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IVF in Czech Republic – Practical Information

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Continent: Europe
Capital: Prague
Direction: +420
Currrency: The Czech Crown
Population: 10,5 mln (2010)
Language: Czech language
Time zone: UTC+1 (winter) and UTC+2 (summer)

The Czech Republic – a landlocked country in a Central Europe. From the north-east it borders with Poland, in the west and north-west it borders with Germany, and to the south with Austria and south-east of Slovakia. The Czech Republic is a member, among others. UN, EU, NATO, the Schengen area and the OECD.

COUNTRY

IVF InfoThe Czech Republic is located in central part of Europe and its area covers 78,866 sqkm. It is an inland country at the distance to the Baltic Sea of 326 km and 322 km to the Adriatic Sea. Its neighbouring countries are Germany (810 km), Poland (762 km), Austria (466 km) and Slovakia 265 km. The location with the greatest altitude is Śnieżka Mountain (1,602 m above sea level) and the lowest location is near Hřensko, where the Elbe River flows out from the Czech Republic (117 m above sea level).

TOPOGRAPHY

The Czech Republic is situated between two European mountain ranges – Alpine-Himalayas and Variscan. The topography is quite different: valleys (4.5% of the area), plains (50.1%), highlands (33.9%) and mountains (11.6%). The areas located below 200 m above sea level cover 4.95% of the country, those between 200-500 m above sea level cover 74.1%, the areas at 600-1000 m above sea level cover 19.3%, and those over 1000 m above sea level 1.6%.

CLIMATE

The Czech Republic is located in the mediocre climate zone, so that neither in winter nor in summer it is too cold or too hot. An average temperature in July in the lowlands is 20oC (Prague 19.5oC), and in the mountains 8-11oC. An average temperature in January is between -1 and -2oC in the lowlands, and -5 to -7oC in the mountains.

PEOPLE

According to the census from 2000 the population of the Czech Republic is 10.3 million inhabitants, 5 millions of them are male and 5.3 million are female. Three third of people lives in the urban areas. On average there are 131 persons per sqkm and the increase in the population is 0.8 persons per 1000 inhabitants.

 

Practical information

THE CZECH REPUBLIC – EUROPEAN UNION MEMBER

The Czech Republic has been part of Schengen zone since 2008, so there is no more passport control while crossing the border. Currently, Schengen zone consists of 22 EU countries, as well as Iceland and Norway being the members of the Nordic Countries Passport Association, and also Switzerland and Lichtenstein which has signed Schengen Association Agreement.

TOURIST INFORMATION

The best way to get detailed information on the town or region that you are visiting is to contact tourist information offices. They are available in almost every big city and most of smaller towns. The staff is generally willing to help you and competent, and very often they speak German and English (bank, hotel, as well as luxury shops’ and restaurants’ staff also do). At the office you can buy or get for free maps and brochures presenting local places that are worth visiting, and at some offices you can also book a room to stay overnight. Tourist offices in smaller towns have more free brochures available. ČEDOK travelling agency organises mainly package tours. However, if you prefer to travel alone, we will be happy to help you. It is better to buy detailed maps here in the Czech Republic. We recommend you those published by Kartografie Praha and Klub českých turistü, especially the ones presenting different tourist regions (green places).

TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES

CzechTourism Information Centre
Staroměstské náměstí 6, 110 15 Prague 1
T. +420 224 861 587
staromestska@czechtourism.cz
www.czechtourism.cz

OPENING HOURS:

High season:

  • Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
  • Saturday: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
  • Sunday: 10.00 am – 3.00 pm

Low season:

  • Monday to Friday: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
  • Saturday: 10.00 am – 3.00 pm

CZECH STATUTORY HOLIDAYS

  •  1st January – Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State , New Year’s
  • Easter Monday
  • 1st May – Labour Holiday
  • 8th May – Fascism Liberation Day
  • 5th July – Day of Slavic Apostles Cyrillus and Methodius
  • 6th July – Day of Burning of Jan Hus (1415)
  • 28th September – Day of Czech Statehood
  • 28th October – Czech Founding Day (1918)
  • 17th November – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
  • 24th December – Christmas Eve
  • 25th December – 1st day of Christmas
  • 26th December – 2nd day of Christmas

WEATHER

Detailed information about the climate in the Czech Republic and the current weather forecast can be found here: http://www.yr.no/place/Czech_Republic/

EMBASSIES AND CONSULATES

A list of embassies and consulates with the contact details can be found here: http://www.mzv.cz/jnp/en/diplomatic_missions/foreign_missions_to_the_czech_republic/index.html

IVF_112IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS:

Emergency, fire service, police: 112
Police: 158
Emergency: 155
Fire service: 150
Road help service: 1230 or 1240

Time zone

UTC+1 (winter) and UTC+2 (summer). Summer time begins on Sunday, 30 March 2014 at 02:00 winter time (standard). Summer time ends on Sunday, 26 October 2014 at 03:00 summer time.

