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Holidays in Czech Republic

Understanding Czech Republic

After the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged together to form the new nation of Czechoslovakia During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Hungarians A poor relationship with the German minority 20% of the overall population was a particular problem that was capitalized on by Hitler and used as "rationale" for the dismemberment of the nation before the outbreak of WWII The country was annexed and occupied by Germany during the war After World War II, Czechoslovakia expelled most of its Germans by force and many of the ethnic Hungarians under direction of the Potsdam Conference However, the nation was very blessed in the fact that it emerged from the war more or less intact as it avoided the fate of the massive air bombardments that leveled most of the historic neighboring cities in Germany, Austria, Poland and Belarus The country fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and remained so by force until 1989

In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face" Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression and conservatism within the party ranks In November 1989, the Communist government was deposed in a peaceful "Velvet Revolution"

On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia Now a member of NATO since 1999 and EU since 2004, the Czech Republic has moved toward integration in world markets, a development that poses both opportunities and risks

The Czech Republic is not a large country but has a rich and eventful history From time immemorial Czechs, Germans, Jews and Slovaks, as well as Italian stonemasons and stucco workers, French tradesmen and deserters from Napoleon’s army have all lived and worked here, all influencing one another For centuries they jointly cultivated their land, creating works, which still command our respect and admiration today It is thanks to their inventiveness and skill that this small country is graced with hundreds of ancient castles, monasteries and stately mansions, and even entire towns that give the impression of being comprehensive artifacts The Czech Republic contains a vast of amount of architectural treasure and has beautiful forests and mountains to match

The Czech flag see above is the same one formerly used by Czechoslovakia, having been readopted in 1993

Habits and Customs

  • Easter Velikonoce: On Easter Monday it is customary for guys to slightly spank girls and women with a wicker stick with colorful ribbons at the end pomlázka, in the hope that the girls and women will in turn give them colored eggs, candy or drinks After noon, girls defend themselves by pouring water on the guys Obvious tourists are often but not always exempt
  • Witch Burning Pálení čarodějnic or Night of Witches Čarodějnice: On the last April evening, bonfires are lit around the country "Witch" figurines, as a symbol of evil, are made and burned in the fire This is the reinterpretation of the old pagan festival Beltane influenced by Christian inquisition Because probably most Czechs would prefer the witches over the inquisitors, in many fires no witches are burnt, and the feast is celebrated in a more original pagan way - witches are those who should celebrate the night, not be burnt It doesn't stop jokes like "Honey, hide or you will be burnt tonight!"
  • Last Ringing Poslední zvonění is a traditional celebration of the end of the last year at a high school It is celebrated usually in late April or early May, a week or more before the final exams maturita in Czech take place the time may be different in different schools Students get a free day and usually do silly things in silly costumes They go to the streets and collect money from people passing by, sometimes threatening them with water, writing on their faces with a lipstick or spraying them with perfume The collected money is used at a party after the exams
  • Feast of St Mikuláš St Nicolaus, Santa Claus, Dec 5: On this day, St Mikuláš roams about with his consorts, an angel and a devil He gives small presents and candy to children to reward them for their good behaviour throughout the year, while the devil chastises children for their wrongdoings over the course of the year and gives them potatoes, coal or sometimes spankings as a punishment Old Town Square in Prague is a great place to watch the festivities
  • Christmas Vánoce: Czechs begin celebrating this holiday on Christmas Eve and continue to celebrate until the 26th the Feast of Stephen Presents are placed under a Christmas tree by Ježíšek The Baby Jesus as little children believe and taken after dinner on Christmas Eve Potato salad and carp is a traditional Christmas meal, and for this reason one can see live carp being sold out of huge tanks throughout the streets of Czech cities and towns just before Christmas

Historic regions


Although the modern adjective bohemian refers to Bohemia, that usage was based on a broad stereotype and also a poor grasp of geography, so don't expect the Bohemians you meet to be nomadic or anti-conventional artistic/literary bohemians, or to see anything out of Puccini's "La Bohème" And no, Bohemian Rhapsody its lyrics sprinkled with Italian and Arabic is not a local anthem!

So the word Bohemia/Bohemian came from the name of the Celtic tribe, which occupied the region around the first 4 centuries of the first millennium The region, which politically started off as an independent Czech Kingdom, eventually passed on to the Austrian Empire before being combined with Moravia-Silesia and Slovakia to form Czechoslovakia after WWI The term had ended up meaning more or less "Czech" by the end of the 19th Century with the awakening of Slavic nationalism However, it was also used to refer to any inhabitant of Bohemia, including the vast number of Germans that used to inhabit the region until the end months of WWII

Moravia and Czech Silesia

Moravia, along with Bohemia the other half of the Czech Republic, was among the first regions of continental Europe to undergo the Industrial Revolution; however it did not experience the mass urbanisation of Bohemia The region is therefore still home to gorgeous vineyards, orchards, fields full of "organic" produce, and filled with scenic mountain vistas and cute little villages Even the regional capital, Brno, is renown for its small town charm There is an extremely extensive rail system, and the region contains historic factories such as Zbrojovka Brno weapons and the Zlin Bata factory shoes

The dialects of Czech spoken in Moravia are very different from those spoken in Bohemia, particularly in Prague A foreigner trying to master the language will often find himself at loss Moravians pride themselves on their dialect and learning a few stereotypical regionalisms may go down well or terribly, depending on just what it is you think you're saying and what you end up saying

