Total Area: 78,866 km2 (30,450 sq. miles)
Population: 10,562,214 (2011 census )
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central EUROPE. The country is bordered by Poland to the north, AUSTRIA to the south, GERMANY to the west and Slovakia to the east. Its capital and largest city is Prague with 1.3 million inhabitants.
It is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.
The Czech Republic is the first former member of the Comecon to achieve the status of a developed country according to the World Bank. In addition, the country has the highest human development in Central and Eastern Europe, ranking as a "Very High Human Development" nation. It is also ranked as the third most peaceful country in Europe and most democratic and healthy (by infant mortality) country in the region.
There are four national parks in the Czech Republic. The oldest is Krkonoše National Park (Biosphere Reserve), Šumava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), Podyjí National Park, Bohemian Switzerland.
What makes the Czech landscape interesting is the great variety by which it is exceedingly defined. Bohemia, to the west, consists of a basin drained by the Elbe and the Vltava (or Moldau) rivers, surrounded by mostly low mountains, such as the Krkonoše range of the Sudetes. The highest point in the country, Sněžka at 1,602 m (5,256 ft), is located here. Moravia, the eastern part of the country, is also quite hilly. It is drained mainly by the Morava River, but it also contains the source of the Oder River.
Water from the landlocked Czech Republic flows to three different seas: the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and the Black Sea. The Czech Republic also leases the Moldauhafen, a 30,000-square-metre (7.4-acre) lot in the middle of the Hamburg Docks, which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles, to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported down river could be transferred to seagoing ships. The territory reverts to Germany in 2028.
Sources: Wikipedia, checz.cz, infoplease, stategov
The Czech Republic has a temperate continental climate, with relatively hot summers and cold, cloudy and snowy winters. Due to its landlocked geographical position, the temperature difference between summer and winter is relatively high.
Within the Czech Republic, temperatures vary greatly, depending on the elevation. In general, at higher altitudes, the temperatures decrease and precipitation increases. The wettest area in the Czech Republic is found around Bílý Potok in Jizera Mountains and the driest region is the Louny District to the northwest of Prague. The way the mountains are distributed on the country’s terrain, is another important factor; hence, the climate -in general- quite varies.
Most rain falls during the summer. Sporadic rainfall is relatively constant throughout the year (in Prague, the average number of days per month experiencing at least 0.1 mm of rain varies from 12 in September and October to 16 in November) but concentrated heavy rainfall (days with more than 10 mm per day) are more frequent in the months of May to August (average around two such days per month).
At the highest peak of Sněžka (1,602 m/5,256 ft), the average temperature is only -0.4 °C (31.28 °F), whereas in the lowlands of the South Moravian Region, the average temperature is as high as 10 °C (50 °F). The country's capital, Prague, has a similar average temperature, although this is influenced by other urban factors.
The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. On average, summer temperatures are about 20 degrees higher than during winter. Especially in the last decade, temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) are not unusual. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms.
The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is usually snow in the mountains and sometimes in the major cities and lowlands. During March, April and May, the temperature usually increases rapidly, especially during April, when the temperature and weather tends to vary widely during the day. Spring is also characterized by high water levels in the rivers, due to melting snow with occasional flooding.
Sources: Wikipedia, checz.cz, infoplease, lonelyplanet
The Czech Republic has formed a developed high-income economy with a GDP per capita of 80% of the European Union average. One of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states, the Czech Republic saw growth of over 6% annually in the three years leading up to 2008; since it is experiencing a slow down in line with the world crisis. Growth then has been led by exports to the European Union, especially Germany, and foreign investment, while domestic demand is gradually reviving, based always on the recovery of the rest of the world.
The country is part of the Schengen Area, having abolished border controls, completely opening its borders with all of its neighbours, Germany, Austria, Poland and Slovakia, on 21 December 2007. The Czech Republic became a member of the World Trade Organisation.
Most of the economy has been privatised, including the banks and telecommunications. The current centre-right government plans to continue with privatisation, including the energy industry and Prague’s main airport. In 2009, It has been well documented that a majority of Czech Economists seem to favor in the liberalization process of most sectors of the economy.
