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Czech Republic - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in the Czech Republic.
Safety and security
Safety and security
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.
Never exchange money with vendors on the street, as the risk of receiving counterfeit bills is high. See the Laws and culture tab for additional information on exchanging money.
There have been cases of automated banking machines (ABMs) being fitted with fraudulent card readers. 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
- 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.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Learn more about foreign domestic airlines.
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.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Czech authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
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.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
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. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country within any 180-day period.
Canadian citizens do not need a visa for travel to countries within the Schengen area. However, visa-free travel only applies to stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Stays are cumulative and include visits to any Schengen area country.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area for a longer period of time, you will need a visa. You must contact the high commission or embassy of the country or countries you are travelling to and obtain the appropriate visa(s) prior to travel.
Learn more about the Schengen area.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Measles in Europe - August 16, 2017 00:00 EDT
Updated: August 18, 2017
This country is reporting a measles outbreak. For more information read the epidemiological update on measles.
Please refer to the vaccines section for recommendations on how to protect yourself.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
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.
Outbreaks of measles are ongoing.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause serious complications for some people.
You are at increased risk of measles infection if you have not had the illness or if you are not up to date on your vaccinations.
- Tick-borne encephalitis is present in some areas of this country.
- It is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
- It is spread to humans by the bite of infected ticks or when you consume unpasteurized milk products.
- Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to ticks during outdoor activities.
- A vaccine against TBE does exist but is only available in countries where the disease is present.
- Learn more on what you can do to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)?
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
* 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.
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 and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
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.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the Czech Republic, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited in the Czech Republic. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.
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.
Other 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.
Tickets are required for public transport and anyone caught riding without a valid ticket may be fined. Tickets may be purchased at newspaper kiosks, metro stations and most hotel reception desks.
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.
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 and 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.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
Prague - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular 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 in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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