague Department store, OD Máj.
Given its status as a cultural moment, many elements from the original building will be preserved – a decision made in agreement with preservationists.
“We would like to open Máj to the public in a modernised form in the first half of 2024. The total costs after the completion of the complete reconstruction will reach four billion crowns,” said developer Václav Klán, who manages Amadeus Real Estate.
Chief Architect of the renovations, Milan Mlady, believes the project will reinvigorate the area as a cultural and entertainment centre.
Metroslav is making efforts to maintain and preserve the original appearance of the monument. During their planning phase, they collaborated with the original architects, Martin Rajniš and John Eisler, and additionally consulted both urban planning and historic preservation groups.
“Even after the reconstruction, the house will look like it is the original house, it will just have a full-fledged new cladding, except for the facades, which are distinctive,” said Mlady.
The building – standing on the site of the Neo-Gothic Šlik Palace – was originally completed in April 1975, and declared a cultural monument by the Ministry of Culture in 2006.
New statistics reveal the influx of self-employed Ukrainians and Russians within the Czech Republic over the course of 2022 and 2023.
Between 2019 and 2021, 207 Ukrainian entrepreneurs registered a new business per month, while in 2022, the average grew to 710 per month. A similar trend is apparent with Russian entrepreneurs as well, with 63 businesses registered each month in 2022 – an increase from the 51 per month before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
These trends were reflected in recent analysis by the Czech Credit Bureau (CRIF). “The largest number of Ukrainians started business here from last August to November, when more than a thousand entrepreneurs of Ukrainian nationality started their activities every month.
In some months, this was as much as 18 percent of the total number of new entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic. For January and February this year, the monthly average is already lower, i.e. 708, which is still a lot compared to the years before the war,” said Věra Kameníčková, CRIF analyst.
Since March 2022, 15% of new businesses registered were in the manufacturing and construction industries, with nearly a third of these businesses founded and operated by Ukrainian entrepreneurs.
Russian entrepreneurs on the other hand showed a different pattern, with 23% registering businesses in administrative and technical fields, and 14% registering business in the Information and communications field – predominantly as consulting firms.
As revealed by the CRIF analysis, Prague was home to the greatest number of newly registered businesses, hosting 21% of all new businesses registered in the previous year. For Ukrainian and Russian entrepreneurs, these numbers were 35% and 69%, respectively.
After Prague, the Central Bohemian region saw the second highest entrepreneurial growth, with 13% of all businesses registered in the previous year – according to CRIF.
For self-employed Ukrainian and Russian entrepreneurs, it was 14% and 9%, respectively