Despite the fact that the country is economically better positioned than other EU Members to adopt the euro, the change is not expected before 2013, due to political reluctance on the matter. There are several challenges, however. The rate of corruption remains one of the highest among the other developed OECD countries and the public budgets remain in deficit despite strong growth of the economy in recent years. The Office of the Prime Ministry has recently stated (2011-12) said that Czechs should be consulted by referendum before deciding in joining the Eurozone.
Sources: Wikipedia, infoplease
The Czech economy gets a substantial income from tourism. The number of international tourists visiting in 2008 was reported to be just over 6.6 Million and just over 6 Million for 2009 (euromonitor, tradingeconomics), showing a slump in demand then. Prospects seem to be better since 2010, with an average growth of about 3% every year since then; current figures (end of 2011-2012 onwards) are showing increased international interest in visiting the Czech Republic.
There are several centres of tourist activity. Away from towns, areas such as Krkonoše Mountains , Český ráj and Šumava attract visitors seeking outdoor activities, quieter leisure and more pursuits close to nature.
The historic city of Prague is the primary tourist attraction, as the city is also the most common point of entry for tourists visiting other parts of the country. Most other cities in the country attract significant numbers of tourists, but the spa towns, such as Karlovy Vary, Františkovy Lázně and Mariánské Lázně, are particularly popular holiday destinations. Other popular tourist sites are the many castles and chateaux, such as those at Karlštejn Castle, Český Krumlov and the Lednice–Valtice area.
The Czech Republic additionally organizes a number of annual beer festivals, including: Czech Beer Festival (the biggest Czech beer festival, it is 17 days long and held every year in May in Prague), Pilsner Fest (every year in August in Plzeň), The "Olomoucký pivní festival" (in Olomouc) or festival "Slavnosti piva v Českých Budějovicích" (in České Budějovice).
The country is also famous for its love of puppetry and marionettes with a number of puppet festivals being arranged year after year for live performances throughout the country.
Sources: tradingeconomics, Wikipedia, euromonitor
Car Hire in the Czech Republic with MisterHire.Com
Fitting for whatever the occasion, MisterHire.Com is present to supply a vehicle to suit every budget, starting from low budget economy cars such as Peugeot’s, Ford’s and small and compact Toyota’s. Moving up to more prestigious vehicles, we offer cars such as the Mercedes C or E-Classes, quality Audi’s and fully loaded BMW 3 or 5-series, we operate an ever expanding car rental fleet. Whatever your state of mind when hiring a car, either laid back or most adventurous, our diverse fleet may cater also for middle to top of the range saloon convertibles and 4x4 jeeps.
Our rates include insurance, collision damage and theft waiver, local taxes and unlimited mileage so there are no costly and hidden surprises when you have reached your pre-selected Czech rental car pick up location. Pick up points include numerous locations in Prague city, Prague Airport and Railway station, Brno and Ostrava Aiports, as well are other Czech town locations. If you would require some optional extras for your trip such as baby seats and/or extra drivers, these options are easily found and neatly presented to you during our secure Online Booking Process.
In the unlikely event of needing car hire assistance anywhere in the Czech Republic, we made certain to have a team of trained professionals within the hour and available on hand round the clock to sort out your car problem/s.
Sources: Wikipedia, czech.cz, prague.net
Speed limits in the Czech Republic are:
• Towns and cities : 50 km/h (30 mph)
• Open Roads : 90 km/h (56 mph)
• Expressways : 130 km/h (81 mph)
The road network in the Czech Republic is 55,653 km (34,581.17 miles) long and a part of it are 738,4 km’s of motorways and 439,1 km’s of expressways.
There is a zero tolerance (0.00) policy in Czech Republic for those who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Czech police executes routine checks for presence of alcohol and has the right to test any driver any time on the spot. These checks are especially done during the night time.
If alcohol or drugs have been confirmed in your blood by the breathalyser, the consequences can be an imprisonment for up to 3 years and a payment of CZK 25-50,000. If a driver refuses to pass the breath test, the monetary fine is the same as in case of a person declared under the influence of alcohol.
In case of offending a Czech official or causing a traffic accident under the influence of alcohol, your driving licence will be withdrawn for up to one year and you will have to pay a fine up to CZK 10,000.
Sources: Wikipedia, czech.cz