Do's and Don'ts.

Don’t just get into a taxi. Taxi drivers are very, very likely to rip you off. Let your hotel, business partner or restaurant call a transport provider they know and trust to pick you up if you do not want to use the public transportation system.

Don’t run around the city and comment on the ‘cheapness’ of everything. Czechs find it offending if you rub their noses in your foreign wealth. But maybe not only your social politeness but equally the ‘new’ prices in Prague prevent you from doing that in the first place.

Do wish “Good Morning”, dobry den, and “Good-bye”, na shledanou, to people on elevators, in stores and in general. It’s nice to be nice.

At the supermarket do pick up a basket at the entrance – even if it is just for one single item – the Czechs have strong policies on shop lifting. Not taking a basket may appear as if you have that very crime in mind.

At the restaurant be aware that everything has its price. The bread sitting on your table as you are seated is not a complimentary, it has an invisible price tag and it will appear on your bill. So if you do not want to pay for any extras you have not ordered, do ask the service to remove them from your table because even bread untouched will have its price.

If you have half-finished your beer at a pub, it can well happen that the service sets a new cool one in front of you. Fight all your instincts now; don’t pour the lukewarm rest of your beer into the new one. No! Not even a little bit. If you do, you are considered an ill-mannered tourist at best. Sometimes you will be refused further service.

Tune it down. You will find Czech speak at a low level; try to adapt in order not to be the loud tourist.

Don’t assume that everybody speaks English. Many do but some also speak German or Russian as a second language. It’s nice if you try to learn some Czech phrases; it will make life easier for you and your host country.

There is this cock-and-bull story of Czech women meaning ‘yes’ if the say ‘no’. No! Don’t assume that.

A ‘no’ means ‘no’; still Czechs tend not to be very straight-forward in their assessments. Take the shoe example again, it might well be that having just waded through a thunderstorm you make inclinations to take your shoes off upon entering your host’s home, just to be encouraged to keep your shoes on. Take them off; your host was just being polite.

Also, it would be polite not to appear all too surprised if you find out that the Czech Republic is not that grey post-communist backward country, you have thought it was. And directly related to this, try to refrain from equaling the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe. The Czechs prefer to think of themselves as central Europeans – With Prague at the heart of Europe.