GENERAL INFO
Czech Rep. Capitol: Prague/Prague
Min. Traveling Cost / dayUS$17

Country Code 42, $1=39kc, August, 2000


The Czech's telephone system has been changed.

Area code and a number have been combined.
ex. 02-3456-7890 -> 2-3456-7890

Wherever you call from, you have to dial a same number even from inside of the city. ITIS information still contains many old system numbers due to the lack of our staff to adjust to the new telephone system. Meantime please keep it in your mind.
We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.

ATTENTION FOR THE PRICES

ITIS research has been delayed. Exception of a few, many of our information dated 2000 or 2003
The prices have been raised 20-30% from 2000 and 10% from 2003. Please pay attention to the date of information indicated in the top of the page.

The Czech Republic, a landlocked country at the heart of Central Europe, has borders with Poland, Germany, Austria & Slovakia.
Since the fall of Communism, the Czech Republic has established itself as one of the most popular tourist destinations amongst the former communist bloc countries.
It's main attractions are the beautiful well-preserved medieval towns - several of which are registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List - along with its history and rich cultural heritage.
Main destinations: The capitol Prague, the 2nd city Brno, the historic towns of Kutna Hora, Ceske Krumlov, Ceske Budejovice, Telc, and the spa towns of Karlovy Vary, Marianske Lazne.

Language
National: Czech romanic alphabet is used
Foreign: German, Russian, English is widely understood in tourist areas and amongst young people.

Weather (General)
Temperate climate with cold winters and warm summers with occasional showery and or heavy rain. Temperature: Jan is coldest - 0-5 degrees, Jul/Aug are hottest 13-23 degrees
Best season: May - September,
High season: During July/August Prague especially is crowded. Transport and hotels may be full. Try to reserve in advance.

Tourist Info
Tourist Offices in the main tourist destinations usually have lots of brochures on local sights, maps, transport info - bus and train computerised printouts, accommodation info, etc. Staff generally speak English and they usually reserve accommodation. They are particularly helpful and friendly in the less touristy towns. Open daily during summer and M-Sa during winter.
There are an increasing number of private tourist offices springing up, offerring similar services to the government run ones but open longer hours.
Official Tourist Board of the Czech: http://www.czechtourism.com

Bank/Exchange
Currency: Czech koruna, Ceske crown(kc)
Bank notes:
denominations: 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000. Exchange: Banks are generally the best option, however they usually only open weekdays. Higher rates for T/C. Banks usually charge 1.5-2% Commission for T/C encashment.
Money changers usually change only cash.
The rate and commission varies among banks and money changers so shop around.
American Express: doesn't charge any commission for any T/C encashment but the rate is much lower than Banks. We don't recommend to use them.
!Warning Some of the private exchange bureaus charges very high commission. Chequepoint bureaus seem to be the worst - up to 10%
!Warning
Many people offering exchange on the street are thieves. AVOID.
Cash Advance Available at certain banks,usually no charge. Exchange bureaus may also accept credit card but check the commision - up to 10%.
Credit Cards Accepted in many hotels, high class restaurants, dept. stores, travel agencies, some train stations.
ATM's Widely available throughout the country. Usually accept Visa, MC,Cirrus, Plus.

Basic Travel Costs
Comparing to the prices in 1998, ones in 2000 did not change much. However some hostels has just raised their prices up.
Min. Traveling Cost/day US$17=500+kc
dorm beds 120-300kc. In Prague averae dorm costs 250kc
Single room 200+sk Double room 400+sk
Food(rest)local 50k+ coffee(Tureka)10-15kc
Big Mac 59kc/ meal 79kc,
Mineral Water 1lt 10+kc Coke (can)15kc
Beer (rest) 0.5lt. 11-25kc Beer (market) 0.5lt. 3.5+kc
breakfast (Cont.) 40kc ice Cream- 4.5+kc
film 36/100-135kc movie 50-80kc, Prague 60-120kc
telephone call local 4kc city bus 8-10kc, Prague 8-12kc

Back to Czech index page

Opening Hours
Government M-F9:00-17:00
Shops M-F9-18:00, Sa 9-12/13:00, Closed Sundays Many in Tourist areas open later and Sundays as well.
Bank M-F 8/9:00-16/17:00
Museums Tu-Su 9/9:30-17/18:00

