Currency, payments, tips and post

Currency
11. 7. 2013

The official unit of currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech crown (Kč, CZK), which is divided into 100 hellers.

Although it is possible to pay in euros for certain services and in many shops, it is better to get some local currency for a stay in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic uses coins in values of CZK 1, CZK 2, CZK 5, CZK 10, CZK 20 and CZK 50.

Paper banknotes have values of CZK 50, CZK 100, CZK 200, CZK 500, CZK 1,000, CZK 2,000 and CZK 5,000.

Detailed information about the current CZK exchange rate with regards to other global currencies and a currency calculator can be found here and at the European Central Bank.

Exchanging money

There are three ways to change money:

  • You can get Czech crowns in banks, where you will pay at least 2% of the total amount to change money. Banks also frequently have cash machines where you can insert your foreign currency and the cash machine will exchange this for Czech crowns. A fee will of course also be charged here for changing money.
  • If you decide to change your money in a private bureau de change, ask the staff there to tell you the precise amount that they intend to pay you. The sign 0% commission often does not relate to sale, but purchase of foreign currency. It can also happen that an advantageous exchange rate, which the bureau de change advertises to attract customers, only applies for exchange of money in excess of a certain amount (for example 100 euros) or you will be charged a fee for the exchange. Bureaux de change are obliged to state everything truthfully in several languages, although conditions are often written in very small print which can easily be overlooked.
  • You can also change money in the reception of the hotel where you are staying.

Recommendation: Never change money on the street and do not buy currency from people you do not know, for example in a restaurant or at the airport!

Cash machines and payment cards

If you have an international payment card, you can of course make direct payments or withdraw money from a cash machine. These can be found not only in busy city centres, but also in banks and in large shopping centres. The vast majority of them accept all regular international types of payment cards (Visa, MasterCard, Plus, Maestro, Cirrus and others).

You can also use these cards to make payments in most shops, hotels and restaurants or at petrol stations. If business premises do not have a sign with the symbols of payment cards accepted, you must ask about this option.

Traveller’s cheques issued by internationally acknowledged companies are mostly accepted by Czech banks without any problems.

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