Czech Republic

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS and CUSTOMS: Check for the most current regulations.

CURRENCY: The KORUNA (Kcs) … 100 halers to the Koruna. Bills are 10,20,50,100, 500 Korunas. Coins are 5,10,20,50 halers, and 1,2,5, Korunas.

LANGUAGE: Czech is spoken by about 2/3 of the population, but Slovak is the national language. German is widely spoken. English is spoken in tourist areas.

TEMPERATURE: Average in summer… 70-75 degrees … with some rain.

BANK HOURS: M-F 8-12 SHOP HOURS: M-F 9-6, Sat 9-1.

THINGS TO BUY: Czechoslovakian Crystal, crafts, porcelain, hand-painted Easter eggs, straw Christmas ornaments, jewelry, linen

FOOD: A blend of East and West … rather heavy. Goulash, Schntzels, Schishkebob, Prague Ham (cold and excellent), smoked meats, sauerkraut, dumplings, excellent salads, and cheese made from sheep’s milk.

DRINK: The favorite is beer, but it cannot be served before 3 PM. Also, excellent red wines, and a potent Plum Brandy. (The rule on beer may have changed).

TIPPING: If a restaurant does not include the service charge, add 10%. Taxis expect 10%.

MISCELLANEOUS: It is not recommended that one exchange money on the streets (you’ll be asked, dozens of times). Be leery of taxi drivers. They have become the biggest hustlers in Europe.

FOR FREE MAPS and INFORMATION: Write CEDOK, 10 East 40th Street, New York 10016.