Czech Republic

Travel Guide Europe Czech Republic





© DenOS.08

The Czech Republic, since recently known also by its official short name - Czechia, is a very picturesque landlocked country in Central Europe. Its capital city Prague is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and worldwide. According to the constitution of the Czech Republic, the country is comprised of the historical lands of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. These regional identities are quite strong, but there is no tradition of violent separatist movements, as it might be the case in some other countries.

Few visitors to the Czech Republic ever venture far beyond Prague - hardly surprising considering the city's remarkable attraction. At the city centre, architectural styles of the last 900 years stand side-by-side, paying tribute to the city's immense cultural and historical heritage. Prague lends itself to romance, with its rich past and thriving music scene, boasting everything from classical to jazz.

But while Prague's lure is great, those few visitors who check out some of the Czech Republic's other highlights will find themselves amply rewarded. At Karlovy Vary, Bohemia's oldest spa, visitors can enjoy any of the 12 hot springs, or simply relax away from the hustle and bustle of Prague. For stunning scenery, the Moravian Karst area boasts some of the republic's most breathtaking scenery, as well as some 400 caves which can be explored in a guided tour. Cesky Krumlov, 160 kilometres south of Prague is a fascinating medieval town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an ideal centre for visiting the many castles that are scattered across southern Bohemia. Worth a mention is the relatively unknown and therefore unspoilt Znojmo region, which boasts rich jewels of history and nature. The Czech Republic is a small country with excellent public transport, and many interesting places can be visited from Prague. Karlštejn (another wonderful castle), Mělník, Kutná Hora and Pardubice all make for interesting day trips. As a complete contrast, a visit to the former ghetto and prison camp at Terezín will give you a sobering reminder of the darkest days of World War II.



Brief History

The Bohemian or Czech state emerged in the late 9th century, as a successor of the Great Moravian Empire. The Kingdom of Bohemia was a significant regional power in Central Europe during the Middle Ages. It was part of the Holy Roman Empire. After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia became part of the Austrian Empire and later of Austria–Hungary. Serfdom was not completely abolished until 1848. After the Revolutions of 1848, Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria attempted to rule as an absolute monarch, keeping all the nationalities in check. The country's elites became gradually Germanized, but later on, the Czech language experienced a remarkable revival.

An estimated 150,000 Czech soldiers died in World War I. Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, the independent republic of Czechoslovakia was created in 1918. This new country incorporated regions of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Slovakia and the Carpathian Ruthenia.

During the interwar period, Czechoslovakia belonged to the most developed and most industrialized countries in Europe, thanks to the industrial base inherited from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However, the large German-speaking minority remained a difficult issue for the young state. After the Munich Agreement of 1938, the so-called Sudetenland was incorporated into Nazi Germany. In 1939, Slovakia declared independence as a Nazi satellite state. In the Czech part of the country, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was established. This territory was administered by Nazi Germany.

After World War II, Czechoslovakia uneasily tried to play the role of a "bridge" between the West and East. However, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia rapidly increased in popularity, with a general disillusionment with the West, due to the pre-war Munich Agreement, and a favourable popular attitude towards the Soviet Union, due to the Soviets' role in liberating Czechoslovakia from German rule. In the 1946 elections, the Communists gained 38% of the votes and became the largest party in the Czechoslovak parliament. The decisive step took place in February 1948 when a new, all-Communist government was formed. For the next 41 years, Czechoslovakia was a Communist state within the Eastern Bloc.

In 1968, a Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia crashed the movement known as the Prague Spring. The reformers in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia attempted to grant more freedoms to the citizens of Czechoslovakia, but such movements were not tolerated by the Soviet Union.

In November 1989, when communism started to collapse in Central and Eastern Europe, Czechoslovakia returned to a liberal democracy through the peaceful "Velvet Revolution". However, Slovak national aspirations strengthened and on January 1, 1993, the country peacefully split into the independent Czech Republic and Slovakia. This event is known as "the Velvet Divorce". Both countries went through economic reforms and privatizations, with the intention of creating a capitalist economy. The Czech-Slovak relations after the split have always been very friendly.

From 1991, the Czech Republic, originally as part of Czechoslovakia and now in its own right, has been a member of the Visegrád Group and from 1995, the OECD. The Czech Republic joined NATO on 12 March 1999 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. Nowadays, the Czech Republic is one of the most affluent post-communist nations. The country has a high-income, export-oriented economy with a very low unemployment rate.




