101 Guide – Basic info about Prague

If you are an independent traveler, it is always good to know at least some basic info about the place you are going to visit. Therefore, we have come up with a list of basic info about Prague. It is a must-read before your arrival to Prague in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. In the list we mentioned some basic facts for all the travelers who are planning to explore Prague on their own for the 1st time.

Prague… is it the Capital of Czechoslovakia?

Czech Republic with its Capital city Prague has been declared as sovereign state on the 1st of January 1993, when it separated from Slovakia. Its neighbor countries are Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. Czech Republic is considered to be the “heart” of European Union.

Do I need visa in order to enter Czech Republic?

All the EU citizens can travel to Czech Republic with passport or ID, which is going to be valid throughout their whole stay.  In general visas are not required for stay in Czech Republic up to 90 days.
For more information regarding your stay visit the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic.

What time zone is Prague and Czech Republic in?

Czech Republic uses the Central European Time (CET). To calculate the precise time shift between your home country you may use the time converter. Also note that Czech Republic is using Daylight Saving Time in summer (clock shifted one hour ahead) and winter (clock shifted one hour backwards).

Please note: In Czech Republic people use the time reference of a day in the interval of 24 hours, instead of AM and PM.

Is Prague safe?

Prague is thanks to its atmosphere a pleasant and safe city, with low criminality. On the city safe index, Prague was ranked as the 12th safest city out of 113 cities rated. Therefore, in all of the areas you may walk stress-free even after dark. However, be careful in the crowded touristy places, which are easy place to hide for pickpockets.

To tip or not to tip?

Tip is usually not included in the price and it is recommended to leave at least 10% of the total price of the bill. If you pay with a higher note, tell the waiter the final price you are willing to pay. For example, the price is 360Kč and you want to leave a 20Kč tip, say 380Kč. If you are not satisfied with the service you are not obliged to leave any tip at all.

Do I need cash or can I pay by credit card?

Especially in city center, majority of places accept credit card but we recommend you to always carry some “pocket money” around. Little cafés and restaurants, večerka (24/7 shops) and small shops accept cash only.

Can I drink tap water? 

Yes! The tap water in Czech Republic is absolutely safe to drink, unless there is a warning sign nearby the water source. It should be also OK to ask for a pitcher or glass of tap water in a restaurant. Usually you should not be charged for it.

Is beer really cheaper than water?

Yes, beer on tap is in majority of cases cheaper than any bottled water offered in the restaurants and cafés in the whole Czech Republic. The prices for a small glass of beer 0,3l is from 15CZK, for 0,5l from 30CZK and for 1l from 70CZK.  You find various kinds of bottled beer (0,5l) in grocery stores from 7CZK.

Am I allowed to drink in the public places?

No! Unless it is a outside seating area that belongs to a restaurant or a open-space market where the food together with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are sold. Drinking alcohol in public areas of the city, which was bought in a supermarket, can result in fine.

How is the weather like?

Expect a typical continental weather with 4 seasons, here in Prague. Therefore, check the weather forecast carefully before planning a trip. The summers here are usually hot and dry with occasional rainfalls, winters tend to be milder, with little snow and higher humidity.

Hope this humble list has helped you to prepare and fine-tune your stay in Prague.
Feel free to share your own experiences with us in the comments below. Stay safe! 😉