Prague is a beautiful historical city and one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. On this page I have summarised basic info and answers to the most frequently asked questions.
On this page:
- What Country is Prague In?
- Where Is Prague Located on the Map?
- Prague Coordinates
- Notable Cities near Prague
- Notable Cities in the Czech Republic
- Prague Time Zone
- Prague Time Differences vs. Selected Cities
- Which Language Is Spoken in Prague?
- A Few Useful Czech Words
- Prague Name in Different Languages
- Prague Currency
- Czech Koruna Banknotes and Coins
- Exchanging Money & Czech Koruna Exchange Rates
What Country is Prague In?
Prague (population 1.3m) is the capital of the Czech Republic, a small country (population 10.6m) in the middle of Europe, next to Germany.
Czech Republic is one of the two countries which originated from the split of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993 (the other country is of course Slovakia). Many foreigners still incorrectly refer to the country as Czechoslovakia.
You might be familiar with some of the famous people or products from the Czech Republic:
- Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák – composers
- Václav Havel – first president of the Czech Republic
- Jaromír Jágr – ice-hockey player and NHL legend
- Pavel Nedvěd, Petr Čech – football players
- Ivan Lendl and Martina Navrátilová – tennis players
- Miloš Forman – film director
- Milan Kundera – writer
- Škoda – car brand
- Budweiser and Pilsner – beer
Where Is Prague Located on the Map?
Prague is located in the middle of the Czech Republic, which lies in Central Europe to the east of Germany and also borders on Austria, Slovakia and Poland.
When you look at a map of Europe, you will find the Czech Republic almost exactly in the middle of the continent, approximately in the middle of the imaginary line connecting Italy and Sweden.
Both Prague and the Czech Republic often claim the title “the heart of Europe”, although admittedly that title is also being claimed by several other cities and countries in the region.
Prague latitude is 50°5′ North, which is roughly similar to London, Paris or Vancouver.
Prague longitude is 14°25′ East, which is roughly similar to Berlin or Rome.
Notable Cities near Prague
There are several big and well-known cities within 300-400 km from Prague:
- Berlin, capital of Germany, 350 km to the north-northwest from Prague
- Dresden, Germany, 150 km from Prague on the way to Berlin
- Vienna, capital of Austria, 300 km to the south-east from Prague
- Bratislava, capital of Slovakia and the second largest city of the former Czechoslovakia after Prague, located very close to Vienna some 300 km to the south-east from Prague
- Salzburg, Austria, birthplace of Mozart, 350 km to the south-southwest from Prague
- Munich, Germany, home of Oktoberfest and Bayern football club, 350 km to the south-west from Prague
Notable Cities in the Czech Republic
The population of Prague is 1.3 million, which is about 12% of the total population of the Czech Republic (10.6 million). Other big cities in the Czech Republic (although all much smaller than Prague) include:
- Brno – second largest Czech city, located in the south-east on the way to Vienna
- Ostrava – industrial city in the north-east, near the border with Poland
- Plzeň (Pilsen) – home of Pilsner beer
- České Budějovice (Budweis) – home of Budweiser beer (and also home of this website’s author)
Being among the most visited cities in the world, Prague is by far the top tourist target in the Czech Republic. Other popular destinations include:
- Karlovy Vary – spa town in the west of the country with a famous film festival
- Český Krumlov – small historical town in South Bohemia, the southern part of the Czech Republic
Prague Time Zone
Prague and the entire Czech Republic use the Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of London, or GMT+1.
In winter Prague time zone is UTC+1, while in summer the Czech Republic observes Daylight Saving Time (DST) and its time zone is UTC+2.
Prague has the same time zone as most of continental Europe, including Germany, France, Italy or Scandinavia.
