Travellers usefull tips
Things to know about the Czech Republic
The main religion is Catholicism, but there are also many Christian communities of different confessions. About 55% of the population are Atheists. Islam is more popular in the eastern part of the country.
Czech is an official language, but German, English and French are also widely spoken too.
Climate is temperate ranging from maritime to continental. Winter is quite warm in the Czech Republic – the temperature on the flatlands is between −2 and −4°C. In the mountains, where the temperature goes down up to −10°C, it’s quite cold. Summer is warm but not very hot. During the hottest month, the average temperature is +20-21°С. Rain is typical for the Czech Republic.
The average temperature:
Currency is Czech koruna (CZK). One Czech koruna is subdivided into 100 haler. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 koruny. Circulated coins are in denominations of 10, 20, 50 haler, and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 koruny.
Means of payment
Despite the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, the Euro isn’t widely used. In some restaurants, shops and hotels you can pay by Euro, but the exchange rate will be understated. Credit cards of international payment systems Visa, American Express, MasterCard, DinersClub, JCD and ThomasCook are accepted in large shopping centres.
Banks are open only on weekdays; they work from 9:00am to 2:00-6:00pm. Exchange offices are open till 6:00 – 8:00pm; some of them are available 24 hours a day.
Calls to the Czech Republic from other countries: for making a call on landline, you should dial +420 (a dialling code) X-XXX-XXX;
For example: + 420 (30) X-XXX-XXX.
Calls from the Czech Republic to other countries: Public phone boxes are the cheapest and simplest way to call in the Czech Republic. You can find them almost everywhere, and they work by special cards of prepayment, so you can make a call either within the country or abroad. Moreover, you can also call from the post offices, some of them work 24 hours a day and have several call-boxes. The average value of phone cards is from 18 to 150 koruny, it depends on the duration of the calls. If you pay in cash, you can also use a telephone in the bars or coffee shops without any problems.
Useful phone numbers in the Czech Republic:
Fire station: 150
UTC (СЕТ) +1 (by Greenwich)
Time zone in summer: UTC+2
Daylight saving time in summer: the last Sunday of March at 2:00am
Daylight saving time in winter: the last Sunday of October at 3:00am
You can import free-of-duty:
1) 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco
2) 1 l of alcohol beverage or 2 l of wine
3) 50 ml of perfume and 0.25 l of cologne
4) coffee – up to 200 gr, tea – up to 40 gr;
Import and export of foreign currency is unlimited, but it should be declared.
The groceries work from 6am. Department stores are open from 9:00am till 6:00pm on weekdays, and till 13:00pm on Saturdays.
1) public transport
1.Taxi is considered very expensive kind of transport. Every taxi company has its own rate. The average fare for a taxi is about 25 koruny per each kilometre. All information about prices is usually given on the front doors or in the car. At the end of the road, the driver is obliged to give you a check.
Only Prague has a subway. It is available from 5am to 12pm every day. The average ticket price is ranging between 8 and 12 koruny.
It’s the most popular type of transport there. They run according to the schedule every day from 4:30am to 12:00pm. During the day, the headway is about 5-10 minutes, at night – 20-25 minutes.
Buses have the same schedule as trams. The ticket price on public transport is 24 koruny for 30 minutes and 32 koruny for 90 minutes.
You can rent a bike for a minimum duration of two hours; next 4 hours of renting cost about 360 koruny, 8 hours – about 500 koruny, and 2 days of rental – 1140 koruny.
2) long-distance transport
It’s the most popular kind of transport between cities. Buses run according to the schedule. Such service has a reasonable price. The fare can range from 100 to 300 koruny.
They run according to the schedule during the day. All trains are divided into 3 types:
1) Osobni – slow trains, which stop at every station;
2) Rychlik Express – fast trains;
3) InterCity and EuroCity – the most high-speed trains. Their fare increases by 30-60 koruny, in comparison with conventional trains.
Internal flights are poorly developed. There are only flights Prague-Ostrava and Prague-Brno. All airports are divided into 3 groups: international airports, large regional and small regional airports.
Water transport is popular only among tourists and vacationers as an excursion transport in the Czech Republic. Since the beginning of April till the end of October, you can have a fascinating boat tour with a guide along the country’s rivers.
You won’t have problems with the car renting in the Czech Republic; however you should know the traffic rules. For renting you should have an international driving license and driving experience at least three years.
The Czech Republic has the same five-star classification of hotels as in most European countries. The indicator of quality is the number of stars – from two to five. Along with standard hotels, there are also small hotels, guest houses and apartments. You should know that the private hotels and guest houses don’t have the usual hotel classification; they offer services of three or four star hotels.
In the restaurants and cafés, tipping is 10% of the bill. You should also give such tip taxi drivers and guides.
1 January – New Year’s Day
6 January – Epiphany (The Day of the Three Kings) (working day)
The end of January – the beginning of February – Pancake week (working day)
14 February – St Valentine’s Day (working day)
March-April − Easter
1 May – Labour Day
8 May – Liberation Day
5 July – Saints Cyril and Methodius Day
6 July – Jan Hus Day
28 September – Czech Statehood Day
28 October – Independent Czechoslovak State Day
17 November – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
4 December – St Barbara's Day (working day)
6 December – Saint Nicholas day (working day)
13 December – Day of St Lucia (working day)
24 December – Christmas Eve
25 December – Christmas Day
26 December – St Stephen's Day
Traditions and behaviour rules in the Czech Republic
The Czechs have very calm and restrained behaviour. When you are in the Czech Republic, you’d better not to run through the streets or push other people. The Czechs respect their beer traditions, so drinking beer in the street or in public transport is considered as a manifestation of ignorance. Moreover, it isn’t typical for the country to boast about material wealth, to display expensive goods or jewellery.
The Czech Republic is in the Schengen area, so it is necessary to have the Schengen visa to visit the country. Along with the residents of the EU countries, citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Malaysia; Macau, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Korea, Salvador, San Marino, Malta, the Vatican, Uruguay, the USA, Venezuela, Singapore can have free-visa trip to the Czech Republic.