5 Tips to Do Before Moving to the Czech Republic

Every move is challenging. Especially if you are moving to another country. With all the responsibilities, formalities and everyday things that need to be taken care of, one’s head is spinning.
The list of things to think about before you leave could be endless. That’s why we’ve started with 5 things we can help with to make your move to Prague, Czech Republic easier.

1. Find Out How Much It Costs to Live in Prague

This is where we can help you now and here. We’ve put together a clear PDF brochure so you can compare prices in Prague with those in Europe and also globally. You’ll find average prices for housing, food, entertainment and more. You can download it for free here.

2. Come to Prague for an Orientation Tour

Prague is beautiful in photos and in real life. But you’ll want to know how it makes you feel before you move. So we recommend taking a trip and touring not only the city center, but also a few neighborhoods within the radius of your future job. Later you can reflect on where you liked best when looking for a place to live.

You can also find out ahead of time whether there are grocery stores nearby, how accessible it is (bus, tram, metro), how far the nearest park is, etc.

Psst, an orientation day in Prague with one of our relocation specialists is part of our Relocation Support package.

3. Make a List

It’s easy to forget what needs to be done when there’s simply too much to do. So make a good old-fashioned list. It sounds obvious, but it really works.

Writing it down will help you sort out your thoughts even when you haven’t made the right decision: whether to take the car with you or sell it, whether to sell the house or rent it, whether to store the furniture or donate it to charity, how many personal items to take with you and what to buy locally…

You can avoid, for example, finding out on the day of departure that you are missing an important document to transport your dog. When you write things down, you often find yourself thinking of things you would otherwise have forgotten. The resulting list may look scary, but again, it will only get shorter from then on. Don’t worry!

4. Make Friends in Advance

It never hurts to have allies in place. If you don’t have family or friends already living in the Czech Republic, it’s a good idea to get involved in the local expat community before you arrive.

The easiest way to do this is to find various expat support groups on Facebook. You can join them and not get involved in the conversation until you’re comfortable. Just by observing what expats usually deal with in the Czech Republic, you can prepare for a lot of situations in advance. Not to mention plenty of tips on interesting places that are foreigner friendly.

5. Call Online With an Experienced Expat

If you’re not really into large groups, we recommend arranging a call or video call with an expat who has experience living in the Czech Republic. This way you can ask directly about the things you’re interested in and get a mediated experience that you won’t find in the guidebooks.

For example, we offer a 90-minute one-on-one online meeting with Dana Pick, the director of ReloCare, who’s living in the Czech Republic for 20 years. Check out the details of this service here.

Whether you decide to contact us or not, we wish you the smoothest and most trouble-free relocation possible! 

How Not to Fall For Renting Scams?

Whether we want to or not, we can meet scammers everywhere in the world. Even though we tend to present the Czech Republic as “a paradise to behold” (as we sing in the national anthem), we must educate you about our country with all the facts.

So, yes, even in the Czech Republic you may encounter scammers who will try to cheat you in, for example, a rental agreement. How not to fall for them? What to look out for when looking for a rental?

1. Not a penny without a contract

“Send us a deposit, we will send you the keys by a courier. We will sign the contract when we’re back from the vacation.” Unfortunately, even some of our team members faced this type of fraud when looking for their own rental apartment before joining ReloCare.

We understand that you want (and often need) to find a place to live as soon as possible, but we strongly recommend that you don’t rush things. Definitely don’t send any deposits or first rent to anyone without a signed contract. The keys may not be on the way, and the apartment may not even exist.

Sometimes it is cheaper to stay a few more nights in temporary accommodation rather than to push for a quick rental deal that could end up in you losing your money.

2. Don’t let yourself be pressured about payment

In general, beware if the landlord tries to put pressure on you. They may claim that they have more people interested in the apartment, which is often true given the real estate situation in Prague. But never believe someone who claims that another bidder is on the way with a cash deposit, and will give you priority if you pay immediately.

Insist that you want to sign a contract before any payment, which will be checked first by a lawyer or even a relocation agency like us. If this procedure is not to their liking, you are definitely not missing out. At most, you will save yourself a lot of trouble.

Do you want to be sure your rental contract makes sense and you are aware of the illegal or unfair clauses? We can help you to identify them and recommend what you should further negotiate. 

