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Czech Republic - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for the Czech Republic. Exercise normal security precautions.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Violent crime is low. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common, particularly in Prague. Be vigilant in and around popular tourist attractions, major hotels and the Prague main railway station (Praha hlavní nádraží), especially after dark.
Be very cautious when travelling on public transport. Gangs of thieves target subway stations, particularly Malostranská, Můstek, Muzeum and Staromĕstská, as well as tram route 22, which runs to and from Prague Castle. Thieves may use jostling and swarming techniques to rob their victims.
Car thefts and break-ins are common, particularly in major cities. Avoid leaving luggage or valuables in the vehicle; use secure parking facilities.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Individuals posing as plainclothes police officers may ask you to see your foreign currency and passports. Politely decline to cooperate, but offer to go to the nearest police station.
There are reports of fraudulent electronic readout devices being used at automated banking machines (ABMs) in the Czech Republic. To avoid being a victim of this fraud, use ABMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business, avoid card readers with an irregular aspect, cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN and check any unauthorized transactions on your account statements.
See Overseas Fraud for more information on scams abroad.
There is a threat of terrorism in Europe. Terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities and there is a potential for other violent incidents, which could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Rural roads may be uneven, under construction or poorly marked.
Dial 00 420 1230 for information on road conditions.
Use only officially marked taxis, such as AAA Radiotaxi, Cititaxi or Profitaxi (note that taxis marked AAA Taxi charge excessive prices) and whenever possible, call for a taxi instead of hailing one on the street. In Prague, taxis can also be obtained at clearly marked “fair place” taxi stands, which are regulated by the city government. To avoid being overcharged, obtain a price estimate in advance and ensure that the taxi driver is using the meter.
Czech railways provide clean, efficient train service to almost every part of the country. Exercise caution on overnight trains as there have been reports of robberies occurring. Store your valuables in a safe place, and do not leave your compartment unattended. Ensure that the door is secured from the inside.
Express buses are often faster and more convenient than trains.
The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.
General safety measures
Exercise normal safety precautions. Do not show signs of affluence, and ensure that personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents are secure at all times.
A police station that specializes in assistance to foreign victims of crime is located at 9 Jungmannovo namesti, 110 01 Prague 1, near the Můstek metro station.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Czech authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Czech Republic or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
If you are planning to stay in private accommodations for longer than three days, you must register at the local Foreign Police Department (list available in Czech only) within three working days of your arrival. Registration forms and additional information can be found on the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic’s website.
Customs officials may ask to see proof of pre-arranged accommodations and proof of sufficient funds for your stay.
The Czech Republic is a Schengen area country. Upon arrival, Canadians are required to present a passport that must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure from the Schengen area. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
A valid travel health insurance policy with minimum coverage to cover costs for hospitalization and medical treatment is required to enter the Czech Republic.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days*
Work visa: Required
* The 90-day period begins upon initial entry into any country of the Schengen area.
The following 26 countries comprise the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Schengen area has common rules regarding visas and controls at external borders and has abolished checks within the area’s internal borders. However, some Schengen area countries may require that you register with local authorities shortly after your arrival, particularly when staying in private accommodations.
Canadians do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any country within the Schengen area.
It is important to get your passport stamped when you first enter the Schengen area. The absence of an entry stamp from the initial Schengen port of entry could create difficulties during subsequent encounters with local police or other authorities throughout the Schengen area or at the time of departure from the area.
If you overstay the permitted 90 days in the Schengen area, you may be fined or deported. If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for longer than the 90 days in any 180-day period, you must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa prior to travel.
The European Commission’s (EC's) Migration and Home Affairs provides additional information and a calculator of travel days remaining, taking into account previous stays in the Schengen area.
The Schengen Borders Code allows member states to temporarily reintroduce internal border controls in the event that a serious threat to public policy or internal security has been established. Canadians wishing to enter a Schengen area country that has reintroduced internal border controls could be required to present a passport, valid for at least three months from the time of expected departure from that country. For additional information, visit the EC’s Temporary Reintroduction of Border Control.
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
- Measles: Global Update - July 16, 2015 00:00 EDT
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks (e.g., those participating in outdoor activities in wooded areas) while travelling in regions with risk of tick-borne encephalitis.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Eastern Europe, food and water can also carry diseases like hepatitis A. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Eastern Europe. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in Eastern Europe, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Good medical care is widely available. However, doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Canada and the Czech Republic are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Council of Europe). This enables a Canadian imprisoned in the Czech Republic to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Czech authorities.
You are required to carry your passport at all times. Keep a photocopy of your passport in case of loss or seizure.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the Czech Republic. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Czech citizen. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
You must be at least 18 years old to drive in the Czech Republic. An International Driving Permit is required.
The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless they are fitted with a hands-free device.
Headlights must be on at all times.
All vehicles must have a first-aid kit and a warning triangle, as well as high-visibility vests (to be carried in the passenger compartment, not the trunk) for the driver and any passenger who leaves the vehicle in case of breakdown.
A road usage permit is required to travel on all major highways. You may purchase this permit for a period of 10 days, one month or one year, at highway gas stations and border crossings. Failure to display this permit may result in fines. All rental vehicles are provided with valid motorway permits.
There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and penalties are strict. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines or jail sentences.
Tickets are required for public transport and these may be purchased at newspaper kiosks, metro stations and most hotel reception desks. Anyone caught riding without a valid ticket may be fined.
Pedestrian traffic laws
Local authorities frequently enforce traffic laws and will fine pedestrians up to 2000 Czech koruna for violations such as jaywalking, particularly in Prague’s city centre.
Trams have the right of way over pedestrians, including at pedestrian crossings. You may be fined if you cross tram lines within 50 feet of a pedestrian crossing or when crossing the street on a red light.
The currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech koruna (CZK).
Credit cards and traveller’s cheques are accepted.
Always exchange your currency at an exchange office or bank. The use of non-official currency exchange is illegal. Never exchange money with vendors on the street, as the risk of receiving counterfeit bills is high.
When crossing one of the external border control points of the European Union (EU), you must make a declaration to customs upon entry or exit if you have at least €10,000, or the equivalent in other currencies. The sum can be in cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques or any other convertible assets. This does not apply if you are travelling within the EU or in transit to a non-EU country. For more information on the EU legislation and links to EU countries’ sites, visit the the European Commission's cash controls.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Heavy rains are frequent in summer and sometimes resulting in local flooding. Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
Prague - Embassy of Canada
For emergency assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Prague and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre located in Ottawa.
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