Practical Information

Things to know to be safe and sound.

  • Entry
  • Transport
  • Health - Insurance
  • Currency - Prices
  • Weather
  • Internet - Phones
  • Important numbers
  • Accomodation

Entry

Schengen Visa (up to 90 days)

The application can be filed three months before the trip. The maximum processing time is 15 days (longer processing time is possible but exceptional), the application should therefore not be filed less than 15 days before the trip. The application filed less than 15 days before the trip may not be processed in time. The decision on a Schengen (short-stay) visa is normally made within 7-15 days. Longer processing time is possible, but exceptional.

Requirements:

  • application form
  • travel document
  • photo
  • biometric features - fingerprints
  • fee
  • supporting documents proving
    • purpose of journey
    • accommodation
    • financial means
    • intention to leave the Czech Republic / Schengen Area before the visa expiry
  • travel health insurance

Long - Term Visa (over 90 days)

Applications for long-term residence permits for the purpose of study are submitted at the diplomatic missions of the Czech Republic according to the consular territorial competence.

Requirements:

  • application form

  • travel document

  • 2 photos

  • biometric features - fingerprints

  • fee

supporting documents proving

  • purpose of stay (for example school acceptance letter etc.)
  • accommodation (for example rent agreement etc.)
  • financial means (for example bank statement and international credit card etc.)

  • criminal record extract issued by the state of the applicant´s citizenship and by the state where the applicant resided in the last three years for more than six months

  • upon request a document proving fulfillment of measures against spread of infectious disease

  • travel health insurance - in case of visa issuance

Transport

Airport

The largest airport in the Czech Republic is the Václav Havel Airport in Prague, formerly called Ruzyně and renamed after the Czech president in 2012. Its official website is accessible under this link. The airport is situated on the outskirts of Prague, but theconnection with the centre is very good. The AE (Aeroport Express) bus line will take you to the Main Train Station in the centre in 30 minutes. The line has its own fare and the tickets are available directly from the driver. There is also a number of regular fare buses going from the airport to different metro stations, such as Nádráží Veleslavín or Zličín. More details are available here:  

Taxi

The average price per kilometre in a taxi is CZK 20 (EUR 0.75, USD 0.85, CNY 5). The final amount to be paid depends on the city, Prague usually being the most expensive. The price for the trip from downtown to the Prague airport ranges from CZK 500 (EUR 18,) to CZK 700 (EUR 25,). Unfair taxi drivers are everywhere, but their number in the Czech Republic is decreasing - to avoid the remaining ones, do not take a taxi directly in the street and rather call one by phone. Use only taxis that are clearly identified and ask about the price to your destination beforehand, if it is too high, do not get on.

Transport in Prague

In Prague you can use trams, buses, metro, ferries and even cable cars. Timetables, connections, fares and other important information on Prague transport can be found here:

Health - Insurance

First aid

In the case of sudden illness or injury while in the Czech Republic, a 24-hour medical service is available in emergency departments of hospitals.If due to illness or injury, you are unable to get to hospital yourself, call an ambulance on telephone number 112.

Medicaments

In the Czech Republic you can buy over-the-counter medications to relieve common illnesses (such as cold, flu, etc.) in pharmacies without a prescription. However, for other types of medicaments you will need one.Prescriptions are usually valid for 14 days, with some exceptions. If you get a prescription from the emergency services, it will be valid for only two days, and if you are prescribed antibiotics, you must pick them up within five days.

Insurance

Health insurance for foreigners from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

In order to be able to use medical care in the Czech Republic, you must have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In terms of treatment in medical facilities in the Czech Republic, this proves that you are insured and that medical care will be paid for by your insurance company.

However, the insured party of one EU member country is only entitled to essential medical care within the territory of another member country according to the nature of the illness and expected length of stay. On the basis of the card, the insurance company will not pay for anything above the framework of essential care and will not even settle the excess stipulated by the local laws.

Recommendation: Arrange additional commercial insurance which can cover these fees before you travel.

Health insurance for foreigners from countries outside the EU

If you do not have permanent residency within the EU, you must conclude a commercial insurance policy. If you do not have this, you will have to pay for all the health care services on the spot in cash.

