The Czechs are said to be the most urban and liberal people in Central Eastern Europe defined by Countryaah, which in recent years has helped to elevate Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, to a mecca for modern artists in all industries. Both the famous and the unknown pilgrims from all over the world to display their works in a city full of centuries of distinguished architecture – from Gothic and Baroque to art noveau and Cubism.
Everywhere in the republic, from urban Prague to the rustic hills hiding in castles, caves and medieval villages, the Czechs are remarkably down to earth, egalitarian and hospitable to visitors.
- CAPITAL CITY: Prague (the biggest city in Czech Republic with population of 1,165,692)
- LANGUAGE: Czech
- CURRENCY: Czech Koruna (CZK)
- AREA: 78,866 km2
- POPULATION: 10,553,443 (2015 estimate)
People in the Czech Republic
The Czech people value direct communication, kindness and modesty. One of the things you may notice is that people say “hello” and “goodbye” to strangers in different situations, such as in small shops, elevators or trains. A good little tip is that you should always take your shoes off when entering a Czech home.
People and community
You will most likely live in a rural area near Bohemia and Moravia. Czech families rarely have more than two children and will warmly welcome you. Families are usually close-knit, and it is common for generations to live together. In the small towns, families often live in apartments, but enjoy visiting their country cottages over the weekend.
You should probably go to a public school that prepares students for university. You can expect to spend your school day with a group of students who have all subjects together. You do not have to wear a uniform, but it is typical for students to change from shoes to slippers when they meet at school.
The primary language spoken in the Czech Republic is Czech. However, many are quite proficient in English, and some also speak Slovak, Polish, German or Russian. Having a basic knowledge of English will be an asset in the beginning and will help you learn the local language. AFS will provide language courses for the first few months or provide you with materials so you can learn the language on your own before embarking on an exchange.
Czech cuisine is a mixture of German, Hungarian and Polish influences. Dumplings, meats, potatoes and rice are very popular. Most dishes are topped with a thick sauce and vegetables or sauerkraut . Cumin seeds, bacon and lots of salt are common spices. Although meat is a big part of the Czech diet, vegetarianism is also fairly widely accepted.