Read all this information carefully, it will give you a close look at the Czech Republic. It contains a crash course on Czech history, culture and geography. 

  1. General information

Constitution: parliamentary Republic 

Official name:

The Czech Republic

Area: 78,864 km2 (30,450 sq. mi)

Coordinates: 50°05´N 14°28´E

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe.

The country borders to Poland to the north, Germany in the

northwest and west, Austria in the south, and Slovakia in the east.


Population: 10.5 million

Capital: Prague, 1.2 million inhabitants

Density of population: 130 Inhabitants/km2

Currency: Czech koruna (CZK)

One koruna is 100 heller (USD 1,-is about CZK 20,-, EUR 1,- is about CZK 26,-).

You can change your money in CZK in every bank, exchange office or hotel. You can also use the ATM. The ATM gives you the best exchange rate, therefore we recommend to only use the ATMs. Use the daily international rate of exchange, not the rate given to you by the bank as a proposal.

Regions:  Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia

Official language: Czech

Mountain ranges: Krušné hory, Krkonoše, Orlické hory, Jeseníky, Beskidy, Šumava and more lower mountains.

Rivers: Labe, Vltava, Sázava, Otava, Morava

Cities: the most important culture and industry center in the Czech Republic is Prague. Other large cities are: Brno, with about 390.000 inhabitants, Ostrava, with about 300.000 inhabitants and Plzeň (Pilsen), Hradec Králové, Olomouc and Ceské Budejovice,

Employment: About 4% of the population works in agriculture, about 50% in services and about 40% in the industry.

National holidays: January 1, Easter, May 1 (Labor Day), May 8 (getting freed from fascism), July 5 (arrival of first Christians), July 6 (Czech reformist Jan Hus was burned), October 28 (Independence Day), November 17 (Velvet Revolution), and December 24, 25 and 26.

Climate: The weather in the Czech Republic is in the summer pleasantly warm and not as extremely hot and dry as in southern countries in Europe, it is not very humid either. In Moravia the temperature is 1 to 2 °C higher than in Bohemia. You can expect very nice weather and good temperatures for cycling. An occasional thunderstorm occurs on humid days. The typical British weather is not common in the Czech Republic. The autumn is in general very enjoyable. Till late October there are many beautiful days with temperatures around 20 °C. In the winter the weather is colder than in Germany. Mountains such as the Krkonoše, Beskidy or Šumava offer excellent conditions for skiing, especially for cross-country skiing. The clime has continental influences: this means that the winter begins in early December and ends in mid- or late April.

Important historic dates:

7th century: first known Slav state in Central Europe under Samos direction

1085: Prince Vratislav II. was crowned to become the first Czech king.

1212: The Golden Bull of Sicily is a document that confirmed the privileges of Czech kings and highlighted the honorary relationship between Bohemia and Holy Roman Empire.

1346-1378: the peak moment of power in the Middle Ages under the governance of the Czech emperor Charles IV, who also was emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1348: in Prague the first university in middle Europe was founded.

1415: The burning of Jan Hus, Czech religious reformer (national holiday)

1419-1436 : The Hussite Revolution

1526: Habsburg were enthroned on the Czech throne

1620: defeat of the reformist estate in the Battle of White Mountain

1764-1790: time of germanization under the leadership of Maria Theresa and Joseph II.

1918: establishment of the Czechoslovakia ( 28 October )

1939-1945: German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia

1945: liberation of Czechoslovakia

1948: communist putsch in February

1968: Uprising against the USSR’s rule, which was violently broken up.

1989: “Velvet Revolution“ and the end of communism

1993: separation of Czechoslovakia and establishment of the Czech Republic

1999: joined NATO

2004: joined European Union


Travelling documents

See our heading entry requirements in the pop up of the FAQ.

Czech Habits

People in the Czech Republic have a similar culture to Western Europe, the Czechs see themselves also as a link between East and West. There are no big differences between Czechs and West-Europeans, if you talk to people from the Czech Republic you will quickly notice that they think in a similar way to West-Europeans. The general dream is the same as in the rest of the Western world: To have a house, stable job and a family. Families in the bigger cities have a small weekend-house (Dacha) in the countryside, because many families in big cities still live in communist flats where they have no garden.

