Language (Czech / Český)
The Czech Republic is in the European Union
and is part of the Schengen agreement/area
Time is 24-hour clock
Primary time zone is GMT (UTC) +1 (whole country) aka Central European Time (CET +0). Clocks go forward on the last Sunday in March at 02:00 CET to 03:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST). Clocks go back on the last Sunday in October from 03:00 CEST to 02:00 CET.
Weather information from Weather Underground
Country telephone dial code = 420
Capital city = Prague (Praha)
Primary airport = PRG (on the 5th October 2012 it was renamed "Václav Havel Airport Prague" in honour of the late president's birth date, it was previously known as "Ruzyně"). As of May 2017 Prague airport adheres to European legal directives and allows forced searches of hold luggage if required (info in Czech
) - to avoid this possibility use luggage with TSA approved locks. Also Prague airport has an unusual departures system in that you pass through passport security first, then into departures but your hand luggage is not screened until you go to your departure gate
- therefore any liquid purchases made at the airport/in departures must still be sealed
when you are screened at the departure gate.
Electricity - Power
Voltage of 230v at a frequency of 50Hz.
Plug = two pin Europlug
Socket = 2 round pins (Europlug) with ground receptacle.
: If the power supply for your device is universal or can handle the voltage of 230v at a frequency of 50Hz you just need an adaptor for the plug/socket. If your power supply is not universal or cannot handle the voltage of 230v at a frequency of 50Hz you will need a specialised power converter
Every building has two numbers on it denoted by a red plaque with white text and a blue plaque with white text. The red plaque is the "Building Number" - this is a unique identification number for every building in Prague and this number is in fact in the literal order that the buildings have been built over time (look out for buildings numbered under 100 as these are some of the very earliest/oldest buildings that started the city of Prague hundreds of years ago!). The blue plaque is the "House Number" relevant to the street it is on - as is normally the case around the world.
So don't be confused when you see a street address that has two numbers in it e.g. "Václavské náměstí 1700/68". The first number (1700) is the Building Number and the second number (68) is the House Number. If the address only has one number it will usually be the House Number. To get to where you need to go you only need the House Number.
Czech Money And Using Credit Cards
The Czech currency is Czech Crowns (Česká koruna - denoted as Kč) available in both banknotes
. It is best to use local currency or a credit card where accepted. Either change your money before you go or use a local cash machine to withdraw money (the fee for one withdrawal is usually about £5/1% so always try to make one large withdrawal - always be aware of your surroundings and make sure the money is secure when you travel on the public transport).
NOTE: Some shops (especially supermarkets) don't like being given large notes so always try and carry small notes (≤200Kč) when shopping for essentials. Use large notes (≥500Kč) at restaurants where they are accepted without problem and change given. Many metro stations and tourist areas have public toilets but there is usually a small cost to use the facilities. Therefore keeping and travelling with some small change (2, 5, 10 and 20 crown coins) is wise.
Credit/debit cards are accepted in Prague (usually as Chip & Pin transactions or, as of 2016 onwards, contactless) but not everywhere accepts cards, especially some restaurants, so always check beforehand if that is how you want to pay. If you lose a credit card contact:
VISA = +420 224 125 353
American Express = +420 222 800 111
MasterCard/Eurocard = +420 261 354 650
Diners Club = +420 267 314 285
Barclaycard = +44 1904 544 373
Czech Currency CZK
If you wish to post
postcards/letters from the Czech Republic you will need stamps. You can obtain these from "Tabak"s (small newsagent type shops) or Post Offices. Once your post is stamped you can post the items in the Česká pošta post box. These are usually orange in colour and found on various street walls – see picture. The current rates can be found here
under International Ordinary Mail > Pricing > > up to 50g inclusive > priority and either European countries or Non-European countries depending on the destination.
Travel - To And From Prague Airport
Like many other international airports, if you arrive at Prague airport (Letiště Praha) you still need to get to the
city (centre) or if you need to leave you need to get to the airport. There are three primary ways to travel between Prague and the airport:
: Terminal 1 is used for non-Shengen countries (including the United Kingdom) whereas Terminal 2 is used for countries within the Schengen agreement/area
- Public Transport - If you don't have much luggage you can take the bus<>metro to/from Prague.
