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Last updated : Nov 2009
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Food & Drink

Food is based on Austro-Hungarian dishes; (Wiener) Schnitzel and pork are very popular. Some of the specialities are bramborak, a delicacy of a potato pancake filled with garlic and herbs, and Prague ham. Meat dishes are mostly served with knedliky, a type of dough dumpling, and zeli (sauerkraut). Fresh vegetables are often missing in lower-class restaurants. There is a large selection of restaurants, beer taverns and wine cellars.

Popular beverages include beers (lager, dark ales, pilsner), red, white and sparkling wines from Moravia and Bohemia, fruit juices and liqueurs. Particular specialities include becherovka (a herb brandy) and two Moravian favourites, slivovice (plum brandy) and merunkovice (apricot brandy). There are no strict licensing hours.

Legal Drinking age: 18 years


Opera and theatre are of a good standard all over Eastern Europe. Much of the nightlife takes place in bars, nightclubs and casinos, which are found in major cities.


Souvenirs include Bohemian crystal and glass, pottery, porcelain, wooden folk carvings, hand-embroidered clothing, and food items. There are a number of shops specialising in glass and crystal, while various associations of regional artists and craftsmen run their own retail outlets.

Special purchases to look for include pottery (particularly from Kolovec and Straznice); china ornaments and geyserstone carvings from Karlovy Vary; delicate needle and lace embroidery from many Moravian towns; and blood-red garnets and semi-precious stones from Bohemia.

Shopping hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 to18:00hours, Saturdays 08:00 to 12:00.

Special Events

The Czech Republic is one of the most musical in Central Europe. Throughout the year there are numerous occasions to enjoy music in concert halls, theatres, stately homes and churches. Regular music festivals and concert also take place. Most towns have their folk festivals, with dancing, local costumes and food. These tend to be during the summer months leading up to the harvest festivals in September.
Feb 1-28 The Ball Season in Prague
Apr 7-12 Prague Festival
Apr 30 Witches Night, Prague
May Book World 2005
May 12-Jun 3 Prague Spring International Music Festival
May 23 Prague Marathon
Jun 4-Aug 14 Prague Folklore Festival
Jul 4-12 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Aug 6-28 Ceský Krumlov International Music Festival
Sep 11-Oct 1 Prague Autumn Festival
Oct 5-10 Designblok, Prague
Nov 26-29 International Festival of Advent and Christmas Music
Dec 31 New Year's Eve Celebrations, nationwide.
Social Conventions

Dress can be casual, but conservative, except at formal dinners and at quality hotel and restaurants.


The customary tip is between 5 and 10 per cent.
Useful travel links
Czech Republic dining Guide Guide and tips to dining in Czech Republic
World Restaurant Guides Restaurant guides within Europe