Accessibility in the Czech Republic
Since its transition from communism began in 1989, the Czech Republic has improved access to its public and private spaces for those with limited mobility. Legislation requires buildings to limit physical barriers affecting accessibility, though this applies mainly to newly built or renovated sites. Like most nations, the Czech Republic's urban centres and workplaces are easier to navigate in a wheelchair than historic or heritage sites – while off the beaten track, and in rural locations, things can be more difficult. As a member of the European Union, the country has legal safeguards in place to protect and promote the rights of those with any form of impairment.
Almost all international airlines land at the Václav Havel Airport, Prague. The airport is modern and completely accessible, including large elevators, enhanced signage and tactile walkways. Assistance is also available at baggage reclaim and immigration via special passport control lanes, and can be called at any point in the two terminals using one of 20 dedicated contact points.
Most street taxis can accommodate a folding wheelchair, but few are equipped to transport a fixed or electric mobility aid. Many fully accessible minivans are available, though, as pre-book options. Prices for city cabs are regulated and meters are used. Outside the capital, most cars are not limited by charges or route choices. Online platforms including Uber, Liftago and Bolt are also available.
Services operated by Prague Municipal Transport include low-floor buses, but accessibility is often limited by the design of individual bus stops. There is a growing number of adapted platform vehicles, accessed by a tilting ramp operated by the driver. The availability and reliability of these are mixed.
More than half the tram fleet in the capital has low floors and is fully accessible. Each stop typically serves several lines, so wheelchair users need to signal to the driver to board. An online ‘connection finder’ indicates barrier-free routes, including photos of special features to pre-plan journeys.
The Prague Metro is generally accessible at most stations. But due to differences in the types of trains operating on the network, there can be a platform gap that complicates the use of electric mobility aids. A ramp on the leading car of each service and comb-edge gap fillers makes boarding easier. There is also extra guidance for passengers with visual or hearing impairments.
Wheelchair-accessible vehicles, both self-drive and car and driver services, are relatively cost-effective. As parking in central Prague is very restricted, however, hire cars are rarely the best choice. For expats who need to access small towns and cities away from the public transport network, all international car-hire brands are readily available.
LGBTQ+ in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is often considered the most progressive former Eastern Bloc country regarding LBGTQ+ rights. Registered partnerships are recognised, and Czech law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Prague Pride has been a popular annual August festival since 2011 and is one of the largest celebrations in the country.
Gender equality in the Czech Republic
Women make up 63 percent of college graduates and 44 percent of the Czech workforce – however, gender equality remains an issue. In 2021, the Czech government put forth a Gender Equality Strategy for 2021–2030. The policy is ambitious and contains eight thematic areas, 26 strategic objectives, and more than 200 specific tasks. The aim is to limit gender disparities in opportunity, attainment and pay.
Women in leadership in the Czech Republic
Just 27 percent of managers and leaders are female, compared to almost 40 percent across the wider Central and Eastern Europe region (and only 4 percent of CEOs are women). A similar proportion (25 percent) of seats in the Czech Parliament are held by women, though this has increased steadily in recent decades. Care and domestic duties fall disproportionately on women in the home, but attitudes, most notably among younger people, are changing.
Mental health in the Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, one in five people experience mental illness. Many cases are linked to a traditional problem with alcohol in the country, and recent events including the pandemic and conflict to the east of the region have placed an extra burden on resources. The situation is improving, though, with new support available online such as counselling and talking therapies.
Unconscious bias in the Czech Republic
Unconscious bias refers to the prejudices absorbed when living in unequal societies. Preconceptions around gender, age and ethnicity inhibit effective hiring, limit development and lower staff morale. Some international organisations in the Czech Republic use training to promote tolerance and understanding, but ingrained views on women being better in caring roles persist in traditional Czech society.
Diversification of the workforce in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is ethnically homogenous. While it is quite rare to encounter people of different racial backgrounds in rural areas, urban centres (especially Prague) are growing more diverse. Compared to large metropolitan areas of the United States and Western Europe, however, the workforce of Prague is still largely white. The main non-white minorities are Roma and Vietnamese.
Safety in the Czech Republic
Most people living and working in the Czech Republic experience no difficulties, but expats should be aware of street crime and petty theft, particularly in Prague. Violent crime and assaults are very rare compared to many neighbouring countries.
Women’s safety in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is generally safe for solo females. Women should take the same precautions as they would in any other country, such as avoiding walking alone at night and being aware of their surroundings. Additionally, the Czech Republic has a strong police presence and a good public transportation system, making it easy to get around safely. Harassment and sexual violence are uncommon.
Festive dates in the Czech Republic
January 1 – Restoration Day of the Independent Czech State
March 8 – International Women’s Day
May – Mental Health Awareness Month
Third Thursday of May – Global Accessibility Awareness Day
May 1 – Labour Day
May 8 – Liberation Day
July 5 – St Cyril and Methodius Day
July 6 – Jan Hus Day
August – Gay Pride
September 28 – St Wenceslas Day / Day of Czech Statehood
September – World Suicide Prevention Day
October 28 – Foundation of the Independent Czechoslovak State
November 17 – Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
November 25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
December 1 – World AIDS Day