Living in the Czech Republic - basic info for newcomers
The cost of living is low in the Czech Republic compared to most Western countries, and you will be able to live comfortably without spending large sums. Bank machines are generally the easiest and cheapest way to manage money here, and the Brno city centre features numerous conveniently located bank machines. (Bank branches operating at the Campus Square shopping centre – Raiffeisen Bank and KB).
Foreign currency can be exchanged at any bank, though you might check around to see which one gives the best rate, since these can vary a little. The small exchange booths in the centre of Brno and Masarykova Street are said to offer good exchange rates.
The Czech currency is called "koruna" (crown, abbreviated Kč), which is made up of 100 haléřů (hellers, abbreviated hal.). Coins in the following denominations are in circulation: 1 crown, 2 crowns, 5 crowns, 10 crowns ,20 crowns and 50 crowns. In addition there are the following notes: 100 crowns, 200 crowns, 500 crowns, 1,000 crowns, 2,000 crowns and 5,000 crowns.
The cost of living in the Czech Republic is much lower than in the old EU member states. For basic expenses such as food, accommodation and transportation, students will need cca 300 EUR per month.
Prices of some foods and goods (approximate) in Czech crowns (EUR)
|A loaf of bread||25–30 (1–1,2)|
|McDonalds Menu||100 (3,5)|
|Lunch in MU Caffeteria, incl. drink||70 (2,5)|
|Cinema Ticket||80-150 (2,5-5)|
|One way ticket – public transport||25 (1)|
|Monthly ticket – public transport||275 (11)|
Insurance card & ID card or Passport
It is obligatory for all citizens and people present in the Czech Republic (i. e. also for you, exchange students) to have your insurance cards and ID cards or passports always with you. Please carry it at all times, as you might be checked by members of the Police or the Police Office for Foreigners
If you are faced with an urgent need for medical attention at a time when doctors' offices are not open, and you are confined to bed, call the first-aid service at 545538538; a doctor will come to examine you within a very short time. In other cases you should go in person to the emergency service at Ponávka 6, which is open Monday - Friday from 17:00 till 7:00 and non-stop on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Emergency dental care is also available at the same address.
Throughout the Czech Republic, there is one set of emergency numbers for use in case of fire, the urgent need for an ambulance, or crime. These are as follows:
|Crime||156 (Municipal Police)|
|158 (National Police)|
Most of the medicines available elsewhere can be obtained here, though not in every pharmacy. In case you need some kind of medicine in the evening, at night or over the weekend, when shops are normally closed, there is a non-stop pharmacy located in the centre of the city at Koliště 47.
There are two separate police forces in the Czech Republic, the National Police Force (Policie České republiky) and Municipal Police Forces (Městská policie). The Czech Police deal with such areas as criminal activities, road traffic (accidents, fines and so on), and visas for foreigners. The Municipal Police have limited powers to maintain law and order within the town or city where they work.
Most post offices are only open on weekdays. The one beside the Main Train Station remains open non-stop, 24 hours a day seven days a week. More info here.
- January, 1 – New Year's Day
- Good Friday – movable, Easter
- Easter Monday – moveable; the Monday after Easter Sunday
- May, 1 – May Day
- May, 8 – Liberation Day (marking the end of World War II)
- July, 5 – Feast day of the Apostles of the Slavs, Sts Cyril and Methodius
- July, 6 – Day marking the anniversary of the death of Jan Hus (1415)
- September, 28 – Day of Czech statehood (the feast day of St Wenceslas)
- October, 28 – Day commemorating the founding of the Czechoslovak state (1918)
- November, 17 – Day of the struggle for freedom and democracy
- December, 24–26 – Christmas holidays
The electric power outlet in the Czech Republic is 220 volts, 50 Hz AC. More info here: http://www.voltageconverters.com/voltage-guide/