3. Be careful who you rent from

We have mentioned checking the contract because it is possible that the person you are negotiating the lease with does not have the right to rent the apartment at all. If they themselves have rented the apartment from the owner, they need the owner’s permission to rent it to someone else. At that point, they are the tenants and you would become a subtenant.

Even if they have this consent from the owner, unfortunately the Czech Civil Code does not set out the terms of the subletting agreement very precisely. Often these contracts favour tenants over subtenants.

You can find out whether the person you are negotiating the lease with is the owner of the flat from the Land Registry, which anyone can access online for free. Or ask a professional to check your contract.

Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing from the Land Registry whether the tenant has the owner’s permission to sublet the apartment. For that you need to see their own contract with the owner, and even then it may not be clear from it. We therefore generally do not recommend entering into such a contract.

Have you ever encountered a suspicious lease agreement? Or has someone even managed to scam you? If you are worried that you won’t understand the contract and will be cheated, do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Bring certified copies with you, it will save you time

Series on immigration documents in the Czech Republic (2)

Have you ever brought an original document (a single copy!) to the Department of Foreigners and had it confiscated by an official on the spot? With our help, this won’t happen to you again. The institutions, in our case especially the Ministry of the Interior, require the original document to be included in the file. To make sure you don’t lose your valuable documents, we can advise you on how to obtain certified copies (“ověřená kopie”).

What is meant by original documents? Let’s take an example. Look at your employment contract. It should bear the signature of a company representative, preferably in blue ink, and ideally also the company’s stamp. We call this version of the document the original; it shows that the information is genuine and therefore valid. 

If you decide to make copies on your own and copy the contract yourself, we will call the finished product a plain copy, which does not carry the same weight as the original. The Ministry of the Interior (Department of Foreigners) will not accept it and other authorities will very likely not accept it either. 

How to ensure that the copy of the document is certified?

We recommend contacting a notary or Czech POINT, which is the most accessible place where you can obtain certified copies of documents. For example, you can find Czech POINT at almost every post office. It does not take long and it is not very expensive. The certified copy will be marked with a sticker or stamp with details of the office and the person who made the copy.

Applying for a Czech visa and worried about not submitting your application correctly? Let us check your documents first to save you time and money.

That’s it, we have a document that carries the same weight as the original because it was made by a registered office and worker, and has its own traceable number in the records. Such a service costs 30 CZK per page, some places also charge you a few crowns for copying (for example at the post office), elsewhere you pay 21% VAT (at a notary).

Please also take into account that in the case of multilingual or foreign language documents, you may not be served at Czech POINT offices. In these situations, it is better to contact a notary office. Or see our previous article on how to get a certified translation of documents into Czech.

There are exceptions

As with everything, we can find exceptions. If for some reason you need to present civil registry documents, such as birth or marriage certificates, you can go straight to the office with only the originals, without a certified copy. There is an exception for civil registry documents, the clerk is required to copy them. 

Those who are prepared are not caught off guard. If necessary, always go to the offices armed with certified copies of essential documents. This will save you the trouble and time you would later spend proving the copies, and you will certainly make the officials happy by being prepared, which can always come in handy.

If you would still like to entrust your work to professionals who will make certified copies for you, do not hesitate to contact us. We can even accompany you to the authorities and assist you professionally throughout the process.

Certified translations and other intricacies of document authentication

Series on immigration documents in the Czech Republic (1)

Legalization, superlegalization, apostilles, authentication… How is one supposed to understand all this? Let’s figure it out together in the upcoming series on the form of documents required for immigration to the Czech Republic.

In the Czech Republic, the official language is Czech. Therefore, official documents submitted to the Czech authorities must be in this language. The minor and only exception is Slovak. But what to do if we hold a document in our hands that is not in Czech or Slovak?

The option of translation is available. Beware, however, that official documents bearing signatures or even stamps should be handled by a professional, i.e. a court-appointed interpreter. A list of such translators is easy to find online. We recommend this procedure to all those who submit their documents to the authorities, particularly to the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic – Department of Foreigners.

Among such documents that undergo official translation are those that foreigners provide in their applications. The most frequently encountered are translations of birth or marriage certificates, university and secondary school diplomas, as well as employment contracts.

How much does it cost to translate documents into Czech?

The preparation of a certified translation is not a cheap affair and prices vary according to the language combinations, but also the specialisation of the text, with a difference of several hundred crowns per standard page. Be sure to be careful when calculating the final price. You will rarely come across a 100% accurate estimate, given that legal translations are most often calculated on the basis of the number of resulting standard pages.

