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Home » Country Etiquette » Czech Republic

Czech Etiquette Tips

In the Czech Republic, greeting people is very important. If you're at a pub and some people join your table, say hello, or "Dobrý den ", which means "Good day " in Czech. If you're in an elevator and there already people inside, say "Dobrý den". Upon entering a store, say "Dobrý den!" Before you know it, it will become second nature and you'll be saying hello to everyone, even after you go home!

You will find that the people of the Czech Republic can be conservative, but they are very friendly and polite, so follow their lead and be friendly and polite in return! Below are some tips on Czech etiquette to take with you on your trip to the Czech Republic.

1. Dress Attire

  1. DO dress modestly and conservatively for business occasions.
  2. DO dress casually for sports or barbecues.
  3. DON'T wear shorts unless you are partaking in sports or going swimming.

2. Table Manners

  1. DO wish your dining partners "dobrou chut'", which is the rough equivalent of Bon Appetit.
  2. DO praise the food and ask for seconds, even if you're stuffed.
  3. DO toast with "Na zdravi!" which means "To your health!" Maintain eye contact while toasting. ("Na zdravi!" also is said when someone sneezes, like "Bless you!")

3. Tipping

  1. DO tip 10%. It's not obligatory, but it's a nice thing to do if the service was good.
  2. DO tip using cash. Putting the tip on your credit card is considered rude.

4. Gift giving and Accepting Gifts

  1. DO open your gift right away.
  2. DO give a gift from your home country. Good gifts are alcohol, flowers, and food, but don't give even numbers of flowers and don't give chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemums are used for putting on graves.
  3. DO politely refuse when being offered a gift. After the person giving it to you insists that you take it, then accept. When you give a gift, the recipient will also refuse until you insist.
  4. DON'T spend more than fifteen to thirty U.S. dollars on a gift.
  5. DO write a thank you note if you want. They're not common but are likely to be appreciated anyway.

5. Beach Etiquette

  1. DON'T bathe nude at the beach. Although the Czech Republic is landlocked, it does have many beaches on lakes. Full nudity at beaches is legal but uncommon, unless the areas are empty.

6. Greetings

  1. DO shake hands when greeting someone and again upon leaving. Greeting with a kiss on each cheek is also common, but usually only among friends.
  2. DO greet people when sharing a table at a pub, in elevators, inside train compartments, or upon leaving or entering a store.

7. Socializing and Conversation

  1. DO talk about sports, especially hockey or soccer.
  2. DON'T discuss politics or the former communist regime.
  3. DO be aware that Czechoslovakia was not party of the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire. Czechs don't appreciate when people assume that.
  4. DON'T assume that whoever you are conversing with has religious beliefs. The Czech Republic is largely an atheist and agnostic country and proud of that fact.

8. Visitors Etiquette

  1. DO take your shoes off upon entering someone's home. You will be given some form of indoor shoes to wear inside.
  2. DO bring a gift.
  3. DON'T stay too late into the evening. Leaving around 10 PM is appropriate.

9. Business Meeting

  1. DO make appointments at least three weeks in advance.
  2. DON'T be late. It's common for your host to be late, but you are expected to be punctual.
  3. DO engage in small talk in the beginning, such as chatting about weather or sports.
  4. DO be assertive during business meetings, but remain polite. Czechs can be indirect, so it's important to stay assertive. Just don't be too loud or pushy.

The people of the Czech Republic are very proud of their heritage, language, and rich history. Most of the bigger cities are used to seeing tourists, but in order to respect them and not stand out as a foreigner, remember the above guidelines. Enjoy your trip!

 
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