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Czech Republic Travel Information

The Basics

Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs with a hole for a male grounding pin are standard. Most sockets also take the standard European two-pin plugs.

Language

Czech is the official language but English and German are also widely spoken.

Travel Health

There are no vaccination requirements for international travellers, and no major health risks are associated with travel to the Czech Republic. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A and hepatitis B if travellers have not been previosly vaccinated. Visitors to forested areas should seek medical advice about immunisation against tick borne encephalitis.

A reciprocal health agreement with the UK entitles citizens with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to free emergency health care. However, medical insurance is still advised.

Tipping

Tipping in restaurants is optional and no service charge is added to bills. Gratuities of 10% are expected if the service is good. Taxi drivers are tipped by rounding up the fare at the end of the journey.

Safety Information

The majority of visits to the Czech Republic are trouble-free, although the country has a risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which it shares with the rest of the world. Petty theft is on the increase, especially in Prague, and visitors should be vigilant about their belongings particularly on public transport and around the main tourist sites. Violent crime is rare.

Local Customs

Drunken behaviour and drinking in public is punishable by law.

Business

Punctuality is vital in the Czech business world and dress should be smart and conservative. Initial greetings are usually formal, with a firm handshake. Titles and surnames are used, unless otherwise indicated. There is generally some small talk to establish rapport at the beginning of meetings; be polite and courteous. German is the most common foreign language used in the Czech Republic but English is widely spoken by younger generations. Translators are available and any attempts at speaking Czech will be appreciated. Deals can take a long time to manifest due to significant bureaucratic red tape and it is important to be patient. Business hours are usually 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and some businesses close during the month August.

Communications

The international access code for the Czech Republic is +420. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). Area codes are not required, and the first two digits of the number indicate geographical location. There are high surcharges on international calls from hotels; it is cheaper to use the public telephone boxes - phone cards can be bought from newsagents. The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with all major international operators, except those in the USA. Internet cafes are available in the main towns.

Duty Free

Travellers to the Czech Republic over 17 years and entering from the EU do not have to pay customs duty on 800 cigarettes, or 400 cigarillos, or 200 cigars, or 1kg tobacco; 10 litres of spirits with alcohol content over 22%, or 20 litres of alcoholic beverages with alcohol volume less than 22%, or 90 litres of wine or 60 litres of sparkling wine, or 110 litres of beer. Travellers arriving from non-EU countries do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco, or a proportional assortment of these; 1 litre spirits or 2 litres wine; 50g perfume or 250ml eau de toilette; and food, fruits, medications and flowers for personal use. Other goods to the value of €175 per adult and €90 per child under 15 years are allowed.

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