Advice for Woman Traveling Alone?

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by SMZ, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. SMZ

    SMZ Well-Known Member

    What a wonderful discussion and message board!

    I'm currently planning a trip to CR in the fall, probably late September or early October, and plan to stay about ten days. Unfortunately, I haven't yet found anyone to go with me, so may end up travelling alone.

    Is it problematic for a middle-aged woman to go to a pub alone? Obviously, I'd be careful, overall and wouldn't take stupid chances, but my question is more related to how others will react. Here in the US I sometimes find that if I go into a bar alone it's viewed negatively, as though the only reason I might go there is to pick up a guy.

    I'd like to feel that I could visit a pub for a drink and/or meal, but don't want to put myself in a difficult position.


  2. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    I am middle aged woman (still, I think) and I am qluite puzzled why would you want to spend your time in bars. Cz is country with so much to do. When you have more on your itinerary, post here and I am sure we can give you some idea on what to do. For evening I would recomend fantastic theatres (opera, ballet, musical, opereta) and even movie theatres as some of them are quite grand. There are concerts outside and in concert halls, jazz and other music "bars" etc. Nice coffee houses, restaurants....

    Perhaps I misunderstood what you mean by "bar", but if you are not smoker, you may find it quite surprising that so many people there smoke.
  3. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Hi Susan,

    Welcome to the boards! First of all, I must say that I'm surprised you haven't found anyone to travel with you. I suspect you're in for a great trip. :)

    I'm not going to be very helpful here unfortunately since I don't feel like I can provide an informed answer. I don't know where all you're going (Prague or elsewhere?) but I just wanted to say that Prague has lots of bars, some trendy and hip, some with piano and jazz music, or subdued hotel bars, and I don't see a reason why a middle-aged woman should have to deprive herself of a pleasant evening spent by listening to music and/or sipping a cocktail in a bar if she's so inclined. It's a great way to end the day. And I certainly don't think you should go hungry because you're uncomfortable eating at a pub alone. :) Again, Prague and other Czech cities have some nice restaurants as well as traditional pubs (some with very good local food) and it would be a pity to not visit them just because you don't have company. Moreover, it is customary in the Czech Republic to share a table at a pub with others if the pub is full, and conversations are sometimes started that way, so you could actually meet people while having dinner.

    One wonderful piece of news is that more and more Czech restaurants and cafes now have non-smoking sections (if they do, you'll be asked upon entering which section you prefer), so it is finally possible to enjoy a smoke-free lunch/dinner/coffee. Even places without non-smoking sections can be pretty fine if you visit at an off hour.

  4. SMZ

    SMZ Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Magan and Dana -- I don't plan to spend a LOT of time in bars, but may actually want to have something to eat or drink occasionally while I'm visiting the country. :D

    That's great news that people will welcome a "singleton" to join them at their table. Some restaurants in the US are now setting up large community tables where a "solo diner" can sit with others, if they like. I find that a terrific idea.

    Again, thanks for the feedback. Very reassuring!

  5. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member


    Just so you know, the custom of sharing a table with others only applies to pubs (hospoda or hostinec) that serve beer and local food. You can often find long tables there where people may join you or you can ask to join them. I think the main reason behind this is to simply have a place to sit when there's no space to sit elsewhere. Conversations are sometimes started this way but the people with whom you're sharing the table may also want to keep to themselves (Czechs are more private than Americans and don't start conversations with strangers as readily as Americans do) and may not even speak English. On the other hand, you may run into people who are eager to practice their English on you. :) So it depends.

    It is not typical to share a table at restaurants (restaurace).

  6. orange

    orange Member

    Cool. I'm currently planning a trip to Czech as well. I'm a girl in my twenties, by the way.
    And I'm traveling by myself.
    I could travel with friends, but I thought it might be interesting to go by myself...(Am I twisted?)
    Well, anyways, I love bars and drinking and I'm sure I'll be drinking at a pub...and really hope I don't feel awkward there like you are afraid you might...
    I have a feeling that as long as you don't go to one of those pickup places, you should be fine and get to enjoy great Czech beer without being bothered...

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