Czech Republic Essentials

Country name: Czech Republic, Czechia
Czech flag: Red, white, blue
Population: 10.5 million
Land area: 78,867 sq km (30,450 sq mi)
Currency: Czech Crown (CZK)
Capital: Prague; population 1.2 million
Official language: Czech
Geographical location: Central Europe, map
Neighboring countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland
European Union member: Yes, since 2004
Euro currency in use: No
Schengen area member: Yes, since 2007
Government: Parliamentary democracy with president as the head of state and prime minister as the head of government
Time zone: GMT+1 (U.S. EST+6, PST+9), Daylight Savings Time observed
Religion: Atheist/Agnostic 59%, Roman Catholic 27%, Protestant 2%, Other 12%
Climate: Temperate. Cool to warm May - September (showers and thunderstorms common), mostly chilly October, March and April (rain or snow possible), cold, cloudy and wet with snow and freezing temperatures November - February; skiing December - March; average monthly temperatures
Voltage: 230 Volts/50 Hz
Country calling code: 420
Public holidays: January 1, Easter holidays (Good Friday and Easter Monday), May 1, May 8, July 5, July 6, September 28, October 28, November 17, December 24 - 26
Foreign languages spoken: English (younger generation), German (older generation); some Italian, French, Spanish
Travel documents: Passport or national ID card not required (but advised) for EU nationals arriving from a passport-free Schengen country; valid passport required for all other citizens
Freeway fees: A freeway pass (dálniční známka) is required. It can be purchased at gas stations, the post office, and some other locations.
10-day pass - 310 CZK
Monthly pass - 440 CZK
Yearly pass - 1,500 CZK
Safety: Low rate of violent crime, high rate of pickpocketing in tourist locations

Sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List:

Historic Centre of Prague (1992)
Historic Centre of Český Krumlov (1992)
Historic Centre of Telč (1992)
Pilgrimage Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená Hora (1994)
Kutná Hora: Historical Town Centre with the Church of Saint Barbara and the Cathedral of our Lady at Sedlec (1995)
Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape (1996)
Holašovice Historical Village Reservation (1998)
Gardens and Castle at Kroměříž (1998)
Litomyšl Castle (1999)
Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc (2000)
Tugendhat Villa in Brno (2001)
Jewish Quarter and St. Procopius' Basilica in Třebíč (2003)