The region's strategic location at the Moravian Gate a pass through the imposing mountain ranges of Central Europe has led to a confluence of a great amount of history The Celts gave way to post-Roman Germanic tribes, who themselves were displaced by the Slavs Around 900 AD, Moravia was the central region of the Great Moravian Empire, stretching from Germany to the Ukraine, before a long period of affiliation with the Bohemian Kingdom creating a territorial unit almost identical to the modern Czech Republic The rise of the Hapsburgs led to Moravia becoming a part of the Austrian Empire, and later Austria-Hungary, and a massive influx of German immigrants In 1918, following WW1 the region became a part of Czechoslovakia, which remained the only democratic country outside of Western Europe until Nazi occupation in 1938 In the aftermath of World War II, the Soviets expelled the German population and in 1947 the communists seized power in a coup d'etat In 1967, after Czechoslovak efforts to democratise, the Warsaw Pact led by the Soviet Union invaded the republic, and two harsh decades of social and political 'Normalisation' followed, accompanied by a heavy Soviet military presence In 1989 the communist regime collapsed, in 1999 the Czech Republic joined NATO and in 2004 the European Union

The abolition of border controls has taken place only several years ago and is beginning to profoundly influence Moravia Countryside and cities once separated by barbed wire are now beginning to seamlessly grow together, however the borders are still felt and it may take many years for the region to heal and for cross-border physical and social connections to reappear to Poland and Austria No such divisions are really felt at the Bohemian-Moravian and Moravian-Slovak borders though, physically nor socially, and crossing them is quite similar to crossing English-Welsh and French-Spanish frontiers

Talking in Czech Republic

The main language spoken is, not surprisingly, Czech The Slovak language can also be often heard, as there is a sizable Slovak minority and both languages are mutually intelligible Czech people are very proud of their language, and thus, even in Prague you will not find many signs written in English outside of the main tourist areas Many older people, especially outside the large cities, are also unable to converse in English, so it's good to learn some Czech or Slovak before your arrival However, most young people speak at least some English, as it has been taught in most schools since 1990

Most Czechs speak a second and often a third language English is the most widely known, especially among younger people German is probably the most widely spoken second language among older people Russian was taught very extensively under communist rule, so most people born before c 1975 speak at least some Russian and often pretty well However the connection with the communist era and the Soviet led invasion in 1968 as well as today's Russian-speaking criminal gangs has given this language some negative connotations It is also not very useful with younger people, as it is not, despite the common misconception, mutually intelligible with Czech beyond some similar words and simple sentences Other languages, like French or Spanish, are also taught in some schools, but you should not count on it People may also understand some basic words or simple sentences in other Slavic languages Polish, Serbo-Croatian, etc

The Czech and Slovak languages are very difficult for English-speakers to grasp, as they, like their sisters, can be tongue-twisting languages to learn especially Czech and take time and practice to master, especially if you're not really familiar with the other Slavic languages, including Russian However, if you can learn the alphabet and the corresponding letters with accents, then pronunciation is easy as it is always the same - Czechs and Slovaks pronounce every letter of a word, with the stress falling on the first syllable The combination of consonants in some words may seem mind-bogglingly hard, but it is worth the effort!

The Czech language has many local dialects, especially in Moravia Some dialects are so different that they can be sometimes misunderstood even by a native Czech speaker from a different region However all Czech people understand the standard Czech as spoken in TV, written in newspapers and taught in schools and should be able to speak it but some are too proud to stop using their local dialect

See also: Czech phrasebook, Slovak phrasebook

What to see in Czech Republic

  • Prague, the capital with its incredible historic center and famous monuments such as the Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle Member of the UNESCO World Heritage list
  • Olomouc, a vibrant university town with the second largest historic center after Prague Member of the UNESCO World Heritage list
  • Český Krumlov - beautiful city with castle Member of UNESCO
  • CzechTek, the yearly freetekno party somewhere in Czech Republic
  • The Macocha Caves 21, north of Brno, are definitely worth a visit You can take a guided tour into the caves, which will take you through a myriad of winding tunnels, with close up views of stalactites and stalagmites The tour ends with a boat ride on an underground river
  • The Battle of Austerlitz - Slavkovské bojiště is one of the most important events in the history of Europe in the 19th century
  • Technical museum in Brno nice and modern
  • Lakes under Palava mountains This lakes are actually river dams but good for sailing and fishing you must have fishing licence it's full of big fishs
  • Mikulčice archaeological site, site of the former capital of the Great Moravian Empire c 900 AD

What to do in Czech Republic


Czech Republic has an excellent and sophisticated system of trail blazing, marked trails are about everywhere Choose an area, buy a hiking map for the area best brand is "Klub českých turistů", 1:50000 military based maps covering the whole country, available in most large bookstores and go See: Hiking_in_Czech_Republic


Many places in the Czech Republic are great for swimming, and there are many designated public swimming areas called koupaliště A list of places suitable for swimming is available here: 22 However, be aware that in hot weather the quality of the water in some places can fall below EU standard regulations


Although the Czech Republic is a land-locked country, it does have a lot of nudist/naturist beaches near lakes A full list is available here: 23 Full nudity on other beaches is legal, but rare, and usually only happens in non-crowded places

