Culture & Traditions

Any attempt to explain Czech culture and customs in a few hundred words risks offensive generalization and gross over-simplification.

It's also important to make a distinction between traditional Czech culture and life in cosmopolitan Prague. Social norms that apply in a small-town pub might not be a factor in a fancy French restaurant in the capital.

Erring on the side of caution, however, we've put together a few simple guidelines that should make your trip to Prague a more pleasant experience.

On first impression, Czech people can seem intimidating. Service in shops or restaurants is stereotypically abrupt, people rarely smile at strangers, and public areas such as the metro are often eerily quiet. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and you'll get a very different impression.

For the most part, Czechs are quiet, polite, reserved people - at least until they hit the pub. In general, Czechs also value displays of modesty over showy self-confidence.

But a good sense of humor is valued - and sometimes necessary - in the Czech Republic, and Czechs are rarely aggressive or confrontational.