Prague Time Differences vs. Selected Cities
- 10 hours behind Auckland, Wellington
- 8 hours behind Sydney, Melbourne
- 7 hours behind Tokyo, Seoul
- 6 hours behind Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore
- 5 hours behind Bangkok
- 3.5 hours behind Delhi, Mumbai
- 2 hours behind Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Baku
- 1 hour behind Moscow, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Helsinki
- Same time as Paris, Berlin, Rome, Cape Town
- 1 hour ahead of London, Dublin, Lisbon
- 5 hours ahead of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires
- 6 hours ahead of Montreal, New York, Washington, Atlanta
- 7 hours ahead of Chicago, Dallas, Mexico City, Bogota
- 8 hours ahead of Calgary, Denver, Salt Lake City
- 9 hours ahead of Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles
- 12 hours ahead of Honolulu
These time differences are valid in summer, when DST is used in the Czech Republic. Throughout the year, the time difference may shift by 1 or 2 hours for places which don’t observe DST, or use DST differently, particularly places in the southern hemisphere or near the Equator. For example, the time difference between Prague and Singapore is 6 hours in summer and 7 hours in winter, as Singapore does not observe DST. The time difference between Prague and Rio de Janeiro is 5 hours in June and only 3 hours in December, as Brazil’s DST use is opposite to the Czech Republic.
To check current time differences between cities, it is best to use the Time Zone Converter at timeanddate.com.
Which Language Is Spoken in Prague?
The official language spoken in Prague and the Czech Republic is Czech.
Czech is a Slavic language – like Russian or Polish. Due to location and history, the Czech language (and particularly some of its regional dialects) has also been quite heavily influenced by German (or Austrian German). There are many Czech words with German origin which you don’t find in other Slavic languages.
The Czech Republic is the only country in the world which uses the Czech language. Other languages most similar to Czech are Slovak (Czechs and Slovaks understand each other without much difficulty) and, to some extent, Polish (less similar than Slovak, but as a Czech I can still understand a little bit of Polish).
In most Prague hotels, restaurants and other places frequented by tourists you can use English without any problems. The staff also often understands German and Russian.
A Few Useful Czech Words
Good morning / formal hello (literally good day) = Dobrý den [pronounced dob-ree den]
Good evening = Dobrý večer [dob-ree ve-tcher]
Informal hello (don’t use with strangers) = Ahoj [a-hoy]
How are you? = Jak se máš? [yak se maash]
Please = Prosím [pro-seem]
Thank you = Děkuji [dye-kuu-yi]
… but the locals won’t be offended if you just use their English equivalents.
Anyway, the first and often the only Czech word that visitors learn and use is:
It means beer.
Prague Name in Different Languages
If you are visiting Prague, it is also useful to know its name in the Czech language: Praha. It is pronounced pra-ha (the h is pronounced clearly, like in “holiday”).
The name of Prague in some other languages is:
- German: Prag
- French: Prague
- Spanish: Praga
- Italian: Praga
This is also reflected on Prague’s official logo which you will find in many places throughout the city:
The official currency of the Czech Republic is Czech koruna, code CZK, locally often denoted as Kč.
Note that like in Germany, the decimal symbol is a comma, not a point. The point symbol is sometimes used as thousands separator, but more typically thousands are separated with a space.
1 234,56 Kč = one thousand two hundred and thirty-four korunas and fifty-six hellers.
One koruna is divided into 100 hellers (haléř in Czech). However, heller coins are no longer in circulation and fractions of korunas are only used in electronic payments. In a supermarket, individual items may be priced with fractions of korunas, but the balance will be rounded to whole korunas when you pay.
Czech Koruna Banknotes and Coins
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 CZK
Guess what – the 50 CZK coin actually features Prague Castle and is made of two different metals – very beautiful. You may want to keep one as a souvenir.
Banknotes: 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 CZK
Of course, in many places the 2000 and 5000 notes are not well received when paying very small amounts. If you are stuck with a note too big to use, a supermarket is the best place to get some change.
Exchanging Money & Czech Koruna Exchange Rates
As a tourist in Prague, you will often be able to pay in euros, especially in hotels. Many restaurants and even supermarkets also accept euros, but note that the exchange rates they use are often very unfavourable to you. It is best to exchange a larger amount at the beginning of your stay and then always pay in cash in Czech koruna. Just don’t exchange money at the airport – the exchange rates are extremely unfavourable there; the city centre (particularly Old Town) is much better, as there are many exchange offices competing with each other.
The current (March 2020) Czech koruna exchange rates are:
- 1 EUR = 25 CZK
- 1 USD = 22 CZK
- 1 GBP = 29 CZK
This is just to get a rough idea. The exchange rates constantly change. You can always check the current official rates of Czech koruna against all major currencies on the official website of the Czech National Bank.