- General Info
- Health Risks
- Insect Threats
- Water Quality
- Security Concerns
- Weather Notes
- Electrical Standards
- Visa Info
- Time Zone
Relatively untouched by WWII, Prague is a walker's paradise of medieval architecture, cobblestones, a magnificent 9th century castle, and lots of great bars and beers. To the west, sample the famous therapeutic waters of the lovely Karlovy Vary, and on the southern border take a look back in time in the medieval, UNESCO-protected town of Cesky Krumlov. For natural beauty, visit the forests, streams and gloriously colored limestone caves of Moravian Karst. Note: The Czech Republic depends heavily on coal for heating, so the air in urban areas can get fairly smoggy in the cooler months.
Language: Czech.Major International Airport:
|Prague||Prague Ruzyne Int'l||PRG||11 miles W|
Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers' diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout Eastern Europe and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites. All travelers to malaria-risk areas in Eastern Europe, including infants, children, and former residents of Eastern Europe, are at risk for malaria.
An outbreak of diphtheria is occurring in all the states of the former Soviet Union. Travelers to these areas should be sure that their diphtheria immunization is up to date.
Tickborne encephalitis, a viral infection of the central nervous system occurs chiefly in Central and Western Europe. Travelers are at risk who visit or work in forested areas during the summer months and who consume unpasteurized dairy products. Vaccine for this disease is not available in the United States at this time. To prevent tickborne encephalitis, as well as Lyme disease, travelers should take precautions to prevent tick bites.
Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid nighttime travel if possible and always use seat belts.
The CDC recommends the following vaccines as appropriate for age (See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect):
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
- Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months, or be exposed through medical treatment.
- Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries in this region.
- As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles, and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.
- Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for 11- to 12-year-olds who did not receive the series as infants.
All travelers should take the following precautions, no matter the destination:
- Wash hands often with soap and water. Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid travel at night if possible and always use seat belts.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Don't eat or drink dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
- Don't share needles with anyone.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it. Never eat undercooked ground beef and poultry, raw eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products. Raw shellfish is particularly dangerous to persons who have liver disease or compromised immune systems.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ticks are the primary source of insect-borne disease in the Czech Republic, often carrying Lyme disease and encephalitis. Travelers should use topical insect repellent and wear insecticide-treated clothing in wooded areas.
The municipal water supply in urban areas of the Czech Republic is considered safe. Elsewhere the water contains unhealthful levels of protozoa and should be treated before drinking.
Civil disorder is rare in the Czech Republic, although strikes and demonstrations may occur. U.S. citizens should be vigilant in protecting their security, bearing in mind that even demonstrations meant to be peaceful may turn violent. Americans are advised to avoid street demonstrations.
For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.
Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas. For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html.
CRIME: The Czech Republic generally has a low rate of crime. However, street crime -- particularly pick-pocketing and occasional mugging -- is a problem, especially in major tourist areas in Prague and on public transportation. Incidents of violent crime, while still relatively infrequent, are becoming more common in Prague. Travelers should be very careful while riding the trains, trams, or metro, where most crime occurs. Keep a copy of your passport in a safe place separate from the passport itself; this copy can help you to apply for a new passport if yours is lost or stolen. Visitors should be alert to the potential for substantial overcharging by taxis, particularly in areas frequented by tourists. Radio-dispatched taxis are often much more reliable. It is also advisable to set the price in advance.
INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME:The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In Prague this report should be made at the police station in the district where the theft occurred. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds may be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.
Source: U.S. Department of State
The Czech climate, while primarily temperate, is noted for fluctuation following the topography - in most cases, the higher you go, the cooler the temperatures. Summers are cool to warm, and winters are cold, cloudy and foggy. Humidity and precipitation (rain in the summer, snow in the winter) can be expected year round.
Czech Republic's electrical current is 220/50 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.
To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.
For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.
A valid passport is required. Visas are not required for U.S. citizens for tourist, short study or business visits of up to 90 days. Visas are required for longer stays and for any gainful activity. See our Foreign Entry Requirements brochure for more information on the Czech Republic and other countries. Visit the Embassy of the Czech Republic web site at http://www.mzv.cz/washington for the most current visa information.
The time zone for Czech Republic is 1 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Czech Republic would be 6:00 pm
The unit of currency in Czech Republic is the Czech koruna (CZK).
Look up the current exchange rate using XE.com's Universal Currency Converter
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