CURRENCY

1 Czech crown (in Czech česká koruna; Kč) is divided into 100 hallers. You can pay with:

  • banknotes: 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1.000, 2.000 and 5.000 Kč.
  • coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 Kč, and 50 hallers (10 and 20 haller coins are no longer in use since 2003).

Prices are rounded to 50 hallers or full crowns. In the towns visited by tourists that are located near the German and Austrian border you can sometimes pay in Euro, or possibly in USD (especially for private rooms).

PRICES

Fuel

In the Czech Republic you will pay between 35 to 39 CZK per litre of unleaded petrol and about 16-18 CZK for one litre of LPG – so it will cost you slightly more than in Poland to fill in your car. Chain petrol stations located along major roads are open 24 hours a day, except for small private stations that might be closed at night or during the statutory holidays.

Prices of food products

The prices at the Czech food shops are very much like those in Poland: for a loaf of bread we will pay about 25 CZK, for a litre of milk about 19.00 CZK, a large bottle of mineral water is about 12.45 CZK, and a kilo of sugar costs 17.90 to 26.00 CZK. The cheapest way to do the shopping is to buy at discount chain stores (e.g. Lidl, Norma, Levné potraviny) or hypermarkets (Tesco, Kaufland).

Prices at restaurants

The prices of food at restaurants are very different depending on the town or city you are eating in – definitely it is the most expensive when eating a dinner in the capital city of Prague where you will pay 140-300 CZK at a middle class restaurant. Surely, in smaller towns the prices may be lower. For a meal you can satisfy your hunger with at a local bar or inn you will pay about 100 CZK. The prices of beer are between 12 to 80 CZK.

Prices of overnight stays

Prague is also the most expensive when it comes to staying overnight, where you will pay over 400 CZK for a double room in a middle class hotel and even 4.5 thousand CZK in a luxury hotel per night. In smaller towns you can stay at private rooms or at camping sites where the prices start with 120 CZK, and the price per night in a double room in a middle class hotel is just as much as 300 CZK.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE, BANKS

It is a good idea to make sure you have enough time available when going to a bank (Mo.-Fr. 8.00-18.00, on Fr. it happens that even earlier) to exchange or pay out the money. For sure it is safe to exchange your money in a bank, but exchange offices sometimes offer better rates. It usually goes faster at the exchange office, though it is advisable to ask what commission (czes. poplatelt) do they charge before exchanging the money – it can be a percentage rate or amount in crowns (e.g. 40 Kč at minimum).Avoid going to street currency sellers to exchange your money. They often try to palm a foreigner false money and the rate they offer is rarely any better from that at the bank.

There are few places where you can exchange PLN to CZK. You can do this more frequently in the regions located near the border. You’d better do this before going to the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic it is the easiest to exchange EUR to USD.

You can find the current rates here: http://www.cnb.cz/en/index.html

NON-CASH PAYING

Credit or cash dispenser cards are becoming more and more popular. They are accepted by gradually bigger number of hotels, restaurants, and shops. You can pay with them also at major petrol stations. Most popular cards include American Express, Eurocard/MasterCard, VISA, Access. You should bear in mind that a commission is charged when withdrawing money from a cash dispenser, so it is better when you check how much they charge before travelling to the Czech Republic. By paying via credit or cash dispenser card you save your money.

HEALTH AND HEALTHCARE

It is recommended that persons going abroad acquire health insurance for the time of travel that guarantees reimbursement of treatment costs.

Local doctors decide about the scope of medical treatment. Other medical services are payable. In order to be entitled to free medical treatment in the Czech Republic you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). When you use the services of a local healthcare centre in the Czech Republic this card confirms that you are insured and the cost of your treatment is covered by your insurance company.

CULINARY FACILITIES

IVF FoodMost restaurants are opened only until 22.00 (this does not mean that they serve dishes until that time). For the price of an overnight stay you can get a meal at a restaurant. The meals are so cheap so it is good to eat at least one daily this way. Czechs eat breakfast relatively early. At 11.00 and even at 10.00 at most establishments you will hear that they had run out of typical breakfast dishes.

The dinner Czechs eat around 13.00 or 14.00 is served at restaurants between about 12.00 to 17.00. Early in the evening you can eat a hot meal only at the most expensive restaurants and some inns. The only exception here are the towns popular among tourists, especially Prague, where the establishments are crowded until late night hours.

It is worth to examine the check because it sometimes shows prices different than those in the menu. Sometimes waiters include in it dishes that were not ordered. Usually you give a tip (several CZK), however it is not necessary and does not have to be big.

