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Czeck Koruna

We are taking the Rick Steves Berlin/Prague/Vienna tour in 2016 (will sign up soon). It seems that although the Czech Republic is part of the European Union they have their own currency, but sometimes merchants will take euros. Have any of you traveled to Prague and will they accept euros are do we need to get the koruna? Thank you!

Posted by
353 posts

Many businesses will accept euros, but generally not at a very good exchange rate. Your best option would be to use an ATM when you arrive in Prague and withdraw some Czech Koruna.

Posted by
5837 posts

Use CZK. I didn't try to use any other currency than CZK but did see a lot of currency exchange kiosks in the tourist areas all showing wide bid-ask spreads. If a merchant accepted EUR you would be paying a premium for the convenience.

Posted by
11294 posts

"sometimes merchants will take euros"

That's it exactly - sometimes (when I was there in 2007, it was "rarely," not "sometimes"). No one in Prague is obligated to accept anything other than Czech koruny. If they do accept euros, it is at a rate of their own choosing. And, any change you get will be in koruny.

Just get some koruny from an ATM (everyone on your tour will be doing this; I'm sure your guide will help with how much you might need). If you have some left over, you can exchange it into euros or dollars before leaving.

Posted by
891 posts

When we were on the RS Eastern Europe trip we just used an atm and got the CK for use there. We did see some merchants taking Euros, but not a good exchange rate. Easier and better value to use the ATM's. The RS guide will point out the atms when you get in country.

Have a great trip
Mimi

Posted by
4637 posts

As everybody says - if they accept Euro it's to their advantage, not yours. This is the case also with Hungary, Poland and other countries which are still not on Euros. It seems to me that there is less interest to switch to Euro than it used to be.

Posted by
24 posts

We just did the Rick Steves Berlin/Prague/Vienna tour in September 2015 and loved it. Before the trip we ordered a couple hundred Korunas from Wells Fargo Bank. While in the Czech Republic when we ran low we used convenient ATM's for more. We found restaurants, pubs, shops, and theaters (for concerts) readily took VISA. Never tried to use Euro's.

Posted by
3392 posts

There is really no reason to try to use Euros since the exchange rate is so good, especially if you are from the states and converting at ATMs from dollars. Even touristy Prague is a bargain compared to most of Europe! Don't bother to use Euros as you will be the one to lose...go to an ATM, withdraw Korunas and use them. Local beer is about 35 and a meal will cost you anywhere from 75 - 135 or so for an entree at most restaurants.

Posted by
2616 posts

As everyone says, best to get some koruna. I got a few thousand before I left home just to be prepared. I was in Prague and also Poland this May, Budapest last year, and find our dollar goes quite a long way in these EU countries who aren't using the Euro.

I do recommend going to coinmill.com just before you leave and printing their conversion tables for the Czech koruna, prints small enough for your wallet and if you cover with clear tape it holds up nicely, good for planning and figuring out if a souvenir or, for me, an item in an antique shop, is a deal or way more than you want to spend. Basic things like food and drink are very cheap, a meal in an excellent restaurant that would be $30 here was about $13 there, including an enormous beer.

Posted by
5837 posts

Don't bother with currency converter cheat sheets. With the Czech crown running close to 25 CZK to the USD just think of a 500 CZK note as a US Jackson ($20) and a 100 CZK note as a Lincoln (close enough).

PS. It you withdraw a large amount form the cash machines expect a mix of denominations including 500 CZK notes.

Posted by
19148 posts

Although I usually recommend people going to the Eurozone get a few hundred euro at Wells Fargo before they go over so that they will have some spending money with them when they arrive, I'm not so enthusiastic about getting that much Koruna before arriving. Wells Fargo sells euro for about 5% over the Interbank rate, not much more than big banks charge at an ATM, but that, apparently, is not the case for less common currency.

In 2012 I entered the Czech Republic from a border town in Germany. I checked ahead of time with my future host and was told that ATMs in the town did not dispense Koruna. I knew I would be purchasing my train ticket on the Czech side of the border from Czech Rail and, I did not know if they would accept euro, or at what rate, so I purchased a small amount of Koruna (about $40 worth) before I went over. I realized later that I was charge 14% over the Interbank rate. In my case, considering the relatively small amount, I was only charged $3-$4 too much. Not bad, but I wouldn't want to take $200 at that rate.

Posted by
7050 posts

Listen to Rich from RS Europe. Use an ATM once you get there. Withdraw small amounts of Koruna so you're not stuck with large bills. No reason to sweat this, or to attempt to get money before you actually leave.

Posted by
178 posts

Just use an ATM in Prague. We took a small amount of koruna with us from home and headed to an ATM in Prague. Really, in the scheme of things considering all the costs for a European vacation,it's really not worth it to sweat over a few dollars about the exchange rate. And for sure,using Euros in Prague should be a last resort.

Posted by
8164 posts

In both Russia and Czeck Republic we found shops in touristy areas that would post prices in Euros as well as local currency but the exchange was terrible. We were particularly annoyed to find that duty free shops at the St. Petersburg airport did not accept rubles since we had a bunch we expected to spend there.

Posted by
7209 posts

Would you accept Czech Koruna from someone traveling to the USA from Czech? Of course not. Just use the national currency wherever you are.