Currency: Czech Koruna
Time Zone: UTC/GMT+1
Tipping: Is expected of foreign visitors, 10% is the usual tip to leave.
Czech Republic - an Introduction
Considering that the Czech Republic has only been in existence since 1993, this tiny land in Central Europe has a wonderful history and you can discover this more on coach tours. The country's past is evident with every turn as there are more castles and chateaux per square mile than any other in the world. Delve deeper into the country's past and you'll come across over 2000 caves, fourteen of which can be explored by the public such as the Punkva Caves and Macocha Abyss or the Balcarka Cave.
Thousands of tourists descend upon the Czech Republic to explore the ruins in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. Rabí Castle, Kynžvart and Choustnik are just a few that you should definitely see on your coach tour. The clatter of a mill wheel used to be frequent sound in times gone by, but now these beautiful Water Mills stand as magnificent monuments in the Czech Republic with the Medieval Mill Hoslovice being one of the oldest preserved water mills in Bohemia and well worth a visit.
When you have had enough of soaking up Czech's history, take a walk with a difference in Lipno where you can surround yourself with nature on the Treetop Trail. This wooden construction reaches 24 metres up into the sky and is perfect for everyone – even pushchairs or wheelchairs. At the top you will find a viewing tower that overlooks Lipno Lake and the Šumava and Novohradské Mountains. Don't leave without taking a ride on the longest dry toboggan run in the Czech Republic!
Prague is the mecca for most tourists with many trying to cram in all the sights over such a short break. Instead of rushing, take your time to explore and you won't be disappointed and if you cannot fit it all in, just plan a return visit! Stunning architecture from Gothic to Baroque and the Renaissance can be found on all corners. Explore the medieval lanes of the Old Town and Castle District. Venture further and you'll come across tranquil riverside parks, lively bars and traditional music clubs. Sample local delicacies such as Knedlíky (steamed & sliced dumplings), Lečo (stew made of peppers, onions, tomatoes and spices) or Smažený sýr (fried cheese) in one of many restaurants.
All tours to the Czech Republic tend to include; return travel by coach or plane, hotel accommodation in a good standard hotel, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can really see the best of the resort you're visiting.
Things to do
The Czech Republic has lots to do when you visit, here is just a snapshot of the great things that are available when you visit.
One of the Czech Republic’s best known tourist destinations, Prague known locally as Praha has become a destination for visitors from the around the world. It is the sixth most visited European city, and has a number of great attractions to see such as Prague Castle, Pisek Gate, Lennon Wall, The Astronomical Clock on the Old Town City Wall.
Best known for its fine architecture, this town is famous for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to the 13th Century Český Krumlov’s old town curves around a horseshoe shaped part of the river. Visitors to the town are often amazed by the size of the town’s Castle which is remarkably large.
The second largest city in the Czech Republic, Brno is another great place to visit when exploring the beautiful Czech Republic. The Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul towers over the Brno skyline and attracts visitors every year. There is also two castles in Brno; Špilberk Castle and Veveří Castle, these white-washed, red-roofed castles are a long way from what you see in the UK!
A spa town set amongst by green mountainous countryside, Marianske Lazne become one the of top European spa destinations due to its curative ‘carbon dioxide springs’. Today it still enjoys plenty of visitors due to its beautiful setting, close promity to Carlsbad and Franzensbad, two famous spa towns and its original character.
Thinking of travelling to the Czech Republic? Check out the average temperatures for when you plan to visit courtesy of BBC Weather
Tips & Advice
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in the Czech Republic, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Before travelling it is wise to contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to see if you need any vaccinations. When visiting the Czech Republic it is advised that you apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card is not a substitute for travel or medical insurance, however it will allow you to receive state provided medical treatment should you need it on your trip. Any treatment which you receive will be on the same terms as the Czech Nationals. The EHIC does not cover medical repatriations should it become necessary, or on-going medical treatment or non-urgent treatment. Therefore travel insurance is strongly advised, in addition to this, you should have the funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation should it arise.
If you are intending to reside in the Czech Republic permanently you will need to obtain an S1 Form, which indicates that you have made National Insurance contributions in the UK. Or failing this you will need to arrange health insurance with a commercial company upon arrival. For further advice on this, please contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on 0191 218 1999.
Should you need emergency medical assistance whilst away, dial 112 and ask the operator for an ambulance. If you do require treatment, be sure to inform your insurance/medical assistance provider immediately.
When in Prague, the police have advised tourists to follow these guidelines
- Always exchange money at a Currency Exchange or banK
- Don't approach figures loitering in the street, they can often be pickpockets
- Be careful when using cash machines, check no one is watching close by
- Be cautious of consumption charges in nightclubs; they are often very high. Be careful with consumption cards, they carry high financial penalties if they are misplaced before the bill has been settled
There is a problem with petty theft, especially in tourist hotspots like Prague. Pickpocketing is common, especially near to railway stations and on public transport. A route to avoid is to and from Prague Castle and also be careful on buses to and from the airport. Busy compartments and carriages are favoured by pickpockets so be aware.
Make sure you look after your belongings at all times, particularly whilst in bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There have been a few instances where belongings have been stolen from hotel rooms so take particular care.
If a plain clothed police man approaches you asking to see your foreign currency or passport don't show your money. Instead offer to go with them to the nearest police station. If you suspect the police officer to be bogus, you can call 158 or 112 to check their identity. No police officer in the Czech Republic has the right to check your money or if it is genuine.
You must report any thefts to the Czech Police in person within 24 hours and get a police report crime number. A police station in Prague which helps tourists deal with such instances is: Jungmanovo namesti 9, Prague 1,
(nearest metro stop is Mustek). This station is open 24 hours a day, and there are English translators. If you have lost, or had your passport stolen, you need to obtain a police report to allow a replacement to be issued.
In 2012, several people were sent to hospital which resulted in some deaths because drinking counterfeit alcoholic spirits. Be sure to only purchase alcohol from genuine places such as a supermarket or bottle shop, and check the bottle has an original, unbroken seal around the cap or cork.
When using public transport, you must buy a ticket and validate it before travelling. You can receive an on the spot fine if your ticket is not valid. The fine is normally around 800 crowns (roughly £25.00) and is paid directly to the ticket inspector. If you can't pay the fine in full, you may be arrested. Every year, there are accidents with trams, be sure to check both ways, trams cannot stop very quickly.
When using taxi firms in the Czech Republic, it is normally safer to go with a recognised company such as AAA or Profitaxi. Always check the fare per km before getting in, some taxis have inflated prices.
Local Laws and Customs
Some restaurants and bars in the city centres do not allow access to stag parties. Drunken or offensive behaviour is often dealt with according to Czech Law. This behaviour could result in detention or fines.
You might be fined if you cross a road or tram tracks within 50 metres of a designated crossing point (zebra style crossing or traffic lights). You may also be fined if you cross a crossing when the green light isn't showing.
You should always carry your passport with you for identification purposes.
When staying in the Czech Republic, for up to three months, your passport must be valid for the entire proposed duration of your stay; you will not need any additional period of validity beyond this.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETD) are accepted for entry and exit from the Czech Republic, in addition to airside transit.
British citizens do not need a visa when entering the Czech Republic. However, if you possess a British passport with another type of British nationality (eg British Overseas Citizen) you might need a visa. Contact the Czech Republic Embassy in London for more information.
Any other nationality looking to visit the Czech Republic must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
To find out further information about the Czech Republic you can visit their tourist board website at czechtourism.com