Back to Czech index page

Immigration/Visa
No visa required:
EU citizens -up to 90 days, US/Japanese -up to 30days, British/Canadian up to 180 days
Visa required:
Australian (about $30), New Zealand
Czech embassy
in Warsaw, Poland ul. Koszykowa 18 T628722 For AZ, NZ
US$26 (US$ only),T6282168,M-F9-12:00, 2 photos, issued 1 or 2 days.
Visa on arrival:
For those who do not require to obtain visa in advance, visas are issued on arrival at airport or at 3 border crossings -
Rozvadov (Germany), Dolni Dvoriste, Hate (Austria).crossing free to nationals of USA, Canada, UK, Irish. After 30 days in the country all foreigners are supposed to register with the Foreign Police department.

Border Crossings/Points of Entry
AIR
Airport:
Prague Ruzyne Airport
LAND
has borders with Germany, Poland, Slovakia & Austria. Visas are issued at 3 border crossings: Rozvadov (Germany), Dolni Dvoriste, Hati (Austria) Trains and buses are connecting between major cities.
Train fare:
The domestic train fare is very cheap so you may buy upto the border and buy the rest when you cross the border to save money.
The fare between all border stations of Czech & Poland costs 15kc or 2zl such as Bohumin-Chatupki, Mezimesi-Mieroszow, Petrovice u K-Zebrzydowice, Lichkov-Miedzylesie, Cesky Tesin - Cieszyn
Popular Overland Routes:
From Vienna to Prague or from Berlin to Prague by train.

International Transport
There is a 2-tier price (Czech & Foreigner) system in operation on certain international bus routes. There are train & bus connections from most main cities in the Czech Republic to cities throughout Europe.
AIR
Departure tax
Included in flight ticket price.
Discount airfare is usually available for RT fare. Students or -26 years old may get OW discount fare. The fare or special deals depends on travel agents. So shop around.
TRAIN
http://www.vlak-bus.cz/ConnForm.asp?tt=c&cl=E5

Train guide Jizdni Rad (domestic) 79kc (international ) 17kc Lists train schedules and approximate price/km chart for all over Czech plus some international routes. Small section in English/French & German, explaining symbols, etc.. Updated every May.
Arrivals (Prijezd) white backed timetables &
Departures (Odjezd) yellow backed time tables at train stations. Euro City & Intercity trains require a supplement.
The sign '
R inside a box' means that a seat reservation is compulsory on that train.
Can reserve at
Cedok or train stations.
-26 Discounts usually between 10-20% on international tickets if you have an ISIC card. Foreigners don't qualify for student discounts on National services.
Rail Passes Eurail not accepted. Interrail, Eastrail and the Explorer Pass are accepted.
Bus
http://www.vlak-bus.cz/ConnForm.asp?tt=c&cl=E5

Many private bus companies operate international services. It is much easier to book seats at their agencies or travel agencies rather than at the bus station where there are usually long queues and the staff don't always speak English. Domestic bus services are cheap and often faster than the train. Sometimes you must buy a ticket at the station sometimes you can buy from the bus driver, sometime you need reservation. - very confusing.
Bus Passes: International: Euroline Pass (Details)
30 days Youth L-7571/ M-8325/H10651kc,
30 days Adult L-9473/M-10406/H-13276kc,
90 days Youth L-9401/M-10334/H-11626kc,
90 days Adult L-|11733/M-12917/H-15429kc.

