Prague Trip Report

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by GuyFullaLove, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. GuyFullaLove

    GuyFullaLove Active Member

    Before I went to Prague, I heard so many great things about Prague... I TOTALLY ignored ALL the negative things INCLUSING the US Department of State Travel Advisory. I REALLY wnated to have a great time in a wonderful Central European City.

    I went to Prague with the illusion of finding a Central European Paradise of friendly people... exceptionally beautiful women... a nightlife that is unique to that great city...

    Based on people I talked to after I arrived in Prague, all that was actually available ten years ago...

    Today's Prague still has stunningly beautiful women everywhere... but, unlike 10 years ago, they are now extremely hard to approach. From what I remember, Paris and its metro stops, Chatele Les Halles, Champs-Elysees, etc... is a lot more picturesque than Prague. I also found Prague expensive for a Central/Eastern European country!... I found that the Czech in Prague streets do NOT care about making tourists feel welcome... A tourist in San Francisco or Ansterdam typically feels very welcome and warm and fuzzy. Do NOT go to Prague with that expectation like I did!....

    I know many would want me to just paint a rosy pictue of Prague and for me to defend Prague... but I cannot do that witha a clear consience... so, I will just say it as it is...

    In Prague, it is practically IMPOSSIBLE for a newcomer to drive, let alone park anywhere... The names od the streets are VERY hard to read for a westerner including those who speak MANY languages like me), let alone remember them.

    If you want to experience Prague the way the locals do, that means you have to take Public transport Metro/Tram/Bus. ALL are NOT easy to figure out on the first day. On the 2nd day, you will get the hang of the Metro... but the tram or the bus are DESIGNED, like street signs and many other things in Prague, to confuse tourists... [Quick note: I was lucky that my Russian girlfriend in Prague made a point to show me an actual tram stop (not easy to identify by a new comer)... what actual station I was at... and what startions follow under... under is CRITICAL.. otherwise, just cross the road to get the tram going in the opposite direction]

    Metro stations are HUGE... with VERY looooong and VERY steep escalators (you gotta love Russian Engineering). The first day, if you have any fear of height, you will pray that you will not roll over and fall... After the first day, it gets a little easier but not comfortable...

    The tram is IMPOSSIBLE to figure out on your own... Luckily, the Russian girl I met from one of the Czech forums before I left the US took a couple of days off to hang out with me and show me around...

    After midnight, the "easy" metro comes to a HALT!... and you are left alone to find your way to the hard to find night trams... Since I stayed in a "so-called 5 star hotel" in Praha 1, I actually walked back to the hotel at 3:00 am after a night on the town.

    I consciously chose not to use taxis. I heard that Taxis are rip offs... I do not totally agree. A typical taxi ride within Prague 1 during the day is 200-300 CZK. At night, they ask 500-600 CZK (Big Deal!)... $10-$20 for a taxi ride is NO Big deal!...

    In Prague, be ready to walk... walk... and walk even walk more... If you are used to driving everywhere like we do in the US for the most part... you WILL have sore muscles all over...

    Even if you, like me, had the BEST map, it is VERY hard to use a map... or read street signs... you may have to walk back an forth 10 minutes JUST to find out what street you are on ... You ask for directions and 9 out of 10 times, the Czech either 1. have no idea where a street t is... 2. give you the WRONG direction (INCLUDING Police Officers)... 3. just ignore you and keep walking... 4. remind you that you have a map and you should read it not ask!.... Getting the wrong directions, while having to walk, means your having to waste 30 minutes for something that should really take you 5 minutes!...

    TIP: PLan your trip from your hotel to EVERY destination by writing line by line what metro you need to take and what exact street you need to walk on BEFORE you leave your hotel room. Again, do NOT count on help with directions when you are walking on Prague!...

    Central Accommodation is CRITICAL in Prague... Prague 1 is the CENTER.

    One good thing is that Grand Hotel Bohemia is classified as a 5 star hotel in the Center of Prague... I would probably give it a 4 star now.... It is very safe... I left my laptop and expensive portable printer in the room... The room has a large safe that fit bothe Laptop and Printer. I had left out about $1,000 in the room and it was never touched... With the upcoming renovation, it WILL be a 5-star within one year...but the price and most importantly the location is UNBEATABLE... It is IN the center of everything... you can get ANYWHERE in the Center by walking 15 minutes and often just 5 minutes... Namesti Republiky, Old Town Square, Vaksklave Namesti, Bombay Cafe, Karlovy Lazny, the Charles Bridge, and it is just 20 minutes from the AIrport. Follow Up: The Hotel Manager treated me to a courtesy VIP ride to the airport in a luxury Limousine which was most appreciated.

