Author Topic: Prague  (Read 982 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

heartmug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2351
Prague
« on: April 22, 2014, 05:12:55 PM »
I will be going there for the first time this fall.  I have never been to Europe (we are going to a few other places, like Vienna, but most of our time will be spent in Prague).  Tell me anything you know about it.  Where to eat, what to do, what souvenirs to buy, etc.  Also, is it a safe place to walk around?  Can you drink the water from the tap?  Good hotel to stay in?

Thanks!
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4737
Re: Prague
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2014, 05:34:22 PM »
It's been a few years since I was in Prague, so I can't give too many specifics; perhaps someone here has been there since 2006. I loved it though.  As a single female traveling alone, I never felt nervous in the main tourist areas -- mind you, I wasn't out very late, either. 

This website was useful:  http://www.livingprague.com/  If I remember correctly, the site author hated the hotel that I stayed at.  Yes, it was a rather anonymous place hidden down an alley with small rooms.  But it was a great price for a place just off Wescelus Square.  I can't remember the name though.

I think this is the company that I used for walking tours:  http://praguewalks.com/en/Walks   I took a general tour of Prague that included a boat ride, and a ghost walk.  I recommend ghost walks even if you aren't a believer.  It's a great way to tour the historical area of a city at night, especially if you don't want to wander around alone.



Kukla

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Prague
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 05:58:50 PM »
It's been a long time since I've been to Prague, it is a beautiful city, and my friend and I both felt safe walking around there both during the day and night.  (We're females)
My friend found this http://www.mozart.cz/don-giovanni.php an we went to see it, and it was amazing.  I'm not that big into opera, but it was done so masterfully that it carried you away.

magicdomino

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4737
Re: Prague
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 06:07:51 PM »
Souvenirs:  The Czech Republic produces garnet jewelry, so if you like dark red stones, look for that.  Also glassware.  For co-workers and the like, there are these crisp wafflely cookies, kind of like a cross between pizzelles and sugar wafers.   Since you've never been to Europe before, I should mention something called the VAT -- Value Added Tax, I think.  If you buy expensive stuff like garnet jewelry, the store should give you a form.  Save it and your receipt, then when you leave the country, you can apply to get the VAT refunded.  Since the VAT is something like 15 or 20 percent, it adds up.

Snooks

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2483
Re: Prague
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 02:44:29 PM »
I went in 2005 so not a huge amount of use but my main memories of Prague are climbing towers so make sure you wear comfy shoes!  We did a walking tour, I think they're all much the same.  One thing to bear in mind is that you have to validate your ticket to travel, I saw people getting fined at the top of the funicular railway for not doing that, it must be an easy spot to catch tourists.

C0mputerGeek

  • C0mputerGeek
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1518
Re: Prague
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 08:58:14 PM »
I spent about 2.5 weeks in Prague and Vienna in 2007 (loved it!). http://www.livingprague.com/ is an excellent site. I also booked a personal walking tour my first day. I really recommend it as my guide showed me the layout of the city and explained how to purchases passes for the metro. I'll post more advice later.

heartmug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2351
Re: Prague
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 01:18:40 PM »
Thank you Magicdomino and Computergeek for the link to that website.  And thanks to everyone for all of this advice.  I am so excited to go!
One option in a tug of war with someone is just to drop the rope.

Photoperson

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Prague
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2014, 02:09:03 PM »
I sent you a PM. :)

Arila

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 801
Re: Prague
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 02:00:16 PM »
We hired a private tour guide in Prague for not too much money (exchange rate was nice). I liked that especially, because we could go at our own pace, linger over things we thought were interesting, or skip stuff. Don't want to walk up the hill? We took the tram (and she helped us buy the tickets).

Personally, I felt the contrast between Vienna and Prague to be the most most interesting. Vienna is all YAY Habsburgs! and Prague is all FINALLY! We got rid of them! At least, that is the tourist's perspective. I don't know if people living in either place still feel that way.


The thing I found disappointing was that there are a lot of touristy-type gift shops. They sell things that are supposed to be typical Czech, but often are actually imported. And there's identical shops on every corner. :(

We drank the water, it was fine.

Watchout for pickpockets, especially if you go to see the clock in the main square.

We walked around at all hours. Just like any city in the US, it's fairly obvious if you get into a bad part of the city, but all the touristy places and the main streets and squares are well lit and decently populated with other similar passers-by  and safe.


General about Europe:
- Not all shops take credit cards, always carry some cash.
- If they take credit cards, they will expect to insert one end into their machine, so you will have to tell them it's "American Style" and they need to swipe the mag strip. You may need to point out the appropriate place.
- Parking is a pain in the patootie. (and most rentals are stick to boot). I don't rent a car unless absolutely necessary.
 - Medium to small hotels and B&Bs offer the most character, but also do things like (gasp!) close at night, so it's more difficult to check in late in the evening. Once you are checked in, they give you a way to come-and-go.

mechtilde

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5587
Re: Prague
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2014, 03:03:28 PM »
Czech wines and beers are excellent.