The Czech Republic lies mostly between latitudes 48° and 51° N (a small area lies north of 51°), and longitudes 12° and 19° E. The Czech Republic shares international borders with Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. The Czech Republic's landscape is, although not very spectacular, quite diverse. Bohemia, to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe and Moldau rivers. It is surrounded by relatively low mountains, such as the Krkonoše range of the Sudetes. The highest point in the country is Sněžka at 1,602 metres above sea level and is located here. Moravia is the eastern part of the country and also quite hilly. It is drained mainly by the Morava River, but it also contains the source of the Oder River.




The Czech Republic is divided into 14 administrative regions, which can be grouped in eight macroregions:

  • Central Bohemia (Central Bohemian Region and the capital city of Prague) - The central part of the Czech Republic with the capital Prague.
  • West Bohemia (Karlovy Vary Region and Pilsen Region) - Famous for Pilsen beer and spa towns.
  • North Bohemia (Ústí nad Labem Region and Liberec Region) - Fascinating landscapes as well as picturesque castles and chateaux.
  • East Bohemia (Hradec Králové Region and Pardubice Region) - Region with the Czech highest mountain range Krkonoše and couple of historic sights.
  • South Bohemia (South Bohemian Region) - Picturesque historic towns (including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites) in peaceful landscape with many ponds. On borders with Germany is located the Czech largest National Park.
  • Bohemian-Moravian Highlands (Vysočina Region) - Situated between Bohemia and Moravia, this small region is surprisingly rich in culture and history, with three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • North Moravia and Silesia (Olomouc Region and Moravian-Silesian Region) - This region includes the major industrial city of Ostrava and the beautiful city of Olomouc with its UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region also boasts some picturesque mountainous landscapes.
  • South Moravia (South Moravian Region and Zlín Region) - Agricultural region with vineyards and the former capital of Moravia Brno.




  • Prague - The nation's capital, its largest city and the most visited tourist destination
  • Brno - The largest city in Moravia and its former capital
  • Ostrava - A vibrant local subculture and long history of coal mining and heavy industry. The city is divided between the historical regions of Moravia and Silesia. A great destination for all who are interested in industrial heritage.
  • Plzen - Home of the original Pilsner Urquell beer, and the largest city in West Bohemia
  • Olomouc - Riverside university town with a 1,000 year history and the second-largest historical centre in the Czech Republic. The city boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Holy Trinity Column.
  • Liberec - This city in North Bohemia is famous for its beautiful Neo-Renaissance town hall, resembling those in Vienna and Munich.
  • Jablonec nad Nisou
  • Karlovy Vary - Historic (and biggest Czech) spa town, very popular among celebrities
  • Kutna Hora
  • Cesky Krumlov - Beautiful old town in South Bohemia with the country's second largest castle complex
  • Ceske Budejovice - the beautiful capital of the South Bohemian Region, world-famous for its beer (Budweiser)
  • Znojmo - the jewel of South Moravia



Sights and Activities

Prague Castle

Prague Castle Illuminated

Prague Castle Illuminated

© yyztrvlr

Prague Castle is the castle that has been the home to Czech Kings, Holy Roman Emperors, presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. To this day the crown jewels of the Bohemian Kingdom are kept within its walls. It is also one of the largest castles in the world at 570 metres in length and an average of 130 metres wide. The castle was originally built in the 9th century but has seen major changes over the last thousand years. Today it is the current seat of government and very impressive building. Remember to visit Saint Vitus's Cathedral, which is an excellent example of gothic architecture, has great tombs and is in center of the castle.


Karlštejn is a very large gothic castle that was founded in 1348 by the Holy Roman Emperor of Charles the IV. It was originally built to house the Empire coronation jewels, holy relics and many other royal treasures. The castle went under a number of remoldings with the last in the in the late 19th century giving the building its current look. Today Karlštejn is one of the Czech Republics most popular castles and is a good day trip from Prague.

Mount Sněžka

Mount Sněžka is the highest mountain in the Czech Republic at 1,603 metres (5,260 feet). Bordering Poland this mountain is stunning and beautiful. On the Czech side there is a small lodge and a run down chair lift. There is talk of updating the facilities, including a new observation tower. The mountain is a nice hike and offers great views from the top.

