Czech culture and language
A little about the Czech Republic
- Capital: Prague
- Geographical size: 78 867 km²
- Population: 10,6 million (1.1.2020)
- Official language: Czech
- Political system: parliamentary republic
- EU member country: since 1 May 2004
- Schengen Area member: since 21 December 2007
- Neighbours: Austria, Germany, Poland, Slovakia
- Currency: Czech koruna (CZK) = Koruna Česká (Kč)
- Religion: 88.5% non-religious or non-declared; 10.4% Roman Catholic; 1.1% other
Facts and tips
The Czech Republic, besides other interesting facts, is known for being the most beer consuming country in the world. If you would like, there are some very good local beers you can try for very cheap prices (as alcohol prices are very low in general), or traditional Czech beer brands like Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser Budvar, Radegast etc. When paying at a restaurant, pub or a café, there is no compulsory tax (as in the US), but only voluntary cash or card tip (10-50 CZK is enough). The Czech cuisine is mostly meat or sweet based. Some of the traditional meals you can try are Svíčková na smetaně, Vepřo knedlo zelo, Hovězí guláš (beef goulash), Kulajda (dill mushroom soup) or sweet dumplings stuffed with fruits and other sweet buns.
Popular places to visit
The culture and history of the Czech Republic is very rich. Therefore, you can find many historical sights and beautiful nature sceneries all around the country.
- in the Czech Republic: Prague, Cesky Krumlov (UNESCO), Trebic, Telc (UNESCO), Lednice-Valtice, Bohemian Switzerland National Park, Krkonose National Park, Karlstejn Castle, Moravian Karst (karst caves), Bohemian Paradise, Mikulov and Pálava (landscape protected area – wine region), Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), Znojmo (city in wine country Moravia)
- in Brno: Spilberk castle, Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, Brno Reservoir, Villa Tugendhat, Brno Observatory, Mendel museum, Old town hall, wildlife reserve and lookout tower Holedná, Janáček Theatre and fountain, Mahen Theatre, city centre – Liberty square
more detailed information on Brno’s sights and events: gotobrno.cz
Foreigners in Brno
The city hosts over 30 000 foreigners with over a hundred nationalities, out of which the three major nationalities residing here are Ukrainian, Slovak and Vietnamese. Brno is known to be a student city, with high-quality universities affordable for anyone, which attracts a lot of foreign students as well as locals. Besides students, also many scientist and researchers are attracted to this city, due to many world-known historical scientific achievements (in genetics – Gregor Mendel, soft contact lenses – Otto Wichterle, J. E. Purkyně – theory of cells etc.), and many interesting fields of research still being offered here.
Czech Language & courses
Most people speak at least basics of English (besides the older generation), as it is nowadays taught in schools. So, it shouldn’t be a problem if you can only communicate in English. But it could come in handy to learn a bit of Czech if you intend to stay in the country longer-term. If you would like to learn the Czech language or at least its basics, there is a wide range of courses you can take.
Jihomoravský kraj offers free Czech courses to the foreigners both from EU and the Third countries. Although these courses are for free, they have some strict rules that you have to follow, since there are many people interested in them and their capacity is limited. You have to attend at least 75% of lectures and always come to the lesson on time. You have to pass the test at the end of the course by having at least 70% of it correct.
Link with more information regarding the courses: Center for Foreigners| The South Moravian Region
You can also attend paid courses by different language schools which you can find on internet.
Or if you’d like to learn basics the comfort of your home, you can use for example Duolingo app.