Are you planning to travel to the Czech Republic? Have you got a job here or have been selected to a Czech university? Are you confused about what to take with you or I should say what are the necessary items to pack? Don’t worry, I am a traveller myself so I know how difficult it is to load your life into one (not so large) suitcase. Here are my tips and hacks which may make the start of your new journey easier.
The currency of the Czech Republic is not the euro as in many other European countries. It is a Czech koruna, the abbreviation is CZK or Kč (in Czech). 1 euro is currently (February 2020) 25 Czech crowns but I recommend to check the latest currency rates when you plan to travel. The coins are available in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 denominations, while the notes are in 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000. You should always know the currency of a country where you are travelling. Nowadays, in lots of countries, the currency scams occur and the Czech Republic is, unfortunately, one of them. Try to get a currency exchange from your country. If not, then you can always exchange euros into Czech koruna after your arrival.
Why always carry cash with you?
In some exchange offices, they claim “0 percent commission” but charge an exorbitant “exchange fee” when you exchange with them. Make sure you not only ask for the exchange rate but the final amount that you will get for your money. Check the buy and sell price carefully. Most importantly, never exchange money with someone on the street who claims that they are exchange offices or have currency. They try to bluff the tourist by promising good exchange rates and giving you old currency which is not accepted in the country anywhere. For better, you can always check the images of currency on countries National Bank websites – coins/banknotes. And if you are travelling in Prague, then you can check this video with its description box to know which exchange office is good in the city. Moreover, here are some tips on how to save money while travelling.
Best time to visit the country
If you are just coming for holiday/travel then the best time is from the end of May to the start of October. But you can visit during wintertime and experience snow. In the autumn season, the city is less crowded, which also means lower prices on hotels. Spring and autumn are the best months to visit since the country is very colourful, the weather is not too cold and the cities are not extremely crowded.
Public transportation system
The transportation system in the Czech Republic is popular for its reliability. It differs in every city/region. You can check the public transport of the two largest Czech cities in these articles:
As for taxis, in Prague, you can use Uber, Bolt, Liftago. These app-based taxi services in the Czech capital are super comfortable and prices are also fine (average price starts from 150 CZK). Although in Brno there is no Uber, there are other taxi services which you can use, you can just call City Taxi Brno 14004 and there are other ones, too.
Learn basic Czech phrases
It is useful to learn or have basic knowledge of the local language. As most of the Czech people talk in Czech, mostly in small cities. It is better to learn some common phrases:
- Yes – Ano [ano]
- No – Ne [ne]
- Please – Prosím [prosi:m]
- Thank you – Děkuji
- Excuse me – Promiň / Promiňte (plural or formal way to say to someone who you don’t know) [prosi:m]
- Hello – Dobrý den [dobri: den]
- How much – Kolik? If you are in the shop then the polite way is the whole sentence “Kolik to stojí, prosím?” (How much does it cost, please?) [kolik to stoyi:]
- One beer/wine please = Jedno pivo/víno, prosím. [yedno pivo/vi:no]
- Sorry – Promiňte
And if you are looking for places where to learn Czech you can check here.
If you are planning to buy a SIM, you can select from mobile operators Vodafone, O2 or T-Mobile. Mobile internet is not that cheap in the Czech Republic. If you are coming from any European Union country, you shouldn’t have any problem with the Internet – just ask your mobile operator for a roaming pack and you are good to go. Although, I do suggest buying a Czech SIM if you are planning to stay for a long period, as sometimes connection on foreigns SIMs can act out.
Watch Honest Guide
Janek Rubeš, a Prague based journalist, runs a Youtube channel called Honest Guide. The videos in English concern matters of public interest in Prague and other cities. They are practical and fun!
Last but not least, check FOREIGNERS ULTIMATE PACKING LIST which will help you a lot.
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