Currency - Prices

Currency

The official currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech crown (Kč/ in English CZK). Coins: CZK 1, CZK 2, CZK 5, CZK 10, CZK 20 and CZK 50 Banknotes: CZK 100, CZK 200, CZK 500, CZK 1000, CZK 2000 and CZK 5000

CZK 1 = 100 halers, but you will be able to see these in the Czech Republic only on price labels. When you make payment you will not use halers or get them back in change. Prices are subject to rounding. For example: if the price is 299 crowns and 75 halers, you will pay 300 crowns. And if it is 159 crowns and 20 halers, you will pay 159 crowns.Many shops, restaurants as well as tourist centres accept Euros. But you should not be surprised that particularly in shops any change returned will be in Czech Crowns.

Exchange

  • In exchange offices. First make sure that you don't have to pay any needless fees. Unfortunately, the tempting sign "0% commission" often relates to the purchase of foreign currency and not its sale. In other places there might be a small print text at the bottom of the information board saying that fees are not paid for exchanges of 200 Euros and higher, for example. It is advisable to enquire in advance how many crowns you will get for your money and what fees you will have to pay. By operation of law exchange offices are bound to provide information in several world languages.
  • In banks. The fee charged for currency exchange ranges around 2 %. Some banks add the condition of the minimum fee (for example CZK 30). Banks in the Czech Republic are shut at weekends and on public holidays.
  • In hotels. You can exchange your money for crowns even in the hotel where you stay. However, they too may charge some fees.

Warning! Never exchange money on the street. Don't accept offers from people who are offering an excellent exchange rate outside of an exchange office, bank or different institution.

Cash machines

You can also withdraw Czech crowns from cash machines which can be found in sufficient numbers in Czech towns. However, it is advisable to ask your bank how much it will charge for cash machine withdrawals abroad.You can make payments with an internationally recognised card (Visa, MasterCard, Plus, Maestro, etc.) in most shops and restaurants rowns.

Prices

Prices of services differ greatly depending on where you are. Traditionally, the most expensive accommodation and restaurants are found in town centres. Nonetheless, even in the middle of Prague it is possible to get a good and cheap meal. The price of one set lunch, offered by most restaurants, ranges around 120 crowns (€5, $6). For this price you will usually get the main course and soup. Dinner for one, including a starter, drink, main course and dessert can amount to about 500 crowns (€18, $20) in an ordinary restaurant. Obviously, the price goes up depending on the location of restaurant and its standard.

Approximate prices of basic food in Czech shops:

Bottle of still water (0.5 l) - CZK 15
Bottled beer (0.5 l) - CZK 20
Wine (0.7 l) - CZK 100
Bread (0.5 kg) - CZK 25
Cheese (100 g) - CZK 30
Yogurt (150 g) - CZK 12
Ham (100 g) - CZK 30
Approximate prices of admission fees and other services:
Cinema ticket - CZK 180
Theatre ticket - CZK 300 or more
Concert ticket - CZK 500 or more
Admission to castles and chateaux- CZK 100 - CZK 350

Weather

Spring is usually cooler, the temperature from early March to late May ranges around 10°C on average. In these months the rainfall/snowfall in the Czech Republic averages about 161 mm. From March to May you can bask in approx. 479 hours of sunshine in the Czech Republic.

The average summer temperature is about 17°C. However, this also includes mountainous areas! In the towns the temperature in June, July and August may reach as high as 35°C.

The first of the autumn months is September, which is still relatively warm, so it is referred to as the "Indian summer". Nonetheless, the beginning of October brings more rain and the average daily temperature falls to 10°C. The leaves on trees change colour and fall off, a fact described in the Czech name of November, which is "Listopad" meaning "leaf-fall". In the late autumn the first ground frosts are possible.

Winter in the Czech Republic lasts roughly from December to February. Temperatures in towns may drop as low as -10°C, and in the mountains they plummet even further. Nevertheless, recent winters have been milder with temperatures slightly below zero - yet still cold enough to enjoy skiing in various places, such the Krkonoše Mountains, cross-country skiing for example in Šumava or just taking a romantic walk through snow-covered Prague.

Internet - Phones

WI-Fi

Wi-Fi Wireless connection to the Internet is available in many places of the Czech Republic. Normally it is offered by restaurants, cafés, bars, hotels or libraries and means of transport, such as certain trams, buses and trains. You can easily connect with your tablet, laptop or Smartphone.

