COUNTRY FACT FILE
The Czech Republic is a small country situated in Central Europe. It borders
on the Federal Republic of Germany in the west, Poland in the north, the Slovak
Republic in the east, and Austria in the south. The Czech Republic consists
of three historical countries: Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
Area: 78,864 km2.
Capital city: Prague (1.2 million inhabitants).
Official language: Czech.
Currency: Czech crown (koruna = Kc), 1 Kc=100 halers (haler), at present there
are coins in circulation with values of 50 halers and 1, 2, 5,10,
20 and 50 crowns, and bank notes with values of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000,
2,000, and 5,000 crowns.
Time zone: GMT + 1, Central European time; from April until October so-called
summer time applies, GMT + 2.
Climate: temperate climate with change of four seasons, mix of oceanic and continental
climatic influences, with maritime influence prevailing. Winters are mild and
summers warm. The average daily temperature in the coldest winter month, January,
is around -5 degrees Celsius, and in the warmest summer month, July, is around
20 degrees Celsius.
POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS
The Czech Republic was formed on 1st January 1993 through division of the Czechoslovak
Republic into 2 republics. The capital is Prague, often called Golden Prague,
it is the residence of the President, who is the head of the republic, the Parliament
and the Government, important offices, universities and man cultural institutions,
and the leading figure in political life is the Prime Minister. The face of
this country is changing. Our republic is undergoing administrative alterations
in the field of regional transformation. While in this transitional period state
administrative carried out by districts.
The Czech Republic is an advanced industrial and agricultural country, which
produces some traditional products with good reputation abroad. In The period
between two World Wars our country was one of the most developed countries in
the world. Now it is necessary to transform completely the economic and social
life because under socialism Czech economy got retarded in comparison with highly
advanced countries. The old-established Czech industries are those, which developed
during the last centuries: textile industry, food industry (brewing), and glass
industry, in the 20th century the engineering industry prevailed in our industrial
structure. Every fourth product of our engineering industry was earmarked for
export (including complete factory equipment). Traditional export items were:
textile machinery, machinery for the footwear and leather-processing industries,
motorcycles, cars, Diesel power units, wheel tractors. Other traditional export
items were: consumer goods, glassware, china, textiles, footwear, costume jewellery,
sugar, hops, and beer. The country has natural resources (coal, some rare metals,
raw materials for glass and ceramic industries, cold and hot mineral springs),
but it has tom import some raw materials (oil, gas, iron ore...).
For travel to the Czech Republic, citizens of Arabic countries require a valid
passport and visa, which they can request at representative offices of the Czech
Republic. For some other countries further documents must be submitted for receipt
of a visa, such as an official invitation to visit the Czech Republic, submission
of a return ticket, confirmation of spa treatment, etc. Further information
is available from the representative office of the Czech Republic in the given
country, and in some cases from representatives of CSA, the Czech Airline. Citizens
of countries who are not required to submit any further documents to receive
a visa can also receive the visa at the following border crossings: PrahaRuzyne
airport. Znojmo-Haté, Dolni Dvoriste, and Rozvadov. Children younger
than fifteen years of age must be included in the passports of their parents
or may have their own passport.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE REQUIREMENTS
The import and export of foreign currency, foreign bills of payment, foreign
securities and deposit books in non-Czech currency are in no way restricted.
The import and export of current Czech bank notes and coins, bills of payment
and securities in Czech currency is permitted only to the value of 200,000 Kc
without the approval of the Czech National Bank. The import and export of gold
and gold coins must be officially declared. Further information can be obtained
from customs offices responsible for such matters.
The import of non-commercial goods with a total customs value of not more than
3,000 Kc per traveler is free of import duties. Export of tobacco products (maximum
of 200 cigarettes), alcoholic drinks, and perfume is limited. Medicines can
be imported only in types and quantities keeping with the personal need of the
traveler.Any kind of non-commercial good can be exported from the Czech Republic
without limitation of their value. For Export of antiques and cultural objects,
certification is necessary that attests that the object is not an object of
national value. Further information regarding conditions governing the export
of cultural objects is available from customs officers or in some cases sales
The Czech Republic has direct air connections with many countries of the world.
The most important airport is at the capital city Prague. The Prague airport
is located in Ruzyne, a suburb located approximately 20 km to the northwest
of the center of the city. To reach the city it is possible to go by taxi, public
buses in combination with metro, or two routes to commuter transportation. Other
Czech civilian airports are in Ostrava, Brno, Karlovy Vary, and Pardubice.
