Before Your Trip

Czech-Republic & Hungary


The Czech Republic is a small landlocked country in Central Europe, situated southeast of Germany and bordering Austria to the south, Poland to the north, and Slovakia to the southeast. Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains, and Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country.
  • Climate: The Czech Republic has a temperate climate with four seasons. Summer (May to September) receives the highest temperatures and heaviest rainfall, is an excellent season for swimming. In winter people ski in the mountains.
  • Language: The official language is Czech, which is a Slavonic language (the same as Slovak, Polish, Russian, and Croatian). German is a little less widespread than English or Russian.
  • Visa: U.S. citizens who hold valid passports and stay up to 90 days are exempted from visa requirements into the Czech. For most current visa info, please check
  • Health: Prague has adequate, Western-style medical clinics with English speaking doctors. The level of health care there is of a high standard. If you plan to camp or hike in woodlands, make sure you wear long trousers and pants to prevent insect bites. A good insect repellent might be helpful. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions can be found at the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control) website:
  • Cash: If you import to Czech cash, foreign currency, cheques, vouchers exchangeable for cash, investment instruments, precious metal or stones at a value in excess of EUR 10,000, you are obliged to notify the customs authority of this in writing.
  • Duty Free: Travelers over 17 years of age may import the following goods to Czech Republic without incurring customs duty: 200 cigarettes (or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g tobacco), 1 litre liquor or 2 litres wine, 50g perfume, medications and prescription drugs in quantity corresponding with the personal need of the individual. For details, please check the Czech Republic Embassy in Washing, D.C.:
  • Currency: Although the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, it is not so far a member of the Eurozone and for this reason, the euro is not the official currency (yet despite this it is possible to exchange euro for Czech crowns without any problems). The official currency is the Koruna (Crown, CZK), which is made up of 100 Hellers.
  • Shopping: The most popular souvenirs are products of Czech skillful craftsmen, in particular, Bohemian crystals, glassworks, and ceramics.
  • Safety: The Czech Rep. is a safe European country, but despite this, it is advisable to be cautious just like in any other tourism city. Pick-pocketing is a problem in major tourist areas in Prague. Watch your pockets and passport, especially in crowded areas (sights, subway, trains, trams, or the metro). An offer to change money by an unknown person on the street is most likely a scam. If you are the victim of crime, avoid direct confrontation with potential criminals, contact your tour guide and call the emergency line 112 immediately for English speaking assistance.
  • Embassy: In the event of any problem or in complicated situations, you can also get help from US Embassy in Czech, Tel: (+420)257- 022-000, or check website Important Telephone Numbers: Have the following three digit telephone numbers with you at all times: Universal Emergency Line 112 (this number works throughout the whole Europe and includes universal medical aid, the police and the fire brigade), Fire Brigade 150, Ambulance 155, Police 158, City Police 156, Directory Enquiries 1180 or 1181.
  • International Calls: The international dialing code of Czech is 00, country code is 420; Prague area code 2.  Calling USA from Prague, dial: 00+1+XXX+XXX XXXX  Calling Prague from USA, dial: 011+420+2+XXX XXXX


Hungary is a small landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, and is divided in two by its main waterway, the Danube; another large river is the Tisza.
  • Climate: Hungary is mainly of the continental type with occasional Mediterranean and Atlantic influences, dominated by four seasons. Temperatures are generally very warm from June to August. Spring and autumn are mild, while winters are cold with heavy snowfall. Visitors should carry lightweight clothing in summer, medium-weight clothing for spring and heavy clothing for autumns and winters.
  • Language: Hungarian is the official language in Hungary.
  • Visa: U.S. citizens who hold valid passports may enter Hungary for up to 90 days for tourist purpose without a visa. More information on visa can be found on the website of the Hungarian Embassy in Washington:
  • Cash: Passengers entering or leaving the EU, carrying EUR 10,000 or more in cash (even if in different currencies), or any equivalent instruments (such as securities, bonds, shares, traveler’s checks, etc.) must file a written declaration.
  • Duty Free: In addition to personal travel luggage, limited noncommercial quantities of goods may be brought into Hungary duty free: 1 litre of liquor, 4 litres of wine and 16 litres of beer (applicable to passengers over age of 17 only), 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco, 500g coffee, 100g tea and other spices. For more custom regulations, please visit the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary at:
  • Currency: Hungarian Forint (HUF) Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 HUF Bank Notes: 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000 HUF
  • Shopping: You are not supposed to take valuable antiques out of Hungary without a special permit, which should be available at the place of purchase. Famous Hungarian souvenirs are: embroideries, crystal, foie gras, apricot and cherry brandy.
  • Safety: Although Hungary is a relatively safe place to visit, you should use caution and stay alert. Be especially careful in crowded tourist areas. You should carry your passport with you at all times and always hold your bag and valuable close to you.
  • Embassy of the United States of America in Hungary: Tel: +36-1-475-4400, Website: Important Telephone Numbers: International Emergency Line 112, Ambulance 104, and Police 107, are assisted in English, German and other foreign languages. Fire 105 or 321-6216, Phone Directory 198
  • International Calls: The international dialing code of Hungary 00, country code 36, Budapest area code 1 (+7 digit number) Calling USA from Budapest, dial: 00+1+XXX+XXX XXXX Calling Budapest from USA, dial: 011+36+1+XXX XXXX 

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