The Travel Money Guide to Currency in Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a wonderful country to visit for picturesque Prague, the Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. Brno's famous Cathedral of St.Peter and St.Paul or Brno Ossuary draw thousands of tourists per year. The Czech Republic is also known for its vibrant night life and pub scene, so with so much to do it's important to plan how much in the Czech Republic currency you will need.
Want to learn more about the Czech Republic currency and how to get your hands on it for the best value? Read on to find out:
What Currency is Used in Czech Republic?
The official currency of the Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna, which has the international code CZK and the symbol Kč. The Czech banknotes have 6 denominations: 100Kč, 200Kč, 500Kč, 1000Kč, 2000Kč and 5000Kč. Czech Republic currency has 6 coin denominations: 1Kč, 2Kč, 5Kč, 10Kč, 20Kč and 50Kč.
Interestingly the Czech Republic is part of the Eurozone however it has not changed it currency to the Euro, similar to Denmark and Sweden, which have kept their existing currency.
How to Buy Czech Koruna Before You Go
There’s a certain reassurance that comes with stepping off the plane (or cruise ship) already cashed up with Czech Koruna.
Buying Czech Koruna before you leave Australian shores isn’t just convenient. It can also save you money. But it all depends on where you get your Czech Koruna in Australia. There are 3 main options:
- Buy CZK online and have it delivered or collect it in-store
- Swap the Czech Republic currency for Australian dollars from a money changer
- Buy Czech Koruna at your home airport
Try S Money or a similar online currency exchange store to get rates that reflect the comparisons you see on XE or Google.
If you choose online delivery or in-store pickup, check the processing time. Some exchange companies with online options suggest you allow between two and five days to process currency.
Prefer in-store currency exchange? Head to the CBD of your nearest city for the most competitive exchange rates; suburban bureau de change outlets tend to have poorer rates and fees.
Currency exchange counters in Australia’s airports are infamous for their atrocious exchange rates. Avoid them if you can.
What Will the Czech Koruna Buy Me?
Budgeting for your trip gives you a good idea of how much you may need for the length of your stay. This might keep you accountable, help you stretch your savings, or help you avoid having to convert currency back into dollars at the end of your trip.
To help you cost out the trip, here are some of the average costs of items in the Czech Republic:
$140 per night
A double room in a mid-range hotel
Food costs per day
A bottle of beer
Admission to a museum or famous site
How to Change Currency When You Arrive
Places like Prague, and Plzen receive great numbers of tourists, so there are facilities to cater to money exchanges. Beyond these major destinations, it’s best to get cash before you venture into remote territory.
We’re all used to getting our cash out at ATMs so it seems like the most convenient way to secure local cash abroad. Plus there are Česká spořitelna and Komerční banka ATMs at the Wenceslas Square, making things extra easy. Generally you can withdraw up to 10,000 koruna at a time
Fortunately, in larger destinations – including on Brnos and Ceský Krumlov – ATMs are available at banks and some post offices.
Depending on your bank, you may have to pay for overseas ATM withdrawals and currency conversions. To reduce the amount you’ll pay in fees, try to withdraw just the right amount of money you’ll need for the duration of your trip.
Don’t forget: Let your bank know you’re travelling! If they detect a foreign transaction but aren’t aware you’re overseas, they could end up freezing your card.
Currency Exchange in the Czech Republic
You won’t have any problem changing money in the city. In addition there are plenty of money changers at Prague Ruzyně Airport or Prague Václav Havel Airport.
Money changers are located around the centre of the city and tourist places tend to offer marginally better rates than banks as many banks charge flat high fees per transaction. Also, banks only exchange currencies on weekdays. Exchange have stores all over Prague to change your foreign currency into Czech korunas.
A word of caution for swapping money on the street with someone, while it may seem easier that going into a store, it is a common scam where they give you old money you can’t use.
Not worth the bother! Travellers cheques are so outdated, very few banks even accept them any more.
Few places outside the well-trodden tourist path will accept travellers cheques, so your best option is to exchange cheques for cash at a bank.
These days, when pitted up against plastic money and currency exchanges, travellers cheques seem more hassle than they’re worth.
Using Your Bank Card
Most Czech businesses are well set up to receive card payments. But before you use your bank card willy-nilly, it’s worth reading up on the fees and charges you might incur.
You’ll probably want a debit card if you plan to withdraw money from an ATM. While you may also be able to pay with a debit card in some businesses in the major destinations, you might discover some hefty fees on your account summary.
Depending on your bank, you could be hit with fees for foreign ATM withdrawals or currency conversions. But some banks are better than others; we recommend checking out ING, Revolut, and TransferWise, all of which have travel-friendly debit cards that waive these charges.
Credit cards can come with some enticing perks, including added security, loyalty programs, and even free travel insurance.
But are they worth it?
Major local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, airline offices, and department stores, accept credit cards. But you might have to pay a surcharge.
Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted. You may also be able to use your American Express card, though local ATMs won’t accept them.
Just be aware of additional charges you may incur for foreign transactions. These could include:
- International transaction fees
- High exchange rate margins
- ATM fees
- Potential ‘cash advance fees’ if you use an ATM
If you still prefer credit cards over any other payment, consider going with a company that offers cards that waive certain travel fees. Bankwest Platinum and 28 Degrees both have travel-friendly cards.
Prepaid Travel Cards
The biggest advantages of prepaid travel cards are that you can lock in a favourable exchange rate. You also get a handy back-up card.
Just remember that while they are convenient, you could end up paying a long list of hidden fees. Many travel cards still impose:
- Currency conversion fees
- Uncompetitive exchange rates
- International ATM withdrawal fees
- Initial load fees
- Reload fees
- Inactivity fees