What’s a standard page? A normative page (“normostrana” or NS) is a standardized page that contains 1800 characters. It is a fair and universally used tool for calculating the “real” volume of text. Thus, a client cannot simply enter a text with the smallest possible font to ensure the lowest possible price, nor can a translator simply enlarge the font in the editor to collect a higher amount.

Applying for a Czech visa and worried about not submitting your application correctly? Let us check your documents first to save you time and money.

A Czech interpreter can help you communicate with the authorities

It is also worth mentioning the important function of certified interpreters. These professionals are most often used in official communication between the authorities and courts on the one hand, and the foreigner on the other. Interpreters are neutral and guarantee flawless interpretation. In the context of immigration procedure, a court-appointed interpreter can be encountered during an interview with the immigration police when applying for family reunification with a European Union citizen, and in everyday life, for example, during a final driving test.

Make certified copies of your documents

Once we have a certified (official) translation, we can proceed to the authorities. In most cases, our documents will not be returned, so it is advisable to go to a notary with all the documents and ask for certified copies, which will have the same weight as the original documents. If you come across the term “certified signature” (“ověřený podpis”), you can also look for notaries or branches marked with the blue “Czech POINT” sign. We will take a closer look at certified copies in the next article.

With this, we are done with the certified translations and interpretation, and we will complete the certified copies and signatures next time. But what do you do if the documents are made in a country subject to the Hague Apostille Convention or even have to go through the super-legalization process? We’ll address that in our series on authentication as well. Don’t miss the next episodes.

If you are having trouble finding a translator with the right language combination, or if you would simply like to entrust your work to professionals who will ensure the final quality, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you sort out the translation and verification for you.

Your Renting Contract Is Ready? Watch Out!

When moving to a new country, finding a new place to call home is definitely one of the first (and possibly also one of the biggest) challenges. 

However, what happens once you have found the perfect place? What matters should you watch out for?

Let’s discover them together!

Review your lease agreement 

The first thing we suggest, before signing the lease agreement, is to carefully review it. Especially, always make sure that the property is legally owned by the person stated in the agreement. 

To find out, you can try to navigate the information through the cadastre website here. You may find out that the person who signed the contract is not legally entitled to do so or that you are simply signing a sublease without being informed. 

This is important to know as sublease agreements do not protect tenants to the same extent of lease agreements. 

For example, if the tenant who subleases the room or apartment to you breaches the contract with the landlord, the contract can be immediately terminated and you will be evicted from the property without any rights to a time notice or compensation.  Because of this, always make sure to be provided with all legal documents relating to the ownership of the property and evidence between the landlord and the tenant clearly stating that the last has the right to sublease the property.  

Moreover, a proper review of the lease agreement may be essential for further dealing with authorities (i.e. when applying for a Residence Permit in the Czech Republic, an extension of a Residence Permit or reporting a change of your address at the Ministry of Interior). 

Take pictures of the property

Before moving in, during the handover from the landlord, we advise that you take pictures of the property down to the details. This is to ensure that you take account of any defect present. Make sure to then share with the landlord the pictures you took, so that clear evidence exists of the condition of the apartment when it was handed over to you.

If it is possible to repair any of the present defects, agree with the owner on the steps to take with a specific deadline for completion. Make sure to write it down in the handover protocol and have it signed by the landlord. Otherwise, make a point to keep the pictures to be used, if needed, when you will be leaving the property at the end of your lease.

Report the change of your address 

Once you have selected a new property to move into, you are responsible for reporting the change of your address to the authorities:

  • Non-EU citizens holding a visa for a stay over 90 days or a Long-term Residence Permit are required to report a change in the place of residence in the Czech Republic within 30 days of it occurring if the change in the place of residence is expected to last longer than 30 days.
  • Non-EU citizens holding a Permanent Residence Permit are required to report a change in the place of residence in the Czech Republic within 30 days of it occurring if the change in the place of residence is expected to last longer than 180 days.
  • EU citizens or their family members that are holders of Temporary/Permanent Residency are required to report a change in the place of residence within 30 working days of this change occurring. This obligation applies if the change in the place of residence is expected to last longer than 180 days.

If you are not sure how to proceed properly, contact us! We will be happy to help you!

Governmental Programs For Immigration Purposes

WHAT ARE GOVERNMENTAL PROGRAMS?