RAIL AND BUS TRANSPORTION
Euro city trains connect Prague with Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw,
and Budapest. Prague is the destination of bus lines running from London, Paris,
Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany, and other countries.
TRANSPORTION WITHIN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
There are regular domestic flights to various destinations in the country. Small
planes can also be rented from specialized firms for travel and sightseeing.
People interested in traveling by bus or rail can take advantage of the dense
network of train and bus connections. In the Czech Republic there are also a
number of firms that rent out cars. It is possible to rent luxury and ordinary
types of automobiles as well as cars with chauffeur. Traffic rules in the Czech
Republic are almost identical to those in other European countries. The highest
permitted speed for passenger cars is 90 km/hour on country roads and 130 km/hour
A fee is charged for using highways. A sticker applied to the windshield of
the car shows payment of the fee. The fee for one passenger car, valid for one year, is 900 Kc, one month 250 Kc, 10 days 150 Kc. Urban transportation in Czech and
Moravian towns consists of trains, buses, and trolleybuses. In Prague there
are three metro lines. Tickets for urban transportation can be purchased from
ticket machines as well as newspaper and tobacco stands. Tickets must be stamped
upon first entering the metro station and at special stamping machines located
in trains and buses. Taxi service exists in all larger cities. Fares are calculated
according to a set base rate and a charge per kilometer driven. Information
regarding fares must be displayed in the interior of the vehicle. Taxis can
be ordered by telephone and 24 hours in advance. Boat transportation is also
available especially in the summer months in areas that are heavily tourist
and have appropriate water conditions, primarily certain sections of the Moldau
(Vltava), the Elbe (Labe), and on the large reservoirs and lakes.
Depending on financial means and kind of accommodation desired, the visitor
can choose from one- to five-star hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, as well as private
FOOD AND DRINKS
Czech cuisine is very tasty and can be experienced in first-class restaurants
and wine bars as well as in local pubs and restaurants. International cuisine
is common. Goose, roasted venison and rabbit, and fruit dumplings, for example,
are among the most popular specialties. In Prague there are also restaurants
serving Arabic cuisine. A wide assortment of drinks is available in shops and
restaurants. There are many cafes, which are often situated in period rooms
of historical buildings.
Domestic and international calls can be made from all post offices and hotels
as well as from public telephones with a telephone card. Telephone cards can
be purchased from Telecom sales locations as well as from newspaper and tobacco
stands. You can also use signal from three mobil operators.
The assortment of goods offered in Czech stores is on a par with those available
in other European countries. In addition to normal things, visitors can purchase
a whole range of exceptional quality products with centuries-old traditions,
especially cut glass, Czech garnets, jewelry, porcelain, ceramics, lace and
other arts and crafts.Art lovers can make interesting purchases in Czech galleries
and in antique shops. Czech shops have different opening hours. On workdays
the majority are open from 9:00 am. To 6:00 p.m., and on Saturdays until 1:00
p.m. Grocery stores are usually open from 7:00 am. A growing number of shops
are also open on Sundays. Opening hours for banks and exchange offices correspond
to those for shops. In Prague there are some exchange offices that are open
non-stop. A number of shops, restaurants, and accommodations accept international
credit cards such as Access, American Express, Carte Blanche, Diner's Club,
Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa, and Japan Credit Bureau.
The electrical current is mostly 220 V. Electric shavers and hair dryer corresponding
to the Euro norm can be used without problems in the majority of Czech hotels.
Medical facilities are usually open from 7:15 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., with the
exception of Saturdays and Sundays. Emergency medical service outside o normal
clinic hours exists in all larger towns and can be called by telephone Pharmacies
are usually open the same hours as normal shops, and there are also pharmacies
with night and weekend service. Visitors to the Czech Republic are recommended
to have them insured in case of illness or accident, since medical service is
provided against compensation.
A number of Czech towns, especially Prague, offer visitors a rich evening program.
In addition to concerts of classical and jazz music and theatre performances,
you can visit cinemas, cabarets, nightclubs, dance bars, or discos. There are
casinos in Prague, Brno, Karlovy Vary, Ceské Budejovice, and in other
larger and spa centers.
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
are generally open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. year round. The day closed
is usually Monday.
During the main season from May 1 to September 30 are open daily except
Mondays and days following holidays, normally from 9:00 am. to 5:00 p.m..
Midday breaks are generally between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
In April and October, castles and chateaux are open only on Saturdays and
Sundays. In the winter the majority of them are closed.