MT business travel: Frequent flyer Zafar Iqbal's guide to Prague

HOW TO GET THERE: From Heathrow, British Airways has three flights a day to Prague Ruzyne airport. So does CzechAir, and I use whichever is more convenient. There are cheaper flights with easyJet from Gatwick and Stansted.

by Zafar Iqbal is an art dealer and gallery director of the Studio Glass Gallery in London
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

AIRPORT TO TOWN: The centre is half an hour's drive from the airport. Unfortunately, the reputation of Czech taxis is appalling. I'd recommend AAA Taxis (+420 14014 or +420 222 333 222) as very reputable. You can call them wherever you are and they pick you up within five to 10 minutes. The cab journey should cost only 300 korun. You can also take a bus to the nearest tube station, Dejvicka, for CZK12. The public transport system is one of Europe's best.

BEST HOTEL: My favourite is the Hotel Praha 1 (Susicka 20, +420 224 343 305-6). This social realism-style hotel was built by the old regime for visiting foreign dignitaries, so that they could be kept under control. It's off the main track and somewhat stuck in a time-warp, but it's glorious. Every room is massive and has its own balcony with views of Prague. The Intercontinental 2 (Namesti Curieovych 43/5, +420 234 125 229, www.prague.intercontinental.com) is in a great location. It's next to the Jewish Quarter and close to Parizka ('Paris Road') with its designer shops. The boutique-style Four Seasons Hotel 3 (Veleslavinova 2a/1098, +420 221 427 000, www.fourseasons.com/prague) is next to the Charles Bridge. After opening in 2001 it was hit by the summer floods, but it's open again now.

BEST BUSINESS RESTAURANT: Frank Gehry's Dancing House 4 is a business centre on the river with many multinational firms. The French restaurant on the top floor, La Perle de Prague 4 (Rasinovo Nabrezi 80, +420 221 984160), is great for business meetings. I like to eat healthily, which is difficult in Prague. But the Kogo restaurant chain has great pasta. My favourite branch is on Wenceslas Square 5. The Czechs are famous for their beer, but their wine is equally good. If it's on the menu, try a bottle.

BEST CAFES AND BARS: The Cafe Louvre 6 (20 Narodni, +420 224 930 949) in the Old Town centre is a traditional cafe founded in 1902. Albert Einstein and Franz Kafka have visited, and it's nice to discuss business there. Downstairs is the Reduta Jazz Bar 6 (+420 224 912 246) - the most famous in Prague. Bill Clinton has played there. Behind the Bell House is my favourite cafe, the Ebel Coffee House 7 (Tyn 2/640, 11000, +420 224 895 788), where they roast their own coffee. It has a lovely, earthy, typical central European feel. Try traditional Czech honey cake with your coffee.

A FEW HOURS TO KILL? Walk across the Charles Bridge 8. The baroque cityscape of the Old Town is magnificent. Thankfully, it was spared by both sides during World War II. Try to visit Prague's Jewish cemetery - the oldest in Europe. It's a very peaceful place. Best views of the cemetery are from the cloakroom on the second floor of the Museum of Decorative Arts 9 (Ulice 17, Listopada 2 Stare Mesto, +420 224 811 241), my favourite museum. Prague is famous for classical music; many of its 500-year-old churches are now used for concerts. You can probably find one somewhere every day. My favourite church is the baroque St Nicholas 10 (Old Town Square).

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: Business people wear a suit and tie, even in summer. If you're single, people assume there's something wrong with you, so you should always address a woman as 'Mrs', otherwise you might offend her. At lunch, it's usual to have a pint of beer, but the Czechs never overdo it.

SECRETS OF THE JET SET: Make sure you have private insurance. Never use local doctors, but go to private hospitals or doctors.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime