Rain is the greatest enemy of all those who took the time and money to visit a certain destination. Summer is the time for a trip, primarily because the weather conditions are stable and sunlit days until early evenings. I have already visited Prague several times before, this visit I was planning for one reason only, to make beautiful and high quality pics.
My disappointment was great when the next day of my visit dawned with dull rain. In my own country summer rain is short with intense downpours, but this in Prague, although August, was a real boring autumnal rain that lasts a whole day.
Unique Suggestions: I am not the type to sit in a hotel or a bar, I prefer strolling around and photographing, whenever it was possible. I used city trams to move from one location to another and yet, around late afternoon was soaking wet from heavy rains. I took the tram to move from the Old Town to Mala Strana, but I dozed off and finished at the last station in the suburbs.
All that evening and night was falling heavy rain and weather forecast for the next few days was just as bad, so I decided to leave Prague and go back home.
Pony & trap ride
The pony & trap waiting at the top of the funiclar railway leading to the minature (!)Eiffel tower is not exactly worth it.
You can walk the distance they take you in about three minutes.
Unique Suggestions: In compartive terms realise it's still not very expensive, and everyone has to make a living. You do still feel like a bit of a mug.
Fun Alternatives: Try the donkey rides at Blackpool to their much bigger Eiffel tower lookielike.
Unkindly hotel staff
Every hotel, even if peak of the season, always has available rooms and it is the reason why I never book hotel room in advance. It is a trick that I learned from one old hotelier. Before traveling to Prague I was browsing hotels in Mala Strana and found this hotel "Atos" which has very good location.
There was available room in the hotel but not for the price of 42 euros, as written on the hotel's page, the real price of the hotel is 62 euros. Despite such a big difference in price I decided to take a room in the hotel.
First surprise for me was when young lady receptions was asking to pay for the room immediately. After I paid it she told me that the very next day I have to leave the room because she is expecting huge group of tourists and that room is already sold. Then I asked her to check for the room in some other hotel nearby, but she refused it telling arrogantly that have no time for it.
Unique Suggestions: No need to tell how bad I felt about it. I left my bag in the room and soon went out. Luckily, next to the hotel Atos is located hotel Mala Strana, so I went there and secured the room for the next day....
Taxi = scam, but not always
SEE BELOW PLEASE
Unique Suggestions: When you have a heavy bag and do not know where your hotel is located, then you are forced to look for a taxi. Upon exciting the train station I noticed two taxi cars, both available, and I felt lucky. At the railway station I have changed my 100 euros and got a little over 1.900 crowns. The car was yellow and had a proper indication that it is a taxi. When I told the driver the name of the hotel, he pulled out a printed price list and showed to me the destination tariff to Lesser Town (Mala Strana). The price was 680 crowns. I had no reason to put that price in question because all looked very official.
In less than ten minutes taxi came to my hotel and only then I suspect that the price is excessive (it was more then 30 euros). I asked the driver to give me the bill for a ride but he said that he can not give bill to me and therefore I should pay 500 crowns only.
So what is a tourist trap? In Prague there exist a "wild" taxi service which brutally steal money from foreign tourists.
Fun Alternatives: Alternative is quite simple:
1. before arriving to Prague you should first learn what the exchange rate of the crown against the dollar or the euro is,
2. if the driver did not turn on the taxi-meter, or he doesn't have it at all, stop the car and get out.
Later on I did it twice and it works good!
It was lunch time and all we wanted was a cup of coffee to keep us going! Wandering around the old town square, we found the outdoor cafe's to be full. We found the Café Kafka beside St. Nicholas church and it had quite a few vacant outdoor settings, so we decided to try it!
I guess this should have been a warning. We ordered our coffee, one cup and one slighty larger, both were nice - nothing special though.
The bill came, and my cup cost 88czk and the larger cup 175czk, very expensive to what I am used to paying.
Address Široká 64/12
Unique Suggestions: Don't eat or drink in the Old Town Square, instead go a few streets away where the prices will be cheaper
- Food and Dining
Golden Lane (Zlatá ulička)
This was described as a charming area that used to house craftsmen, right by the castle.
It is called Golden Lane because of the concentration of goldsmiths that were here at one time, though the area was originally built to house castle guards in the 1600's. Over time the neighborhood went down to the point where it was declared unfit and demolished.
