Name of the country
The Czech Republic is a Central European country and its capital city is Prague. The country is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to the east. There are three historical lands of the Czech Republic corresponding with the main rivers basins: Bohemia to the Labe (Elbe) and Vltava (Moldau) rivers, Moravia corresponding to the Morava river, and the Czech Silesia to the Odra (Oder) river. The name "Bohemia" comes from Latin "Boiohaemum" and means "home of the Boii" (Gallic tribe). The name Czech Republic comes from the word "Čech" referred to the Slavic tribe from the Early Medieval Central Bohemia and can be traced back to the Proto-Slavic root meaning "member of the people". The Medieval history is connected with Bohemian (Czech) Kingdom. When the country regained its independence after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1918, the new name of Czechoslovakia was created to reflect the union of the Czech and Slovak nations within one country. After Czechoslovakia dissolved in the end of 1992, the English name Czechia was approved as the official short name in 2016. The current Czech Republic is the heir to the old Bohemian Kingdom and one of the highly industrialized countries in Europe.
The Czech Republic covers an area of 78,866 Km2 (30,450 mi2) consisting mainly on low hills and plateaus, and is surrounded along its borders by low mountains. It has a temperate climate, in the transition zone between the oceanic and continental climate types, with warm and rainy summers and cold and snowy winters. The warmest months are June, July and August. The mean temperature in June (when the conference will be held) is 16 °C (60.8°F), reaching more than 28°C (82.4 °F) in sunny days. Moderate rain and thunderstorms are very common at this time of the year.
The Czech Republic is one of the major tourist destinations in Europe. Prague is the most popular destination. Other highly visited destinations include Karlštejn Castle, Kutná Hora, Brno, Český Krumlov, České Budějovice, Olomouc and the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape. The Czech Republic has 14 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Please see: https://www.visitczechrepublic.com/en-US
The Czech Republic boasts many famous personalities, who significantly contributed to their diverse culture, be it its world-famous politicians (Tomáš G. Masaryk, Václav Havel), top-class sportsmen (Emil Zátopek, Jaromír Jágr, Petr Čech, Petra Kvitová) , Nobel Prize laureates (writer Jaroslav Seifert and chemist Jaroslav Heyrovský) or globally lauded writers (Karel Čapek, Franz Kafka, Miloš Forman, Milan Kundera), musicians (Bedřich Smetana, Antonín Dvořák), scientists (Johann Gregor Mendel, Otto Wichterle) and many others.
Czechia is member of EU and shapes part of the Schengen space. That means the entry for EU citizens is free. All other foreign visitors to the Czech Republic must possess a passport valid for at least the next three months. Participants requiring visa should apply in advance to consular offices of the Czech Republic or diplomatic missions in their countries to avoid delay in travel to the Conference.
The official language is Czech. It belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. However, English is widely spoken and understood, especially within the main cities and among the young generation.
Currency and Banking
The Czech crown (CZK) is the official currency of the Czech Republic. Exchange of foreign currency is available at Prague International Airport and at most banks and exchange office throughout all cities. ATM machines are also widely accessible. International credit cards are accepted for payments in hotels, restaurants, and shops. Payment in cash in EUR is also available in some restaurants and shops, please ask for details on-site. You can find the official exchange rates on the website of the Czech National Bank at http://www.cnb.cz/.
The Czech Republic uses a 230 volt 50 Hz system. Sockets follow the standard generally used in many countries in Europe, and have a grounding pin sticking out of the power socket.
The Czech Republic is on Central European Time - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus 1 hour. From April to October is summer time, i.e. GMT + 2 hours.
Service is usually included in the bill in bars and restaurants, but tips are welcome. If you consider the service good enough to warrant a tip, we suggest about ten percent.
Important telephone numbers
112: General Emergency for Europe
156: The Municipal Police