- The Czech Republic has been a member of the EU since May 2004, but still hasn´t entered the Euro Zone. However, there are places in the country where payment can be made in euros – in most retail chains, electronic shops, at petrol stations and in restaurants and mostly in bigger cities.
- The official currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech crown (Kč). The international abbreviation is CZK. One crown is divided into 100 hellers (h), though there are no smaller coins than 1 Kč.
- In the Czech Republic one can find coins worth 1 Kč, 2 Kč, 5 Kč, 10 Kč, 20 Kč and 50 Kč.
- Banknotes come in the following denominations: 100 Kč, 200 Kč, 500 Kč, 1000 Kč, 2000 Kč and 5000 Kč.
On this website you can see what Czech banknotes look like:http://www.cnb.cz/en/banknotes_coins/banknotes/
If you want to start your bank account, you need to produce a valid passport and some other form of identification, which can prove your identity – e.g. driving licence, identity card, diplomatic passport or residency permit.
There are about 45 banking subjects in the Czech Republic. Among
the best known and the biggest are Komerční banka (KB), Česká
spořitelna (ČS) and Československá obchodní banka (ČSOB). Foreign
banks in the Czech Republic e.g.: UniCredit bank, Commerzbank, ING Barings, Bank
Austria, Citibank, Creditanstalt, Raiffeisenbank or Deutsche Bank.
- In the Czech Republic you will find a dense network of ATMs / cash machines which accept all major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Plus, Cirrus and other).
- However, you can get a better price when paying directly with your card. In particular, in Prague nearly every shop, restaurant and hotel accepts cards.
- Cards which a shop or restaurant accepts are usually displayed in the window of the premises. If you don’t see your card listed there, ask before purchasing anything whether your card will be accepted.
- Traveller’s checks are undoubtedly a safe way of transporting funds. If you are a customer of American Express, Thomas Cook or Visa, you will have no problems cashing your traveller's checks at Czech banks. Eurocheque is also accepted.
- If somebody offers you to exchange money in the street, do not let yourself be fooled! They usually offer you a great exchange rate but they show you the banknotes when they are rolled up so that you can see only the banknote which is on the surface – the rest is only paper stripes.
- It is strongly recommended to exchange money in a bank or exchange office or at your hotel reception.
- Some exchange offices are open till night end even during weekends.
- At exchange offices in banks you will pay 2 % of the total sum in commission. In certain banks there is a minimum fee of 50 Kč (2 euros). You will pay this only when the 2 % commission comes to less than this amount. Some exchange offices do not charge any commission. Ask them everytime for a receipt of the transaction.
Current exchange rates
One can find recent exchange rates announced by the Czech National Bank at: http://www.cnb.cz/en/financial_markets/foreign_exchange_market/exchange_rate_fixing/daily.jsp
Update: NICM, 11/2011