The Czech Republic is a new country, but one with a great sense of history. The capital city, Prague, has a history of over a thousand years and is now one of the cultural centres of Europe. A stay here is bound to be memorable!
The Czech Republic experiences very cold winters, which can be very calm and foggy. Summer is usually moderately warm, but fine weather is often broken by thunderstorms.
The Czech Republic observes twelve public holidays, when banks, offices and most shops will be closed. Restaurants, bars and supermarkets often stay open.
The largest airport in the Czech Republic is Prague-Ruzyně. Other international airports include Brno, Ostrava, Carlsbad and Pardubice.
With one of the densest rail networks in Europe, it is possible to reach almost every conceivable destination in the Czech Republic by train, as well as select international destinations.
Driving is on the right, with headlights to be used at all times. Unless otherwise stated, the speed limits are 130 kmph on the motorway, 50 kmph in built up areas and 90 kmph outside built-up areas. There is a zero tolerance to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Major cities in the Czech Republic benefit from both national and international coach services to a range of European destinations.
Czech is the official language, but in larger cities English is spoken quite widely. Russian and German are also fairly commonly spoken.
The following phrases in Czech may be useful (Pronunciation in brackets):
Hello : Dobrý den (dobree den)
Goodbye : Na shledanou (naskhledanow)
Do you speak English? : Mluvíte anglicky? (mluveeteh anglitsky)
Please : Prosím (proseem)
Thank you : Děkuji (dyekuyi)
The currency of the Czech republic is the koruna (crown), plural koruny or korun, which divides into 100 haléř (haléřů), abbreviated to hal. The currency code CZK is often used internationally, but the local symbol is Kč (for Koruna česká).
The domestic electricity voltage is 230V with a European plug, however adaptors are readily available.
The telephone country code for the Czech Republic is 420. To call another country from the Czech Republic, dial 00 before the rest of the number.
In an emergency, dial the appropriate number as follows:
112 - General emergency number
155 - Ambulance
158 - Police
156 - Municipal Police
150 - Fire brigade
It's considered polite to say hello and goodbye when you enter and leave a shop, especially small ones.
Service is not usually included in restaurant bills- tips should be around 10% of the total.