At one time, maybe. Frankly, there isn't anything to see here. Mostly a bunch of souvenir shops.
The worst part is that this isn't even free to visit.
svejk restaurant..not a nice place to go...
do not go to this restaurant in Betlemske square. I read reviews after being there. and I saw that it's there kind of work to con touristes. the food is only o.k no more.but the probleme is with the bill. they charge us 25 % tip , they bring a little calculator at the table, show you the bill from the machine and had whatever they want and won't give you the possibility to argue. they are very rude. Beware. I made a complaint to the tourisme office and they are taking the matter in hand ( I hope ) I thing everybody who has been hit by them should also make a complaint. I saw the same complaint from tourists ther . somebody write they even took is bag untill he payed them what they want....
Fun Alternatives: I recommand "ambiente pasta fresca" italien food in the city center . every thing was good, clean and not expensive.
Street Traders in Old Town
I asked for a sausage, a piece of ham and a serve of potato and cabbage, not bothering to ask the price beforehand as I assumed it would be cheap. I got charged 630czk! I was confused but just handed over my money in a daze. This was 25 euros! You can get a really good meal in a restaurant for 200czk. On top of that the food was not particularly good. They said they charge by the weight - so be careful and ask what the price is likely to be upfront. But rather just don't buy it.
However the pastry "Trdelnik" sellers had their price signposted - 50czk - and was good.
LEGAL Pickpockets in Prague - be aware!
Just returned from a 7 days trip to Prague. I've done some good homework, and I almost wished to give up, as at all the sites is written "beware of pickpockets". I never seen a pickpocket in 7 days or heard from my local friends about. However, I found that there are LEGAL pickpockets in Prague, a lot.
It seems that the tourists have a $100 bill stuck on their head or face.
Let's begin with urban transport" Metro, Tram and Bus. They use the same tickets. You have to buy one for a short trip, another for a longer trip a 1 day ticket or even a 3 day ticket, depending on where you wish to go. You must stamp it ONCE in the transportation you chose.
The Czech "conductors" may find the difference between a resident or a tourists. I've been checked 5 times, and so many tourists - never a resident. I had these 5 times luck - my tickets were OK. Some tourists could not buy tickets as not all the stations have tickets machines. ALL of them had to pay a fee of 35 EURO!!! maybe they are guilty, they could buy tickets from their hotels. However, the rudest thing happened to me at "tower of Petrin" and please be aware!!!
The place is marvelous, and my wife and me decided to use their "funicular", some kind of small train, which climbs in 3 minutes to the hill. We bought 2 tickets, and just to be sure, we asked if they are 2 way - up and down. Positive answer. After climbing the tower and other attractions, we decided to return by the same "funicular. I asked the conductor if the tickets are OK for returning, got a positive answer, and we we arrived down, 3 men expected us. They told us that we should buy a new ticket, as this one is only for 90 minutes! (we were 118 minutes on the hill). You cannot argue with them, as they call police. We paid 70 EUR. The police came for the tourists who didn't have cash money (most of the funicular), and the POLICE took them to an ATM and oblige them to withdraw money and pay. It ruined all the trip of this day for most of us, and I am sure that even it is not a HUGE sum, we all felt that "someone", a LEGAL pickpocket robbed us. This was the first and last time we visited Prague, a city with LEGAL PICKPOCKETS!
Unique Suggestions: If you are caught, don't even try to argue with them...
Fun Alternatives: If you have to waste your time in Prague for more than 4 days (you can cover 100% in 4 days, including most of the "must" places" - then buy a ticket for 3 days. It worth, even if you won't "use" it completely. It worth.
- Family Travel
- Castles and Palaces
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Restaurants - the real pick pockets
Just back from a week in Prague and found restaurants in the Old Town to be the new pick pockets. Everywhere you walk you will see signs offering some type of meal, usually 3 course for an average of 169 to 189 kc or about $10-$13 USD. The chances of you actually paying that are slim to none. When you read the bill you will typically notice the word "Couvert" at the bottom of the bill. This is basically your tip --- but they won't tell you that in the hopes you tip them twice. I'm told that if the fee really is mandatory (which it usually is not, except for tourists) it must be listed on the menu. The other trick it to bring bread to your table whether you ask for it or not, whether you eat it or not and bill you $4 USD - once again claiming the fee is mandatory. Ridiculous. My advice - go to New Town where these fees are rare, the food is better and a lot less expensive.