Pub Crawl

There is a Pub Crawl that meets every night under the astronomical clock in the Old Town Square of Prague at 9:15 Its cheap and they take you to some cool pubs, bars and you end up at a night club Its a really good way to see what the Prague night life is really like Even in the off season


Geocaching is a popular sport in the Czech Republic, there are thousands of caches both in the cities and in the country Czech caches are listed on geocachingcom, the descriptions are often bilingual Czech and English

Chimney climbing

Czech Republic is one of the very few if not the only country to have an official chimney climbing association - "Svaz českých komínářů" or the "Union of Czech Chimney Climbers" - a state-registered civic organization of people who climb factory chimneys and cooling towers as a leisure activity and also take part in industrial architecture history documentation as well as chimney maintenance and preservation Post a message here to apply for membership: 24

Buying stuff in Czech Republic

The currency of the Czech republic is the koruna crown, plural koruny or korun The currency code CZK is often used internationally, but the local symbol is for Koruna česká 1 koruna is made up of 100 haléř haléřů, abbreviated to hal, but coins are only issued in whole koruna values from October 2008 on

The exchange rate is approximately 25Kč = €1, 30Kč = £1 GBP, 20Kč = $1 US, or 16Kč = $1 Canadian As of 3 May 2010, €1 = 2558Kč Google

Coins are issued in 1Kč, 2Kč, 5Kč all stainless steel, 10Kč copper-colored, 20Kč brass-colored and 50 Kč copper-colored ring, brass-colored center Notes are issued in 50Kč pink, 100Kč aqua, 200Kč orange, 500Kč red, 1000Kč purple, 2000Kč olive green and 5000Kč green-purple See some banknote samples 18 Be aware that all 20Kč banknotes, haléř coins, and older-style 1000Kč and 5000Kč banknotes from 1993 are NOT legal tender

Some major stores mainly bigger chains will accept Euros, and it's also fairly common for accommodation providers to quote the price in Euros

Never exchange money on the street Also, if you're in Prague, don't exchange it in the banks The "real" exchange rate you should be looking for can be found here19 There is no "black market" with better rates, but there is a good chance you'll end up with a roll of worthless paper Be very careful when you are exchanging money at a small exchange kiosk They try to use tricks in order to give you a bad exchange rate Ask for the total amount you will get and recompute it by yourself Do not trust "0% commission" in big letters signs usually there is "only on CZK buy" amendment in small letters On this 20 website you can get good overview of reliable exchange places and rates In any case, ones gets the best rates by using ATMs instead of changing cash

Major stores throughout the country accept Visa and EC/MC, as do all the tourist stores in Prague

Food and eating in Czech Republic

Tipping is a standard 10%, and is not normally added to the bill Don't be confused by the percentage figures listed at the bottom of the bill - by Czech law, a receipt must show the VAT paid 20% in most cases - the VAT is already included in the final amount, and you should add 10% to this It is normal practice to give the waiter the tip before you leave the table Tip is not obligatory - if you weren't satisfied with services offered, don't bother tipping

In a vast majority of better restaurants located in major cities you can pay by credit card EC/MC, VISA, but don't be surprised if a few will not accept them Make sure to check the door for respective card logos when entering the restaurant or ask the waiter before ordering Czechs sometimes use special meal tickets stravenky to pay in some restaurants - these are tax-preferred and subsidised by employers You won't get these tickets unless you get a job in the Czech Republic, just don't be surprised when you see them

Traditional local food

Traditional Czech food is hearty and suitable after a hard day in the fields It is heavy and quite fatty, and is excellent in the winter In the recent time there was a tendency towards more light food with more vegetables, now the traditional heavy and fatty Czech food is usually not eaten everyday and some people avoid it entirely However nothing goes as well with the excellent Czech beer as some of the best examples of the traditional Czech cuisine, like pork, duck, or goose with knedlíky dumplings and sauerkraut

A traditional main meal of a day usually lunch consists of two or three dishes The first dish is hot soup polévka The second dish is the most important part, very often based on some meat and side-dish both served on the same plate The third, optional part is either something sweet and coffee or small vegetable salad or something similar

Czech cuisine knows many different kinds of soup polévka The most common are bramboračka - potato soup sometimes with forest mushrooms, hovězí vývar - clear beef soup sometimes s játrovými knedlíčky - with liver dumplings, gulášovka - thick goulash soup, zelňačka - thick and sour cabbage soup, česnečka strong garlic soup, very healthy and tasty, but do not eat this before kissing, kulajda - thick soup with forest mushrooms and milk, hrášková polévka from young green peas, čočková polévka from lentils, fazolačka from beans, rajská polévka - tomato soup, and many others A special case not to everyone's tastes is dršťková polévka made from cow stomach Rybí polévka - thick fish soup made from carps including its head, some innards, roe and sperm is the traditional soup of the Christmas Dinner

Some soups are eaten with bread, sometimes small croutons are put inside the soup just before eating Soup can be also eaten as the only dish, especially for a smaller dinner

The second dish main course, hlavní jídlo of a meal is in the traditional cuisine often the famous heavy and fatty part, very often based on pork, but also beef, chicken, duck, or other meat Important part of most main courses is side-dish the whole dish including the side-dish is served on one plate - usually cooked or baked potatoes, fries, rice, pasta or the most typical side-dish of the Czech cuisine - knedlíky

