The Czech Republic is a country of fairy tale intrigue. It’s also a country that is super up and coming in the economic sector and because of that it’s no longer a bargain destination. Never the less, this place is booming with tourists! From the beer brewing towns of Moravia, to the beer powerhouses in Bohemia, to the beer making and consuming center of it all, Prague, the Czechs have something to be proud of. Besides, this country has the greatest boast of them all: this is where modern beer originated. This is the country of the real Budweiser, Budějovický Budvar. This is the country where the most beer is consumed!

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Overlooking Prague

Don’t be mistaken! there is plenty more to this incredible country than just some tasty bubbles. The Czechs Republic, although a new country (since the split with Slovakia at the end of the Cold War) has a culture that’s rich and true. The infrastructure is also well-built which makes visiting easy and straight forward. The one thing that isn’t? Prices. With such dramatic changes to the country’s currency and the fact that it’s hard to pin down for many tourists. With that said, especially in tourists centers, like Prague Castle and the old town you should be aware of price gouging as, although it’s uncommon, it certainly exists.

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St. Nicholas’ Church

One thing is for sure on your trip to the Czech Republic. You’re going to have fun. The Czechs are fun-loving people and with the taste of excitement around every corner, be ready for the unexpected. The culture here is so rich that if you just stick to the tourist attractions, you’re not going to take in what you were looking for. A storybook ending.


ESSENTIAL INFORMATION
  • The Czechs are on the Koruna. The pricing can get a little confusing for those of us on the US dollar, Euro or Pound because the values are a bit different, I’d advice to use a currency calculator on your phone, until you get the hang of it.
  • English is hit or miss, but in Prague and around the tourist centers, you’ll rarely have an issue. That said, please try to learn the basics in Czech, at least enough to be polite. Once you move to the countryside, don’t expect to find many people who speak English. When I was traveling through Ostrava, I ended up in a desperate need to find my train platform as the main rail board wasn’t working properly. Luckily for me, I ran into someone who spoke some German (in which I’m conversational) and we found enough common ground to figure it out together.
  • The Czech republic is in Central Europe, not Eastern Europe and some locals are sensitive to this. Likewise, do not refer to the country as having been part of the Soviet Union as this is both offensive and not true. It was however under the Soviet sphere of influence and therefore is a touchy subject for locals.
  • In general, the Czech Republic is safe and you don’t need to do anything outside of the normal precautions for pick-pocketing. Be aware of taxi schemes and never share a cab with someone who you don’t know. I’d advise Uber if you’re worried about negotiating public transit in Prague, especially late at night.
  • Tipping is pretty standard in the Czech Republic and a ten percent tip is pretty standard.
  • A lot of people come to the Czech Republic to party. Especially those of us from English-speaking countries. Although the Czechs are fun-loving people, this does not mean that you should use their home as your playground. Please, please, please be respectful. Prague has some of the best clubs and pubs in Europe, yet we don’t want to ruin such a great city. Oh and drinking in public is legal in general, however walking around in areas such as the Prague old town, might get you asked to put away the booze.

COSTS / MONEY SAVING

  • The Czech Republic is not near the uber cheap destination as it once was. However, you’re still going to find plenty of deals, especially on food and drink.
  • Shopping at the local grocery stores is by far the easiest and cheapest way to score deals. You can still find a coffee, yogurt, apple and pastry breakfast for roughly $2 USD. Even the trains stations have decent deals as many of the locals commute through.
  • Price gouging is not uncommon in the tourist hot spots. I once accidentally paid $8.00 USD for a bottle of water at Prague Castle. And this was from official people who worked there! Don’t get suckered in, just because you’ve got a cold (like I did) when you can pay $.30 at your local store. Also craving fruit, I stopped at a small little mom/pop convenience store just outside the old town. When I realized what I paid for a little fresh fruit, I half wanted to walk back across town just to tell them I knew what they did.
  • Lodging in the Czech Republic is no longer that great of a deal. Just make sure that you’re in the city center or close to a metro line to make your life more convenient. Your time saved will be money saved, plus you’ll see a great deal more.
  • Beer is the greatest value in the Czech Republic. It’s some of the best, and the prices come at THE BEST. Please enjoy responsibly, especially if you enjoy a lot.