Ready-made meals are served at restaurants, cafes, wineries, beer pubs, inns, bars, and buffets. Simple snacks that you can eat at the place or take out can be bought at the stalls.

RESTAURANTS

Most restaurants serve Czech and European cuisine dishes. These include mainly meat and fish prepared in various ways served with knedliky, potatoes, or French fries. Do not make yourself too much on eating vegetarian dishes since vegetables are not particularly

popular in the Czech cuisine. A portion of salad or cooked vegetables that is served with the main course is usually small, but you can always order an additional salad, separately. There are few dishes without meat that you can choose from. Main course should satisfy your hunger.

BEER PUBS AND INNS

These two are hard to tell one from the other. Theoretically, beer pubs besides beer serve only cold snacks, and inns – traditionally hot meals, however, at some beer pubs you can also eat hot dishes, mainly specialities of the Czech cuisine. It is the best place to eat a meal that is cheap, nourishing, and typically Czech. It is good seen to order a beer along with your meal – waiter usually have it already ticked for you in his order book. He does so because he knows that you will order another. Speaking about it it is worth to mention the Czech habit of drinking beer alone in the inn before noon. It is about delighting oneself in silence and alone with the taste of golden beverage.

CAFES

Traditional cafes (serving coffee, tea, pastries, and desserts), but also those where you can eat a sandwich, cold and hot snacks, and even two-course meals. They frequently open in the morning and you can eat breakfast there.

BARS AND BUFFETS

They are perfect for quick breakfast because they open as early as at 6.00 or even at 7.00. You usually eat your meal there standing (there is a counter instead of tables). If you want to eat light breakfast, you should order sandwiches (chlebíčky in Czech) that are regarded as the speciality of the Czech cuisine. Usually you are served a sandwich with cheese, ham, pate, cucumbers or tomatoes inside. You can also try salads. Bars and buffets offer also dishes that the locals usually eat at noon (soups, meats, and knedliky).

IVF We Are OpenOPENING HOURS OF OFFICES, SHOPS, AND MUSEUMS

Most food shops open:

  • on working days: 6.00-18.00 or 21.00
  • on Saturdays: 9.00-13.00.

Supermarkets

They are most often opened until 20.00. Hypermarkets, especially those in major towns are opened 24 h. Small family shops, especially those in villages and small towns are closed during lunch break between 12.00-14.00. On Saturdays, especially in the regions visited by tourists or in big cities, some shops open before noon and a few also on Sunday. The shops that do not sell food products open most often:

  • on working days: 9.00-18.00
  • on Saturdays: 9.00-13.00.

Banks and offices

Bank opening hours on working days are usually: 8.00-18.00 (on Friday they sometimes close even earlier). Opening hours of offices, on the other hand, are a bit shorter: 8.00-16.00. Post offices usually open:

  • on working days: 8.00-17.00 or 20.00
  • on Saturdays: 8.00-12.00 or 13.00

Museums

Opening hours are similar for most museums: 9.00-17.00 (it is possible they open and close with 1-hour difference). When planning a visit to a museum you should bear in mind there is usually a break between 12.00-13.00. This does not apply to museums only. You should always keep in mind there is a break even though it is not mentioned (e.g. visiting hours 8.00-17.00 really mean: 8.00-12.00 and 13.00-17.00). You should also remember that latest you can enter most facilities is an hour before closing. So if the opening hours are 9.00-16.00, the last visitors can enter at 15.00. Opening hours depend on the season. In winter most facilities close faster (or they remain closed, especially from November to February). On Monday all facilities that are worth visiting are usually closed.  This applies also to many castles in the Czech Republic (over 90% can be visited with a guide only).

Many can be surprised by the richness and diversity of sacral architecture in the Czech Republic. There are many buildings distinguished by their great artistic value. In order to make these wonderful places available to visitors, on one hand, and secure them against the growing number of the acts of stealing, on the other, the doors of most churches are left opened and only the interiors are separated from the vestibule with a lattice. If you want to visit the inside you can go to the parochial house (farní úřad in Czech) and ask the priest (farař in Czech) to let you get behind the lattice and visit the temple (however, it is better when you make a prior appointment by phone). Entering the most famous buildings that are frequently visited by tourists is charged (e.g. the Cathedral in Kutna Hora, presbytery of the Cathedral in Prague and the Chapel of St. Vaclav).

Useful links:

  1. Costs of IVF Treatment in Czech Republic
  2. IVF in Czech Republic – Healthcare Standards
  3. IVF in Czech Republic – Clinics’ Cities
  4. IVF in Czech Republic – Organisations
  5. IVF in Czech Republic – Practical Information
  6. IVF in Czech Republic – Travelling
  7. IVF Rules and Regulations in Czech Republic
  8. IVF Success Rates in Czech Republic

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