Knedlíky usually translated as dumplings come in many different kinds Most kinds are used as side-dish, however some kinds with filling are used as dish by itself The most common type, always used as side-dish, are houskové knedlíky bread dumplings These are cooked in a shape of a cylinder, which is then cut into round slices about 8 cm in diameter remotely resembling white bread Houskové knedlíky are served with Czech classics such as guláš, similar to Hungarian goulash but with a thinner sauce and less spicy; Svíčková na smetaně, beef sirloin with a creamy root vegetable carrot, celeriac, parsnip sauce, served with a tablespoon of cranberry sauce, a slice of orange and whipped cream; Vepřová pečeně se zelím a knedlíkem locally named as Vepřo-knedlo-zelo, the combination of roast pork, knedlíky and sauerkraut The latter combines very well with the world-famous Czech beer, the major brands being Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Budvar, Staropramen, Velkopopovický Kozel and Krušovice If you are lucky enough to enter a pub serving Svijany, you should definitely order it, as it is believed to be one of the most delicious brands worldwide

Another common kind is bramborové knedlíky potato dumplings, the slices are smaller, more yellow in color, and are also always served as a side-dish A typical combination is roasted meet pork or lamb for example with spinach and bramborové knedlíky or duck with sauerkraut and bramborové knedlíky or combination of bramborové and houskové knedlíky Less common are chlupaté knedlíky hairy dumplings, but there are no hairs, don't panic, which are not sliced but cooked in shape of balls They are also usually served with roasted meat and either sauerkraut or spinach

Other Czech dishes include pečená kachna, roast duck again served with bread or potato dumplings, and red and white sauerkraut; moravský vrabec, known as 'Moravian Sparrow', but which is in fact pork cooked in garlic and onions; smažený kapr, fried carp breaded and served with a very rich potato salad and eaten on Christmas Eve; pečené vepřové koleno, roast pork knee, served with mustard and fresh horseradish; bramborák, garlicky potato pancakes; smažený sýr, breaded deep-fried edam the most popular cheese in the Czech Republic served with boiled potatoes or french fries and tartar sauce; párek v rohlíku, long, thin hot dogs with crusty rolls and mustard or ketchup If you must, you can always get hranolky - french fries And of course, the ubiquitous zelí raw cabbage, which is served with absolutely everything Game is also very good, and includes dishes such as kančí, wild boar, bažant, pheasant and jelení or daňčí, both types of venison These are almost always served either with dumplings and red and white cabbage, or as guláš

Don't expect a wide selection of zelenina, vegetables, unless in the countryside - peppers, tomatoes and cabbage are the most commonly-seen side dishes, often served as a small garnish

Visitors may be surprised when they find "American potatoes" in the menu These are actually potato wedges, usually spiced

Meals You Usually Do Not Get in a Restaurant

Generally, probably the best place to really try the Czech cuisine is to be invited for such a meal to somebody's home However, it is not so easy, because people today tend to prepare simpler and more international foods Traditional Czech cuisine is often reserved to Sundays or some holidays or prepared by old grandma when her children visit her This is not a rule, but it is a common situation In common restaurants, even the better ones, the traditional Czech food usually does not match what the old grandma serves This does not mean that the food is bad or not tasty, but it is missing something that the home preparation can provide In luxurious restaurants specialized in Czech cuisine, the food can be excellent, but the luxurious style and creative improvements by the chef often do not match the style of the traditional folk cuisine Again, this is not a hard rule Sometimes you can compliment the food in a restaurant "As if my grandma prepared it"

There are some dishes that are usually not served in any restaurants or pubs, are usually made at home and are worth trying if you have the opportunity Brambory na loupačku "potatoes to be peeled" is a cheap and simple meal usually made in the countryside Whole unpeeled potatoes are cooked in a big pot and put in the pot itself or a bowl on the table You just take a hot potato from the pot, peel it yourself, put some salt, butter, and/or curd tvaroh on it and eat it Drink it down with lot of cold milk For such a simply meal it can be incredibly tasty, especially when eaten in the countryside after a day spent outside and chatting over it

Picking mushrooms in forests is a very popular activity in the Czech Republic Probably not surprisingly, collected mushrooms are eaten then In restaurants, usually only cultivated mushrooms are used If forest mushrooms are served in a restaurant, then usually only as a minor addition to a meal Homemade mushroom meals are a completely different story A classic example is Smaženice the name is based on the verb 'smažit' - to fry, also known as míchanice to mix - forest mushrooms, the more kinds the better, are sliced to small pieces, mixed and stewed with some fat, onion, and caraway Later, eggs are added to the mixture Smaženice is served with bread Smažené bedly are whole caps of parasol mushrooms coated in breadcrumbs and fried Černý kuba literally black jimmy is a traditional Christmas fasting meal made from dried mushrooms and peeled barley Houbová omáčka mushroom sauce, served with meat and bread dumplings is also popular Fresh or dried mushrooms make also a nice addition to bramboračka s houbami potato soup with mushrooms Kulajda is a soup from mushrooms and cream Soups and sauces are the most likely forest mushroom meals to find in a restaurant, because they contain relatively small amount of mushrooms

If you want to pick mushrooms by yourself, be careful There are hundreds of species, some of them very tasty, some merely edible, but some poisonous or even deadly There is also a species used as a hallucinogenic drug A tasty and edible species may look very similar to a deadly species If you do not know mushrooms very well, you should be accompanied by an experienced mushroom-picker

