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
Czech is the official language but English and German are
also widely spoken.
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 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.
Drunken behaviour and drinking in public is punishable by
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.
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.
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 EUR175
per adult and EUR90 per child under 15 years are allowed.