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The Czech Republic uses the Czech Koruna (CZK, Kč)
Monzo users pay the MasterCard exchange rate with no added fees.
Most merchants also accept EUR when paying in cash.
Card acceptance in the Czech Republic may differ between big cities (like Prague, Plzen or Brno) and smaller towns, but cash-only places are quite rare in general. Practically all local supermarket chains (Albert, Billa, Globus, Kaufland, Lidl, Penny Market, Tesco), smaller grocery shops, newsagents and restaurants accept cards, although you may still find a few rare cash-only places.
Most POS devices you’ll find are contactless. There’s a limit of 500 CZK (~ £17.5) for contactless payments. Some terminals will ask for chip & PIN and some will just prompt for PIN after tapping when then amount is above the limit.
Czech Railways (the biggest, gov-owned transport company) accept contactless cards in bigger stations around cities, all small ones are however cash only and you’re required to buy a ticket before boarding, unless you’re boarding from unstaffed station, in which case you pay on the train (again, cash only).
There are no barriers at any station, so you may board without a ticket (which is fine to do from unstaffed stations), but there are ticket inspectors on nearly every train.
There’s multiple companies (e.g. Czech Railways, Leo Express, RegioJet, Arriva) competing on the same rail tracks and they each have their own ticketing scheme (i.e. ticket valid for one isn’t valid for another, even if it’s for the same path). Most allow you to buy tickets online via their website.
Pilsen: You can pay contactless directly on buses just by tapping to one of the machines, pretty much like you pay on TFL buses. Ticket fares are zone & time based.
Prague: You need tickets before boarding bus/tram/train. All paper tickets need to be validated when first boarding a bus/tram or at a subway/train station (no need to do it again during transfers). Ticket machines at most touristy places (e.g. airport, main train station) accept contactless payments. Many others are coins only though. DPP (Prague Transport Company) publishes an up-to-date list of ticket machines (w/ cash or card notes), but it’s czech-only. mince = coins, “bezkontaktní platební karty” = “contactless payment cards”. Ticket fares are zone & time based.
Google Maps have data for most train lines and public transport in cities. It’s not as integrated as TFL is - e.g. you don’t get real-time predications/delays, but data is quite accurate. Alternatively iDOS (Android / iOS / web) is the most commonly used transport planning app amongst locals and it comes in english too.
ATMs are a similar story to general card acceptance. Some ATMs offer contactless withdrawals.
Payment and withdrawal limits
All Monzo cards have some payment and withdrawal limits. To check yours before you leave, go to your Profile section of the app and tap on Limits.
Crowdsourced merchant data
The Monzo merchant data is often incorrect (eg. the map shows the wrong location or the name of the place is not correct). Please submit improvements to this data so it can get better for future visitors.
If you decide to ride taxi do not hail on the streets. Unfortunately there’s a lot of scammers (esp. in touristy places) which will rip you off.
Avoid changing money on the street for the same reason as above (scammers).
Honest Guide series
Here’s a few episodes covering some useful topics:
- How to get from Prague’s airport to the city centre
- Travelling around Prague
- Where to change money in Prague
- Scams in Europe
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