Local traditions and culture in Prague

  • Staromestske namesti
    Staromestske namesti
    by croisbeauty
  • Staromestske namesti
    Staromestske namesti
    by croisbeauty
  • Staromestske namesti
    Staromestske namesti
    by croisbeauty

Most Viewed Local Customs in Prague

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Old Cars

    by sue_stone Written Dec 29, 2005

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    My husband Alex is a bit of a car enthusiast, so whenever we go to a new country he is always keen to see what type of cars the locals are driving.

    Some of the cars we saw in Prague amused him no end, the old Skoda's for example were everywhere and it was hard to believe that some of them were legally road worthy.

    We came across this particular rusty specimen and couldn't resist snapping a pic!

    Hhmmm…wonder how I'd look driving one of those!!

    my dream car....ok, not really!
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    • Architecture
    • Beer Tasting
    • Budget Travel

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Beer & Dumplings

    by sue_stone Written Dec 29, 2005

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    Ok, as most of us know, Prague is renowned for its beer. It is cheap, it is cold, it is delicious!!

    I will confess that one of the highlights of my time in Prague was the beer…..don't get me wrong, I don't drink very much…just one with a meal and perhaps another late afternoon…..never at breakfast ; )

    The beers we drank in Prague included Staropramen (the locals favourite), Pilsner Urquell, and Budvar. Since our trip, I now find myself choosing Czech beers whenever beer is on offer.

    But there was one thing I enjoyed more than the beer….it was the dumplings! YUM. I had never really eaten them before but they were fabulous. These doughy delights are the perfect partner to the sauces served with many Czech meals. I loved both the bread and the potato dumpling varieties. Give them a try if you get the chance.

    MMMmmmmm......beer look at that - 2 types of dumplings! Beer AND Dumplings - doesn't get better than this!
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  • Zvrlj's Profile Photo

    Dogs in Prague (I&V)

    by Zvrlj Updated Jun 17, 2007

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    Prague is very pet-friendly city. Favourite pets of Prague citizens are dogs and it is very easy to notice that.

    There is kind of "dog toilet" in our tip-photo – it is in one of public parks and it is something we have not seen in any other city but in Prague.

    We made this tip initiated by VT member Mitch Draper (mdraper) forum posting.

    Related to:
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  • Heavens-Mirror's Profile Photo

    ~ Christmas Markets ~

    by Heavens-Mirror Updated May 28, 2006

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    Christmas is a very important and special time of year in Prague. Christmas markets (Vanocni trh) are a must in the Czech festive magic. Every year many tourists aswell as locals visit these fantastic markets to share the holiday spirit in a true winter wonderland setting.
    Prague Christmas markets run daily from 9am to 7pm throughout the festive period. The main markets are at the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, with smaller ones at Namesti Republiky & Havelske Trziste.
    The Prague Christmas markets consist of rows of brightly decorated wooden huts, selling Czech handicrafts, hot delicious food (corn on the cob, sausages and local specialties) and warm drinks. Outdoor christmas shopping is much easier with a cup of hot wine (svarene vino) in your hand! Stocking fillers include Czech glass, scented candles, ornaments, jewellery and puppets.
    In Prague's Old Town Square there is also a mini zoo. Children can enjoy pony rides and stroke sheep, goats and even a lama. Next to this is a Bethlehem manger scene - a large wooden stable with a straw floor shows Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the three kings.

    But what would Christmas be without carols? Local and International choirs, along with musical ensembles, take to the stage in the Old Town Square, entertaining visitors as they browse the market stalls. There is also an impressive Christmas tree too.

    ~ Pretty Prague at Christmas ~ ~ Prague at Christmas ~

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT PRAGUE CASTLE

    by LoriPori Written Aug 28, 2005

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    When we arrived at Prague Castle, we were just in time to witness the CHANGING OF THE GUARD. At the front gates there were two very cute, very nattily dressed guards standing in their little guardhouses. People were taking pictures with them and I don't know how they managed to keep a straight face. Then there was some commotion behind them and we could see that some new replacements were coming. Cool or what! Amid some great pomp and ceremony, the two cute guards were replaced by two more cute guards. This ceremony takes place on the hour.

    Changing of the Guard Guard House at rear of Castle
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  • littlesam1's Profile Photo

    Nude Statues

    by littlesam1 Updated Jul 29, 2004

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    Unlike many of the places I have seen in Italy, Prague does not have a lot of visibly nude statues or sculptures on its streets. So I was surprised when I came across the City Hall building for Prague. It is covered with many male and female nude sculptures in various poses. Click on the picture and take a close look at the sculptures on the building. I am not a prude and am used to seeing nude statues. However I literally saw none in Prague until I saw the City Hall.

    Prague City Hall

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    TOUCH THE GOLDEN DOG

    by LoriPori Written Aug 28, 2005

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    It is a local custom to stop at the statue of St. John Nepomuk located on the Charles Bridge. We saw all these people lining up in front of the statue to TOUCH THE GOLDEN DOG. A panel located beneath the statue depicts a soldier and his dog and for some strange reason if you rub it and make a wish, your wish will come true. OK I'm game. I rubbed it. My wish for it to stop raining didn't come true. I think it's just a ploy from the city public works department to keep the statues clean as this was the only clean spot on the whole statue. Duh!

    Lady Touching the Golden Dog
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  • nhcram's Profile Photo

    Late Night Bite To Eat

    by nhcram Updated Oct 25, 2004

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    Had a few drinks and fancy something to eat??? Well you could always have one of these hot dogs.
    They are different to what we have here in England. They are served on a slice of bread and they taste **** (IN MY OPINION)
    They were however very cheap and can be found in quite a few places in the city.!!!