    PEOPLE in Prague
    What I "assumed" was wrong!.... The Czech people in Prague are actually not a friendly bunch.... They are rude... They are offensive... and they are brutes!.... In other European cities (including rude Paris), you have eye contact and you give a friendly smile, they smile back... but NOT in Prague... you go inside a store to buy something, NO one ever smiles... No one returns the greeting... no one acknowledges you... and no one offers to help.... I am not talking about not haunting with "can I help you" as soon as you co me in... I am talking about you greet them... they do not respond nor acknowledge you... they just give you that "spaced out" stare that says "what are you doing here?"... You buy things and go to pay with Czech Korunas, they return insufficient change since they know you have no clue what their currency is. In the US, I NEVER count the change.... However, here, I did... and 2 out of 5 times, they short changed me and had to give me back the accurate change... No apologies of course... At Vaksklave Namesti, I stopped to buy a sandwitch and a soda for 65 CZK. I gave the gorgeous server 1,000 CZK. She only gave me back 720 CZK. When I asked why am I being short changed, she mumbled "it is 1250" (don't ask!)... I said "what do you mean?... itg is jst 65"... She mumbled in Czech with the other server and took back all my change and gave me 935 CZK. I saw a Policeman and told him what happened. Je gave me that spaced out look and actually said "they do that ll the time"!!!!!!!!

    Every single person of ANY nationality that I spoke to who actually lives in Prague told me they LOVE Prague. The single men meet a lot of very pretty women... and those who are married are married to very pretty women... I added that for those who intend to live in Prague.

    Visiting Prague for a week or two will not allow you to get a grasp of what to do and where to go and fully enjoy what someone living in Prague would... Even if you researched and planned everything, you will quickly be treated as an outsider... .

    Walking in the city center, you get bombarded by guys or "pretty" women inviting you to go inside a cabaret or a gogo bar... I rarely go... however, I had to find out the "unique" Czech nightlife and sex industry which I assumed would be as wild as Amsterdam's... A very nice guy (unusual in Prague), invited me to come in... No charge... I asked about drink prices. He said 100 CZK for soft drinks and 200-500 CZK for others. I went in, there were a lot of people... a woman dancing... and I sat down. A pretty German girl comes and sits down next to me and says hello... Before I am able to say hello, IMMIEDIATELY the server comes asking me what I wanted to drink. I said Pepsi please and she asked the girl next to me... she answered, I will take Pepsi too... few minutes later, the server comes back with my Pepsi and an elaborate alcoholic drink for the girl... The check was for 600 CZK!!!!!!... As soon as I paid it the, German girl started "talking me" into a lap dance at 1,000 CZK... Not being one to ever want to pay for a lap dance... I politely declined and went out. At the exit, I told the "nice" guy what happened... and his response was "I know, I hate what the Czech do sometimes"...

    TIP: do NOT expect much from cabaret and gogo clubs...

    Last night Saturday, I wanted to go to a dance club (called discos here) to meet regular Czech women... My new Russian friend and I had lunch together... toured the city... and towards the evening had dinner and planned on going to the Duplex Disco... but she felt sick so, I took her home and went to my hotel... I will try to go discos in the nest few days and give my feedback...

    CONTINUATION: I visited the following bars/discos: Dog's Bullocks (2/10), Bombay Bar (7/10), Karlovy Lazne (7/10), The Duplex (8/10), Solidni (7/10) and I understand Mish Mash is an 8/10.

    Czech women in discos are more interested in dancing with each other than meeting nice men... Occasionally, you'd find a "drunk" woman who is going around "french kissing and rubbing" against anyone who takes her... <not my style>...

    Women in general here ARE exceptionally beautiful and in great shape... somewhat on the taller side 5'10+ is not unusual... Meeting them is hit and miss... for the most part is hard... Ten years ago, this was not the case... You can thank the EU...

    >>>To be continued<<<<
  2. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member


    Which Prague did you go to? It's certainly not the one I have visited twice and am going back to this fall.

    I'm sorry you are having such a bad time - hope things will turn around soon and you have some good experiences.

    If you don't have a good map of the tram system, go to an internet cafe and print one - it will be a great help. Schedules are posted at stops and, once you get the hang of them, they are quite easy to read. There are night trams (the 50's series) after midnight when the Metro closes. There are also cabs (use AAA - you can call them on a cell phone if you like - they will have someone who can speak English) that are reasonable.

    Good luck.
  3. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    I do not know where you come from, but it is almost universaly understood, that when one enteres a joint in a strange town -- regardles how nice the guy at the door is -- and a sexy stranger joins you for a drink, it is not "love at first sight", but rather a play Working girls are not unique to Prague, they are all over the world! Nice girls/women do not hang around Discos soliciting overpiced drinks, and those who do are professionals.

  4. mdusin

    mdusin Member

    I think this guy wants to generate controversial traffic on this site. 33 posts and just visited Prague?
  5. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    ummm... no, I don't think so.

    All of his earlier posts have been positive - I think he has just run in to a few bad apples in Prague and is dissapointed after hearing great things about Prague. With any luck, his trip will get better and he will have some great memories of the city.
  6. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I hope your time in Prague will get better. As far as no one helping you while in stores, they consider it rude to stalk you while you are trying to shop. When my husband came to the US, he thought the employees where so rude how they came up to him and bothered him while he was trying to shop. He just wanted to be left alone.