There's also quite a "cafe culture" so do make sure you have coffee and cake at least once! Some places might serve coffee with the grounds still in the bottom, so drink the last bits carefully...
NE England

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11785
  • xi
Re: Prague
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 03:35:50 PM »
Prague is really one of my favorite parts of Europe.  I also have relatives there that I have met there.  One thing interesting that I noticed when I went to a graduation/prom/community party thing with the relatives.  There wasn't a generation divide in music.  It goes back to the time under the Russians.  Western music was gobbled up by young and old.

As a tourist it was also really nice that it wasn't really bombed, so the old stuff is still there. 

The relatives also explained to me that dark beer is considered more attractive to women.  Like my beer drinking friends in the U.S. consider fruity beer. 

If you are American, you will like that they like Americans. 

Funny story:  The first time I went was a few months after the Russians left.  I'd read that there was black market money changers.  But, black market means dark alleys, right?  Not being a dark alley sort of girl I just decided to overpay at the official place.  I was there at least 24-hours and I'd seen at least a dozen people moving opposite of the crowds saying "change  change  change"  I thought they were begging.  Finally, one seemed really really well dressed and I asked, "Do people actually give you money?'  He said "At 40 to 1 they definitely do"  That was my first clue that those were money changers. 

I thought the food was good.  Like you would expect, midway between the Bavarian and Slavic.  Only problem with the food is that in a few days you will be hungry again.  Only time I was disappointed was with the relatives and I ordered the Salad bar and there was no lettuce.  The language has the same vagueness as English in that the word is Salat, which could mean a lettuce salad, or mixed pickled things. 

Speaking of the language.  Yes is Ano.  Where English shortens Yes to Ya, they shorten Ano to No.  So someone can agree with you, be nodding their head up and down and saying No No No. 


Arila

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 801
Re: Prague
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 06:32:14 PM »
Czech wines and beers are excellent.
I don't like them myself (Czech or American) but I did find that I liked the lemonade beer. Also, beer frequently cheaper than water at the restaurants. Go figure. (And my beer-lemondade things came in bottles 2x the size, so more thirst quenching, also, not hugely alcoholic, one with dinner didn't even make me tipsy)


OH! Also, the fall. In Vienna. You will be there for "New Wine" season. That - excellent. It's sort of like sweet champagne. It's called STURM (=storm in english). Look for it. :)

finecabernet

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 675
Re: Prague
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2014, 10:00:18 PM »
One regret was that I didn't get to tour the old. Jewish cemetery. It looked fascinating.

marcel

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2018
Re: Prague
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2014, 01:10:36 PM »
Though I haven't been there in more then 10 years (and for summer time 20 years) I love the city and have spend at least 50 days over 4 trips there.

I mostly love the city by night, the street lights and dark skies bring out the best in the buildings. A must do at the time was to sit on the Charles bridge in a big group with a guitar player half the night :) (even though police would often disperse groups in the evening, once had a cop join us and play guitar for half an hour at 2 am.) and then for me to walk all over the city for the rest of the night. (It is hilarious to see the guard at the castle and the change all formal at the back entrance in the middle of the night, when there is nobody around but you.)

Even though I do not remember what was in there exactly, I remember that I enjoyed the visait ti the Jewis musem.

Which reminds me, consider a day trip to the concentration camp in Terezin.

And off course, consider a day trip to Kutna Hora, with a visit to the nowadays famous Sedlec Ossuary (http://www.ossuary.eu/index.php/cz/kostnice), but also the rest of the town is worth a visit.
Wherever you go..... There you are.

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11785
  • xi
Re: Prague
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2014, 11:00:15 AM »
Though I haven't been there in more then 10 years (and for summer time 20 years) I love the city and have spend at least 50 days over 4 trips there.

I mostly love the city by night, the street lights and dark skies bring out the best in the buildings. A must do at the time was to sit on the Charles bridge in a big group with a guitar player half the night :) (even though police would often disperse groups in the evening, once had a cop join us and play guitar for half an hour at 2 am.) and then for me to walk all over the city for the rest of the night. (It is hilarious to see the guard at the castle and the change all formal at the back entrance in the middle of the night, when there is nobody around but you.)

Even though I do not remember what was in there exactly, I remember that I enjoyed the visait ti the Jewis musem.

Which reminds me, consider a day trip to the concentration camp in Terezin.

And off course, consider a day trip to Kutna Hora, with a visit to the nowadays famous Sedlec Ossuary (http://www.ossuary.eu/index.php/cz/kostnice), but also the rest of the town is worth a visit.

I regret not seeing the Jewish museum.  I had deliberately chosen to not see it because of its creation.   I figured the visitors would be mostly Jews and Neo-Nazies.  Neither of which I am.