Other Sights and Activities

  • St. Vitus Cathedral - Located in the Prague Castle complex, it is one of the most stunning churches in the Czech Republic and the whole of Europe.
  • Mount Tabor - Visit the famous mountain where the transfiguration of Christ supposedly took place.
  • City Squares - Enjoy the beautiful city squares of towns like Tábor.
  • Krkonoše National Park - Go hiking and get a breath of fresh air in the mountains at this wonderful national park on the border with Poland.
  • Beer - Drink down some of the best beer in the world at bargain basement prices or take tours of some of the most famous breweries in the world.
  • Bohemian Paradise (Český Ráj) - A picturesque region of towering rock formations and numerous castles, located north-east of Prague. The gateway city of Jičín is an interesting destination in its own right, but Turnov is closer to most of the castles and rock formations. The twin towers of the ruined castle Trosky are one of the most recognizable landmarks in this region. Visitors can be climb them and the reward are stunning views.
  • Krkonoše - (Giant Mountains) The highest mountains in the Czech Republic along the Polish border. Most popular Czech skiing resorts are situated here, such as Špindlerův Mlýn, however considered overpriced by locals...
  • Litomyšl - A beautiful small town in East Bohemia. The renaissance main square and chateau are among the Czech Republic’s prettiest and the town has been home to many important and influential artists, including composer Bedřich Smetana, sculptor Olbram Zoubek and painter Josef Váchal. There are two international opera festivals at the chateau each year. The chateau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Mariánské Lázně - A spa town in Western Bohemia.
  • Mutěnice Wine Region - Some of the best vineyards in the Czech Republic and totally off the well beaten tourist path
  • Terezín - A red-brick baroque fortress 70 kilometres north of Prague beside the Ohře river. It was used during WWII as a Jewish ghetto and concentration camp.
  • Znojmo - The Rotunda of the Virgin Mary and St Catherine with the oldest frescoes in the Czech Republic.



Events and Festivals

Beltine Festival of Celtic Culture

The Beltine Festival of Celtic Culture takes place in Bohemia every year from April 30 at 8:00 p.m. until May 1 at 12:00 p.m., running for 16 straight hours without interruption. It’s a fun, action-packed festival with everything from Celtic music and craft workshops to dance shows, kids play areas and activities, and lots of food and drink. The events are spread around a number of castles and historic buildings in Cheb, West Bohemia.

Burning of the Witches (Paleni Carodejnic)

The Burning of the Witches is a nation-wide Czech festival which predates Christian times when locals would light large bonfires to ward off evil spirits. During the evening of April 30, witch effigies are burnt around the country to a backdrop of fireworks, food and drink, not unlike the Guy Fawkes celebrations in the UK.


Vlikkanoc is a Czech celebration which is part of the Easter Monday events and an age-old pagan ritual. As part of the national festival, adult males walk around their towns and villages carrying large, decorated willow leaves, which they use to playfully smack the legs of the women they love or have a secret crush on.

Prague Spring International Music Festival

The Prague Spring International Festival is all about music and performing arts, with a number of shows taking place around the city from mid-May until early June. The first event took place in 1946 and continues to grow in popularity every year.

Summer Shakespeare Festival

For literary lovers, this is often the highlight of the Czech events calendar, a two-month long celebration of arguably the finest playwright who ever lived. From June until September, Prague Castle is home to a series of performances which take place in the stunning Burgrave Palace courtyard.

United Islands of Prague Festival

Held around various venues in Prague, including some of the large river islands, the United Islands Festival takes place from June 16 to 25. A celebration of the people and the quirks of Prague’s most interesting and mysterious cultures, the event is primarily a music festival, but is also an opportunity to explore the Czech Republic’s outlying islands. Things are cranked up a notch during the evening when events move to nightclubs and music venues, with partying, singing and dancing well into the night.

Highland Games

Based on the traditional Scottish Highland Games, Sychrov hosts its own version of this Celtic event, which is the largest of its kind in continental Europe in late August. The festival has grown in popularity over the years, now one of the most well attended single-day events in the Czech Republic, as people from far and wide flock to Castle Sychrov to watch performers and trained athletes toss giant cabers and show off their strength and skills in a number of entertaining events with food, drink, dance, and music to enjoy.

Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival is actually two events, one called Posviceni, a very spiritual celebration where praise is given to God for bringing a successful harvest. The second is Obzinky, which takes place directly after the harvest has ended. Farm-workers and land-owners are joined by Czech locals and travelers to drink, dance, sing, and enjoy a large banquet, with a wreath made out of crops adorning the heads of farmers. The feast involves lots of sauerkraut and a traditional sweet cake called kolache. Both are fun to experience, especially in the countryside.

