Woman travelling alone to Prague - safety considerations?

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by Paint, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Paint

    Paint Well-Known Member

    I have never been to Europe before and I will be visiting Prague for 10 days in May. I have booked a bed at the Boathouse Hostel in Praha 4. Any advice for my trip? Places to avoid?
  2. cechofil

    cechofil Well-Known Member

    Hi Paint,
    I went by myself to Prague and surrounding areas for 3 weeks in October 2004. I had been to Europe many times but had never been out of the country by myself before. I didn't have any unusual trouble. If you can handle the usual stares and come on's that a woman by herself gets than you should be ok. Actually, I find the attention from the men in Europe more of a flattering nature and less threatening than in the states. I was very careful at night though, with locking all the dead bolts on the hotel door and not going off on my own after say, eight o'clock. The men did seem much more predatory at night so I was not comfortable with being out (not even in my own hotel lounge) unless with the new friends I had come to know. If you want to go to clubs on your own I cannot advise you on that, as I didn't do it myself. Maybe others can help with that. I will just say this, please be careful and do tell us all about your trip when you return! I had the time of my life and made some great friends. Just take a little extra precaution and trust your instincts. :wink:
  3. Geleen

    Geleen Active Member

    The area where your hotel should be, is lovely (in case the data in the internet is right - its not always that way). Vyšehrad is one of my favourites. I think there's nothing to afraid of. Use the local transportation (tram, metro).

    I've been in Prague many times and also I've walked (or driven) around alone aloso many times (including evenings and nights) in different areas and I'm still in one piece ;). I'm sure the locals knows better than me but in my opinion there's no need to be afraid.
  4. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    It is known that sexual violence against women has increased over the years in Czech Rep, but is still (statisticly) much lower than in western Europe and America. According to various travel guides, it is stated that solo women travellers should have no problems overall, but to avoid unlit/deserted areas at night. In particular, all should avoid the park adjacent Prague's main train station after dark, as this can be quite dangerous.
    Areas known for pickpockets/theft (solo women are at increased risk) include:
    - Prague's Ruzyne Airport.
    - Major tourist zones.
    - Old Town Hall.
    - Charles Bridge.
    - Certain [busy] Metro stations.
    - Prague Castle.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Paint

    Paint Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice so far everyone. I'm not interested in nightclubs but there are parts of the city I would like to see at night, including Charles Bridge... hmm. Also getting myself from the airport to the hostel will be unavoidable. I've read not to take a taxi and the hostel listed "bus to metro to another bus then walk a ways" directions. I think right now that's what concerns me most - getting from the airport to the hostel. That's when I'll look the most like a tourist, too.
  6. Well hopefully the taxi situation will change. I recently read that the mayor of Prague took a couple of taxis around town to see how bad people were getting scammed and it turns out he got charged pretty high. So apparently now he's pretty furious and is trying to make some changes. I thought it was pretty interesting to hear that even the mayor got overcharged haha, but hopefully things will change now.
  7. Geleen

    Geleen Active Member

    Hehe...It's getting pretty scary here :). The situation in Prague is not that bad at all. If you afraid to use the local transportation from Ruzine airport, use AAA taxi (check the 'taxi tarif' topic), otherwise www.dpp.cz will help you.

    And if you want to see some popular places at night, in my opinion - just go ahead - no need to worry. And if you'll live in Vyšehrad (as I saw from the hostel's map), the tram will go straight from your hostel to Karluv Most.
  8. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    Just don't wear your bag open with your purse visible and you'll be all right. Of course there are pickpocketers in crowded areas, but it is not that hard to prevent stealing.

    Avoid dark lonely areas at night, but the centre of Prague is safe (speaking of violence).

    The taxi situation is quite unlikely to change soon, but the AAA taxis have good reputation. Actually, an AAA driver charged the mayor correct price, about 5 Euros, he just did not give him change for 10 Euro banknote. The other driver charged him several times the correct price, and gave him a fake bill.
  9. strange_too

    strange_too Active Member

    Just be aware, as you do back home.