Mobile connection

If you have prepaid internet with your provider, you can use it even in the Czech Republic. Big cities like Prague, Brno, Plzeň, Ostrava and other, are covered with high-speed networks.From the summer of 2017, the European Union regulation starts to apply, banning mobile operators from charging extra roaming fees for voice services, text messaging and data. As from 2017, all citizens of the European Union will be charged per minute of call, sent messages and internet connection in the EU countries at the same price as they would have paid in their home state.

Phones

The international dialling code of the Czech Republic is +420 (00420).Same as in other European countries, mobile phones operate on the frequencies of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. Although other states may use a different frequency, like 1900 MHz in the United States, newer phones work in any network.There are several mobile operators in the Czech market, like O2, Vodafone, T-Mobile or U:fon, offering postpaid packages as well prepaid cards for those who want to use their phone without a contract.Recommendation: If you're considering buying a prepaid sim card, make sure that your phone is not blocked by another operator.If you need to quickly find a phone number, taxi or other information and you do not have access to the Internet or time to search, just call 11 88, where they will find the requested information for you. The operators speak English, Russian, French and Slovak.Tip: Big companies and public authorities have toll free lines starting with 800.Czech Republic still has phone booths for those without a mobile phone. You only need coins coin or a prepaid card.

Electricity

The electrical network in the Czech Republic has a voltage of 230 V and frequency of 50 Hz. The sockets are the same as in France, Germany, Belgium or Poland. If you are using an appliance with a different ending, use.

Important Numbers

112 - Universal Emergency Number

This number works across the European Union (and consequently also in the Czech Republic), Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. On it you can reach the police, fire or medical service.

Most phones allow you to dial the number 112 even with a locked keyboard; however in older models you will probably need a SIM card to make the call.If possible, it is advisable to use the phone numbers bellow, as you will be connected directly with medical workers, fire fighters or police officers. When calling 112, the operator first has to find out details about your situation and after assessing it he/she will put you through to them. So dialling 155, 150, 158, or 156 is faster.

155 - Emergency Medical Service

In case of serious and unexpected injury or different acute health problems, call the number 155. The medical emergency operator is a qualified health care professional and will advise how to deal with the situation before specialized help arrives.To speed up things as best as possible, it is necessary to give the exact description of the placewhere you are.

How to easily remember the number. Imagine the last digit (five) of this number as a wheelchair, used by emergency medical services for transportation of infirm people.

150 - Fire Service

The number 150 is used for reporting fires, natural disasters, crashes and accidents. Simply, such situations requiring rescue and elimination activities, such as extinguishing fires, extrication, disposal of hazardous substances, etc.How to easily remember the number. Imagine the zero at the end of the three-digit number as a coiled fire hose.

158 - Police of the Czech Republic

Dial the number 158 if you have witnessed a crime, a serious traffic accident that needs to be investigated, or if it is necessary to ensure safety or in general to prevent disturbance of public order.

How to easily remember the number. You may have noticed that the digit eight at the end of this number resembles police handcuffs, so just remember that.

156 - Municipal Police

You can call the municipal police if you have witnessed a smaller offence which could be for example a disturbance (i.e. noise) in night-time hours (which apply from 10 o'clock at night to 6 o'clock in the morning, the violation of such can carry a fine of up to CZK 5,000 (€ 185, USD 205, CNY 1,355 RUB 13,590).

Foreign missions, consulates, embassies

In the event of serious problems, such as the loss of documents, you should contact your country's embassy. In the Czech Republic they are mostly located in Prague. For the list of these offices go to this link.

Accomodation

For summer months we reccommend you these dormitories:

Charles University in Prague - https://kam.cuni.cz/KAM-321.html

University of Chemistry and Technology - www.vscht-suz.cz/en/accommodation/about-halls-of-residence/

Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design - www.umprum.cz/web/en/dormitory

Academy of Performing Arts - www.amu.cz/en/amu-1/organization-structure/students2019-residence-halls

Czech Technical University - www.suz.cvut.cz

University of Economics in Prague -https://www.vse.cz/english/

Other possibilities:

info@studentrepublic.cz

https://www.apartmanstudent.cz

www.student-residence.cz

www.dcrezidence.cz

www.student-room-flat.com

www.kolej.cz

https://www.spolubydlici.cz

https://www.expats.cz