Prague Autumn International Music Festival

This momentous music festival has become a key fixture on Prague’s cultural calendar and is one of the most popular events in Europe. Local Czech and international musicians and performers travel to the capital to celebrate the best of classical music, including big name stars with crowds attending by the thousands.

Verdi Festival

The Verdi Festival is a month-long event celebrating stage arts such as ballet, opera, and theater. Held in September at the stylish Prague State Opera house, it’s a must-see for lovers of the classics.

Velvet Revolution

Less a festival and more an important day of remembrance for the Czech nation, November 17 marks the anniversary of the violent police reaction to the peaceful student protests. Known as the Velvet Revolution that took place in Prague in 1989, it brought an end to the Communist government. The day is marked by mourning the deaths of those involved and celebrating the positive political change.

Devil and Saint Nicholas (Cert a Mikulas)

One of the more fun and playful national events in the Czech Republic, December 5 is a day when adults get to dress up and visit the children in their neighborhood to determine who has been naughty and who has been nice, leaving gifts along the way.




The Czech Republic has a moderate continental climate with warm summers and relatively cold winters. Average temperatures are around 23 °C to 25 °C from June to August, while winters (December to February) have temperatures between -5 °C and 0 °C. Temperatures up to 35 °C in summer or below -20 °C in winter are possible though. Precipitation is heaviest during the summer period, and winters can have signficant snowfall, especially in the higher hilly or mountainous areas, such as the area near the border with Poland. The east of the country is a bit warmer in summer and slightly colder in winter, but differences are small.



Getting There

By Plane

Ruzyně International Airport (PRG) is the main international airport in the Czech Republic, serving Prague. It services flights to destinations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Czech Airlines, the national flag carrier, has its main hub here.

Smaller airports are found at Pardubice, Ostrava, Karlovy Vary and Brno. These airports serve a limited number of international flights, depending on the season.

The airport in České Budějovice in South Bohemia is currently undergoing modernization. It is expected that regular international passenger flights to this airport will be possible in 2020.

By Train

The Czech Republic is well connected by train from neighbouring countries and even direct trains to countries further away. Prague and Brno areon the route from Berlin and Dresden to Bratislava and Buda­pest. Another route leads from Hamburg and Berlin to Vienna, passing Prague and Brno as well. Trains from Frankfurt and Munich pass through Plzen on the way to Prague. Finally, daily express trains serve Prague from Warsaw via Wroclaw or Katowice in Poland.

By Car

You can cross into the Czech Republic from Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria across dozens of international borders. Crossing is straightforward and with the proper documentation regarding yourself and the car (including an international driving permit and green card/insurance) you will face no problems.

By Bus

Capital Express has a daily service between London and Prague. Bohemia Euroexpress International and Eurolines serve a large number of cities throughout Europe.

Flixbus operates a dense network of long-distance bus routes in many European countries and serves also many Czech cities and towns.



Getting Around

By Plane

Czech Airlines has a number of domestic flights. Destinations include Prague to Ostrava, Karlovy Vary and Brno.

By Train

Czech Railways operates the rail network in the Czech Republic. Most long-distance trains originate and terminate in Prague and serve most cities and bigger towns.

By Car

Czech Republic has an extensive and well maintained network of motorways and other primary roads and also the secondary roads are generally in a good condition, even after more severe winters. You need a vignette for using the motorways, available at borders or petrol shops and included when you rent a car from one of many international and local companies on airports and downtown in most cities.
You need a national driver's licence with a photo ID, otherwise an international permit will do. Be sure to have valid insurance (green card) and turn your headlights on at all times!

By Bus

There are dozens of buslines in the country with even the smaller places having at least a daily connection, but often more. Check the timetable for more information (also train timetables by the way).

By Boat

Few regular passenger services are of use to travellers, if at all they exist. A leisurely cruise on the main rivers is always a nice way to experience the country of course and most boats will leave from Prague.



Red Tape

Main article: Schengen Visa

If you are a European Union (EU) citizen, you may enter without any restriction as per your EU citizenship rights. If you are not an EU citizen and Czech Republic is the first stop on your visit or your main destination, you will need to obtain a Schengen Visa from the Embassy of Czech Republic. This visa is valid for any country in the Schengen zone.