Governmental Programs are special projects granted by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade for certain qualified companies (e.g. investors,start ups and well established companies), aiming to shorten the immigration process for the companies’ to hire their new non-EU employees faster. 

TYPES OF PROGRAMS:

  • Highly Skilled Employee – for workers CZ ISCO 1-3 from all over the world
  • Key and Scientific Personnel – for workers CZ ISCO 1-3 from all over the world
  • Qualified Employee – CZ ISCO 4-8 Ukraine, Mongolia, Serbia, Philippines, India, Belarus, Moldova, Montenegro and Kazakhstan

WHO CAN APPLY?

  • Company that can prove no debt towards social, health insurance and taxes
  • Company that  received no fine for illegal employment 
  • Company of certain size (differs amongst programs)
  • Company that is on the market for a certain amount of time (differs amongst programs)

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS:

  • The program is valid for 1 year and unlimited numbers of employees fulfilling the conditions can be added within this period of time. It is then possible to apply repeatedly  to continue on the program
  • The desired permit (Long-term Residence Permit, Employee Card etc.) is approved within 30 days (rather within60 days)
  • Easier list of required documents for the application. Documents such as Employment contract and Confirmation of Accommodation are waived
  • Despite the limitation of work capacity at the embassies, applications through the programs are always accepted while other applications must wait a few weeks for a term. This is mostly relevant during pandemic time but not only. 
  • Employees are excused from participation in the Adaptation Courses, which are otherwise obligatory for most of non EU nationals

 

For free consultation for the Governmental Programs contact Kristýna, Head of Immigration Department, at kristyna@relocare.cz 

How can you handle moving-abroad fear?

Moving abroad is a stressful experience, even if we feel ready to do so or have a job prospect already lined up. It opens up many new exciting opportunities but also unknown variables we might not know how to tackle. 

What are the most common fears of moving abroad? And how can they be overcome?

  • Language Barriers

Fear of cultural and language barriers is common when moving to a country with no English as its first language. In fact, while English is universal, not everyone speaks it, which is especially true in common everyday settings. The first time at the grocery store can easily become a haunting experience.

How to overcome this?

Start by learning the country language before moving. Make sure to learn the most common phrases, such as “Good morning” and “Thank you”, to help you establish a first connection with the locals and thus decrease the disconnect with the new culture. If you decide to make the new country your permanent home, you may want to undertake a full language course.

  • Moving 

Relocating your entire life and belongings abroad requires a long and painstaking process that can quickly become overwhelming. Hiring international movers is an excellent way to speed up the process and reduce stress. The movers will take care of all the details for you, from packing to shipping, all the way to custom clearance and even, at times, unpacking in your new home. 

  • Cost of Living

While the move can already prove expensive, you might be worried about the cost of living you’ll encounter. How should you plan for it? What are the prices you can expect? 

It would be best to research such information before moving to put some money aside to be used in case of emergencies or settling in expenses. For example, in the Czech Republic, first payments for properties usually include first rent + utilities (usually around 2.000 – 10.000 CZK) as well as a security deposit (between 1 to 3 months of rent) and a commission for the real estate agent (in the amount of 1 month rent + 21% VAT), which altogether can easily reach an amount between 50.000 and 150.000 CZK. Another good practice is to create a plan to respect before and after your move, to keep your finances under control.

  • Bureaucracy 

To live and work legally in another country, depending on where you are coming from, might require you to obtain several documents. From visas to residence permits, navigating a new country’s bureaucratic landscape can be a nightmare.

To lessen the strain, you can look up a Facebook group of people looking to move or who have moved to the specific country you are interested in and ask them for advice or you can also hire a professional service to overcome language barriers and ensure you don’t miss any step.

  • Safety

When we do not know the reality of the country we are going to move into, it is normal to ask ourselves “Is it safe?”. 

In the case of Prague, the answer is yes. The city has often been rated high in safety indices around the world. However, even in safe areas, it is important to always apply common sense and research beforehand.

For a more complete outlook on the country’s situation, we would suggest checking not only government websites but also blogs of people living there and possibly finding ways to get in touch with locals.

Here at ReloCare, we offer 1 on 1 consultations to answer any questions you may have concerning your move abroad. From Cost of Living and Safety to Bureaucracy and Moving, our expertise is at your service to resolve all your doubts. 