National Transport
There is an extensive, efficient and very cheap bus and train network. Buses are generally the faster and cheaper than trains.
You can get the excellent information from
http://www.vlak-bus.cz/ConnForm.asp?tt=c&cl=E5
TRAIN:
The common means of transport for long distances. EC(Euro City supplement 60kc), IC (Inter City, 30kc) & Espresny (Express) trains require/can make a reservation(20kc). Rychlik are fast direct trains, Osobni - ordinary trains stops at every station. You should buy a ticket at a ticket counter, it may be possible to buy on the train but the ticket will cost more. The sign 'R inside a box' means that a seat reservation is compulsory on, 20kc, that train. International tickets are often sold at separate counters.
Student discounts: Foreigners don't qualify for National services.
Bus:
Many buses are connecting major cities and are usually faster than trains. The fare is relatively cheap. Large luggage needs extra fare(5-10kc). On weekends, the number of buses are reduced quite a lot, specially on Saturday. You have to be very careful if you travel on weekend. The time schedules are posted at the bus station and bus stops but the bus code is very complicated.
For details Click
You better ask at the tourist office. They have a computer system to check your bus schedule. You may make a reservation in advance, either at the bus station or a travel agent. Other wise you just go early and stay in a line.

Local Transport
Most cities have a cheap and efficient public transport system. Only Prague has a metro system.
Bus/Tram/Metro:
Tickets cannot usually be bought on board (though this isn't always the case for local buses). Buy them from kiosks, machines, newsstands and sometimes from tourist offices. You must always validate tickets when you get on the bus/tram. Spot fines up to 400kc. Large size luggage requires extra fare(6kc or child fare.) Metro has special fares for shot ride.
Taxis Metered.
Make sure it is on. Tourists are often overcharged. It's better to book a taxi at your hotel reception or by phone. If possible use other transport.

Mail/Telephone
POST OFFICE M-F 7:00-17:00, Sa7:00-12:00 - check local info.
Poste Restante Service available at GPO's in main towns. Address to Posta 1.
American Express in Prague holds mail for clients.
Emergency numbers American Express: call collect to UK 44-273-571600
Mail Prices Japan/USA/Australia Europe
Post Card/Letter 10g 12kc 9kc
Letter 20g 14kc 9kc
Parcel 1kg airmail 349kc 177kc
Surface 20kg ?kc ?kc
! Warning If sending parcels over 2kg must go to customs office.
Telephone
Telephone Office: They don't open 24hr any more. - Check local info.
Public phones - the coin phones are often not reliable. Coin and card phones. Local call- 3kc. Use card phones as coin phones are unreliable. Trunk call - 4+kc
Phone cards 50 units =175kc
International calls

Can make international calls from card-phones.
IDD code: 00+ country code + area code + number
Int'l call: Several different system exist.
Rate for 1 min.
Normal phone
Britain- 33kc, USA/Canada - 55.50kc, Australia/Japan - 83.30kc, New Zealand - 104kc. The cheaper rate applied between 19:00-7:00
Carta X: prepaid card system available from telephone office. USA 14.40kc/min. UK 13.20, Aust/Japan 22.80. The cheaper rate(35% off) applied between 19:00-7:00
"I-call": Private international telephone system, prepaid card system. To Western Europe, N.America, Australia 11kc/min, To many Eastern Europe, Japan, Korea 20kc/min. Max 35kc/min. The cards are available at Chequepoint, American Express, Travelers Hostels, etc.
Home Country Direct(HCD): New type of collect call, calling the other side of the operator. Possible from any phone
AT & T (USA): 0042 00 0101 British Telecom: 00420 04401 Australia Direct: 00420 06101 Japan KDD: 00420 08100
Canada: 00420 00151, Ireland 0042003900, Netherland 00420 03101, Hungary 00420 03601, Korea 00420 08201Other countries call 133004 or
International operator 1181

Accommodation
All year round, traveler style hostels can be found in Prague, Ceske Krumlov and 1 in Ceske Budejovice.
In the peak summer months of July & August University Dorms are turned into budget accommodation. 120-400kc/person depending on standard, location. Usually 2-4 beds, book through tourist office.
In Prague many other institutional buildings are also converted into dorms during the summer. These are often coveniently located in the city center but are usually quite basic with no private rooms.
All kinds of accommodation can be booked through Tourist Offices, Cedok and private agencies. Sometimes a commission or fee is charged.