Unique Suggestions: If you really feel compelled to eat in Old Town, ask what fees are automatically tacked onto your bill such as Couvert and Bread and make it very clear that you intend go somewhere else if they do. Personally, I don't frequent businesses where I have to worry about being cheated. If you plan to pay by credit card, you must establish that up front - very common.
Fun Alternatives: Check out Bistro 22 located just off the #3 tram in New Town - great food and a straight deal. Cash only as are most small businesses in Prague. If you do go to a restaurant with the "VISA" or "MasterCard" logo on the door, you must tell them in advance or they will demand cash when its time to pay. Not sure why, but this is the way it works. I always just held up my VISA as I walked in to avoid having to wash dishes when it came time to pay.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Exchange Rip Off
I had read about exchange rip offs in Prague but I have travelled to many places and never had this scam. Whilst money exchanges always have Buy and Sell rates, some of the Prague ones have a small amount rate - which can be less than Euro 300! Cheque Point on the corner of Zelezna and Old Town Square also offer you a map and you think how nice! But they put a 75 kronor charge on the transaction. I changed some euro and US $15 and the operator pressed "sell" on the US$. So I actuall had US$30 deducted from the transaction! This may have been a mistake and I actually noticed it later, went back and got it fixed. But then I realised I had also got the "small amount" rate. Checking that they give you the right amount is not enough - ask before the transaction what they are going to give you and don't take the map! Having said this, eXchange at the corner of Karlova have a Buy rate and a Sell rate and are A1.
Restaurant in Prague
Once you cross the street infront of Charles Bridge there are restaurants on both sides of the street. I was going through the menu displayed infront of one of those mediterranean-Czech restaurants (I believe it had a shop number 10) the waiter came out to speak to me and told me about the special offer they had on that day. It was an attractive offer and the details of the same were written i bold pink in front of the restaurant . I ordered the same dish and it was good. Then I asked for the receipt and to my surprise I found that the price charged was different. The waiter who served at my table feigned ignorance about the offer that was made to me and to what was written at the entrance. Luckily the other waiter was there and I could get my point across. May be they didn't want to alert other customers they had, they settled for the right amount. Visitors to Prague beware of these tricks. I never expected it to happen in a restaurant.
Unique Suggestions: Visitors to Prague beware of these tricks. I never expected it to happen in a restaurant.
Fun Alternatives: May be get the bill in advance.
street food traders
watch out out, just back when you are used to buying strawberries by the punnett, and see a price of 29k, now that semmed a bargain, but it was 29k per 100 grams so became 110k in total ouch,
also in the old square the fresh cooked pork is priced the same, but you pay for the weight , can end up expensive.
Unique Suggestions: Check all signs for pricing first
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
Spooky let down
The ghost museum in Prague is situation on the main road on the Palace side of the Charles Bridge. It is a very small museum the first floor of which mainly contains written materials describing the ghostl stories of Prague. I enjoy reading but there is just too much. This must have been fedback previously as there is a marker system indicating the stories that are represented in the ghostly celler. The celler contains scenes and dummies depicting some of the stories told outside, with some sound effect. The cellar is very small and you are outside before you know it, wishing you had spent more time upstairs reading to get your monies worth.
Unique Suggestions: If you are interested in the ghost museum it is worth a look at the website - which is very good.
Fun Alternatives: I'd stick to the beer cellers and give the ghost celler a miss.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Cafe Lamberty - near Klausová synagogue
It is nice-looking small café near the Klausova Synagogue, on Brehova street. The prices are horrendous for Prague, 3 to 4 times higher for a normal coffee than in other cafes around town. The waiters try to rip you off even more by saying that taxes are not included, which is not true.
Pleas do not go there (as my revenge). Thank you.
Unique Suggestions: After I paid I thought about stealing a glass or a the ash tray or even one of the blankets. I did not, but maybe you could.
Fun Alternatives: Maybe one of the other thousand nice and friendly cafes. If I remember correctly, next to this cafe was a very nice looking artistic café with normal prices.
- Wine Tasting
- Food and Dining
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