You will need a public transport ticket (see the Public Transport section below):
Mini Bus - If you have a lot of luggage or are in a big group and need to get to/from the airport use AAA Taxis minibus service
Taxi - As of 1st January 2017 there is only one official taxi company allowed to operate directly outside the airport - Fix Airport Cars. You can still use alternative taxis to/from the airport they just have to use a different pick-up/drop-off point - I recommend AAA taxi (see
also the Taxis section below too) as they are easy to use, easy to book and very friendly - see their airport info card below:
- Bus #119 operates between the airport (Terminals 1/2) and Nádraží Veleslavín metro station (line A - green). It runs every 20-40 minutes between 04:00 and 24:00 hours. Journey time is approximately
30 minutes. Metro line A (green) runs from Nádraží Veleslavín station through the city centre and out to the east side of Prague. City centre
stops include Mustek (with change available to Metro line B [Yellow]) or Muzeum (with change
available to Metro line C [Red]). (For years the 119 service went to/from Dejvicka but this changed on the 7th April 2015). As of 25th April 2016 the 119 bus should have ticket machines that accept contactless payments to buy tickets.
- Bus #AE (Airport Express) operates between the airport (Terminals 1/2) and Prague;s Main Railway station (Praha Hlavni Nadrazi) - there is an additional cost for using this service but it is faster than all the other options due to limited stops!
- Bus #100 operates between the airport (Terminals 1/2) and Zlicin (Metro
- Bus #179 operates between the airport (Terminals 1/2) and Nove Butovice
- Bus #319 operates between the airport (Terminals 1/2) and Hostivice
- Bus #510 (night service) operates between the airport (Terminals 1/2) and
Travel - Taxis
Always use AAA taxis (call +420 14014). They are easy to use, usually speak English and are easy to spot (yellow/white and/or with a large black/red AAA Taxi logo on the side - see right). They are also the official taxi service to and from the airport so you shouldn't get conned. Look for the vehicles immediately as you leave the terminal building or use the AAA Taxi booth inside the arrivals area.
NOTE: There are taxi points located around the city called "Fair Taxi". These are supposed to have "good" taxi drivers but it is not always the case therefore, where possible, always use the AAA taxis.
Travel - Public Transport
Prague has a great integrated public transport system including trams, underground "metro", buses, inner-city trains, a funicular and even river ferries in the summer. Certain types of tickets allow you to travel on them all (download PDF maps here). Most standard tickets allow you to change trams and buses as you need but special services may require a separate ticket. You can get tickets from machines like the one pictured to the right (coins only) or you can get them from offices at main Metro stations (a few machines/offices now take credit cards) and also in some "Tabaks" (newsagents). If you are doing lots of travelling/sightseeing in one day buy a 24 hour pass (it's not just one day until midnight, it is valid for a full 24 hours from the time of stamping not from the time of purchase so you can buy several if you want). You can stamp it at 14:00 one afternoon and still use it at 10:00 the following morning! If you are in the city for a longer period there is also a 3 day (72 hour) ticket available. The Metro stops at around midnight whereas trams and buses are replaced with a night service just after midnight (As of 29th April 2017 night trams and buses start with a 9 e.g 91 and 901 - (download night service PDF maps here)). As of 12th April 2016 some trams in Prague e.g. #22, have ticket machines on the tram that you can use a contactless card to buy tickets.
NOTE: As of 29th April 2017 public transport numbering changed:
- Daytime trams are numbered 1 to 26
- Night time trams are numbered 90 to 99 (previously 50-59)
- The historical tram is number 41 (previously 91)
- Electric buses and hybrid trolleybuses are 50 to 69
- City buses are 101 to 250
- City school buses are 271 to 299
- Regional buses are 301 to 799
- Special lines and service routes are 801 to 899
- City and regional night buses are 900 to 999
NOTE: Prague tends to do a lot of engineering work on the trams during the summer (tourist season) so always check your routes before travel where possible if you are visiting in July/August. Rerouted trams tend have their stop information (on the tram/at the tram stops) displayed with a yellow/orange background instead of the normal white.
You will need a valid ticket (info / prices) to travel on the transport system. The first time you use the ticket you will need to stamp it using the yellow stamping machine found on the tram/bus or at the Metro station entrance (see picture - usually a vertical yellow box approximately the size of a small shoebox with a "credit card sized" slot in it - put your ticket in the slot, details facing up and in the direction of the arrow on the ticket i.e. the blank end in first). Always check to make sure the ticket has been stamped okay and if not, try another stamping box. However, the ticket must only be stamped correctly and only once to be valid.
