Travel tips

Czech Republic: a travel money guide

By Zuzana Hajska | Marketing Officer at ICE

Czech Republic is the hidden gem of Central Europe and there is so much more to explore than just beautiful Prague. Discover a country full of medieval castles, untouched nature and history around every corner, with ridiculously cheap and delicious food and drinks.

Hluboka Castle

The basics

Currency: Czech Koruna

Language: Czech (Most people living in bigger cities like Prague and Brno speak fluent English)

Capital: Prague (Praha)

Population: 10.6 million

Cash and Currency Exchange in Czech Republic

At the time of writing, 1 Pound Sterling (GBP) will get you 29.91 Czech Koruna (CZK)

Cash or card? Generally speaking, ATMs are easy to find in bigger cities, and most restaurants and bigger shops will accept credit cards. Despite this, it's always wise to carry cash with you (even if it's only a few hundred Korunas), as most local shops, cheap restaurants and public transport won’t accept credit cards.

Even though Czech Republic doesn't acknowledge the Euro as its official currency, some shops and popular tourist restaurants accept Euros. Don't be fooled though - if you can, always pay in Korunas as the vendor's exchange rate might not be very favourable.

Looking for a good deal on your Czech Korunas?
For great rates and maximal convenience, you can buy your Czech Koruna with ICE for home delivery or in selected ICE stores using click & collect.

Where to stay 

Depending on which city you want to visit, the price of a mid-range hotel can vary anywhere between £39 and £246 per night. 

The average price for a hotel in central Prague is £99 per night, but you can find a nice hotel for around £19 per night if you're willing to venture out of the capital to cities like Brno (billed by the Guardian as the cheaper, calmer alternative). On a budget, hostels in Czech Republic start around £10 per night. 

If you want to live like a local without sacrificing the convenience of staying in the city centre, then AirBnB is always a good choice.

Food and drink prices in Czech Republic 

Czech Republic has a reputation for being good value, and this certainly applies to the cost of food and drink, which tends to be reasonably priced across the country.  

  • Cappuccino - 40 CZK (£1.33)
  • Dinner at a mid-range restaurant for one - 235 CZK (£7.81)
  • 3 course dinner in a mid-range restaurant for two – 600 CZK (£19.93)
  • 8 course meal at Michelin star restaurant - 3450 CZK (£114.59)
  • Lunch in a pub – 150 CZK (£4.98)
  • Fast food meal - 120 CZK (£3.99)
  • Local beer (0,5 litre draught) – 30 to 80 CZK (£1- £2.66) depending on the restaurant and type of beer 
  • Soft drinks – 35 CZK (£1.16)

How much to tip: Tips are naturally welcomed by people working in the tourist industry, although the atmosphere is generally relaxed as staff do not tend to chase tips. The tip is usually not included in the bill, so tipping 5%-10% is the norm. 

Alcohol 

There is only one rule you should follow when it comes to finding an authentic Czech pub with great beer: if local beer on tap is more expensive than bottled water, you should keep looking. 

  • A bottle of wine (often made in Moravian vineyards) - 107 CZK (£3.55)
  • 0.5l local beer in a pub - 30+ CZK (£1+)
  • 0.5l a bottle of beer bought in a supermarket - 13 CZK (43pp)
  • Tuzemak Rum – for 0.04 l for 50 CZK (£1.66)
  • Slivovice – A traditional Czech spirit made out of plums , 0.04 for 65 CZK (£2.16)
  • Becherovka – a high quality herbal liquor that Czech Republic is well-known for, 0.04l for 45 CZK (£1.49)

Transport in Czech Republic 

Starting your journey from Prague airport to the city centre, you can either get a taxi for 600 CZK (£19.93) from the main taxi rank outside the arrivals exit of the airport, or you could opt for a Bolt which is significantly cheaper. 

If you're on a budget, you can get a shuttle bus to Prague's main train station, Praha Hlavní Nádraží, for 80 CZK (£2.66) for a single ticket. 

Exploring Prague on foot is the best way to get to know the city, but if you do need to travel through different city zones, ditch pricey city taxis and get a one day public transport pass for 110 CZK (£3.65) that includes all of Prague's public transport (trams, buses, the underground and even a cable cart going up to Petrin Tower)

You can easily spend your whole holiday exploring Prague's different hidden gems, but it would be a shame not to leave the capital for a day or two to see some of the beauty Czech Republic has to offer. Czech Railways offer a fast and affordable way of travelling around the country, with tickets from Prague to key tourist spots starting around 189 CZK (£6.28). If you're venturing to Moravia and Brno, you can book a bus ticket via Flixbus for only 89 CZK (£2.96) per ticket. Alternatively, hiring a car won't break the bank either. 

Activities 

Whether you want to stay in the cities, ride a bike through Czech national parks or explore medieval castles, Czech Republic offers plenty activities you can choose from. 

Karlstejn Castle – If you are a history lover yourself, Karlstejn Castle is one not to be missed. A single adult ticket will cost you 320 CZK (£10.63).

Hluboka Castle - Visit Czech Republic's version of the infamous Disney Castle, for only 150 CZK (£4.98) per ticket.  

Sumava National Park - You can explore one of the oldest Czech National parks completely for free. A train ticket from Prague to South Bohemia costs around 200 CZK (£6.64).  

South Moravian Wine Cellars – An ideal getaway for any wine lover! A visitor's ticket starts around 50 CZK (£1.66) per person, 150 CZK (£4.98) with tasting. 

Ice hockey game - Looking for something a bit unusual that will give you a proper taste of living like a true Czech? Delve into the national sport and watch an ice hockey game for 200 CZK (£6.64) per ticket.

Music festivals - Thinking about visiting Czech Republic during the summer months? Have a look at what music festivals are on! Tickets start as cheap as 375 CZK (£12.46)

Places to visit

Prague

Brno

The second largest city in the Czech Republic, Moravian's capital Brno has a lively club and entertainment scene, with many urban cafes and cocktail bars in the city centre.

Cesky Krumlov 

A Unesco World Heritage Site, Cesky Krumlov can be found right in the heart of South Bohemia. With a stunning castle over the Vltava River and a fairy tale location, make sure to visit this beautiful Bohemian town. 

Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad)

Well known for its international film festival (KVIFF), Karlovy Vary is a picturesque spa town in West Bohemia, only a 2 hour train journey away from Prague. 

 

Plzen (Pilsner)

You might have probably already heard about Pilsner, as in the lager brand called Pilsner Urquell. It's home to several top-class breweries, but there's way more to Pilsner than great beer. The 19th-Century Great Synagogue, for instance, is well worth a visit. 

Kutna Hora

Known for the Gothic St. Barbara's Church with medieval frescoes and Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel adorned with human skeletons, the medieval town Kutna Hora is only an hour's train journey from Prague. 

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