Beer Snacks

Also try traditional beer snacks, often the only food served in some pubs hospoda, pivnice, and designed to be washed down by a good beer:

  • Utopenec - means 'drowned man' in Czech a pickled sausage with onion, garlic and other vegetables and spices
  • Zavináč - rollmop a slice of pickled fish, most often herring or mackerel, rolled-up and filled with various pickled vegetables sauerkraut, onion, sometimes carrot or pepper
  • Tlačenka s cibulí - brawn with onion a slice of haggis-like meat pudding, sprinkled with vinegar and garnished with fresh onion slices Beware, can be rather acidic due to vinegar
  • Nakládaný Hermelín - pickled Brie-like cheese, often marinated with garlic and chilli
  • Pivní sýr - beer cheese - a soft cheese, with a strong, Cheddar-like flavour You should add a splash of beer to the cheese, and then mash it all together, and serve it on traditional Czech bread - Šumava the name of a region in South Bohemia is the most common bread, a very tasty dense loaf made from rye and carroway seeds
  • Tvarůžky or Syrečky - traditional cheese with a very strong aroma, and very much an aquired taste Often served deep-fried, but can be eaten alone, just with some chopped onion, mustard and bread Sometimes also marinated in beer 'syrečky v pivu' This cheese naturaly contains almost no fat less than 1%
  • Romadur - traditional cheese with strong aroma Aroma is similar to Tvarůžky, but Romadur is different type of cheese
  • Matesy s cibulí - soused herring cold fish served with onions

If you want a warm, bigger, and more complicated meal which goes excellently with beer, get some of the typical Czech meals based on fatty meat pork, duck, or goose with sauerkraut and knedlíky dumplings Another excellent option is a whole pork knee with horseradish and bread ovarové koleno s křenem


Czechs like sweets but consumer patterns are different compared to France, USA or the UK As everywhere some traditional treats have become a mass-market production for tourists, others are pretty difficult to be found

On the street

  • Lázeňské oplatky - spa wafers from Mariánské Lázně and Karlovy Vary major spa towns in Western Bohemia better known by their German names of Marienbad and Karlsbad are meant to be eaten while "taking the waters" at a spa, but they're good on their own, too Other major spas are Karlova Studánka favourite destination of Václav Havel - former Czechoslovakian president, Františkovy Lázně, Jánské Lázně, Karviná, and Luhačovice You will find most easily not only in spa resorts but also in Prague Have them either out of the box on your own or heated and iced with sugar, cinnamon or so
  • Trdlo - is being offered in dedicated sell-points in the streets of Prague It is a mediaeval style sweet roll from eggs and flour

In restaurants

  • Jablkový závin or štrůdl, apple strudel, often served warm with whipped cream
  • Medovník - a newcomer having quickly spread in most restaurants A brown high cake made of gingerbread, honey and walnuts
  • Ovocné knedlíky - fruit stuffed dumplings served either as main course or a filling dessert The smaller ones 'tvarohové' come with plum, apple or apricot filling, the bigger ones 'kynuté' come with strawberries, blueberries, povidla plum jam or toher fruits Knedlíky are served with melted butter, iced with tvaroh curd cheese and sugar, and topped with whipped cream
  • Palačinka - not much in common with French crepes, these pancakes are usually thicker and served with a wide choice of fillings including chocolate, ice-cream, fruit and whipped cream


Try also the wide variety of rich cream cakes usually found in a Kavárna a cafe, or a Cukrárna a shop which sells all things sweet together with ice cream and drinks, found throughout the Czech Republic and often the only place open in small towns and villages on Sundays Czech cakes are similar to their Viennese cousins due to the shared history of both countries under the Austro-Hungarian empire Sample also Vídeňská káva Viennese coffee, coffee served with a mountain of whipped cream

  • Rakvička literally a little coffin is a light crispy biscuit with cream,
  • Větrník is a round French éclair style cream cake,
  • Punčák is a rum soaked yellow/pink biscuit sugar-glazed cake,
  • Laskonka is a coconut and cream based sandwich cake, and many more!

Home made

  • Bábovka - a traditional cake, similar to marble cake, fairly dry, and usually served dusted with icing sugar
  • Buchty - traditional buns filled with tvaroh curd cheese, mák poppy seeds, or povidla plum jam
  • Koláče - rather popular flat tarts topped with various sweet fillings like tvaroh, povidla, mák, fruit jams, chopped apples and nuts Their size ranges from bite-sized 'svatební koláčky' to pizza-sized, which often contain several fillings combined into an elaborate pattern 'Chodský koláč' or 'frgál'

Vegetarian food

Finding a vegetarian meal in the Czech Republic is not as difficult now as it once was In tourist areas at least, such as Prague and the Bohemian Paradise, most restaurant menus contain a vegetarian meals category bezmasá jídla or vegetariánská jídla with 2-3 options People may have their own interpretation of 'vegetarian' though, and it is not uncommon to find dishes such as "broccoli bacon" or prawns listed under "vegetarian meals" In traditional restaurants the choice in vegetarian food is usually limited to fried cheese, dumplings knedlíky, omelette, potatoes cooked, baked, fried or as 'potato pancakes' and sometimes a Greek salad or cooked vegetables Be advised that vegetables practically always have to be ordered separately, even if they appear to be part of the dish: eg the vegetables listed in a menu option called "potato pancakes with vegetables" are most likely a garniture consisting of a few leaves of lettuce and a slice of tomato

Bigger towns have foreign cuisine restaurants, mostly Italian and Chinese, which can serve you meat-free dishes such as vegetarian pasta

Drinking in Czech Republic


The Czech Republic is the country where modern beer pivo in Czech was invented in Plzeň Czechs are the heaviest beer drinkers in the world, drinking about 160 litres of it per capita per year Going to a cosy Czech pub for dinner and a few beers is a must!