If you would like to know more, do not hesitate to reach out.

The Challenge of Waste Sorting in Prague

Moving to a new country presents many exciting opportunities, but also a number of challenges, some of which we might not have envisaged before embarking on our journey. While being away from family, having to learn a new language and lots of paperwork are expected obstacles, we often tend to overlook how much harder little things can become in a new environment.

How do people purchase produce in supermarkets? Where can you buy a specific house product? How do pharmacies work? And especially, where can you throw your trash?

Waste management rules can differ greatly from country to country, from their breadth to how they are enforced. For example, where in one country paper might be thrown into mixed waste, it may need to be separated into different types in another. At the same time, a blue bin can be used for plastic collection in one place and for cans in another. 

As the city of Prague is increasingly attentive to the care of the environment and sorting waste correctly, there exists a wide set of well-encoded rules. With over 3000 collection bins around the city for paper, glass and plastic, it is easy to dispose of trash thoughtfully and do your part in keeping the city beautiful.

How to sort trash correctly in Prague?

At the time of the writing of this article, according to the valid Ordinance of the Capital City of Prague No. 24/2001, waste should be sorted as follows: 

  • Paper and Cardboard (blue containers)
  • Glass (white containers for clear glass, green for colored glass)
  • Plastics (yellow containers)
  • Cans (grey containers)
  • Bulky waste (high-capacity containers in selected locations)
  • Hazardous waste (only at selected collection points)
  • Mixed waste (black containers)

The city is also testing a separate collection of packages for beverages (orange containers) and biological waste.

Other important collections sites

Of course, from time to time we might need to dispose of less common items like expired medicines or small electronics. Where can we do so?

  • Pharmacies

You can bring to pharmacies around Prague any expired or unused drug/medicine, old mercury-filled thermometers and used syringes.

  • Red Containers

Small electronic waste, batteries and lightbulbs can be disposed of at specific red bins. Such containers are also available in every elementary school and in every secondary school.

  • Collecting yards

Any type of waste (with the exception of mixed waste) can be disposed of at the collecting yards of the city of Prague. Other than pneumatics, every type of waste can be disposed of free of charge. Please note, however, that to use the collecting yards the person needs to verify themselves as a permanent resident in Prague with a valid identity card.

Items hard or impossible to recycle

Unfortunately, not every item can be recycled. Currently, in Prague it is impossible to recycle the following items:

  • CDs
  • Tapes
  • Vinyls
  • Any item featuring C/ on the label, as they are a composite material (with the exception of beverage containers that can be recycled in the orange bin as mentioned above)
  • Cigarette Butts

If possible, try to down-cycle such items or include them in creative projects. Otherwise, all of them need to be disposed of in mixed waste containers.

 

You are now ready to take on the waste sorting challenge in Prague! If you still need a little help, you can use the following website to find the appropriate collection point near you for any material: https://www.kamsnim.cz/ 

Happy sorting!

The Czech Healthcare System

When moving abroad, it is important to get to know and understand how the healthcare system of the country we just moved into actually works. 

The Czech Healthcare system is among the best in Central Europe, with most citizens enjoying universal healthcare coverage via their employers. In fact, the country has one of the most accessible systems and ranks 4th in Europe for its number of Operational Hospital Beds: with 6.6 hospital beds per 1,000 citizens, it is 35% above the EU average of 4.9 per 1000 citizens.

Nevertheless, how does it actually work?

Private vs. Public

In the Czech Republic, both EU and Non-EU citizens are required by law to have health insurance. For this reason, during the immigration procedure, people are required to provide proof of actually owning health insurance.

It is possible to have either Private and/or Public Insurance. With Public Insurance, you will be granted similar coverage as Czech Citizens which includes diagnostic and preventative care, hospital care (including rehabilitation and care of chronic illnesses), basic dental care and medicines. 


Private Insurance coverage depends on the company and plan chosen. However, you have to consider that in order to be able to complete your immigration process, your insurance company must be recognized by the Czech National Bank list. If it is not, you will have to buy another local Czech insurance for the full duration of your permit in addition to the private insurance you have obtained. This is a very crucial point when searching for insurance options as you may end up paying for two. 

Do I need a General Practitioner (GP)?

