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General Info about Czech Republic

Visa Requirements
Western European, US and New Zealand nationals can stay in the Czech Republic for a period of up to 90 days as long as they have a passport which is valid for the duration of their stay. UK citizens can stay up to 180 days. Nationals of Australia, Canada and South Africa must obtain a visa which is valid for a period of between 30 and 90 days, depending on your nationality. Citizens of all other countries, or those intending to work or study, in the country should contact their nearest Czech embassy.

Currency
The unit of currency is the Koruna (crown), plural Koruny (Kc). Czech Republic Koruny are not valid in Slovakia. Visa and Mastercard are accepted, but not everywhere.

Notes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000Kc. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 haléru (hellers) and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50Kc.

Language
Czech is the official language of the Czech Republic. Many people, especially students and those working in the tourist industry, speak a little English and German.

Climate
The Czech Republic enjoys a continental climate with cold winters, very warm summers and moderate rainfall. Springs and summers are the wettest seasons. It tends to be sunnier than in Western Europe.

Medial Care
Hospitals and chemists can be found in all major towns and cities. In the case of an emergency call 155 from anywhere in the country.

It is advised that you take out travel insurance before going. You can now purchase travel insurance on Hostelczeckrepublic.com. Click here for further details.

Time Zone
One hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Opening Hours
Usual business hours are 9am-6pm Monday to Friday. Banks can close at 3.30pm. Most shops open on Saturdays until 12pm. Restaurants and grocers tend to have longer opening hours than other businesses.

Tourist Offices
There are a number of tourist information services in which will give you a friendly welcome. German is most widely spoken but English is also common. Cedok is the former State owned tourist information service and is helpful for the budget traveller.

Specialising in youth travel, CKM (Cestovní Kancelar Mladeze) have offices around the country.

Tax
Value added tax is 5% on services and 22% on products/goods.

Currency Exchange
There are many exchange centres around the country but rates vary. Cheque-points usually charge a 10% commission. Like in most European countries, ATMs are scattered all over the country and can offer the best rates. They are also the most convenient way getting money overseas.

Electricity
220v/50Hz.

Telephones
The code for the Czech Republic is your international access code plus 420. Phone cards for public telephones cost 150Kc for 50 units. You can buy these at kiosks, post offices and some exchange counters. Use them in the blue card phones.

Post Office
Opening hours are usually between 8am-7pm. Postcards to Europe cost 6Kc while letters cost 8Kc. For America, postcards cost 7Kc and letters cost 10Kc.

Tipping
In restaurants do not leave a tip on the table as this is considered offensive. Instead, round up your bill to the nearest 10Kc and state the total amount (meal price plus tip) to the waiter as you pay. Same applies with taxi drivers.

Public Holidays
It is worth noting what the public holidays are in the Czech Republic before you go as banks and shops usually shut for the day. It is a good idea to check the particular area too as certain towns and cities also shut down during special events.

Public holidays in the Czech Republic take place on January 1st, Easter Monday, May 1st and 8th, July 5th and 6th, October 28th, November 17th and December 24th, 25th and 26th.

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