Beware of money changers on the road.Even established changers like western union can take you for a ride and the worst thing is that it is legal and the police cannot do a thing if they give you a rate much below the actual rate.therefore change money only in a proper bank.
We found that the tour we took in Prague had different rates for different people based on thier abiity to bargain!
we had found a pamphlet which said 50% discount on the tours,and so asked for a reduction and were given the discount only when we insisted on it.
Taxi drivers may try to fleece you.While taking a taxi from the train station,itis better to go to the tourist help desk and ask them for a call taxi or at least to tell you the approximate taxi fare to your said destination.
the taxi drivers outside the station tried to cheat us by quoting a huge amount(four times as much as we should have paid)fortunately we asked at the tourist desk and found out the right fare.
Take taxis which have "AAA 14014 " written on them.
PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE TAXIS WHICH CARRY "AAA,BUT NOT THE NUMBER,THEN THOSE ARE MAFIA CONTROLLED AND OVER CHARGE TOURISTS.
.........for, as in other such places (Rome, Venice, London), you will be charged considerably more in the most popular tourist areas. So, for example, if you stop for a coffee at one of the warmly-heated tables in Old Town Square (especially opposite the astronomical clock) it will cost you! I stopped at the place in the photo (and was expecting to pay for the privilege) because I was cold; a black coffee was 119CK (or 4.5 euros). A bit further away it costs anything from 35CK upwards.
Wouldn't have been ok if the service had been pleasant, but the staff were rather surly and ungracious. Still, at least I got warmed up!
Exactly the same in 2010, by the way...but this time I wasn't daft enough to stop for a coffee! :-)
Fun Alternatives: Lots of places for cheaper coffee etc nearby; just explore the side-streets.
The 60m tall Petrin Observation Tower was built in 1891 for the Jubilee Exhibition.
The view is magnificent but there are 299 steps to climb to reach the viewing platform.
It is set in landscaped gardens on the summit of Petrin hill.
Take a pleasant stroll to the observatory and also visit the hall of mirrors for a small entrance fee.
Unique Suggestions: Go-up the hill using the funicular railway and see the weird man-statues at the foot of the hill before you go into the station.
In bad weather DO wrap-up and cover your head - it can be really cold up there!
Café at the northern end, west side of Wenceslas Square. In short, EXPENSIVE!
Our stay in Prague amounted to an extended weekend, and we pretty much avoided the usual restaurant-related tourist traps that most people warn of on VT; no extra charge for bread and butter, tips were clearly stated not to be included, no charge for off-menu tasters, etc. If we were ripped off in some way, we were blissfully unaware... :)
However, we did get ripped off at this particular place! Before we had the time to sit down and look at the menu, the waiter was by our side, making us all kinds of offers in a quite intrusive manner. It was the only café open at that late hour so we had no choice, and, silly us, ordered our cappuccino and chocolate (at the waiters suggestion both double!) before checking the price. Ack! 15 euro! Even more expensive than any place back home in Denmark, which is saying something! Even worse, the price for a double was... well, double up - it would have been better to order two separate cups! When we asked for the bill, the waiter himself suggested a 10% tip and, being a helpless Mr. Nice Guy, I just said fine...
The result: A cappuccino and a chocolate, which cost the same as a complete dinner for one in an average restaurant! In the end we laughed it off as our only tourist mistake of the visit, but at least I can warn others of making the same mistake.
Unique Suggestions: Just don't go here; find somewhere (anywhere!) else to have a coffee, and if no one else is open, do without!
Fun Alternatives: Pretty much every other café or coffee house in Prague will get you a fine cup of coffee or whatever you fancy at half price or less...
Kampa and Charles Bridge are sought after and most visited places of historical core of Prague. Kampa Park is on the 17th century. Charles Bridge (formerly Judith) was built 1402nd. Legend says that when building the bridge was used to fasteners chicken eggs. Charles Bridge entrance from one side to Mostecka street where many shops with souvenirs. From the other side opens into histrické Charles Street which leads to the Old Town Square.