NOTE: If you are over 70 you can travel for free on the Prague transport system as long as you have your passport with you to prove your age.
NOTE: As with any major city pickpockets are common. Make sure all valuables are not in easy reach and are secured. Try to avoid the usual rush hours and be especially aware when the tram/metro/bus you are getting on is busy/crowded.
The Prague Card
As of April 2014 Prague is once again offering the Prague Card - a 2, 3 or 4 day travel card for adults, students or children which includes the following benefits:
- Airport Express bus service to/from the airport
- Unlimited travel on all types of public transport (Bus, Metro, Tram, River Ferries and Petřín Funicular)
- Free Bus Tour - 2-hour Historical Prague Tour
- Free entry to Prague Castle - St.Vitus Cathedral, Royal Palace, Golden Lane, St.George's Basilic
- Free entry to Jewish Museum - synagogues and famous Old Jewish Cemetery (6 sites)
- Free entry to 50 attractions and significant DISCOUNTS on access to another 30+ attractions
- Discounted tours, cruises, concerts, restaurants with discounts up to -50%
- Free Guidebook packed with information about the attractions in 7 languages
Travel - RoadsTrams have right of way in all cases including pedestrian crossings unless there are traffic lights - always look BOTH ways before crossing roads and be especially careful if there are tram tracks in the road. Vehicles travel on the right hand side of the road which is normal for most of Europe, North and South America plus most of Asia but different to the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Southern Africa and the Caribbean. Some motorways around the country require toll permits before you travel on them.
ParkingMost of Prague city centre has Paid Parking Zones (PPZ) - these are denoted by colour:
- Blue = residents and businesses only/non-residents are not allowed to park in blue zones
- Purple (marked with a discontinuous white line and a traffic sign with a purple stripe) = anyone (non-residents can use these areas for a maximum of 24 hours)
- Orange (marked with a discontinuous white line and a traffic sign with an orange stripe) = 3 hour parking via parlking ticket machines
- Green = usually commercial parking zones or "Park & Ride" areas on the outskirts of the city
Food and Drink - CoffeeBig chains such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks exist here. Coffee is easily available in Prague and like any other capital city cafe culture is big here so if you prefer not to sit in a Costa Coffee or Starbucks it shouldn't be too hard to find somewhere. However, Czechs generally don't do normal, standard filter coffee i.e. what is commonly known as an Americano. All the other standards like latte, cappucino and espresso are easily catered for. If you want a large, normal coffee (black or white) be prepared to hit up one of the big chains.
Food and Drink - Vegetarians/VegansThe Czech Republic is a meat eating country. For a long time the quality and quantity of vegetarian food was poor but things have rapidly changed since the early 2000s. Now there are plenty of vegetarian options and a few excellent vegan options too. Most Czech restaurants have a vegetarian selection on their menu but watch out as a lot of traditional Czech places will only offer salad, pasta, fried cheese or fries/chip dishes for vegetarians. And in some cases their vegetarian options will include meals with small chunks of ham or chicken because, you know, small chunks are not proper meat! I present a few resources for vegetarians and vegans:
SmokingStrict anti-smoking laws were (finally) passed and came into force on 31st May 2017 - there is a 5000Kč fine for smoking where it is not allowed! The smoking ban includes:
Electronic cigarettes are not covered by the ban, though, and there are also exemptions for water pipes.
- public transportation stops (covered/uncovered)
- movie theaters
- concert venues
- exhibition halls
- indoor sports settings
Shopping - Record ShopsSee this list of Record Shops in the Czech Republic on my other web site the World Wide Release DataBase (WWRDB)
Visiting The Czech Republic With A 3G Or 4G Device e.g. iPhone or iPadSee this article on MacStrategy
Wi-Fi - Internet AccessPublic Wi-Fi is available in many locations. Some places to get Wi-Fi easily include:
Hotel, restaurant, bar and cafe chains
Individual hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and locations
Useful Mobile Apps Including iPad - iPhone - iPod touch and AndroidSee this page for lists including download links.
Apple EquipmentSee my Apple Stores and Apple Authorised Service Providers (AASPs) Prague guide page.