The best-known export brands are Pilsner Urquell Plzeňský Prazdroj, Budweiser Budvar Budějovický Budvar and Staropramen freely translateable as "Oldspring" Other major brands which are popular domestically include Gambrinus, Kozel goat, Bernard a small traditional brewery, with very high quality beer, Radegast, and Starobrno made in Brno, the capital of Moravia Other fantastic beers worth tasting are Svijany and Dobřanská Hvězda Although many Czechs tend to be very selective about beer brands, tourists usually don't find a significant difference And remember, real Czech beer is only served on tap – bottled beer is a completely different experience High-quality beer can almost certainly be found in a hospoda or hostinec, very basic pubs which serve only beer and light snacks Take a seat and order your drinks when the waiter comes to you - going to the bar to order your drinks is a British custom! But beware, the handling of the beer is even more important than its brand A bad bartender can completely ruin even excellent beer Best bet is to ask local beer connoiseurs about a good pub or just join them

Beers are sometimes listed by their original sugar content, which is measured in degrees Plato P/° The difference is generally apparent in the final alcohol content Normal beer is about 10° such as Gambrinus and Staropramen, which results in 4% ABV, lager 12° such as Pilsner Urquell, which results in about 475% ABV The latter is stronger and more expensive, so you should specify which one you want when you order

Czech lager is nothing like the fizzy lagers found in many other countries Instead, it has a very strong, hoppy, almost bitter flavour, and goes very well with heavy dishes like duck or pork and dumplings or strong cheeses It always has a thick head on the top when it is served, but do not be afraid to drink "through" it, it is fun and it slowly disappears anyway, nevertheless do not drink the beer too slowly as the fresh cold taste especially in hot summers quickly fades – the "true" Czech connoisseurs do not even finish this "tepid goat," as they call it


Wine víno in Czech is another popular drink, particularly wine from Moravia in the south-eastern part of the country where the climate is more suited to vineyards White wines tend to be the best as the growing conditions are more favourable for them For white wines, try Veltlínské zelené Green Veltliner, Muškát moravský Moravian Muscatel, Ryzlink rýnský Rhine Riesling or Tramín Traminer, or red wines such as Frankovka Blaufrankisch, Modrý Portugal Blue Portugal, named after the grape, not the country, or Svatovavřinecké Saint Lawrence Also try ice wine ledové víno made when the grapes are harvested after they have frozen on the vines, or straw wine slámové víno made by leaving the grapes to ripen on straw – these wines are more expensive and are similar to dessert wines Bohemia Sekt is also popular with Czechs, and is an inexpensive sweet, fizzy wine, similar to Lambrusco, and drunk at celebrations The best places for wine are either a wine bar vinárna, or a wine shop vinotéka which sometimes has a small bar area too


For spirits, try Becherovka herb liqueur, similar to Jagermeister, tastes of a mixtures of cloves and cinnamon, and drunk as a digestive, slivovice plum brandy, very popular as a pick-me-up, hruškovice pear brandy, less fiery than Slivovice, and so on Spirits are made out of almost every kind of fruit Plums, Peaches, Cherries, Sloes, etc Czech unique tuzemský rum made from sugar beet, not from sugar cane as the Cuban rum, sold under brands like Tuzemák to conform with EU market rules Be careful as all are about 40% alcohol


For non-alcoholic drinks, mineral waters are popular, but tend to have a strong mineral taste Try Mattoni, or Magnesia, both of which taste like normal water and still claim to be good for your health If you want bubbles, ask for perlivá If you want it non-carbonated, ask for neperlivá Sometimes you can see jemně perlivá – it is "lightly bubbled" water Kofola, a coke-like drink is also very popular, and some Czechs say it is the best thing the communists gave them Many restaurants don't make any difference between "sparkling water" and "sparkling mineral water"


Restaurants and pubs do not offer water for free Not surprisingly, as beer is the national drink, it is usually the cheapest drink you can buy, with prices ranging from 15–60 Kč 0,50–2 EUR per half litre, depending on the attractiveness of the pub to tourists Drinks are brought to your table, and often each drink is marked on a small slip of paper which is kept on the table in front of you, so you can keep count of what you have had When you are ready to leave, ask the waiter for the bill – he or she will calculate the bill according to the number of marks on the paper It is common to share tables in busy pubs and Czech people will ask Je tu volno? Is this seat free?, before they sit down

Try also svařák, hot mulled wine served in all pubs, and outdoors at Christmas markets, grog, hot rum and water served with a slice of lemon - add sugar to taste, and medovina, mead, again usually served hot, and particularly good for warming up at a cold winter market Finally, if you are heading into Moravia, try burčák, a speciality found only around the end of the summer, or early autumn It is extremely young wine, usually white, and is the cloudy, still fermenting stage in wine production when the wine is very sweet, and very smooth to drink It continues to ferment in the stomach, so the alcohol content at the time of drinking it is unknown, but it is usually high, creeps up on you, and it is very moreish Czechs say that it should only be drunk fresh from the vineyard, and many small private wine makers are passionate about it, waiting up into the night for the moment when the wine reaches the "burčák" stage You can see it at wine festivals around the country, and sometimes in markets or wine bars too