    Hot Dog Stand in Wenceslas Square

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  • sandysmith's Profile Photo

    Legend of Prague

    by sandysmith Written Apr 15, 2004

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    . Legend has it that Princess Libuse (heroine of an opera) and her husbamd Premysl looked across the river to where Prague Castle now stands and foretold the building of a great city. They crossed the river and discovered a man already building the threshold - PRAH - so hence the city's name.
    There is a lovely mosaic of this in the Town Hall Lobby.

    mosaic in Town Hall

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  • clairegeordio's Profile Photo

    Becherovka!

    by clairegeordio Written Feb 29, 2004

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    This is an alcoholic liqueur that I was introduced to (regularly!) during my stay in the Czech Republic by many locals. One day I was even 'forced' to drink it for breakfast!. It is described as a herbal drink and is 38% proof! You would either love it or hate it, as it kind of tastes like medicine! I loved it, much to the delight of my Czech hosts. Many souvenir shops sell Becherovka and I purchased a tiny bottle that came in a presentation box with two cut glass crystal shot glasses.

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Stumbling block

    by Nemorino Written Jun 3, 2011

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    This little metal square is mounted in the sidewalk in front of house number 14 in the street called Králodvorská in Prague. It says that a woman named Markéta Auerbachová, born 1907, used to live here until she was deported to a Nazi concentration camp in 1941.

    These symbolic stumbling blocks are common in Germany, but this is the only one I have seen in Prague. I found this one particularly shattering because my mother was also born in 1907.

    As I explained in one of my tips on the German city of Freiburg im Breisgau, these little squares of metal are known in Germany as "stumbling blocks" (Stolpersteine), but you can stumble over them only in a figurative sense, meaning you are made aware that a murdered person used to live right here, so she isn't just a statistic, but a real person.

    The "stumbling blocks" are an initiative of the German artist Gunter Demnig, born 1947 in Berlin.

    Second photo: Detail of the building at Králodvorská 14, showing that it was built in the year 1906.

    GPS 50°5'19.35" North; 14°25'39.53" East

    1. Memorial at Kr��lodvorsk�� 14 2. Detail of the building at Kr��lodvorsk�� 14
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    Comrade Lenin

    by zrim Written Jul 9, 2004

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    Lenin hanging from the yardarm. Our Czech friends told us that nothing political was meant by Lenin hanging for dear life six stories up--but I'm not so sure.

    It was interesting to hear differing Czech attitudes about the Soviets/Russians. The younger people seem to feel an affinity for Russian people and they feel that the Soviet occupation was not such a big deal. While those old enough to remember the tanks rolling through Prague in 1968 didn't seem to be quite so forgiving of the Soviet dominance.

    These impressions were gleaned from a small sample of citizens and I cannot claim to be an expert on Czech opinion--I just found the disparity between young and old interesting.

    hold on tight
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  • anglosaxon's Profile Photo

    Paying for beer only

    by anglosaxon Written May 6, 2004

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    If you intend a visit to a Czech bar then you'll find a slightly different way of paying. It's rare to find anybody standing in a truly Czech bar as many tables are provided for sitting at. When the waiter brings your first beer he will generally not ask for money at that time. If you ask for a second beer, this will start a tab i.e. he will bring the beer and then a piece of paper will appear on the table with pen marks on it. Each line represents one beer. At the end of the evening he counts the lines and then you pay. There's information on Czech menus and barfood here

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  • Nemorino's Profile Photo

    Gaza Strip

    by Nemorino Updated Jun 19, 2014

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    On National Street (Národní ulice) near the National Theater (Národní divadlo) there is an ugly parking lot with an interesting mural behind it, showing tanks and bulldozers chasing each other along an endless strip of the type known as a Möbius strip (named after one its discoverers, the German mathematician August Ferdinand Möbius).

    It turns out that this mural is entitled "Gaza Strip" and was painted in 2008 by the Italian street artist Blu, who intended it as a symbol of destruction and construction.

    (Though in my opinion bulldozers and mechanical shovels can also be just as destructive as tanks, especially when they are used to demolish buildings and replace them with parking lots -- maybe it was also Blu's intention to suggest this.)

    Address: Národní 13
    Directions: GPS 50°4'53.83" North; 14°25'2.88" East
    Website: http://www.artsh.it/blog/

    More street art on my VT pages:
    • Street Art in Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
    • Jana & JS on Joan of Arc Street, Paris
    • Belleville: Beware of Words by Ben Vautier, Paris.
    • Belleville: Jean Le Gac's detective, Paris.
    • Castle Festival and Street Art in Bad Vilbel, Germany
    • Street Art by herakut in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

    Gaza Strip at N��rodn�� 13
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    • Arts and Culture

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Trdelnik - Delicious Czech pastries!

    by Jefie Updated Jan 13, 2013

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    When Eman found out we'd never had trdelnik before, he set out to do two things: the first was to teach us how to pronouce it and the second was to get us to taste some. Let's just say he was much more successful in this second endeavour! This round, delicious pastry originates from Romania. Its distinctive shape comes from the fact that in the old days, the dough would be stretched and rolled around a small tree bole (usually oak or beech wood) and baked over a fire. The tree bole has since been replaced by a metal cylinder but other than that, the basic recipe hasn't changed much over the years. Once cooked, the pastry is traditionally rolled in sugar and crushed nuts. Trdelniks are sold at different spots in the city, usually from street food stands. Some places offer the possibility of adding jam or nutella, but I was happy to get the original one :o)

    Trdelnik stand in the Old Town area Eman at a Trdelnik street stand in Little Quarter Is this the right way to eat it?!
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Prague Local Customs

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