Hanging around and checking some of the restaurants and especially terraces near the Charles Bridge and Old Town I wasn't tempted at all to sit in any of those.
Fun Alternatives: Go further away from the crowded area, to smaller and local places, see that there are as less tourists as possible :)
As I mention it already, the Charles Bridge is probably the most popular and crowded place in Prague. Everyone must see it and walk over it, some seems just to live on it.
Even on a sunny spring day I thought it is a little too crowded for me and I felts relieved when we got further from the bridge.
Troja Castle, PragueTroja Castle is a baroque castle located in Troja, Prague's north-west borough (Czech Republic). It was built for the Counts of Sternberg from 1679 to 1691. The castle is owned by the city of Prague and hosts the 19th century Czech art collections of the City Gallery.
Huge crowds gather some minutes before the hour to witness this unique moment. So many people looking up to notice every detail, that pickpocket are in paradise. Also, I've read a few testimonials about how disappointed people were: such a fuss about the clock and the hour, and then all is so quick that people comment "Was it all?”.
Fun Alternatives: So, we choose to follow the advice of a few and did the opposite. We planned our visit so that we were on top of the Tower at the hour. If you're in to photography forget the clock and go up the tower! Some of my favourite shoots of my Prague visit were made while up there.
Please note that the Prague castel and the church is a prime tourist sight. Every single tourist who visits Prague always goes to the castle and also visit the cathedral and castle grounds.
However please read my tips so that you can minimuze from getting ripped off..
Unique Suggestions: 1. Only Buy the Short tour ticket... the long trip is almost no value with nothing worthwile in addition.
2. Even though they claim they do not accept credit cards... just say you have no cash and they will accept your credit card ( don't pay cash).
3. Hide your camera as they will try to sell you additional ticket for photography.. say no I will not photograph.... everyone shoots photos and they never check if you have a photography slip.
4. Do not fall for the audio guide.... its costs more that the entry ticket... just print detaild from the web and you don't have to folk more money out.
5. Go in the evening if you just want a view and its free to roam the grounds.
Fun Alternatives: There is no alternative... just follow the above tips and the Prague castle is a must see.
The older taxi company with the bad reputation has now lost their court battle with the City and have lost their reserved spot in the Town Square, after a fist fight the dishonest taxis have parked around Parizka Street and also changed the signs on their cars to fake their identity as being affiliated with AAA Taxi company. Avoid the taxis that don't have the large AAA yellow and red signs with the phone number: 14014. I have posted a photo of the legitimate taxis to avoid confusion.
Fun Alternatives: If you are going to the airport take Green line Metro (Staromestska a block from river to Dejvicka') to it's end station and connect to the direct bus #119 to the airport. Opposite directions for those arriving at PRG.
Worst exchange rates usualy are at the airport and exchange booths directly on the Wenceslas or Old city sqares.
Also rates at supermarkets, hotel receptions and restaurants are a ripp-off. Pay in Czech krowns, not EUR or USD.
Fun Alternatives: From my experiences the best rates could be found:
- Exchange in the "TeTa" passage - "Jungmannova" street - No 28,
-small Exchange in metro B vestibule downstairs at junction of the "Jungmannova", "Perlova" and "Narodni" streets,
- Several exchanges in "Opleatlova" and "Politickych veznu" streets - close to Wenceslas street.
They advertise individual guides where the price (200Euros) includes price of admission to sites. The guide tries to do the least amount of work, walks you maximally so they don't have to spend the tram fare (which are all over the city), refuses to pay admission to the castle and museums, saying it's not included in the price. The traditional Czech meal included with the tour is a farse because the amount alotted the tour guide is half the normal cost of a simple meal, so the client pays. The guide I had spoke poor English and did not impart historical information.
Unique Suggestions: Nail down the itinerary and what they cover and don't cover.
Fun Alternatives: Traditional tour agency