Hiring a guide.

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by mick mock, May 26, 2006.

  1. mick mock

    mick mock Member

    We are coming to Prague in November for a week and are wondering if it would be feasible to hire a guide for a few days? Unfortunately we do not speak Czech.
    I have seen the tours out of Prague, but from all the comments I have read on this site, we will only be there long enough to appreciate Prague itself.
    Any suggestions please?

    By the way I love this site. I can't wait to get to Prague it really looks and sounds wonderful from all your marvellous reviews.
    Chris. :D :?
  2. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    I wonder why do you need private tour guide. Prague is very easy to tour on your own with some map/book. Two centres of the Prague are on both sides of the river Vltava. Old Town (Stare Mesto) and Lesser Town (Mala Strana). As guide on your map you can use Charles Bridge. On one side is Mala Strana on other side is Stare Mesto.

    Then there is New Town (which is actually old too). The easy way to orient yourself is to walk (away from the river) by National Theatre. You will walk by department store Tesco and further till you get to Mustek (bottom of the Wenceslav Square.

    Architecture is stunning. Guide book I strongly recommend and which you would want to keep to perk up your memory later when you get home, is "Prague, Pocket Guide for the Exacting Traveller" (History, Architecture, Walks, Museums, Excursions, Maps, Gallery's). It has ALL you need including map of public transportation, maps ot City ++ maps and suggestions of trips out of town. Publisher is ArtFoto. It is worth every penny and if you can order it and read it before you go, you will be delighted with photos and quality of the book even before you go. If you cannot get it in the bookstore in your country or through internet, you can buy it in Prague, but you willo get better mileage from it if you take time to read it ahead and decide what do you want to see............there is simply not enough time to see it all.

    Hope this advice will help you to get some confidence to venture out in Prague on your own. Together with reading on this website and taking notes..........you will get just a taste of Prague and will want to return again and again.
  3. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    And if you are still not confident about going in Prague on your own (there's nothing to worry as Magan said) I think you can just ask on this forum few weeks /days before you come and someone will be help you with getting around. Like showing where to go, how to get there or something. I would also suggest writing down some important phrases in Czech, because still on a lot of places they don't speak English. Mostly when you go a little bit aside from those "touristic streets" you could have problems though. And I am speaking here from my own experience, I'm Czech, but sometimes when I am in a shop (still in the downtown) I ran into some English speaking people how they have hard time with cashier or vendor shoppers who speak no English at all. (Sometimes it's funny when you are staying behind them in a line and listening to the cashier and what she says in Czech :D )

    Back to the topic, you said you'll come to Prague in November, so you still have plenty a time to read about Prague here on this website and on this forum or even on some other websites. You should buy some guidebooks as well.

    Prague isn't just so complicated, our metro (subway) has only three lines, so it's pretty easy to ride compared to subway in London or M√ľnich.

    And if you still think that you'll need someone, just post request here before you come and someone will answer you for sure. Or just PM me and I should be also able to help you out.
  4. SFox

    SFox Active Member

    My parents & I were in Prague for about a week last November. We took in several tours. Yes, Prague can be done on your own, but the tours gave information that was very interesting. Generally we did one tour a day, some were short, some were longer, and then we spent whatever was left of the day touring Prague on our own. We did venture out of Prague to Cesky Krumlov & Kutna Hora. If I were to do it again, I would not do Cesky Krumlov as the castle interior was closed and we spent a full day on the tour. There were definitely places in Prague we missed - they are on our "to do next time" list.

    Enjoy your stay! It is a beautiful, busy city.
  5. mick mock

    mick mock Member

    Thanks heaps for all your advice.
    I will definitely try and buy that book Magan.
    Thanks for your message gementricxs I have already purchased a phrase book, so I will follow your advice as well. I intend to keep reading this site as the information just keeps getting better every time.
    I will keep on board SFox what you said about Cesky Krumlov being closed inside, that would certainly be a waste of time.
    Take care everyone and if ever anyone needs any advice on Australia just let me know.
    Chris. :D
  6. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Re tour to Cesky Krumlov. Most people do not realize distance/slowness of CR transportation. Trip to Cesky Krumlov takes 3.5 hrs there and 3.5 hrs. back which doesn't leave much time for this very very charming town. Town is real gem and well worth seeing if you can give it more than one day (two nights are better). Monday is closing day for all castles (except Prague Castle), so it is tour operator who should have informed you about this and not take you that far without the opportunity to see the castle. I also have to say that it is one of the bigest castles, it is beautifully decorated inside and there are at least three different tours to take plus tower tour.

    Accommodation in Cesky Krumlov is less expensive than in Prague and we found even some good bargains on clean centrally located private rooms in local Hostels.

    Only thing you need to see Cesky Krumlov is to take inexpensive (return) bus from Florence bus terminal to Cesky Krumlov. Get off the buss, follow the crowd, arrive at the square at Tourist information, get free tourist material/map and walk around enjoying this fairytale town. You will find all you need in old part of the town, lots of restaurants (all price range) and same with accommodation (which can be reserved by internet). You buy tours at the the Castle yourself (cca 150 Kc), get print out with photos in your language and follow the guide. This is exactly same as you will get through tours from Prague, but you will get an opportunity to chose how many different tours through the castle you will take and roam free through old town which is magical (and very safe) even at night (not to be missed).

    I often wonder, how many tourists think that they need to take expensive and rushed tours like this and do not consider that sometimes it is better and just as easy to go on their own - only if they read this website and get first hand info.
  7. mick mock

    mick mock Member

    Hi Magan, thankyou once again for your invaluable advice. As we only have a week I think we will probably just stick around Prague, there is so much there that I want to see and of course shop!!
  8. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    My advice is to stick to Prague. I've been to CR twice and would love to spend a week in Prague. I loved Prague and since my husband's family is from Cesky Budjovice, we can't stay in Prague but have to rush to see his family. Each visit to CR, we've only spent a few hours in Prague. I've been to Krumlov and it is beautiful, but I think Prague looks much prettier and more exciting. I envy you. Hopefully one day, I can convince my husband's family to come to Prague so I can spend a week there. :D
  9. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    One week is really not enough to enjoy Prague and still travel out of city.
  10. mick mock

    mick mock Member

    I agree with you Magan. However I still think we might take a bus out to the country for one day just to have a quick look. Will wait and see what the weather is like.

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