Accommodation in Czech Republic

There are countless hotels and hotel apartments of varying degrees of luxury within Cyprus Some of the hotels are: Holiday Inn, Four Seasons, Le Meridien, Hilton, Elias Beach Hotel Alternative self-catering accommodation is offered in restored traditional houses in picturesque villages all over Cyprus through the government Agrotourism initiative

Working in Czech Republic

Cyprus' climate and natural advantages mean that there is always a steady supply of travellers seeking employment and residency on the island Perhaps the biggest change that has occurred in recent years has been the accession of southern Cyprus to the European Union on 1 May 2004, opening up new employment opportunities for European citizens

The burgeoning Cypriot tourism industry, however, means that there is a huge seasonal demand for temporary workers of most nationalities during the summer months, with a definite preference for English-speaking workers in order to service the very large numbers of British tourists The Greek Cypriot South remains the best overall bet for jobs, as the South is where the majority of the tourist trade is located The Turkish North is much harder to get work in as a traveller, as the local economy is in a precarious position and high local unemployment means competition for work is fierce

Seasonal employment will most probably involve working in one of the countless bars, hotels and resort complexes of the South Such work is usually poorly paid, but accommodation is often thrown in as some compensation and the Cypriot lifestyle usually makes up for low wages Many holiday companies employ 'reps' representatives and marketing staff to assist their operations on the island - this work is usually more financially rewarding

Teaching English as a Foreign Language EFL is another worthwhile option, well paid though often difficult to find

Finally, Cyprus' ongoing construction boom in tourism infrastructure results in a demand for skilled builders and tradesmen

