CZECH CULTURE

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.

Drinking & Dining

When a couple enters a pub or restaurant, it’s customary for the man to go in first.

At more traditional Czech pubs and restaurants, it’s acceptable to share a table with other people - and for other people to join you, if space is available.

If you’ve finished eating, and want the waiter to take your plate away, put your knife and fork together. Leave them crossed if you want to carry on eating.

Table water is not normally provided in restaurants but is usually available on request. (But in traditional places, iced water is much less common.)

When ordering drinks at a bar, it’s useful to remember that Czechs use their thumbs when counting on their hands, so to order two drinks, for instance, hold up your thumb and your index finger. For three drinks, hold up your thumb, your index finger and your middle finger.

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