Basic Facts About the Czech RepublicLocation: The country is landlocked in East Central Europe and borders Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria. View a map of the Czech Republic
Capital: Prague (Praha) - population = 1,251,072. Where is Prague?
Currency: Czech koruna (CZK) View photos of and read more about Czech currency
Time Zone: Central European Time (CET) and CEST during summer.
Calling Code: 420
Internet TLD: .cz
Language and Alphabet: Czechs have their own Czech language, which uses the Latin alphabet with a few extra letters. The locals usually also know a little German, English, or Russian. In Prague, especially in the tourist areas, English is widely understood. This is due in part to the number of American ex-pats living in the city as well as Prague's growing popularity with English-speaking visitors.
Religion: Most Czechs identify with no formal religion and consider themselves atheist or agnostic (59%). Many say they believe in a spiritual force of some kind, though only 26% identify with the Roman Catholic faith. Other religions make up only a small percent of the population.
Czech Republic's Top Attractions
- Old Town Prague: Prague's old town area is one of the most popular tourist destination in East Central Europe. With its pedestrian-friendly layout, abundance of shops and restaurants, historic architecture, its both romantic and exciting. It's also a Czech cultural hub, which means you'll often find performances and seasonal markets on the square. Take a photo tour of Old Town Prague
- Cesky Krumlov: Cesky Krumlov is a grand medieval town that sprawls in the shadow of a rambling castle. Tucked into two bends in a river, Cesky Krumlov was once a secret, but it becomes more popular every year – it's even made respected lists of must-see destinations and the UNESCO World Heritage list.
- Karlovy Vary: Karlovy Vary is famous for its healing waters, and visitors from far and wide go there to enjoy its spas. Bus or train will take you to Karlovy Vary from Prague in just a few hours.
Czech Republic Travel FactsVisa Information: US citizens as well as citizens from countries belonging to the EU or EEA can enter Czech Republic with a passport but require a visa for visits over 3 months. Singapore citizens may visit up to 30 days without a visa.
Airport: Czech Republic's main Airport is Ruzyne International Airport (PRG), 6 miles west of Prague's city center. A 40-minute bus ride takes travelers between the two. From the airport, take the 119 bus to Dejvická metro station, and transfer to either the 100 or 179 bus. There is also a nonstop express line - the AE (Airport Express) from the airport to the train station that leaves every 30 minutes and runs from 5 am to 10 pm.
Train Station: Hlavni Nadrazi, a major international train hub, is located in New Town Prague, right next to the National Museum and Wenceslas Square. Night trains can take travelers between Prague and Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Poland, Slovakia, The Netherlands, Serbia, and Croatia (only in summer). Hlavni Nadraz also connects to the other major cities within the Czech Republic.
Czech Culture and History
Until 1993, the Czech Republic was in a marriage with its ethnically similar neighbor, Slovakia, as Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia was formed at the end of WWII; prior to that period the area was ruled by the Hapsburgs, but the Czech Republic's origins date back to the 9th century, when it was known as Bohemia. Bohemia is now the name of a region in the Czech Republic, though the memory of the Bohemian kingdom lives on in many important Czech landmarks, such as Karlstein Castle, and in stories that tell of the kings who developed Prague and the region in the Middle Ages.
Czech culture can be seen, felt, and enjoyed throughout the Czech Republic as celebrations and festivals mark seasons and holidays. Christmas in the Czech Republic is a month-long celebration of winter, but Czech Easter puts on a similarly colorful show. Folk festivals like Masopust (Carnival), the Drowning of Morena, and the Prague Folklore Days also offer good examples of Czech traditions and customs.