Also see for more (official) information on czech visa and immigration policy (information is minimal; best contact your local Czech consulate directly)




See also: Money Matters

The Czech Koruna (CZK) is the official currency. One Koruna ("crown" in English) equals to 100 haléřů (singular: haléř, nominative plural: haléře). The Koruna is abbreviated as "" while the haléřů with just a "h". Banknotes are in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 Kč. Coins in use are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Kč.




Citizens of the EU can work in the Czech Republic without a work permit (your employer should register you at a Labor Office at the beginning of your work stay); otherwise, you'll need a work visa.

Prague is probably the best place to foreigners to look for a job because there are many multinational and English speaking companies. It is also easy to get a job teaching English because of a high demand.




There are many Universities in Prague and other major cities. Also, there are numerous options to learn the Czech languages, mainly in Prague.




The main language spoken is, not surprisingly, Czech. The Slovak language can also be often heard, as there is a sizable Slovak minority and both languages are mutually intelligible. Polish is mutually intelligible with Czech only to a very limited extent. Some simple phrases may be similar, but also many Czech words mean something completely different in Polish, and vice versa. Because of historical ties, people living in Czech Silesia may understand Polish better those living in other regions.

Czech people are very proud of their language, and thus, even in Prague you will not find many signs written in English (outside of the main tourist areas). Many older people, especially outside the large cities, are also unable to converse in English, so it's good to learn some Czech or Slovak before your arrival. However, most young people speak at least some English, as it has been taught in most schools since 1990. Useful vocabulary in the Czech language when you are travelling around:

  • vlak – train
  • autobus – bus
  • nástupiště – platform
  • Odjezdy – Departures
  • Příjezdy – Arrivals
  • jízdenka (plural: jízdenky) – ticket for travel (bus / train / public transport)
  • vstupenka (plural: vstupenky) - entrance ticket (show / museum, etc.)
  • lístek (plural: lístky) - ticket (for travelling or admission)
  • místenka (plural: místenky) - seat reservation ticket (e.g. on a train)
  • autobusové nádraží - bus station
  • vlakové nádraží - train station
  • Numbers are: jedna (1), dva (2), tři (3), čtyři (4), pět (5), šest (6), sedm (7), osm (8), devět (9), deset (10)
  • "jednu (jedna dva tři) jízdenky, prosím" - one (1, 2, 3) ticket please
  • "povinně místenkový vlak" - seat reservation necessary on this train
  • "neúplná cena" - incomplete price (usually with international connections; may only show the cost of the ticket within the Czech Republic, not past the border)
  • "Vlak nečeká na žádné přípoje" - The train will not wait for any connections.




Traditional Czech food is hearty and suitable after a hard day in the fields. It is heavy and quite fatty, and is excellent in the winter. In the recent time there was a tendency towards more light food with more vegetables, now the traditional heavy and fatty Czech food is usually not eaten everyday and some people avoid it entirely. However nothing goes as well with the excellent Czech beer as some of the best examples of the traditional Czech cuisine, like pork, duck, or goose with knedlíky (dumplings) and sauerkraut.

Czech cuisine knows many different kinds of soup (polévka). The most common are bramboračka - potato soup (sometimes with forest mushrooms), hovězí vývar - clear beef soup (sometimes s játrovými knedlíčky - with liver dumplings), gulášovka - thick goulash soup, zelňačka - thick and sour cabbage soup, česnečka (strong garlic soup, very healthy and tasty, but do not eat this before kissing), kulajda - thick soup with forest mushrooms and milk, hrášková polévka from young green peas, čočková polévka from lentils, fazolačka from beans, rajská polévka - tomato soup, and many others. A special case not to everyone's tastes is dršťková polévka (tripe soup). Rybí polévka - thick fish soup made from carps (including its head, some innards, roe and sperm) is the traditional soup of the Christmas Dinner.

The second dish (main course, hlavní jídlo) of a meal is (in the traditional cuisine) often the famous heavy and fatty part, very often based on pork, but also beef, chicken, duck, or other meat. Important part of most main courses is side-dish (the whole dish including the side-dish is served on one plate) - usually cooked or baked potatoes, fries, rice, pasta or the most typical side-dish of the Czech cuisine - knedlíky.