    Viktor, I don't know where you are from, but I've been to a bars and dance clubs in the US and I've never seen one with working girls. I know they exist in the States, but they are not the majority or usual thing. It's not like one should expect just because its a bar.
  7. mike_jtw

    mike_jtw Well-Known Member

    Well all I can say is that having been to Praha on 4 different occasions now I really must have been to another city. :eek:

    I certainly don't frequent strip clubs etc but I have never been solicited like this guy suggests so perhaps he has in fact gone looking for the redlight districts, which exist in all major cities. So what does he expect!!!

    All I will say is that my memories of Praha have been very pleasant ones and I have never met a more friendly crowd of people.
  8. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    Just tried to somewhat defend Prague. However, since prostitution in now legal, the probability of meeting up with a working girl in a Club/Bar is quite high. Local single girls/women therefore do not frequent these establishments designed to seek out lonely travelers. Just my opinion/observation!

  9. czechchris

    czechchris Well-Known Member

    Except in those little tourist shops selling crystal and Russian dolls at the end of the Charles Bridge! They followed me round like I was a known criminal, and it really got up my nose. I refuse to go near them ever again!
  10. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    On many occasions while shopping in Prague, I have noticed clerks lingering nearby. Perhaps they are watching for shoplifters or perhaps they just want to be available if you have a question - no matter, I soon learned to ignore them unless I needed help, which they would promptly and happily give. Not like most clerks here where they come right up to you and ask "can I help you" ( I ususally think to myself "maybe you can, maybe you can't - but I'll let you know if you may) and then promptly dissapear, never to be found when you really need them. I think I like the Czech approach better.
  11. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    Or you can shop at good ole' Walmart, where there is never a worker in sight except the very few behind the registers filled with long lines, as they run a price check on every other item! :)
  12. Peggy Anne

    Peggy Anne Member

    Ahoj from Praha ...

    well after missing a connecting flight in JFK and spending the night in the terminal i finally made it here to praha on sunday morning. i am staying at a penzion instead of hotel. after finally getting some clean clothes and a good shower i hit the metro using magans great directions to start finding where i need to go this coming week. sorry that guy had a bad experience with the metros ... i have found the metros awesome and have been traveling around via metros and trams all over the place. cars are usless here. i rented a car to go to strakonice to visit the town of my great great grand fathers family he came to USA in 1882 that was an experience so say the least. the trip there and back was very pleasant ... even though it rained all the way back to praha.

    yes walking is diffently the mode of transportation here. i have found out how out of shape i am big time. after 8 surgeries in 6 yrs ... i have walked more this week than i have in the last 6 monts or more.

    I have to kind of agree with Guy .... you don't see a lot of people smiling as you walk through the streets here ... i am a friendly person and smile at people and greet them with a ahoj or a dobre den and people kind of ignore you .... not all but most do no respond.

    i found that most have been helpful with my really bad cesky ... some young people have laughed and made ugly faces at me when i have tried to converse with them ..... but most have been very helpful ....

    for those that are in praha ... the sokol slet starts sunday with a parade through the street of praha starting at wenceslas square marching to the river and then up to old town and ending in the old town square. i read somewhere that they are expecting 20,000 people from Sokol units all over the world to take place this year here.

    I have found a cyber cafe to check mail here in Andel City ... Thank God ... i would have withdrawls without checking emails the cyber cafes are my only means of contact back home.

    i have tried to use a pay phone to contact some people here ... and all it does is beep at me and eat my money.

    oh well ..... i will write more when i get home ....

    well i am off to still try to find an adapter for my camera charger .. the radio shack in st louis sold me the wrong one and i can't find one anywhere here in close to andel city in praha ... i found a canon shop that was closed today so i am going to have to wait until monday when it is open again ... ugh ...

    Na shledanou .....Peggy Anne
  13. GuyFullaLove

    GuyFullaLove Active Member

    Ahoj Peggy Anne:

    I hope you get a better time in Prague...

    I cannot emphasize how IMPORTANT to get the RIGHT adapter BEFORE you arrive in Prague... I bought 3 adapters from Radio Shack and Walmart and only ONE barely worked (luckily).... Otherwise I would have NOT been able to use ANYTHING.

    Trying to get an adapter in Prague is IMPOSSIBLE... No one I asked (and I asked a lot) knew where you can find such an adapter... Luckily, one of the 3 adapters I got worked. One MAIN problem is that Prague's sockets are about 1/2 an inch deep...

    Will post again and give details of my report after I recover from jetlag and get back to normal living in the USA... God bless America!...

    Oh, a word of CAUTION... Be VERY careful of walking alone at night in areas where there are No police... If you look or sound American, there seems to be some in Prague that just want to assault Americans... will give my details later....

Share This Page