The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe and its closest neighbours are Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland. The Czech Republic’s capital – Prague is located approximately in the middle of the country and has the same latitude as Frankfurt or Paris. This location is, of course, important for establishing the time zone or time standard for the whole country.
The current time in Prague is based on the Central European Standard Time or Central European Summer Time, and is displayed in the 24-hour format. Prague lies within the Central European Time Zone, which is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time during Central European Standard Time and two hours ahead during Central European Summer Time. In reality, this means that Prague is always 1 hour ahead of London time.
The whole Czech Republic has the same time; by what I mean, there are no time zones that would divide the Czech Republic into different time zones.
How is time displayed in Czech Republic
Prague (and the whole Czech Republic) uses the 24-hour time format, not AM/PM. This means that 6 am in the morning is 6.00 and 6 pm in the evening is 18.00.
If you see opening hours in restaurants or museums they would be listed as something like 9.00 – 17.00. You’d usually see the 00 after the hour – like this 9.00, but sometimes you might also see just 9 as a number (which means 9 am in the morning).
It’s also useful to know that if you are looking up any timetable for trains, buses or flights from Prague, then you’ll always see the whole number like 9.35 (morning) or 19.35 (evening). If you are catching a train just after midnight it will display as 00.12 (twelve minutes past midnight), but if the train is leaving shortly after noon (mid-day) then it will be displayed as 12.12 (twelve minutes past twelve – mid-day). It’s usually not that confusing and I’m sure you’ll get used to it very quickly.
Extra insider tip
It’s worth always confirming any time arrangements with your Czech guide, taxi or hotel concierge staff in writing or by e-mail. Although most Czech people speak English really well, especially if they work in the hotel or service industry, time can be tricky to say right. This is because time is told differently in the Czech language and people might be translating it literally when talking to you.
The reason for this is that we, Czech people say ‘half of ten’ – as in half of the hour that’s coming up – ie. ten o’clock – (pul desate in Czech language) when the time is 9.30 am.
You can see how easily this could become ‘half past ten’ which is of course 10.30 am in English! Because we have the ‘ten’ 10 in the sentence, we have to re-think how we tell time and go back one hour to say ‘half past nine’ – 9.30 am.
After 25 years of living in London, I sometimes make this mistake myself when arranging meet-ups with my Czech friends and I have to really think to get it right. I’m always happy when they suggest meeting up on the whole hour because then I know I won’t get it wrong!
Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time)
Daylight Saving Time (DST), also known as Summer Time or “Letní čas” in Czech, is a system of time measurement that was decided by the government back in the middle of the 20th century. During DST, the standard time is not applicable, and the time is forwarded by 1 hour. The idea of DST is to save energy otherwise needed for lighting after dark. In the Czech Republic, DST was trialled in the late forties and eventually introduced in 1979.
The DST system is used in most European countries, and according to the EU rules, the switch happens simultaneously at 1 a.m. UTC on the last Sunday of March or October. In the Czech Republic, the time modification is executed during the last weekend in which both days belong to March. In October, the clocks are reset back to Central European Time (CET).
Not everyone is happy with the summertime change (DST) and many people have been actively fighting against it, arguing that DST is unnatural and unhealthy.
The time zone in Prague is Central European Time (CET) during the winter months, and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during the summer months when DST is being used. The UTC+1 time zone is used during the winter time, and UTC+2 during the summer time.
The changing of time and clocks for summer and winter time in Prague
On March 26, 2023, summer time standard will start in Prague, and the clocks will be turned forward 1 hour at 2:00 local standard time to 3:00 local daylight time (you basically lose one hour, but you get more daylight in the afternoon).
On October 29, 2023, summer time will end, and the clocks will be turned backwards 1 hour at 3:00 local summer time to 2:00 local standard time (you gain one hour, but it will get darker sooner).
If you are travelling to Prague around these days, make sure that you set your time correctly, especially if you have a flight to catch or other exact travel plans. The time always changes on Sunday, which tends to cause the least issues with people running late etc and by Monday, when people need to go back to work and school, everyone would have had the opportunity to catch up with the new time.
What is the Time Difference Between Prague time and EST?
Prague is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).
How Many Hours Ahead is Prague from GMT?
Prague is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from November to the end of March and 2 hours ahead from April to the end of October.
Which towns have the same time zone as Prague?
If you are travelling in Europe and coming to Prague, you might like to know that there are several towns and cities that share the same time zone as Prague (Central European Time, or GMT+1) during the standard time period:
- Berlin, Germany
- Vienna, Austria
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Warsaw, Poland
- Rome, Italy
- Paris, France
- Madrid, Spain
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Brussels, Belgium
Times differences between Prague and other major towns
- London, UK: – 1 hour
- Berlin, Germany: same time
- Paris, France: same time
- Madrid, Spain: +1 hour
- Rome, Italy: +1 hour
- Moscow, Russia: +2 hours
- Beijing, China: +7 hours
- New York, USA: -6 hours
- Los Angeles, USA: -9 hours
- Sydney, Australia: +9 hours
- Tokyo, Japan: +8 hours
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates: +2 hours
- Mumbai, India: +4.5 hours
- Johannesburg, South Africa: +1 hour
- Sao Paulo, Brazil: -4 hours
- Toronto, Canada: -6 hours
- Mexico City, Mexico: -7 hours
- Santiago, Chile: -5 hours
- Buenos Aires, Argentina: -4 hours
- Lima, Peru: -7 hours
- Vancouver, Canada: -9 hours
- Auckland, New Zealand: +11 hours
- Bangkok, Thailand: +6 hours
- Singapore: +7 hours
- Seoul, South Korea: +8 hours
- Hong Kong: +7 hours
- Cairo, Egypt: +1 hour
- Istanbul, Turkey: +1 hour
- Tel Aviv, Israel: +1 hour
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: +2 hours
- Sydney, Australia: +9 hours
- Wellington, New Zealand: +12 hours
- Vancouver, Canada: -9 hours
- Seattle, USA: -9 hours
This blog post was originally written on 28 October 2023 and last updated on 28 October 2023
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