In the Czech Republic, it is necessary to be registered with a general practitioner (GP) to receive care. Many expats are not required to do so in their home country and do not see the need to become a patient in a specific clinic. However, it is a needed step to do upon your arrival since if you will require treatment in the future, you may have a problem finding an available GP to accept you. Even when visiting a specialist such as a dermatologist, neurologist and similar, you will have to show a reference from your GP or pay as a private service. 

In Prague, you may face difficulty finding a general doctor who is well versed in the English language, so it is advised to start looking for a public clinic with which to register, right upon arrival. Please be aware that it may require you to call several places before you will find one that is available. If you know foreigners in Prague, ask them for recommendations on where they care about their health as not all the clinics can be provided with English (or other languages) support. 

One can choose to register via a private or public clinic. Private clinics might be included in a private insurance plan, but can be accessed via public insurance by paying an additional yearly membership fee for the upgraded service level. Public clinics do not require any membership fee, however have limited availability. It is becoming more and more popular that gynecologists take yearly membership subscriptions even if they are considered public medical centers. However, the government is trying to fight the habit and soon it will be forbidden.

 

What to Expect In a Czech Hospital?

Prague has many hospitals, so you will always find one that is no more than 10-15min. distance from your home.  Motol Hospital is located in Prague 5 and is the biggest hospital and the only one that has a building dedicated to children’s care. 

When attending the hospitals you may have a language barrier during admission or registration, as the nurses often do not speak any language but Czech.  However, once you pass that obstacle you will have with high probability an English-speaking doctor, even though the level of English can differ from one doctor to another.

Consider that when attending the hospital during working hours, you may be requested to go back to your GP or other specialists. The hospital does not normally treat cases that are treatable by other open clinics.  

When arriving after working hours at the hospital, you will be required to pay a fee of CZK 90 to be admitted during the registration process. There are special machines dedicated to the payment of this fee close by the reception area. 

The emergency department is called “Pohotovost” or “Ambulance”. 

Insurances and Charges at the Hospitals

Czech Hospitals are quite strict on which types of health insurance they accept. This can lead to two different scenarios when visiting a hospital:

  • If you have insurance

By law, you can be treated immediately if you are insured by a company recognized by the Czech National Bank. You will also be admitted immediately if insured with either the Czech public insurance (VZP) or the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

  • No Insurance

If visiting for an ordinary procedure, we would suggest you visit the Motol University Hospital. This hospital also treats patients who do not have the Czech National Insurance. You will have to, however, visit the Foreigner’s Department of the hospital, leave a deposit and then return after treatment to settle the payment.

In life-threatening or trauma cases, you will be taken straight to emergency.

Special Rules of the Czech Healthcare System

Additional facts about the Czech healthcare system that might be useful to know are the following:

  • If you would like to visit a specialist, you must have a written reference from your general practitioner.
  • Children in the Czech Republic are under pediatric care until they are 18 years old.
  • It is mandatory in both private and public schools for enrolled children to be vaccinated.
  • Most doctors accept visits only during working hours. While the hospital is open 24/7, outside of working hours it will accept patients only if it’s really necessary. For non-urgent cases, they will ask the patient to visit their general practitioner in the morning.

Ambulance Services

There are two types of ambulance in the Czech Republic: 

    • Emergency medical service (Zdravotnická záchranná služba, ZZS)
  • Transport medical service (Dopravní zdravotnická služba, DZS)

You will call the emergency medical service in the event of a sudden accident or serious acute health problem. The contact line is 155 or 112. The transport is then covered by the public health insurance company. For private insurance, you most probably will need to pay and then ask for the reimbursement of the fee from the insurance later. 

The transport medical service is used for planned journeys for examinations by specialists – in a situation where other types of transport are not suitable for health reasons, for example due to reduced mobility, malaise, infectivity of the disease, post-operative conditions or psychiatric illnesses. 

In order to use a transport medical service, a pre-written request from the general practitioner is required. If it is a journey from home to an examination, the doctor must provide the patient with a transport voucher in advance at the same time as he files a request for the examination by the specialist. When a journey back home is required due to health conditions, a transport voucher will be issued by the doctor who sends the patient home, i.e. the doctor from the ambulance or hospital where the patient was treated. Such transports are covered by the health insurance company.

 

10+ Useful Phrases & Words To Know in Czech

Moving to a new country can be overwhelming. With many changes taking place all at once, it’s inevitable to feel scared and stressed.

This can be even more true when moving to a country of which we do not know the language. 