    When I was walking around Prague in the middle of the night with my girlfriend I felt safe, and there where lots of people waking around.

    My girlfriend who did live in Prague and is now living in Brno, says it's fine. Just keep to well lit areas at night. Trust your feelings.

    Looking at the crime rates for Pennsylvania, I would say that Prague is much safer. Although I can't remember the exact Prague numbers.


  10. Halef

    Halef Well-Known Member

    There are about 50 murders a year in Prague, 200 in the whole ČR.
  11. strange_too

    strange_too Active Member

    Well in Pennsylvania in 2000 the was 602 murders and 3,247 rapes with a population of 12,281,054, which I believe is the similar to the population of Czech Republic.

  12. Ryan

    Ryan Member

    I agree with Geleen. Relatively, Prague is an extremely safe city. If you have a head on your shoulders you will be fine, no matter where and at what time of day or night. The only things you should be wary of is pickpocketers (i hate to generalize, but watch the cigany!).

    Enjoy your stay and venture wherever your heart desires. Get lost in the maze of streets and have fun - what a shame it would be to be preoccupied with thoughts of fear and safety. And most of all, I encourage you to bathe in the glow of Prague at night - the lamps & lighting in the city is my absolute favorite.
  13. probinso

    probinso Member

    I know one or two people do not constitute a good statistical sample, but I am a female and I have wandered around central Prague, day and night, many times over the last 10 years, with no trouble at all. I keep my wallet/money/valuables under my clothes -- my backpack typically has nothing more important than a bottle of water in it -- because I do believe the pickpocket scene is terrible. Of course, since I also travel regularly in dangerous American cities I am pretty watchful and wary. . . if a woman (or man) wanders around drunk and pays no attention to what is around her, she may not be safe anywhere!

    Just to make a vast generalization, I have found most Czech men to be unfailingly polite and almost annoyingly (to an American) chivalrous. I certainly feel safer and better respected in Prague than in, say, Washington DC!
  14. Paint

    Paint Well-Known Member

    I appreciate the range of opinions and advice. In general I am travel-wise and am usually alone when I travel, so I know the general concepts of being confident and preventing theft by pickpockets. I have been attacked in the past though... I was someplace I shouldn't have been by myself... and that's partly why I posted this topic. Even in cities that are statistically quite safe there are often areas where more caution is needed. I don't usually let fear keep me from doing things and that sometimes gets me into trouble - especially when I don't know the location. All I could find in the guidebooks I bought was "avoid Wenceslas Square at night, and beware of pickpockets in heavily touristed areas." Those of you who are posting here are much more helpful.

    I'm looking forward to the trip - it will be my first time crossing the Atlantic. In addition to the museums, art galleries, and must-see tourist attractions that I plan to visit, I intend to do some fine-art photography while in Prague... at night if possible. I have a suitable camera and an interest in lights on architecture. Just hoping for a positive experience 8)
  15. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Vaclavske namesti (Wenceslaw Square) is very safe during the day, but at night full of prostitutes and pimps, gypsies and such so avoid going there at night.
    Also park in front of the Wilsonovo nadrazi (Main train station/Metro stop Museum) is full of ugly looking drug addicts, homeless etc. so is train station at night as they congregate in that area.
  16. Carmilie

    Carmilie Member

    On Charles Bridge be very carefull with your belongings. It is insanely crowded during the day and there is a theft every couple of minutes. Just make sure to hold on to your purse tightly and you should be fine.
  17. magan

    magan Well-Known Member

    Don't even bother going to Charles Bridge during the day., there is way too many people on it and around it, which really ruins enjoynment. Go 8-9 a.m. or earlier to get there ahead of the crowds, then you can take good photos and take your time. Also, do take a walk at evening Old town square, then to Charles Bridge and across to Malostranske nam. Gorgeous views from Charles bridge at night. Have a good time.

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