The Czech economy has grown at a faster rate than the EU average, but the credit crunch has slowed foreign investment, tourism and exports, and now the country is tightening its belt. Yet Prague remains a favorite of expats and foreign companies alike, and there are a number of prominent international Czech brands, including Bat’a shoes, Petrof pianos, and Budvar beer.
Unwind before, after or between flights with a massage, a drink and even a haircut or a pedicure at the newly opened Sky Relax centre (Terminal 2 connecting corridor).
Minutes from the Charles Bridge, a 14th-century monastery has been brought elegantly and luxuriously up- to-date as the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Nebovidska 459/1, +420 233 088). The premises include a spa set in an old Gothic church, plus an Asian fusion restaurant, Essensia.
Grand Café Orient (opens at 9 a.m., Ovocny trh 19, +420 224 224 240, grandcafeorient.cz) is a chic cubist space that has been restored to its 1912 glory. Located in the cubist House of the Black Madonna, it also has a terrace with enjoyable views.
La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise (Hastalska 18, +420 222 311 234) is an old-town restaurant offering some of Prague’s finest food: small “tasting” portions of Czech and international dishes with accompanying wines. The three hours it takes to eat here is time well spent cementing your business relationships.
Get a real taste of Prague by touring the Staropramen brewery (NádraÅ¾ní 84, +420 257 191 402), right in the middle of town.
Although Prague has become increasingly Westernized, Czech culture overall is traditionally formal. It pays to adopt a respectful, polite approach. Don’t attempt to rush into informality, and do not use contacts’ first names without being invited.
• Sports, especially soccer and hockey.
• Beer: The Czechs are deservedly proud of their brews, and social drinking is very important here.
• Prague’s monuments, history, culture and beauty.