Your Best Czechia Tour with Aquarius International


















Practical Information

The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union.

The Czech Republic is a member of the European Union. Citizens of certain countries need to arrange a visa to enter the Czech Republic. A list of countries with a visa liability can be found here.

Tarff Quotas

Exemption of goods brought into the EU from customs duty, VAT and consumer tax relates to goods imported occasionally for personal use.

Goods are exempt up to the value of EUR 300 per person. When travelling by air, the limit is EUR 430 per person and for travellers up to the age of 15, the limit is EUR 200 per person. Tobacco products, alcohol and fuel are not included in the total level of exempt goods, nor are goods, which you bring in with you but intend to also take back with you or medicines for personal use.

If you import cash in Czech or foreign currency, or cheques, vouchers exchangeable for cash, investment instruments, precious metals or stones at a value in excess of EUR 10,000, you are obliged to notify the customs authority of this in writing.

Language

The official language in the Czech Republic is Czech, which is a Slavonic language (the same as Slovak, Polish, Serbian, Russian, Croatian or Bulgarian). It is sometimes possible to make yourself understood in English or Russian. German is a little less widespread.
The deaf can make themselves understood more easily, if they use Italian or Austrian sign language, which are to a certain extent similar to Czech sign language. On the contrary, ASL or Asian sign languages are very different from Czech sign language.

Time Zone and Time

The time zone GMT (UTC) +1 applies throughout the territory of the whole Czech Republic, i.e. CET (+0). Winter and summer time are used in the Czech Republic. The clocks go forward on the last Sunday in March at 2:00 CET to 3:00 CEST. The clocks then go back on the last Sunday in October from 3:00 CEST to 2:00 CET. Summer time (an hour more) thus applies here from roughly April to October.

Climate and Weather

This landlocked country in the centre of Europe does not abound in extremes. The climate is moderate with four seasons. People ski in the mountains in winter and the hot summer is excellent for bathing. When there is more substantial rainfall in the summer or when the snow and ice melt in the spring, there are sometimes problems here with local flooding, especially in the areas along the rivers (the same as in the whole of Europe). Cities are however well prepared for these situations and the capital for example has established a special system for protection against flooding.

Currency

Although the Czech Republic is a member of the EU, it is not so far a member of the Eurozone and for this reason, the euro is not the official currency here (yet despite this it is possible to exchange euro for Czech crowns without any problems).

The official currency is called the crown, which is made up of 100 hellers. Small coins start at 1 crown coin, followed by the 2 crown coin, 5 crown coin, 10 crown coin, 20 crown coin and 50 crown coin. Banknotes begin with the 100 crown note, followed by the 200 crown note, 500 crown note, 1,000 crown note, 2,000 crown note and 5,000 crown note.

Exchanging Money

There are three basic methods of changing money:

  • banks – they have a good exchange rate, but are not usually open in the evening or at weekends,
  • hotels – they have worse exchange rates, but smaller amounts in euro are not usually a problem almost any time of the day or night
  • bureaux de change – there are relatively large differences between them. For example, some bureaux de change do not charge a fee for the exchange, but have a worse exchange rate. The best idea is to first ask how much money you will get and calculate the actual exchange rate yourself. Stay clear of the street dealers when exchanging money.

Tipping

It is customary to leave a tip in restaurants – especially as an expression of your satisfaction with the services of the establishment. A member of staff usually brings the bill and leaves. When he or she returns, it is up to you to say how much you actually want to pay. Another option is to pay the precise amount and to leave the tip on the table. Tips are usually left at the level of roughly 10 percent of the bill.

Moving Around the City

Large cities have carefully designed tram, bus, trolleybus or metro routes. You can regularly purchase individual tickets for individual journeys, but if you are staying for longer, be sure to buy the more advantageous day tickets, two-day tickets or week tickets etc.
You will avoid needless problems in the metro, tram or bus if you have purchased a ticket and stamped it. In the case of the metro, you stamp the ticket when entering by inserting it into the stamping machine. In other means of public transport, these machines are located throughout the whole vehicle.
You can use taxi services all over the country, but it is better to use the services of larger renowned companies and before setting off, ask for a rough final price.

Transport to the Airport

The largest and main Czech airport is Prague-Ruzyně. Domestic flights run from Moravia to Bohemia (e.g. from Ostrava to Prague), although most flights are international. Prague-Ruzyně Airport meets all European standards and is made up of three terminals. You can reach the airport:

  • by car on road R7,
  • by bus: from the Dejvická metro station (bus 119), Zličín (bus 100), Nové Butovice (bus 179 and 225), Prague Main Station (Airport Express),
  • by taxi.

Important Telephone Numbers

You should have certain telephone numbers with you at all times or know them by heart. The numbers of the most important institutions, which you might need, are mostly three digits. You can get through to these wherever you are at any time free of charge.

112 emergency calls (this number works throughout the whole of Europe and includes universal medical aid, the police and the fire brigade – but it need not necessarily work on older mobile telephones without SIM cards)

  • Fire Brigade 150
  • Medical First Aid 155
  • Police 158
  • Municipal Police 156 (they have limited authority and resolve smaller, local problems)

Restaurants

Restaurants, pubs or cafes are often open from late afternoon until late at night, often until 11:00 pm. During the summer, restaurants open gardens for you to sit outside, which are usually open until 10:00 pm (due to regulations relating to a ban on loud noise at night, which usually lasts until 6 am). Bars or clubs are often open even long after midnight, especially at weekends.

Smoking

There is a complete ban on smoking in enclosed areas freely accessible to the public, public transport, covered platforms, shelters and waiting rooms for public road and rail transport as well as public transport in cities. Tobacco products may not be sold to persons under the age of 18.

Health Insurance

A European health insurance card may be enough for citizens of countries, which are EU members. If you do not have permanent residency within the EU, you must have concluded a commercial insurance policy. If you did not have this, you would have to pay for all care on the spot in cash.

Safety

The Czech Republic is a safe European country, but despite this, it is advisable to be cautious just like in any other large European city. You should pay attention to your handbag, bag or pockets in places where there are a lot of people and when in restaurants, put your things down where you can see them. You may come across false heart-breaking stories from people who want to entice money from you on the street, or dishonest traders, for example a bureau de change with a disadvantageous exchange rate. Never ever change money with street dealers.

Return of VAT (Tax Return)

Citizens of the EU, who purchase goods in the Czech Republic and import them into other EU member countries, cannot request return of VAT.

Entitlement to return of VAT paid at the price of goods purchased in the Czech Republic may only be claimed for by a person who does not have permanent residency within the territory of the EU. This above all concerns private non-commercial export, other rules apply for entrepreneurs.