City Guide

Maps

  • Czech+Republic map

Directory

Time

The Basics

Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2, Apr - Oct)

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs with a hole for a male grounding pin are standard. Most sockets also take the standard European two-pin plugs.

Money:

The official currency is the Czech Crown, locally known as the Koruna (CZK), which is divided into 100 haler. Most credit cards, including American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard are accepted, but it is best to have cash handy when travelling outside of Prague and the main tourist centres. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some hotels; commission is highest in hotels. Banks are closed on weekends. ATMs (known as 'bankomats') are now common in Prague and are probably the best way to obtain local currency at a good rate. The Czech Republic is still cheap compared to the rest of Europe, though the gap is closing.

Currency Exchange Rates

CZK 1.00 = AUD 0.06 CAD 0.06 EUR 0.04 NZD 0.07 GBP 0.03 USD 0.04 ZAR 0.63
Note: These currency exchange rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: Czech is the official language but English and German are also widely spoken.

Entry requirements:

Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in the Czech Republic. A visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for UK nationals: Passports endorsed 'British Citizen' must be valid on arrival; British passports with other endorsements must be valid at least three months beyond the period of intended stay. Passport exemptions apply to holders of identity cards issued by Gibraltar, and endorsed 'Validated for EU travel purposes under the authority of the United Kingdom', as well as to holders of emergency passports issued to nationals of the United Kingdom. A visa is not required for passports endorsed British Citizen. No visa is required for holders of passports endorsed British National (overseas), British Overseas Territories Citizen (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and British Subject (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom).
Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadians must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in the Czech Republic. No visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in the Czech Republic. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans require a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in the Czech Republic. A pre-arranged visa is required.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealand citizens must have a passport valid for three months beyond the period of intended stay in the Czech Republic. A visa is not required for a maximum of 90 days stay.

Passport/Visa Note: The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Each of these countries issues a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option, and allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of the other Schengen countries. All visitors must hold either an onward or return ticket, or proof of sufficient funds to buy a ticket, plus all documents required for onward travel. They must also fill in and sign a border-crossing card, and be able to show proof of the following at the request of the Authority of Aliens Police Service: (i) sufficient means of support for the duration of their stay; (ii) documents confirming financial security (credit cards, bank statements, etc.); (iii) documents confirming accommodation for their period of stay in the Czech Republic, or proof of another accommodation arrangement; (iv) valid health insurance, with complete coverage. It is highly recommended that visitors' passports remain valid for at least six months beyond their arrival dates. Visitors should also bear in mind that immigration officials often apply different rules to the ones travel agents and official sources state.

Travel Health: There are no vaccination requirements for international travellers, and no major health risks associated with travel to the Czech Republic. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Long-term visitors to forested areas may want to seek medical advice about immunisation against tick-borne encephalitis. Medical facilities are good in Prague, but may be more limited in rural areas. A reciprocal health agreement with the UK entitles citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to free emergency health care. Comprehensive medical insurance is advised.

Tipping: Tipping in restaurants is optional and generally no service charge is added to bills. Gratuities of about 10 percent are expected for good service. Taxi drivers are tipped by rounding up the fare at the end of the journey.

Safety Information: The majority of visits to the Czech Republic are trouble-free, although the country has a risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which it shares with most of Europe. Petty theft is a concern, especially in Prague, and visitors should be vigilant about their belongings, particularly on public transport and around the main tourist sites. Violent crime is rare.

Local Customs: Drunken behaviour and drinking in public is punishable by law in the Czech Republic. Some bars and restaurants in Prague will not allow entry for stag parties.

Business: Punctuality is expected in the Czech business world and dress should be smart and conservative. Initial greetings are usually formal, expect a firm handshake. Titles and surnames are used, unless otherwise indicated. There is generally some polite small talk to establish rapport at the beginning of meetings. German is the most common foreign language used in the Czech Republic but English is widely spoken by younger generations. Translators are available and, any attempts at speaking Czech will be appreciated when doing business. Deals can take a long time to complete due to significant bureaucratic red tape, so it's important to be patient. Business hours usually run from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, with some businesses closing for the month of August.

Communications: The international access code for the Czech Republic is +420. Purchasing a local prepaid SIM card is a good way to keep calling costs down, as international roaming can be expensive, and international calls from hotels involve high surcharges. Many cafes, restaurants, hotels and shopping centres offer free wifi access.

Duty free: Travellers over the age of 17 arriving from non-EU countries don't have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco. The same applies to one litre of spirits over 22-percent volume, two litres of spirits under 22-percent volume, four litres of wine, and 16 litres of beer. Other goods up to the value of €430 for travellers arriving by air, and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €200 for children under 15) are also duty free.