Knedlíky (usually translated as dumplings) come in many different kinds. Most kinds are used as side-dish, however some kinds with filling are used as dish by itself. The most common type, always used as side-dish, are houskové knedlíky (bread dumplings). These are cooked in a shape of a cylinder, which is then cut into round slices about 8 cm in diameter remotely resembling white bread. Houskové knedlíky are served with Czech classics such as guláš, similar to Hungarian goulash but with a thinner sauce and less spicy; Svíčková na smetaně, beef sirloin with a creamy root vegetable (carrot, celeriac, parsnip) sauce, served with a tablespoon of cranberry sauce, a slice of orange and whipped cream; Vepřová pečeně se zelím a knedlíkem locally named as Vepřo-knedlo-zelo, the combination of roast pork, knedlíky and sauerkraut. The latter combines very well with the world-famous Czech beer, the major brands being Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Budvar, Staropramen, Velkopopovický Kozel and Krušovice. If you are lucky enough to enter a pub serving Svijany, you should definitely order it, as it is believed to be one of the most delicious brands worldwide.

Another common kind is bramborové knedlíky (potato dumplings), the slices are smaller, more yellow in color, and are also always served as a side-dish. A typical combination is roasted meet (pork or lamb for example) with spinach and bramborové knedlíky or duck with sauerkraut and bramborové knedlíky (or combination of bramborové and houskové knedlíky). Less common are chlupaté knedlíky (hairy dumplings, but there are no hairs, don't panic), which are not sliced but cooked in shape of balls. They are also usually served with roasted meat and either sauerkraut or spinach.

Other Czech dishes include pečená kachna, roast duck again served with bread or potato dumplings, and red and white sauerkraut; moravský vrabec, known as 'Moravian Sparrow', but which is in fact pork cooked in garlic and onions; smažený kapr, fried carp breaded and served with a very rich potato salad and eaten on Christmas Eve; pečené vepřové koleno, roast pork knee, served with mustard and fresh horseradish; bramborák, garlicky potato pancakes; smažený sýr, breaded deep-fried edam (the most popular cheese in the Czech Republic) served with boiled potatoes or french fries and tartar sauce; párek v rohlíku, long, thin hot dogs with crusty rolls and mustard or ketchup. If you must, you can always get hranolky - french fries. And of course, the ubiquitous zelí (raw cabbage), which is served with absolutely everything. Game is also very good, and includes dishes such as kančí, wild boar, bažant, pheasant and jelení or daňčí, both types of venison. These are almost always served either with dumplings and red and white cabbage, or as guláš.

Don't expect a wide selection of zelenina, vegetables, unless in the countryside - peppers, tomatoes and cabbage are the most commonly-seen side dishes, often served as a small garnish.




There's a wide range of accommodation options in Czech Republic. There are excellent 5* hotels in Prague and some others cities, while you can also get a cheap bed in hostels or camping grounds at major cities and tourist areas. In between there are B&B's, guesthouses, midrange hotels if you don't want to break the bank but want some comfort. If you are with a big group, there are loads of houses for rent, either at parks or individual places through websites like Homeaway.




The Czech Republic is the country where modern beer (pivo in Czech) was invented (in Plzeň). Czechs are the heaviest beer drinkers in the world, drinking about 160 litres of it per capita per year. The best-known export brands are Pilsner Urquell (Plzeňský Prazdroj), Budweiser Budvar (Budějovický Budvar) and Staropramen (freely translatable as "Oldspring"). Other major brands which are popular domestically include Gambrinus, Kozel (goat), Bernard (a small traditional brewery, with very high quality beer), Radegast, and Starobrno (made in Brno, the capital of Moravia). Other fantastic beers worth tasting are Svijany and Dobřanská Hvězda. Although many Czechs tend to be very selective about beer brands, tourists usually don't find a significant difference. And remember, real Czech beer is only served on tap – bottled beer is a completely different experience. High-quality beer can almost certainly be found in a hospoda or hostinec, very basic pubs which serve only beer and light snacks.

