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Czech Republic

The Czech Republic also known as Czechia is a landlocked nation state in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 square kilometres (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, has 10.6 million inhabitants and the capital and largest city is Prague, with over 1.2 million residents. The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia, Moravia, and Czech Silesia. The Czech state was formed in the late 9th century as the Duchy of Bohemia under the Great Moravian Empire.

Capital

Prague, City of a Hundred Spires, a UNESCO monument and one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the 14th largest city in the European Union. It is also the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.4 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of 2.2 million.

The Old Town Hall with the famous Prague Astronomical Clock. The winding lanes of the Jewish Quarter, which you know from the novels of Franz Kafka, steeped in the legend of the Golem. Cafes enticing you to come and have a seat, boutiques and sight-seeing cruises on the Vltava. The Gothic Charles Bridge and Church of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Town, the most beautiful Baroque church in Prague. The Palace Gardens set away from the bustle of the city, Petřín with a lookout tower reminiscent of a small Eiffel Tower and Prague Castle.

Population

The current population of Czech Republic is 10,620,491.

People

The majority of the 10.6 million inhabitants of the Czech Republic are ethnically and linguistically Czech (95%).

Other ethnic groups include Germans, Romani, Poles and Hungarians. Historical minorities like Germans and Poles are declining due to assimilation. The Roma community is growing, while there is also a growing Vietnamese community. Other ethnic communities like Greeks, Turks, Italians and Yugoslavs are found in the capital city, Prague. Since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Slovaks living in the Czech Republic have comprised roughly 3% of the population.

Language

The official language is Czech. However, English is widely understood.

National Flag

The national flag of Czech Republic consists of two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side

Religion

Presently, 39.8% of Czechs consider themselves atheist; 39.2% are Roman Catholics; 4.6% are Protestant, with 1.9% in the Czech-founded Hussite Reform Church, 1.6% in the Czech Brotherhood Evangelic Church, and 0.5% in the Silesian Evangelic Church; 3% are members of the Orthodox Church; and 13.4% are undecided.

Climate

The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate, with warm summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. The temperature difference between summer and winter is relatively high, due to the landlocked geographical position.

The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is usually snow in the mountains and sometimes in the major cities and lowlands. During March, April and May, the temperature usually increases rapidly, especially during April, when the temperature and weather tends to vary widely during the day. Spring is also characterized by high water levels in the rivers, due to melting snow with occasional flooding.

The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. On average, summer temperatures are about 20 °C (36 °F) – 30 °C (54 °F) higher than during winter. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms.

Time

Czech Republic is in the Central European Time Zone . Central European Standard Time (CET) is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).

Currency

The official currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech crown (koruna), abbreviated as Kč, with the international abbreviation CZK. 1 crown consists of 100 hellers (haléř), abbreviated as hal. Heller coins have not been in use as of September 1, 2008, but hellers are still incorporated into merchandise prices. The final price is always rounded off to the nearest crown value.

The approximate value of 100 CZK is 4 EUR/5 USD.

Coins: 1 Kč, 2 Kč, 5 Kč, 10 Kč, 20 Kč, 50 Kč   View Czech coins
Banknotes: 100 Kč, 200 Kč, 500 Kč, 1000 Kč, 2000 Kč, 5000 Kč   View Czech banknotes

As the official currency, the Czech crown is the best and often the only possible currency to use when paying. Although the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, the euro is not widely accepted here. Some stores, restaurants and hotels accept payments in euros but the exchange rate may not be very good.

Electricity

In the Czech Republic the power sockets are of type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Telephone services

When calling to Czech Republic, use international prefix (+420 or 00420) + local number.

Tap water

Tap water is good and perfectly safe across the country, although in some small towns, the chlorine can be quite strong.

General Visa Information

Visas

Generally not needed for stays of up to 90 days.

Further Information

  • Citizens of EU countries can freely enter the Czech Republic and are entitled to apply for visas to stay indefinitely.
  • Citizens of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan and many other countries can stay in the Czech Republic for up to 90 days without a visa. Other nationalities should check current visa requirements with the Czech embassy in their home country. There’s more information on the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.mzv.cz) website.
  • The Czech Republic is a member of the EU’s common border and customs area, the Schengen Zone, which imposes its own 90-day visa-free travel limit on visitors from outside the EU. In practice, this means your time in the Czech Republic counts against your stay within the entire Schengen Zone – plan your travel accordingly.

Customs Regulations

Customs formalities have been simplified. On arrival at Prague’s Václav Havel airport, if you have nothing to declare, simply walk through the green (customs-free) line. Bags are rarely checked.