Czech Country Profile

Business & Tourist Travel Information

population religion history economy road travel  other information

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Czech Country Profile

Czech Population The capital of the Czech Republic is Prague and the national population is 10.3m. 81% of the population are Czech, 13% are Moravian, 3% are Slovak with German and Roma being the biggest proportion of the remainder.

Czech Religion 40% of the population do not follow any faith, 39% are Catholic, 5% are Protestant, 3% are Orthodox and the remainder follow a variety of faiths.

Czech Language The national language is Czech – some German is spoken in places – English is not widely spoken

Czech Currency The official unit of currency is the Crown (Koruna). Visitors from Scotland and Northern Ireland should note that bank notes from these areas are not accepted by exchange bureaus or banks. Traveller cheques are not a problem. Exchange rates can vary by up to 15%. Some rates quoted do not include commission charges others are inclusive. In Prague the best rates are often found between the bottom of Square Wenceslas and the top of Narodni trida before the Cafe Louvre. Do not exchange currency with street vendors as they will give you counterfeit money.

Czech Currency Regulations Visitors entering or leaving Czech Republic with cash in any currency which exceeds 10,000€, must declare it to customs

Czech Economy – Business The Czech economy has currently has annual growth rate of 4.3% with inflation at 2.6%. These difference between these figures has narrowed in the past couple of years – at one stage inflation was estimated to be 0.1% and the annual growth rate was 2.9%. The major industries are machinery & equipment, metallurgy, motor vehicles, armaments and glass. The Czech Republics major trading partner is the European Union in particular Germany, Slovakia, Austria, France and the United Kingdom.

Recent Czech History

At the end of WW1 The Czechoslovak Republic was established. Part of the republic’s territory (The Sudeten Lands) was given to Nazis Germany in 1938 who occupied the country shortly afterwards. At the end of WW2 it was occupied by the Soviet Army who installed a pro – Soviet government. In January 1968 a new liberal leader Alexander Dubcek was elected Prime Minister. He and the President, Ludvik Svoboda implemented reforms to the constitution of the country which became known as ‘The Prague Spring’.

These reforms were not approved of in Moscow who along with armies from other Warsaw Pact countries invaded the country in August that year, deposed Dubeck and Svoboda and installed a pro-soviet administration who annulled earlier reforms. See also Jan Palach

The communists remained in control for two decades until the changing political climate in Moscow in 1989 enabled a new democratic government to be installed. On November 24th Czechoslovakia declared its independence in what is known as ‘The Velvet Revolution’. Fundamental differences between the Czechs and the Slovaks which came to a head in the following three years resulted in the nation experiencing a peaceful ‘velvet Divorce’ with each party establishing its own republic. The subsequent Czech government successfully negotiated terms for the country’s accession to the European Union and it joined the EU on May 1st 2004.

Laws For Pedestrians In The Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic it is an offence to cross the road or tram rails within 50 metres of a designated crossing point normally identified traffic lights or a ‘zebra’ style crossing.   You can also be fined for crossing at a pedestrian crossing when the green crossing light is not illuminated.

Travelling In The Czech Republic

Seasonal Flooding In Prague: Many parts of the Czech Republic, including central Prague, are susceptible to flooding, sometimes serious especially in the spring. The Czech Government have set up a website with updated information on the flooding risk. It operates on a ‘traffic light system which is applied to the areas around the country’s rivers. Go to

Coach Travel In The Czech Republic

Coach Travel in the Czech Republic is fairly extensive and very cheap. Services are reliable and fairly frequent particularly between tourist destinations. The downside here is that some of the coaches on these services are very basic. Intercity coach services with in the Czech Republic and to international European destinations are far more comfortable. For details on these services and UK & International Coach services to and from & in Czech Rep please to to our coach index.

Rail Travel In The Czech Republic

Rail Travel in the Czech Republic is extensive though not particularly fast. These services are however cheap. Cities like Prague have good international services to Germany Hungary and other international destinations. For information on European rail services to and from Czech Republic please go to our rail index.

Czech Road Travel

If you are planning to drive to the Czech Republic, you may like to consult a local motoring hot line, available in Czech and English on (tel: 00 420 1230). You should check arrangements for driving on motorways in the Czech Republic. A user tax vignette must normally be purchased for motorway driving. These can be purchased from most Post Offices, petrol stations and from some bureaux de change and other outlets at the border. Failure to display a valid vignette can result in a fine.

To drive on Czech motorways you have to pay a motorway toll. This can be purchased at some bureau de change, most post offices and petrol stations. Failure to display the vignette in your windscreen can result in an on the spot fine.

Though the Czech Republic is in the EU Schengen Zone and there are no official border controls the Czech  Police closely monitor motorists who cross the border from neighbouring countries. They frequently stop motorists who don’t have their headlights on. When deriving in the Czech republic it is advisable to have your passport or ID with you.   If you are in a hire or rental car you should have a copy of the agreement were given when you took the car over..

The speed limit in cities towns and other built up areas  is 50 km/h or 31 mph. On autobahns motorways and highways the limit is 130 km/h  or 75 mph

The Czech police have a policy of zero-tolerance with drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Under Czech law all private cars, including those of foreign visitors, must carry the following items: 1 x Fluorescent Green High Visibility Safety Jacket + 1 x First Aid Kit + 1 x Spare pair of prescription glasses (if necessary) – kept in the glove compartment + 1 x Warning triangle +1 x Complete set of spare bulbs.

A very good source of information for drivers in the Czech Republic is this site.

Czech Tourism

Over the last twenty years Tourism to the Czech Republic has developed into a very significant industry. Post the fall of the Berlin Wall, apart from Berlin, Prague probably has the greatest claim credit for the current interest in Eastern Europe from a tourist perspective.

It has a very well developed tourist industry which caters from people from all age groups. Close to Prague places like Karlsbad also have many attractions to offer. Prague is served by several low cost airlines from all over Europe. and numerous airlines worldwide. Airport & Airline Infotmation  

Czech Emergency Medical Treatment: Average standard of health care free emergency medical treatment agreement for UK nationals. More Details

 

Other Czech Travel Information Links

Czech Consulate Information
 National Tourist Board  / Prague Information Service

 

 

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