The Czech are a hardworking people, on average a young worker only has 15 days off a year. Once you pass the age of 33 you have the right to 20 days off a year. The Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate of Europe, also it is common for most women to have a job. Specific ways of behaviour have changed since “The Velvet Revolution” in 1989. Before the revolution the people used to get married younger than nowadays, they got more children so that they had a bigger chance to get a flat, and to obtain other benefits. But this has changed, now an average family has two children. The population increases slowly and number of divorces is pretty high. A man and a woman are considered equal in the Czech society. If you pay someone for a visit it is a habit to take off your shoes at the door, you will receive special slippers to wear in the house. People are glad to receive guests.

A few tips how to behave as a tourist 

Czechs are generally quiet people, who cannot stand other people shoving other customers aside, and yelling what they want in the shop or restaurant. It is custom to wait for a waiter to seat you, and to pay attention to him. In contrast to the United States guests are not always considered king, it is not uncommon for waiters to be direct and straight forward. It is always a friendly gesture to know a few Czech words.

If you have eaten or drunk somewhere, you do not have to give any tip. It is already calculated in your bill, but if the waiters were especially nice and fast then you give them about 5-10% tip.Waiters in Prague are not always very friendly.

Hunger and thirst

The Czechs love to eat and drink out, which means that during work days you can find a lot of people in restaurants. At popular restaurants you sometimes have to wait while before you get a table. Once you are sitting the waiter will get you the menu as quickly as possible. It takes 20-30 minutes on average before the meal is served, the tables are cleaned up very fast because it is considered impolite to leave dirty dishes in front of a person in the Czech Republic.

Typical Czech cuisine consist of a starter, main course and a dessert that you can all find in the menu. Instead of boiled or baked potatoes you can have knedlíky (dumpling). There is a big variety in dumplings in the traditional Czech cuisine. Dumplings are made of coarsely ground flour, potatoes, or of white bread. Desert dumplings have plums inside or are served just with butter and sugar. A typical meal in the Czech Republic is pork with dumplings and cabbage. A specialty is goose, venison or rabbit. The Czech Republic is also famous for its beer (Budweiser or Pilsner Urquell), which are famous worldwide. It is not uncommon to drink wine. You can find vineyards in Bohemia and Moravia. In Bohemia the wine is mostly sweet, and in Moravia dry. 

Shopping, Souvenirs

General shopping does not differ that much from home. Most global chains have also shops in the Czech Republic where you can buy similar clothing and other items as at home. Souvenir shops are something different, there are shops specialized in Bohemian glass, crystal, porcelain or ceramics. Then there is also the general souvenir shop where you can buy local specialties, such as woodworks. Most souvenir shops are open every day of the week in the tourist season. The shops in general are open from 09:00 – 18:00 on weekdays, and on 09:00 – 20:00 on Saturdays. Most shops are closed on Sundays, except for the larger supermarkets.   

Museums, Galleries, Castles

Museums and galleries are open year-round every day except Monday. They are mostly open from 10:00 to 18:00. Castles are open every day in the tourist season (from 1.may to 30.september). They open at 09:00 and close on 17:00 

The Language

The Czech language is not an easy one. Pronunciation can give you a headache and produces a sore tongue. The grammar is very difficult. From all the Slavic languages Czech is the most difficult one. There are seven cases which you need to keep in mind all the time, it is a kind of jungle which is very hard to master. In contrast to English, it does not give meaning to the sentence by putting the words in a special order. You can deduce the meaning of the sentence by the case each word has, giving each word a different ending. With each word you can use fourteen different endings (seven cases in singular and seven in plural). Furthermore words are written differently depending on whether or not they are animate, inanimate, masculine, feminine or neutral. Fortunately for you, you do not need to learn the language as most people understand and speak a bit of English. Knowing a few words in the case of an emergency or as a sign of kindness is always recommended. 


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