Planning a Trip to the Czech Republic

    Prague Czech Republic

Prague Czech Republic

Preparation Tips for Visiting Prague

When you visit the Czech Republic you feel the enchantment of the land, gazing at the ancient castles and cathedrals. Here are some preparation tips for you. Located in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic is a popular tourist destination, with about 6 million tourists visiting the land in 2010. The country is filled with enchanting castles, cathedrals and offers various operas, plays and other activities which present their rich culture and traditions. However, tourists should first know what to expect before leaving home.

Travel Requirements for Visiting the Czech Republic.

American travelers need only a passport if planning to visit for less than 90 days. For longer trips a Visa is needed. Also, for visits extending 30 days, visitors need to register with the local Foreigners Police Authority.

Currency and Tipping in the Czech Republic:

The Czech Republic is included in the European Unions. However the Czech crown( Koruna) CZK is the official currency. Although some restaurants, stores and hotels will accept euro payments, the rate of exchange may not be good. It’s helpful to use a currency converter before making a purchase, so you have a reasonable idea of what an item or service is worth. Foreign visitors are expected to tip at least 10% mainly in Prague and the tourist areas. This is not true when it comes to countryside, where tourists are not expected to do anything more than locals. Locals do not leave substantial tips in pubs or in restaurants but this is changing in recent years where people leave a good tips in fancy restaurants. Czech waiters are at times not friendly, rarely smile at you. They do not ask you weather you enjoyed your meal or not. If you do tip, try to tip them with cash rather than credit card based tips. it is considered undesirable because for the most part the tip goes to the house rather than sharing among the waiters. As of April 2011 the exchange rates are approximately 25 Czech Crowns to the Euro, or 19 Crowns to the USD.

Beware
as of 2006, some restaurants start to put service not included to trick the tourists. but by Czech law, the service has to be included. The tips are not always included compare to France where 15%  is added to the bill.

Czech Republic Weather:

Lying in the temperate climate zone, the Czech Republic has cool summers and cold, cloudy as well as humid winters. That’s why the ideal seasons to visit are in late spring and early fall. The driest weather is usually from mid-July through mid-August.  temperate climate that can deal with highs of up to 85 F in the summer and lows of 40F in the winter. Temperatures can be especially cold in some of the higher elevation areas of the country including the Jizera Mountains. This is a helpful information if you are preparing for a trip to the area.

Safety in the Czech Republic:

Pickpocketing – As in any large city, there’s the caution to be alert for area pickpocketing, especially in crowded public areas. To avoid becoming a victim, wear your backpack in front of you and stay in a group of people to ward off any pickpockets.

Break-ins and auto thefts – Unfortunately, break-ins and auto thefts occur often in the Czech Republic, mostly in major areas. Visitors are urged to park in garages and anti-theft devices, as well as never leave valuables in vehicles. Even when on tours, most tour guides make tourists take their belonging with them even if they stop for a short time period to view scenery.

International Threats – The Czech Republic is relatively a safe country, free of terrorist incidents, although its open borders with neighboring countries may present openings for terrorist activities. As in visiting any foreign country, American tourists should frequently check with the Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website to monitor travel warnings and alerts. Call 1-888-407-4747 for current data on security.

Transportation System in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s public transportation system is one of the best in Europe. Metros, trams and buses are used by most of Prague’s population, making it easy to get across the city quickly. There are also buses and trams you can easily catch at subway stations.

Czech Republic Road Usage Tax Sticker:

If you’re driving into the Czech Republic you’ll need to secure a road usage tax sticker for your vehicle if you plan to drive on a major highway. Although there are signs warning tourists of this requirement near the border, they’re easy to miss. You can get stickers at gasoline stations. If caught without a sticker you’ll be required to pay a fine.

Electricity in Czech Republic:

When bringing along electrical equipment such as computer, hairdryers or other items you plan to use in your Czech hotel, be sure bring an adapter. The electricity AC is 230 volts in the Czech Republic.

Top rated places to visit while you are in Czech Republic:

1. Prague Zoo
2. Prague Extravaganza free tour
3. Lobkowicz palace
4. St. Vitus cathedral

Finally, study the various Czech Republic web sites and decide what cultural sites you want to visit. While a tour in another area, such as the Holy Lands, is more structured, visiting the Czech Republic allows more free time for tourists.

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