Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, and therefore customs formalities apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton moving to Czech Republic from the UK.
Currency — there are no restrictions. Free import of goods bought from the EU with some restrictions on the amount of alcohol and cigarettes. Medicines for personal use only. (more…)
The random fun fact that sets you in the right mindframe when you consider relocating to Czech Republic is that there are more castles per acre than anywhere else in the world. Considering its situation in the centre of greedy Europe this is hardly surprising. There are more than 2 000 castles today. Prague castle is the largest castle in the world by over 18 acres. It was the setting for the creation of the title Baron Highfall.
The famous act of defenestration happened in Bohemia. In 1618 a group of Protestants threw three Catholics out of a third story window. They were (debatably) lucky, landing in a pile of horse manure, they all survived. One of the survivors became known as Baron Highfall. And no – it wasn’t his real last name. (more…)
Prague has one of the best public transportation systems in Europe. So you’ll find yourself using public transport more often than driving in Czech Republic. In Prague the main operator is the DPP which operates the metro, trams, buses, the funicular railway and the chairlift at the zoo. The transport is efficient, frequent, clean and safe. It is also logical with a clear signing system and onboard displays — very reassuring for the traveller new to the area. They are also not too expansive, yet. While the trams tend to serve the inner city area, the outlying areas are served mainly by bus. The newer trams have low boarding, and are easy to use for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There are a variety of ticket types.
Opencards or the more flexible transferable pass (which other people can use) are available to all, but require a Czech address. For this you apply at the town hall, with two copies of the application form, photo, ID and a proof of a Czech address and the fee.
If you are over 70 years old, irrespective of nationality you can obtain a PID card from many metro stations — and then you can travel free. You need one passport-style photo, ID and 20 crowns and the pass is issued while you wait. (more…)
To help you dive into the social life in Czechia you should learn at least the basics of their official language, which is Czech. This is a Slavonic language like Slovak, Polish, Serbian, Russian, Croatian and Bulgarian. Although the alphabet used is the Latin one, they use lots of diacritical marks (accents), making one letter for one sound — and their marks can change the meaning and pronunciation of words
You will find that in Prague many people do speak English, and German, but not in country districts. However, the Czechs do seem to be both kind and patient. Learn a little Czech and it should go a long way.
Social Life in Czechia
Throughout a history of war, protest and government changes the Czechs have remained true to their traditions and values. Social life centres around the family, and, until they get to know you, you will find the people formal and reserved, although polite. Wait to be invited to use the first name, or you may be seen as insulting. If you are invited to a home, arrive promptly, bringing chocolates or wine. Be careful of flowers as they may have a romantic connotation to the over 35s. Avoid calla lilies as they are funereal, and avoid the number 13. Don’t sit until invited — and do praise the food — it’s a good subject for conversation. Note that the Czechs have a dark sense of humour and can laugh at themselves. (more…)
Considering that Bohemia is the border between Eastern and Central Europe you get the best of both world. High quality of life and affordable prices. Outsied of Prague cost of living in Czech Republic is surprisingly low.
Buying a House in Czech Republic
A residency permit will enable you to buy property in the Czech Republic. These are the steps you need to take:
Find the property.
Commission a report on the title and quality of the property.
Your attorney and estate agent will draw up “an intent to purchase contract”, and “contract of deposit” — once you have agreed a price and made a deposit (10-30% of the price). Make sure this is checked by an independent lawyer before you sign it. (Sometimes the agreements drawn up by the estate agent may even be designed for the buyer to lose their deposit.)
The purchase agreement is signed by both parties — and you pay the rest of the price which remains in escrow.
Make sure the property is insured, as once the purchase agreement is signed you will be responsible for it.
The Czech pension system has three parts – a mandatory basic level, a complimentary part you pay towards through the state. And the third part, which is the voluntary insurance aspect. However, there have been changes and it would be rather advisable for you to check with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
For life certificates from the UK Pension Service reply as quickly as possible otherwise your benefit may be stopped. Call the IPC on 0191 218 7777 . If you receive a UK state retirement pension or long-term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to state-funded healthcare paid for by the UK. You’ll need to apply for form S1 from the International Pension Centre. Telephone 0191 218 7777. You need to register your S1 with the Czech authorities – this entitles you to an EHIC issued by the UK. This in turn allows access to medical care in other EEA countries – including Britain. (more…)
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Czech Republic is the beauty of the old buildings and the rich history. As a country, there is a lot of diversity; Prague is a relatively modern city and finding services and help will be substantially easier there than compared to smaller towns. When I lived in the Czech Republic a simple Google search brought what I needed most often, otherwise I just asked a local. In general Czech people are somewhat cold, but still helpful, especially if you try to speak some Czech. Aside from Prague and Brno, the majority of older people will not speak English, but it is common for English to be taught in schools so most young people should know some basic English.