Cities in Czech Republic

adamov  albrechtice  bakov nad jizerou  banov  baska  batelov  bechyne  becov  bela pod bezdezem  benatky nad jizerou  benesov  benesov nad ploucnici  beroun  bilina  bilovec  bilovice nad svitavou  blansko  blatna  blovice  blucina  bludov  bochov  bohumin  bohunovice  bohusovice nad ohri  bojkovice  bolatice  bor  borohradek  borovany  borsice  boskovice  brandys nad labem-stara boleslav  brasy  breclav  breznice  brezova  bridlicna  brno  brodek u prerova  broumov  brtnice  bruntal  brusperk  buchlovice  bucovice  budisov nad budisovkou  bustehrad  bystrice  bystrice  bystrice nad pernstejnem  bystrice pod hostynem  bzenec  caslav  cejkovice  celadna  celakovice  cercany  cerna hora  cernilov  cernosice  cervena voda  cerveny kostelec  ceska kamenice  ceska lipa  ceska skalice  ceska trebova  ceska ves  ceske budejovice  ceske velenice  cesky brod  cesky dub  cesky krumlov  cesky tesin  chabarovice  cheb  chlumcany  chlumec  chlumec nad cidlinou  chlum u trebone  chocen  chodov  chomutov  chotebor  chotesov  chrastava  chropyne  chrudim  chvaletice  chynov  cvikov  dacice  decin  desna  detmarovice  dobra  dobrany  dobrichovice  dobris  dobronin  dobrovice  dobruska  dobsice  doksy  dolany  dolni benesov  dolni bojanovice  dolni bousov  dolni dobrouc  dolni kounice  dolni lutyne  dolni nemci  dolni poustevna  domazlice  doudleby nad orlici  drnovice  dubi  dubnany  duchcov  dvur kralove  frantiskovy lazne  frenstat  frycovice  frydek-mistek  frydlant  frydlant nad ostravici  frystak  fulnek  golcuv jenikov  habartov  haj ve slezsku  halenkov  hanusovice  havirov  havlickuv brod  hejnice  hermanuv mestec  hlinsko  hlubocky  hluboka nad vltavou  hlucin  hluk  hodkovice nad mohelkou  hodonin  holesov  holice  holysov  horazdovice  horice  horka nad moravou  horni becva  horni benesov  horni briza  horni jiretin  horni plana  horni slavkov  horni sucha  horomerice  horovice  hostinne  hostivice  hovezi  hovorany  hradec kralove  hradek  hranice  hranice  hrob  hronov  hrusovany nad jevisovkou  hrusovany u brna  hukvaldy  hulin  humpolec  hustopece  ivancice  ivanovice na hane  jablonec  jablonec nad jizerou  jablonne nad orlici  jablonne v podjestedi  jablunka  jablunkov  jachymov  janovice nad uhlavou  jaromerice nad rokytnou  jaromer  javornik  jedovnice  jemnice  jesenice  jesenik  jevicko  jicin  jihlava  jilemnice  jilove  jilove u prahy  jince  jindrichuv hradec  jirikov  jirkov  jistebnice  kadan  kamenice  kamenice nad lipou  kamenicky senov  kaplice  kardasova recice  karlovy vary  karolinka  karvina  kaznejov  kdyne  kelc  kladno  klasterec nad ohri  klatovy  klecany  klimkovice  koberice  kobyli  kojetin  kolin  komarov  konice  kopidlno  koprivnice  korycany  kosmonosy  kostelec nad cernymi lesy  kostelec nad labem  kostelec nad orlici  kostelec na hane  kozlovice  kraliky  kralovice  kralupy nad vltavou  kraluv dvur  kraslice  krasna lipa  kravare  kremze  krnov  kromeriz  krupka  kryry  kuncice pod ondrejnikem  kunovice  kunstat  kurim  kutna hora  kvasice  kynsperk nad ohri  lanskroun  lanzhot  lazne belohrad  lazne bohdanec  ledec  ledenice  lednice  lesna  letohrad  letovice  libcice nad vltavou  liberec  libochovice  libusin  line  lisov  litomerice  litomysl  litovel  litvinov  loket  lom  lomnice nad popelkou  lostice  loucna nad desnou  loucovice  louny  lovosice  luby  ludgerovice  luhacovice  luka nad jihlavou  lutin  luze  luzice  lysa nad labem  marianske lazne  melnik  merin  mestec kralove  mesto albrechtice  mezibori  mezimesti  mikulasovice  mikulcice  mikulovice  mikulov  milevsko  milin  milotice  milovice  mimon  miroslav  mirosov  mlada boleslav  mlada vozice  mlade buky  mnichovice  mnichovo hradiste  mnisek pod brdy  modrice  mohelnice  moravska nova ves  moravska trebova  moravske budejovice  moravsky beroun  moravsky krumlov  moravsky pisek  morkov  most  mosty u jablunkova  mutenice  nachod  napajedla  navsi  nechanice  nejdek  nemcice nad hanou  nepomuk  neratovice  netolice  neveklov  nivnice  nova bystrice  nova paka  nova role  nova vcelnice  nove hrady  nove mesto nad metuji  nove mesto na morave  nove mesto pod smrkem  nove sedlo  nove straseci  novosedlice  novy bor  novy bydzov  novy hrozenkov  novy jicin  novy malin  nydek  nymburk  nyrany  nyrsko  obrnice  odolena voda  odry  okrisky  olomouc  olovi  opatovice nad labem  opava  opocno  orechov  orlova  osek  oslavany  ostrava  ostrov  ostrozska nova ves  otrokovice  pacov  palkovice  pardubice  paskov  pecky  pelhrimov  peruc  petrovice u karvine  petrvald  pisek  plana nad luznici  plana  plasy  plesna  plumlov  plzen  pocatky  podborany  podebrady  podivin  pohorelice  polesovice  police nad metuji  policka  polna  postoloprty  postrelmov  povrly  pozorice  prachatice  prague  prelouc  prerov  prestice  pribor  pribram  pribyslav  probostov  prosec  prostejov  protivin  pruhonice  prusanky  rajec-jestrebi  rajhrad  rakovnik  rakvice  rapotin  raspenava  ratiskovice  revnice  ricany  rohatec  rokycany  rokytnice nad jizerou  rosice  rotava  roudnice  rousinov  rozmital pod tremsinem  roznov  roztoky  rtyne v podkrkonosi  ruda nad moravou  rudna  rudnik  rudolfov  rumburk  rychnov nad kneznou  rychvald  sadska  sardice  sazava  sedlcany  semily  senov  sezemice  sezimovo usti  sitborice  skutec  slany  slapanice  slatinany  slavicin  slavkov u brna  slavonice  sluknov  slusovice  smirice  smrzovka  sobeslav  sobotin  sobotka  sokolov  solnice  spalene porici  stankov  stara paka  stara ves nad ondrejnici  stare mesto  stare mesto  stary jicin  stary plzenec  stepankovice  stepanov  sternberk  steti  stity  stochov  stod  strakonice  stramberk  strani  strasice  straznice  straz pod ralskem  strelice  stribro  studena  studenka  suchdol nad luznici  sumperk  susice  svetla nad sazavou  svitavy  svoboda nad upou  tabor  tachov  tanvald  telc  tepla  teplice  terezin  terlicko  tisnov  tlucna  tlumacov  touzim  tovacov  trebechovice pod orebem  trebic  trebon  tremosna  tremosnice  trhove sviny  trinec  trmice  trojanovice  troubky  trutnov  tuchlovice  turnov  tvrdonice  tynec nad sazavou  tyniste nad orlici  tyn nad vltavou  uherske hradiste  uhersky brod  uhersky ostroh  uhlirske janovice  unicov  upice  ustek  usti nad orlici  usti  uvaly  vacenovice  valasska bystrice  valasske klobouky  valasske mezirici  valtice  vamberk  varnsdorf  vejprnice  vejprty  velesin  velim  velka bites  velka bystrice  velka hledsebe  velka nad velickou  velke bilovice  velke hamry  velke karlovice  velke losiny  velke mezirici  velke opatovice  velke pavlovice  velke porici  velky osek  velky senov  velky tynec  velvary  vendryne  verovice  veseli nad luznici  veseli nad moravou  vetrni  veverska bityska  vikyrovice  vimperk  vitkov  vizovice  vlasim  vlcnov  vnorovy  vodnany  volary  volyne  votice  vracov  vranovice  vratimov  vrbno pod pradedem  vrchlabi  vrdy  vresina  vsetaty  vsetin  vyskov  vysoke myto  vyssi brod  zabreh  zacler  zakupy  zamberk  zasova  zastavka  zatec  zbiroh  zbysov  zdanice  zdice  zdounky  zelezna ruda  zelezny brod  zidlochovice  zirovnice  zlate hory  zlin  zliv  zlonice  zlutice  znojmo  zruc nad sazavou  

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