Practical Information

Useful links

The official website of the Czech Republic in English: http://www.czechtourism.com/home

Entry Requirements

The Czech Republic became a member state of the EU on 1 May 2004. To enter the country, EU citizens need an ID card or a valid passport.

Citizens of other countries require a passport with at least three months’ validity on the day of departure of the Czech Republic.

Political system

The Czech Republic is a parliamentary republic ; the Parliament is bicameral – with the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate. The President (currently Miloš Zeman) is elected by the people in direct elections.

Geography

Population : 10,600,000 inhabitants
Area : 79,000 km2
Capital : Prague
Climate : temperate, with warm summers and cold winters, cloudy and humid
Local time : GMT +1

Languages

The official language is Czech. In larger cities, you can make yourself understood in English relatively easily ; other languages as German, Russian and sometimes French are also spoken.

Currency

Czech crown (CZK)

For current exchange rates, see http://www.cnb.cz/en/index.html

Euro is accepted in international chain stores.

The network of ATMs is very dense ; credit and debit cards are accepted in majority of shops and restaurants.

Telephone

To call in the Czech Republic from abroad : dial 00420, then the local 9-digit number - the GSM network uses the GSM 900 and 1800 systems compatible with the rest of Europe and Australia.

Electricity

230 Volts, European (continental) plugs

Transport

The public transport is well developed and reliable. The rail network as well as bus network is rather dense ; the vehicles are fast and comfortable.

Prague public transport network with the underground (metro), tramway and bus lines belongs to one of the densest in Europe.

For more detail check www.dpp.cz/en

Museums

Museums and historical sites are usually open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Mondays. Prague Jewish Quarter is open from Sunday to Friday morning. Some castles outside of Prague are closed in the period between November and March.

Traditional Czech products and trademarks

glass – Jablonec nad Nisou, Novy Bor
cut crystal - Moser
crystal
porcelain (with onion pattern) – Thun, Cesky porcelan
Garnet jewellery
beer – Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus), Staropramen, Budvar
Becherovka liqueur
mature Olomouc cheese (Olomoucké tvarůžky)
wooden toys and marionettes
Petrof pianos
Bata shoes

Gastronomy

The majority of traditional dishes consist of meat and some kind of sauce ; they are rarely served with vegetables, but sometimes with salad or peppers.

«svickova» - a must among the traditional Czech dishes, roast sirloin in rich cream sauces with blended vegetables served with a spoonful of cranberry jam and «knedliky» (dumplings)

«bramborak» - deep fried potato pancakes with garlic and marjoram. It can be served as a side dish instead of dumplings, or it can make a separate dish

«Christmas carp» - carp filet fried in breadcrumbs with mayonnaise potato salad is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.

«knedlo-vepro-zelo» - yet another dish with knedliky, this time with cumin flavoured roast pork with sauerkraut ; sometimes the pork can be replaced by goose or duck

«ovocne knedliky» - fruit dumplings, a delicious main sweet dish

Make sure you taste some of the Czech beers as well as the bitter herb liqueur Becherovka or plum spirit Slivovice.

Public Holidays and National Days

1st January – New Year
Easter Monday – first Monday after the first full moon in spring
1st May – Labour Day
8th May – Liberation Day : the day commemorates the end of World War II in Europe (1945)
5th July – the arrival of Sts Cyrille and Methode – Christianisation of Slavs in 863
6th July – the burning of Master Jan Hus at the stake in 1415
28th September – Day of Czech Statehood, the death of St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the country, in 929 or 935
28th October – the Czechoslovak Republic was established in 1918
17th November – Freedom and Democracy Day, the outbreak of Velvet Revolution in 1989
24th December – Christmas Eve
25th December – Christmas Day
26th December – St Stephan Feast