Emergency phone numbers
- general emergency - 112
- firefighters - 150
- ambulance - 155
- police - 158
Visas and documents
Czech Republic is part of Schengen area, so I think that most of you won't need visas, only a valid passport. EU citizens may use national ID card. UK citizens, read this: http://www.mzv.cz/london/en/visa_and_consular_information/visa_information/information_for_holders_of_british.html
Anyway, if not sure please check at ministry of foreign affairs http://www.mzv.cz/jnp/en/index.html or at Czech embassy in your country: http://www.mzv.cz/berlin, http://www.mzv.cz/london, etc
Electricity is 230 VAC, 50 Hz, socket type E (same as in France, Belgium, Poland). Most modern equipment has plugs that are compatible with sockets E and F (Schuko, Germany, Scandinavia), so there is a 99% chance for german equipment to be compatible. On the other hand UK equipment will need an adaptor. Dave C. will most probably bring some UK power strips to the hall, so there may be even more UK sockets available then Czech sockets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country
The valid currency is Česká koruna, abbreviated as Kč. (Czech crown, CZK). The exchange rate is about 24-25 CZK = 1 EUR. Credit and debit cards are accepted in shops. You will need cash in most restaurants and pubs, and in public transport. There are four ATMs on the main street. Some shops and pubs may accept Euro (banknotes), but the exchange rate will not be very good for you. There are also a few exchange offices (valuty.net).
We may visit Poland some day, where the situation is similar, cards accepted but not everywhere. Check before ordering, and either choose another pub or get some cash from an ATM. Polish currency is Zloty (which means golden/gulden).
Summer time in Czech republic is GMT+2 (Central European Summer Time = CEST).
Weather in the mountains may suddenly change, so be prepared and wear good boots and have a raincoat and some warm clothes in the backpack.
Probably the most dangerous animals you may encounter are ticks. Many of them are infected with encephalitis and/or Lyme disease. They live in grass and low bushes waiting for you to pass by and catch your legs. So it is recommended to wear long trousers, use repellent, walk on paths or roads. Do not lie in grass. You may sacrifice your dog to collect the ticks in front of you ;). Thoroughly check yourself after a walk and remove the ticks as soon as possible. My favorite removal tool is something like this: http://www.prozdravi.cz/hacek-na-klistata-2-ks.html. Do not apply oil, soap, or anything like that on live tick, it may vomit its saliva into the wound and infect you. Disinfect the wound thoroughly after removing the tick. There is a vaccination against encephalitis, but not against Lyme disease. If you consider vaccination, it is best to get it during winter (it is applied in 3 stages).
Dogs and other pets
I'm not a dog owner so I asked my good friend for advice. Here it goes:
There are some mandatory requirements when entering Czech Republic with pet animals.
Travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets to the Czech Republic from the EU Member States: https://en.svscr.cz/animal-health/travelling-with-pet-animals/iii-travelling-with-dogs-cats-and-ferrets-to-the-czech-republic-from-the-eu-member-states/
Travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets to the Czech Republic from listed third countries: https://en.svscr.cz/animal-health/travelling-with-pet-animals/iv-travelling-with-dogs-cats-and-ferrets-to-the-czech-republic-from-listed-third-countries/
Travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets to the Czech Republic from non-listed third countries: https://en.svscr.cz/v-travelling-with-dogs-cats-and-ferrets-to-the-czech-republic-from-non-listed-third-countries/
In short, the dogs must to be identified by a microchip, you must have a dog passport and it must be vaccinated against rabies. For dogs traveling from non-EU countries other rules may apply. Czech Republic is relatively safe country for your dog without any major diseases to worry about, however it's advised to use some form of tick protection for you dog. In the recent years there has been higher numbers of wild boars roaming our forests and while I personally haven't encounter any yet, it's something to keep in mind.
Czech Republic is a country of pet lovers and well behaved dogs are always welcome. There are some rules to keep in mind, most notably keep your dog on leash and under control and always clean up after your dog. Swimming with your dog may be possible, however local rules may apply. Always ask locals and never let your dog disturb other animals. From my experience dogs are usually allowed in restaurants, however always ask before you take your dog inside. Dogs are allowed in public transport, but only on the leash and wearing muzzle. You also need a (half price) ticket for your dog as well. Keep in mind that the driver may refuse to transport your dog if it's dirty, smelly or aggressive, the vehicle is crowded, or there are more dogs inside already.
Other small animals (cats) are usually transported for free, but must be in a box with leakproof bottom.