If you are planning or considering moving to the Czech Republic, we have compiled this list of useful words and sentences for you: knowing how to communicate basic needs, in fact, will help you get settled easier, move around with less trouble and reduce the stress of the entire procedure. 

Which are the most useful phrases to know in Czech?

  • Dobrý den

Learning how to say “Good Day!” is an important step. As a matter of fact, it is probably one of the most used sentences and one you can learn easily. It’s a simple way to establish connections with the locals and also be polite: the perfect opening for any interaction.

“Dobrý den” can also be used in the evenings or just as a phrase to say “Hello” in a polite manner, for example when entering a store or when someone joins you in the elevator. When greeting friends, however, you can use the informal “Ahoj”.

  • Děkuji Vám/Děkuju

Second on the list, we couldn’t have anything other than “Thank you”.

You can say it both in its extended form “Děkuji Vám” or in its shortened one “Děkuju”. If “Good day!” is the perfect opening expression, this has to be one of the perfect closing ones!

  • Na shledanou

Of course, we don’t always need to thank someone to end an interaction. Sometimes, we might just want to say “Goodbye”.

For every time you will be leaving a shop or a store or at the end of a day at work, you can say “Na shledanou” (or “Ahoj” to your closest colleagues) to take your leave in perfect Czech style.

  • Nerozumím / Mluvíte anglicky? / Nemluvím česky

These next few sentences will be useful to you before you start learning the language. If someone starts speaking to you in Czech, you can use one of them to express that you do not understand (“Nerozumím”) or that you do not speak Czech (“Nemluvím česky”). If the exchange is important, for example during a bureaucratic procedure, you can ask instead if they speak English (“Mluvíte anglicky?”). These sentences will help you navigate your most complex interactions.

  •  Prosím, napište to

It can happen, however, that it is not possible to have a conversation in English. In that case, if no external help is available, you can ask to please write down what they are trying to communicate by saying “Prosím, napište to”. This can enable you to have a copy of the message to double check with a friend or a mobile app, thus making sure to avoid potential misunderstandings.

  • Platit, prosím / Kartou, prosím

Of course, not every interaction has to be difficult and it can feel empowering to be able to handle smaller ones in the local language. At a restaurant, you can ask for the check by saying “Platit, prosím” or “Ucet, prosím” and, if you would like to then pay with a card, it will be sufficient to say “Kartou, prosím”. This latter one can also be used to pay by card in other stores, not only in restaurants.

  • Chcete tašku? / Mám tašku

Another extremely useful sentence, which you will hear often in any store you visit, is “Chcete tašku?” or “Do you want a bag?”. If you do have your own bag you can simply reply “Mám tašku”, otherwise you may need the words of our point number 8.

  • Ano / Ne

In Czech, “Ano” means “Yes” and “Ne” means “No”. In some cases, for yes, the contracted form “Noo” may be used, which can cause confusion in foreigners. So beware!

  • Muži / Ženy

This set of words will allow you to find the correct toilet in any public setting! In Czech “Muži” is “Man” while “Ženy” is “Woman”. Learning the two can avoid stalling at the bathroom stalls. Sometimes, the alternative “Páni” for “Men” and “Dámy” for “Ladies” may be used.

  • Otevřeno / Zavřeno

Is the shop open or closed? Learning these words will help you know the answer! “Otevřeno” in fact means “Open” while “Zavřeno” means “Closed”. Knowing them will also help you interpret Shop Opening Hours, also called “Otevírací doba”.

  • Pomoc / Pozor

Towards the end of our list, we find two extremely useful words that appear quite similar but have slightly different meanings. 

If someone tells you “Pomoc” they will be calling for “Help”. It may not necessarily mean that they are in need of SOS help, but they might be simply asking for support: carrying a heavy bag for example or crossing the street. You can also use this word yourself if you are in need of assistance.

If you see, instead, the writing “Pozor”, this means “Attention”. For example, crossroads can present the writing “Pozor Tram”, to invite you to pay attention to potential Trams passing by (as they have precedence, also over pedestrians!). These are two very useful words to both know how to ask for help if needed and to know if there is anything you should be careful about.

  • Promiňte / Pardon

Last but not least, we have “Promiňte/Pardon”. Ever been on a bus or tram, approaching your stop and needing to ask for space to get off? These words will help you do just that! All locals are familiar with them and will react more promptly to it than to the English “Excuse me”.

Which other words or phrases would you have included in this list?