The Czech Republic is located in the centre of Europe with a population of approximately 10.4 million. It is an EU member state bordering Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. It is well served by an extensive rail, road and air network.
The Czech Republic is well known for its historical sites, cities and castles and it has witnessed a large boom in its tourism industry in the almost 20 years of independence since 1993 when it underwent the peaceful “Velvet Divorce” from Slovakia.
Most visits to the Czech Republic are safe, enjoyable and trouble-free but should it be the case that assistance may be required during your visit, the following numbers may be useful.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Czech Republic. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Travellers should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to emergency medical treatment in Czech Republic. This card is NOT a substitute for travel insurance. Cards are available free of charge from the HSE in Ireland. See www.ehic.ie for further details. The EHIC replaces the Form E111, which is no longer valid.
Safety and Security
Since September 2012, Czech Authorities have reported several incidents of deaths and hospitalisations resulting from the consumption of tainted spirits purchased in the Czech Republic. Although the government ban on the sale of spirits with 20% or more alcohol content has been lifted, extra caution should still be taken when consuming or purchasing spirits in the Czech Republic as recent instances of methanol poisoning have been reported. It is advisable that alcohol only be purchased from legitimate vendors and that extra care be taken to ensure that the seal around the cap or cork has not been broken.
The Czech Republic shares with the rest of Europe a threat from terrorism which could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets.
The Czech Republic has a relatively low crime rate but petty theft and pick-pocketing are problems, particularly in Prague. It is especially important therefore to be vigilant at the main tourist attractions, airports, railway stations and on public transport, particularly those routes to and from Prague Castle and other major tourist sites.
Vigilance should be exercised on retaining your belongings while at
restaurants, bars and nightclubs and it is advisable to use
cloakrooms if available.
Thefts of items from hotel rooms and hotel room safes have been reported.
The police in the Czech Republic do not have the right to check your money or its authenticity. If approached by an individual claiming to be a police officer, decline to show your money but offer instead to go with him or her to the nearest police station or call 158 or 112 to check their identity.
It is advised to avoid contact with women acting as street prostitutes as they are often pickpockets.
Never leave drinks or food unattended and it is highly unadvisable to accept drinks from strangers.
Theft of property should be reported in person to the Czech police in order to obtain a Police Report (‘Policejni zprava’) and Police Report Crime Number. There are two police stations where officers speak English and these are located at:
Malá Strana (very close to the Irish Embassy)
24-hour phone: +420 974 851 730
Jungmannovo náměstí 9,
Prague 1 (just off Wenceslas Square).
24-hour phone: +420 974 851 750
It is also possible to obtain a police report and a police report crime number once you are back in Ireland by sending a letter which can be written in English describing what happened, to the following address:
Policejni prezidium – podatelna,
For reasons of safety and economy, you are advised to use major
taxi companies, such as
AAA Tel: 14014 or 222 333 222
Profitaxi Tel: 14015
These companies are usually able to inform you in advance, of the type, number and colour of the car that will collect you. Beware of smaller or independent operators as they often over-charge foreigners.
Local Laws and Customs
Visitors and Czech nationals are required by law to carry ID in public at all times. Anyone failing to do so may be fined or brought to the nearest police station to have their identity verified. Tourists are obliged to carry their passport at all times for identification purposes. A driver’s licence will not suffice and a photocopy of the passport is not sufficient either. It may be advisable to email copies of your passport to yourself before departure or to take a number of photocopies of it along with you.The sale and distribution of drugs is illegal in the Czech Republic. Do not buy drugs on the street as such drugs are often quite hazardous counterfeits.
Drunken or offensive behaviour may result in detention and or fines.
Trams always have right of way even at pedestrian crossings. There are a number of accidents involving trams every year and it is important to take extra care if you are in the vicinity of tram tracks. Be sure to look both ways, especially at pedestrian crossings and bear in mind that trams cannot stop quickly, nor can they avoid you if you are on the track.
The Czech Police fine individuals caught attempting to cross a road or tram tracks within 50 metres of a pedestrian crossing. Fines are also levied against those who cross at a pedestrian crossing when the green pedestrian crossing light is not illuminated. Extra care should be taken at pedestrian crossings as motorists in the Czech Republic do not always stop despite being obliged to do so by the law.
Public transport tickets must be purchased before travelling and validated at the start of the journey at the yellow machines which are located at the top of the escalators/stairs in metro stations or on the trams and buses. On-the-spot fines are imposed for failure to produce a valid ticket. If you cannot pay the fine, ticket inspectors will often call the police and you may be arrested.
Natural Disasters and Climate
The Czech Republic is in a moderate climatic zone, enjoying four distinct seasons. The winter can be very long and cold with average daily temperature in January, the coldest of winter months, typically in the region of -2°C. Winter temperatures can be substantially colder and the Czech Republic is usually well prepared for even the harshest of winter conditions.
In summer the average temperature is typically around 20°C but it has been known to rise on rare occasions to over 40°C.
There is occasional seasonal flooding, particularly in the Spring, in areas prone to flooding in the Czech Republic. Up to date information on flood warnings can be found on the Czech Ministry of Agriculture website.
Additional Country Info
Never exchange money with vendors on the street as this money is often counterfeit. Money can be withdrawn from ATMs or exchanged at a bank or currency exchange office. When using a currency exchange office, always check the rate offered and agree on the amount to be received in return for money to be given, before undertaking the actual exchange. If dissatisfied with the service or rate provided at a particular exchange office, a Complaint Report ‘reklamacni protokol’ on the matter can be filed with the local police.
Rules of the road & road safety
The number of road accidents and fatalities in the Czech Republic
is relatively high compared to other EU states.
If planning to drive in the Czech Republic, please consult the local motoring hotline, available in Czech and English on 1230 or +420 1230.
When driving on Czech motorways, vehicles are obliged to display a valid vignette (dalnicni znamka) which can be purchased at most petrol stations at a cost of CZK 1,500 for 12 months, CZK 440 for one month or CZK 310 for 10 days.
There is a zero-tolerance drink or drug-driving policy in the Czech Republic.
Emergency medical assistance may be called on the following numbers: 155 for an ambulance only or 112 as the general number for all emergencies (ambulance, police, and fire brigade).
English speaking doctors can be found at:
Policlinic Národní 9,
Tel: 222 075 120, 222 075 119 - Dr. Šašek or Dr. Beneš
at the Motol Hospital which has a Department for Foreigners
Tel: 224 433 681 or 224 431 111 switchboard.
DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR MISSIONS IN CZECH REPUBLIC
If you intend to stay in the Czech Republic for an extended period of time, you are encouraged to register your presence with the Irish Embassy in Prague. Contact details are available here. (Opens in new window)Top