The Prague currency is the Czech Koruna, which was created and introduced in 1993 following the separation of Czechoslovakia, in which the nation that had been one, split in a ‘Peaceful Divorce’ to become the Czech Republic and the Republic of Slovakia. This division of the two nations meant they each had to create their own currency to replace the Czechoslovak koruna, which had been the currency of Czechoslovakia since 1919 (with the exception of a period during World War II in which it was not used). And so the currency in the Czech Republic was created and the Czech Koruna was born.
Although the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, it is not part of the Eurozone, meaning that we do not use the Euro in the Czech Republic. We use the Czech Koruna or the Czech crown which is abbreviated with Kč (in Czech) or CZK (in English). In recent years the currency has hovered around a rate of 22-24:1 for crowns with the USD, 24-27:1 with the Euro and 27-30:1 with the British pound.
The Czech koruna has been fairly strong in recent years but since it has a good conversion for some of the more largely known and used currencies, it has allowed Czech Republic to be a fairly cheap place to come visit for outside guests which has in turn allowed tourism to increase quickly in the last few years.
The actual, physical Czech koruna is a combination of coins and paper bills. There are coins worth 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 crown and bills worth 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000. That means that some of the larger coins can be worth from about 1-2 USD/Euros/GBP, so don’t think they’re worthless.
Czech Koruna Symbol: Kč
Czech Currency Code: CZK
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Kč
Banknotes: 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 Kč
Central Bank: Czech National Bank
First minted: 1993
No longer in circulation: 50 Kč St. Agnes of Bohemia, 1997-2011
100 Kč – Charles IV (Karel IV)
Charles IV, Father of the Nation, was the king of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1346 to 1378. His is arguably one of the most popular and well-known historical figures in the Czech history and his reign brought along much prosperity, impressive architectural feats and educational institutions which still exist today. These include Charles Bridge, Charles University, and Charles Square. This “Golden Age of Bohemia was known as the apex of High Gothic art.
200 Kč – John Amos Comenius (Jan Amos Komenský)
John Amos Comenius, known as the father of modern education, was a Czech philosopher and teacher. Due to his many contributions, women began to take part in formal public education and the theory and practice of education changed significantly. Czechs celebrate Teacher’s Day on his birthday, March 28.
500 Kč – Božena Němcová
Božena Němcová is one of two women on Czech banknotes. She was an important writer during the Czech National Revival movement. Her most famous work Babička (meaning “The Grandmother” in English), celebrated as one of the great classic Czech novels, depicts life in a rural Bohemian village She is also remembered for her efforts to collect and preserve both Czech and Slovak folk stories and fairy tales.
1000 Kč – František Palacký
František Palacký is considered as one (of only 3) of the Fathers of the Nation and its people. He was instrumental in restoring and preserving many Czech historical works. He was one of the most prolific people in the Czech National Revival in which he fought to restore Czech history, culture, and the Czech language. He is also known for his political activism during his lifetime.
2000 Kč – Emmy Destinn (Ema Destinnová)
Emmy Destinn was a world famous and intentionally acclaimed opera singer. She was born in Prague in the 1800’s and gained fame and fortune for her beautiful voice and to a lesser extent, her abilities in writing. She produced works in several mediums: poetry, plays and novels.
5000 Kč – Tomáš Masaryk
Tomáš Masaryk, or more commonly T.G. Masaryk, the third of the Fathers of the Nation, was the first president of Czechoslovakia. He is even regarded as the founder of Czechoslovakia. His recognizable face, with glasses perched on his nose and more often than not, a top hat, are seen across both countries till today. Under his 3 terms as president of the nation, Czechoslovakia grew to become seen as one of the strongest democracies in central Europe.
Important Information: Prague is located in the Schengen Zone, which is a free-travel zone within the European Union. It includes 26 countries in total. Depending on where you are coming from, you might need to secure a visa for the Schengen Zone before visiting the Czech Republic. Please be sure to consider this fact before making plans to visit Prague so that you do not experience any problems upon arrival. Also be be aware that the Czech Republic uses the Czech Korona (czk) rather than the euro since we are not in the eurozone. We look forward to your visit!