Public Holidays and Non-Working Days
- 1 January – Restoration day of the Independent Czech State, New Year’s Day
- Easter Friday (as of 2016 onwards)
- Easter Monday
- 1 May – Labour Day
- 8 May – Liberation Day
- 5 July – Saint Cyril and Methodius Day
- 6 July –Jan Hus 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’s Day
NOTE: Unlike some countries all but two of these non-working days (the Easter Friday/Monday) fall on the specific date - they do not move relative to weekends. Visitors should note that public transport tends to operate a Sunday service on public holiday dates.
A full list of embassies and consulates can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic web site.
The United Kingdom embassy's details are:
Address = Thunovská 14, 118 00, Praha 1 (view location on mapy.cz)
Telephone = +420 257 402 111
Fax = +420 257 402 280
Office Hours = Monday to Thursday 09.00 - 12.00 and 14.00 - 16.30, Friday 09.00 - 12.00 only
Emergencies112 is the general emergency line throughout the European Union (similar to 999 in the UK and 911 in the USA). It should be used for large-scale emergencies, especially for those who don't speak Czech - operators will speak English and German as well as Czech. The number can be dialled from any phone, and the call is free. The call is also traced with Caller ID - even mobile phones can be located within a 200-meter radius. The number can be used for urgent help from Police, Fire Brigade, or Emergency Medical Assistance, though these numbers can also be dialled directly:
General Emergency = 112
Fire = 150
Medical Emergency (Ambulance/First Aid) = 155
Police = 158
Municipal Police = 156 (they have limited authority and resolve smaller, local problems)
Gas (Česká plynárenská) = +420 234 312 375
Electric (Pražská energetika) = +420 267 055 555
NOTE: Some numbers may not have English-speaking operators.
24 Hour Pharmacies - LekarnaPrague 1, Palackého 5 - telephone +420 224 946 982
Prague 2, Belgická 37 - telephone +420 222 519 731
Thomayerova hospital, Prague 4, Vídeňská 800 - telephone +420 261 084 001
Prague 5, Štefánikova 6 - telephone +420 257 320 918
Hospital Motol, Prague 5, V Úvalu 84 - telephone +420 224 435 736
Bulovka Hospital, Prague 8, Budínova 2 - telephone +420 266 082 017
First Aid And HospitalsIn case of a non-urgent emergency, doctors/hospitals can be contacted directly. The hospital Na Holmolce is the most expat-friendly, with a special clinic for foreigners and numerous English-speakers, but it is a bit far from the centre of town. A few examples of 24-hour doctors and hospitals:
NOTE: It's always a good idea to take any travel insurance documents, your passport and if you are from the EU your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC - Apply for a UK EHIC card here) with you when you visit one of these people/locations.
+420 224 947 717 – Prague 1 & 2 (children)
+420 224 949 181 – Prague 1 & 2 (adults)
+420 284 861 979 – Prague 3 (children)
+420 284 862 149 – Prague 3 (adults)
+420 241 733 916 – Prague 4, 11, & 12 (children)
+420 241 733 917 – Prague 4, 11, & 12 (adults)
+420 257 323 221 – Prague 5 (children)
+420 257 323 219 – Prague 5 (adults)
+420 257 271 111 – Nemocnice Na Holmolce (Prague 5)
+420 222 801 111 – Nemocnice na Františku (Prague 1)
+420 222 928 111 – Workplace: Poliklinika Palackého (Prague 1)
+420 224 961 111 – Všeobecná fakultní nemocnice v Praze (Prague 2)
+420 261 081 111 – Fakutní Thomayerova nemocnice s poliklinikou (Prague 4)
+420 296 511 111 – Nemocnice Podolí gynekologie a porodnice (gynecology and childbirth services; Prague 4)
+420 224 431 111 – Fakultní nemocnice v Motole s poliklinikou (Prague 5)
+420 267 161 111 – Fakultní nemocnice Královské Vinohrady (Prague 10)
Useful Information LinksOfficial Czech tourism web site.
Thanks to Expats.cz for some of the information on this page.
Useful Booking Links
UK and Ireland Airline Contact InformationBritish Airways = FAQ and Contact information
Easyjet = Help pages
Czech Airlines (CSA) = FAQ and Contact information
BMI Baby = Customer Contact information
TUI = FAQ
Wizzair = Contact information
Aer Lingus = Contact information
Ryanair = FAQ overview
Prague airport web site » Departures / Arrivals.