Wine (víno in Czech) is another popular drink, particularly wine from Moravia in the south-eastern part of the country where the climate is more suited to vineyards. White wines tend to be the best as the growing conditions are more favourable for them. For white wines, try Veltlínské zelené (Green Veltliner), Muškát moravský (Moravian Muscatel), Ryzlink rýnský (Rhine Riesling) or Tramín (Traminer), or red wines such as Frankovka (Blaufrankisch), Modrý Portugal (Blue Portugal, named after the grape, not the country), or Svatovavřinecké (Saint Lawrence). Also try ice wine (ledové víno) made when the grapes are harvested after they have frozen on the vines, or straw wine (slámové víno) made by leaving the grapes to ripen on straw) – these wines are more expensive and are similar to dessert wines. Bohemia Sekt is also popular with Czechs, and is an inexpensive sweet, fizzy wine, similar to Lambrusco, and drunk at celebrations. The best places for wine are either a wine bar (vinárna), or a wine shop (vinotéka) which sometimes has a small bar area too. Wine tourism is popular in the region around Mikulov and Lednice-Valtice.

For spirits, try Becherovka (herb liqueur, similar to Jägermeister, tastes of a mixtures of cloves and cinnamon, and drunk as a digestive), slivovice (plum brandy, very popular as a pick-me-up), hruškovice (pear brandy, less fiery than Slivovice), and so on. Spirits are made out of almost every kind of fruit (Plums, Peaches, Cherries, Sloes, etc.). Czech unique tuzemský rum (made from sugar beet, not from sugar cane as the Cuban rum, sold under brands like Tuzemák to conform with EU market rules). Be careful as all are about 40% alcohol.




See also: Travel Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to the Czech Republic. It's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to the Czech Republic. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also a hepatitis A vaccination is recommended.

It is also recommended to have a vaccination against tick borne encephalitis when you go hiking and/or camping for 4 weeks or more in the period of March to November.

Finally, other possible health issues include diarrhea and other general travellers' diseases like motion sickness. Watch what you eat and drink and in case you get it, drink plenty of fluids (to prevent dehydration) and bring ORS.




See also: Travel Safety

The Czech Republic in general is a very safe country to travel around. Just take normal precautions like you would at home. Be aware of pickpockets in busy places like markets and stations and avoid quiet dark streets and use a taxi instead late at night.



Keep Connected


Wifi is available in many restaurants and most cafés, especially in larger cities. In particular, all branches of Starbucks, KFC, Gloria Jeans Coffee and Costa Coffee offer free access. You may need to ask a waiter for the passphrase. There are also some hotspots available on the streets and some city quarters (for example in Prague) offer free wifi coverage for everyone. However such coverage is usually very slow and unreliable and you may need to create an account (using a web browser and the page it is automatically redirected to) to be able to use it. In most larger cities, there are also several internet cafés available.


See also: International Telephone Calls
There are three main mobile phone operators using the GSM standard, their coverage is very good (except in some remote, mostly uninhabited areas). If you find using roaming with your own operator too expensive or you want to have a Czech phone number, you can buy an anonymous prepaid card from any of the three main operators.

You can call emergency numbers from any phone for free (even without any card). The universal emergency number 112 is functional and you can use it, however you will reach only a telephone operator who will need to contact the real emergency service for you. To save precious time, it is best to call directly the service you need: 150 for firefighters, 155 for medical emergency, and 158 for state police.


Ceska Posta is the national postal service of the Czech Republic. It offers good services with reliable, affordable and relatively fast delivery of postcards, letters and parcels. Postcards and letters weighing up to 20g which are being sent to countries within Europe cost 17 CZK, other countries cost 18 CZK. Within the Czech Republic, prices start at 10 CZK. Opening times of post offices vary but most of them are open from around 8:00am to 6:00pm or 7:00pm Monday to Friday, closing at noon on Saturday, closed on Sunday and public holidays. Larger and/or central post offices might keep longer hours and some have English speaking staff. You can buy stamps here, or at newspaper stands, kiosks or some small (souvenir) shops. Post offices offer a few other services, like (international) money transfers as well. FEDEX, DHL, TNT and UPS offer courier services as well, with fast but relatively expensive services.



  1. 1 24 June 2018 Estimate. Source: Czech Statistical Office

Quick Facts

Czech Republic flag

Map of Czech Republic


Local name
Česko / Česká republika
Parliamentary Democracy
Christianity (Catholic)
Czech Koruna (CZK)
Calling Code
Time Zone
Summer Time


as well as Hien (5%), Lavafalls (4%), Stockczech (3%), dr.pepper (2%), Peter (1%), janhb1 (<1%)

Czech Republic Travel Helpers

Accommodation in Czech Republic

Explore your accommodation options in Czech Republic

This is version 78. Last edited at 22:14 on Jun 24, 18 by new-horizons. 60 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License