Food
A typical Slovakian meal is calorie heavy, meat based. International food options are widely available in Czech
pivnice: beer halls, offer reasonably priced, typical Czech food. Bufet: Stand up food counters, offer some of the cheapest eating options with sausages, burgers, fried chicken.
Cukrarna: - Cafes, very popular with locals, often have delicious cheap coffee, cakes and icecream, usually open on Sundays.
McDonald's is huge in Prague. Branches in Brno, Ceske Budejovice.
Warning Overcharging of tourists is common. Most places have prices listed outside, check before you pay. Although tipping is not the custom, it is common to round up the bill.
Czech Cuisine
Soups, main dishes: Smazeny rizek: Schnitzel, Veprove: Roast pork, Smazeny Syr: deep fried cheese, often served with French fries and tartar sauce -The main vegetarian dish. Fazolova polevka: bean soup, Halusky: dumplings(Slovak), Gulas: goulash,
Bryndzove halusky: potato dumplings with sheep's cheese sauce(Slovak), Bramborove placky: stuffed potato pankcakes,
pirohy:
stuffed dumplings(Russian), langose: deep-fried, garlic-flavored dough fish: Carp & Trout are popular fish options.
Deserts jablkovy zavin: apple strudel, ovocne knedliky: fruit dumplings, palacinky: pancakes, zmrzlina: icecream
Drinks kava: Coffee - turecka kava - turkish, is the cheapest option but you can find all kinds. Caj: tea - there are a decent number of tea houses, particularly in Prague. They usually have a wide range of teas served in relaxing environments. Pivo: Beer - arguably, some of the world's best (and cheapest) beer is brewed here. The 2 most famous brews are Pils lager from Plzen and Budvar (the original Budweiser) from Ceske Budejovice. Becherovka: herb liqueur, Slivovice: plum brandy. Absinthe Purple stuff much drunk by artists and poets in Paris in an earlier time. Now illegal throughout most of Europe except for Czech. It's the ritual involved in downing the stuff that makes it interesting - Set fire to sugar on a spoon. stir it in the drink and knock it back. Then just wait for the impact, it doesn't take long. Like no other drink.

Shopping & Other
Opening hours: M-F9-18:00, Sa9-13:00.
Shops in tourist areas often open later. In local cities, they tend to close earlier.
Souvenirs: T-shirts 150-250kc, post cards 4-6kc, Cut glass jewelry - garnets.
Voltage/Plug type: 220 V 50 cycles, Hz AC. 2-pinned plugs. Multi-adapters are hard to find, bring with you.
Photo: Developing Cost 36x= 250-300kc processing from 1hr to 1 day.
English Papers: Prague Post - published weekly on Wednesdays. News, articles, tourist info, listings. Several free magazines are available in Prague. Can usually find them at the Western style restaurants & cafes.

Customs
Tipping: Not customary. but it is common to round up the bill Dress: Casual dress is generally acceptable.
Bargaining: Fixed prices are standard in most shops.

Health & Safety

No one on our staff has any medical background, we have limited info in this section.

Free Health care for British Citizens, should carry health documentation. For emergency, everyone can get free treatment.
Water Supposed to be safe to drink, but some supplies may be polluted. All water is heavily chlorinated and doesn't taste pleasant.
Health Risks There is a small risk of contracting encephalitis from Ticks found in hiking areas. If you find that a tick has entered into your skin, rub vaseline or alcohol over it or seek medical advice, Do NOT try to pull it out.


Entertainment
Opera & classical music performances are very popular.
Prices have risen and, particularly in Prague, tourists often have to buy higher price tickets from agencies. It's customary to dress up to go to the theater. Many theaters have a summer break. Tourist Office usually have information on what's happening.
Movies are cheap, 60kc(it depends on how new it is.). English movies are available.

Festivals/Public Holidays 1997
Also see local info
Jan 1 PH New Year's Day: Also Establishment of Slovak Republic
Mar PH Easter Monday,
May 1 PH Labor day
May 8 PH Liberation Day, Anniversary of the Czech Uprising
July 5 PH Cyril & Methodius (2 Slavonic apostles) Day
July 6 PH Jan Hus Day
Sep 15 Our Lady of Sorrows Day (also known as 7-pain Virgin Mary's Day)
Nov 1 All Saints Day
Dec 24-26 PH Christmas

@ Internet @
Internet:Internet is available in most cities in the Czech Republic. The quality of them are very good. The nirmal prices is 1kc/min. I have not seen any free ones yet.

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