Practical info

1. Entering the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union.

Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland may stay temporarily in the Czech Republic with a valid travel or identification documents without any limitations.

However, if their stay exceeds 3 months, the registration duty applies to them. Such registration shall be made at a relevant office of the immigration police.

Citizens of countries which have signed a visa-free travel agreement with the Czech Rep. need only a passport. The list of these countries may be found here.

Citizens of other countries need visa to enter the Czech Rep. The list of these countries may be found here.

Schengen Agreement

The Czech Republic has formed part of the Schengen area, which comprises the EU countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement. Within this area, citizens of participating states can cross from one country to another without having to go through border checks. Nonetheless, every person must still carry a valid passport or identity card. Nationals of other countries can enter the Czech Republic if they possess a Schengen visa issued by any participating country. Border controls have only been retained at 5 international airports, but they only monitor extra-Schengen area flights.

2. Important telephone numbers

Emergency calls 112 (this number works in whole Europe and normally includes medical help, police and fire-fighters. It may not work from older types of mobile phones without a SIM card)

  • Ambulance 155
  • Police 158
  • Municipal police 156 (with limited powers, dealing with minor, local problems only)
  • Fire department 150

These numbers may be dialled free anywhere and anytime.

3. Transport

By air

The largest and main Czech airport is Prague-Ruzyně. Although most flights are international, domestic flights include those from Bohemia to Moravia (e.g. Prague-Ostrava). The Václav Havel Airport Prague with its three terminals meets all European standards. The official airport website may be found here.

Transport to the airport:

  • By car on R7 highway,
  • By bus: from underground stations Dejvická (bus 119), Zličín (bus 100), Nové Butovice (bus 179 and 225), Prague Central Station (bus Airport Express),
  • By taxi.

The Czech air carrier is called České aerolinie (ČSA) and belongs to large European air companies.

Trains, coaches

The Czech Republic has one of the densest rail networks in Europe and a developed system of public coach transportation with a high number of connections. Travelling by coach and train is relatively cheap and reliable.

Timetables

All information about domestic transport may be found here. Many carriers state also fares.

Carriers

Rail transportation is almost exclusively provided by České dráhy (Czech Rail), coach transportation by numerous private carriers. Travelling by train is usually slower but more comfortable. Coach transport is generally cheaper and somewhat faster. When travelling by train with České dráhy it is possible to make use of a number of discounts. These are offered to passengers with a loyalty card (called customer card) or to groups of passengers.

Travelling by car

Basic traffic rules

  • Vehicles must drive on the right.
  • Seat belts must be worn when driving.
  • Lights must be switched on all year round.
  • Children (under 150 cm in height) must be strapped into a car seat which may not be placed on the passenger seat.
  • Speed limit: motorways/rural areas/built-up areas – 130/90/50 km/h,
  • Pedestrians on pedestrian crossings always have the right of way.
  • Minimum age for driving: 18.
  • Mobile phones may not be held in hand while driving; they may be used only with hands-free sets.
  • Permissible blood alcohol limit is 0 ‰, anything above this limit is considered a violation of the law.

Documents required

  • Driving licence (European or international),
  • Identity card (EU) or passport,
  • Vehicle documents (logbook, compulsory third-party insurance, green card).

Fees and tolls

Passenger vehicles must have a toll sticker attached to the windscreen to use motorways (the so-called vignette). The sticker may be purchased at any petrol station. Prices of stickers for vehicles with total weight under 3.5 tonnes:

  • Annual – CZK 1,500
  • Month – CZK 440
  • 10-day – CZK 310.

Vehicles with total weight exceeding 3.5 tonnes are liable to electronic toll payment and must be equipped with a special electronic device. Detailed information is provided here.

Accidents

The rule applies in the Czech Republic that if you estimate the costs for damage to the vehicles involved, including transported load, to be less than CZK 100,000 (and if all participants agree on who caused the accident), it is not necessary to call the police. However, you are obliged to draw up a record of the accident on a special form (the standard European Accident Statement form, to be obtained from your insurance company). All parties involved must then report the accident to their insurance companies.

If the damage is greater or if any injury or damage to a third party property occurs (e.g. to crash barriers), the police must always be called. You are obliged to provide essential aid to injured persons and mark the accident spot.

LPG/CNG

There are almost 900 LPG filling stations and fewer than 30 stations with CNG in the Czech Republic.

Moving around the city

Large cities are furnished with carefully designed tram, bus, trolleybus or underground routes within local public transport companies. Tickets for individual journeys may be normally purchased, however, if staying longer, one-day, two-day, week or similar tickets may be purchased at more favourable prices.

In order to avoid unnecessary problems on the underground, tram or bus, a ticket should be purchased and stamped. In the underground it is to be stamped at the entrance by inserting it into the stamping machine. On other public transport means the machines are located aboard.

Taxi services may be used all over the country; however, it is better to use the services of large renowned companies and ask for a rough final price before setting off.

4. Weather

Cold, snowy winters, warm summers with occasional thunder storms, beatiful springs and colourful but chilly autumns.

Average Temperatures:

Jan -5 až 1 ˚C
Feb -1 to 8 ˚C
Mar -1 to 8 ˚C
Apr 4 to 15 ˚C
May 9 to 20 ˚C
Jun 12 to 23 ˚C
Jul 14 to 25 ˚C
Aug 13 to 25 ˚C
Sep 9 – 21 ˚C
Oct 4 to 14 ˚C
Nov 2 to 7 ˚C
Dec -1 to 3 ˚C

5. Public holidays, other holidays, and non-working days

The following days are all non-working days.

  • 1 January – Restoration day of the independent Czech State, New Year’s Day
  • Easter Monday
  • 1 May – Labour Day
  • 8 May – Victory Day
  • 5 July – Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day
  • 6 July – John Huss Day
  • 28 September – St. Wenceslas day
  • 28 October – Independent Czechoslovak State Day
  • 17 November – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
  • 24 December – Christmas Eve
  • 25 December – Christmas Day
  • 26 December – St. Stephen Day

6. Electricity network

The electricity network in the Czech Republic: 230 V voltage and 50 Hz frequency. Sockets have two round apertures and one round pin. If you have for example a universal charger all you need is a simple connector with your system and with the Czech system on the other end. If your appliance works with different voltage or frequency, you will need a more complicated adapter. This can be easily purchased or borrowed in a hotel.

7. Telephone

The GSM network works on 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz frequencies. If you are taking your mobile phone with you, make sure it is able to work on thee frequencies.

The international dialling code for the Czech Republic is +420 (00420).

8. Internet

The Czech Republic is equipped with widespread technologies for broadband internet connection. All regular technical connection standards may be used.

Wi-Fi

Wireless connection via Wi-Fi is commonly used. Netbooks, notebooks or smartphones may be easily connected via Wi-Fi in restaurants, cafés, hotels, and in numerous other locations.

Broadband, ADSL, fixed connection

Companies, households and virtually all hotels are equipped with fast fixed connections.

Mobile technologies

Connection to the internet with the use of mobile technologies is also possible. Currently, especially larger towns are covered with a signal, but the level of coverage is gradually increasing. The following technologies are available: UMTS (3G, 4G), EDGE, GPRS, CDMA.

Internet without a computer or smartphone

Numerous cafés offer connection to the internet, either free or paid (usually hourly). Some shopping centres have gaming zones where connection to the internet is possible. Public libraries also offer internet connection. Almost all hotels provide access to a computer with internet connection.