What NOT to Do in Prague


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Earlier than you come to Prague, that you must know what NOT to do in Prague! I’ve been residing in Prague for a number of years now, and I completely love how nice life is right here.

However as I put together to welcome dozens of family and friends from the US to Prague for the primary time, I’m going over what vacationers ought to REALLY know earlier than arriving right here.

So what ought to folks really know? Prague is totally different from the stereotypes. When you get immense worth for cash right here, it’s undoubtedly not the dirt-cheap getaway it was once 20 years in the past, neither is it only a place to come back to occasion.

Moreover Prague has so many cool locations exterior town heart, and an unimaginable meals scene, however so many individuals by no means go that far, sticking to town heart and Czech dishes.

And when you cheers with water, or pour new beer right into a half-full glass…nicely, you’re not going to draw any GOOD consideration in Prague.

So let’s have a look — what NOT to do in Prague! Take into account this your Prague survival information.

(And when you’re planning a visit to Prague, don’t miss my guides on uncommon issues to do in Prague and the 17 finest Prague eating places!)

Skyline view of Prague, little church towers poking over the landscape in front of the river.

Don’t assume Prague is an affordable getaway.

Previously, Prague was held up as the last word low cost getaway of Europe. Individuals got here right here to remain in grand resorts for affordable, have good meals for affordable, and occasion all night time lengthy for affordable.

I actually fell into that class as soon as. After I first visited Prague with my examine overseas roommates in 2004, we gorged ourselves on sushi as a result of it was so less expensive than in Italy!

Right here’s the factor, although — whereas Prague is unquestionably cheaper than Paris, London, and the Nordics, it’s not the dirt-cheap getaway it was once. Previously 20 years, Prague has gone by means of a change, including much more high-end eating places and resorts, and loads of companies now cater to rich Czechs and moneyed guests.

(This previous winter, Charlie and I traveled to Palermo, Sicily — and let me let you know, that was an affordable getaway. I used to be SHOCKED how less expensive it was than Prague! You possibly can get an entree at a pleasant restaurant for just some euros! Certain, Italy could be very costly in touristy areas like Florence and Venice, however much less touristy components of Italy may be extraordinarily low cost.)

And one other factor — the beer in Prague is not cheaper than water. So many vacationers like to repeat this, however it hasn’t been true for many years! (Again then they handed a regulation saying that SOMETHING needs to be cheaper than beer.)

The most affordable tank pilsner (a.okay.a. GOOD Czech beer) in Prague is at a pub known as U Glaubiců, the place half liter beers price 43 CZK ($2 USD). Elsewhere in Prague, tank pilsner prices 55-60 CZK ($2.50-3 USD).

Beer in Prague remains to be low cost, particularly contemplating its implausible high quality — I began laughing with pleasure once I purchased a spherical for me and 6 of my pals for lower than $20 — however not fairly cheaper than water.

People sitting on benches underneath leafy trees, facing the Vltava River in Prague.

Don’t be an obnoxious, badly behaving vacationer.

For many years, Prague has been a well-liked spot for vacationers coming to drink and occasion. It’s particularly well-liked with British stag events. The place else are you able to drink beer this good for this worth?

You continue to see these stag events. A gaggle of British males strolling down the road, one in all them dressed up as a large child or a ballerina, all of them off their faces. If it’s late at night time, they is perhaps singing on the high of their lungs.

It’s not nice for these of us who stay right here.

However the metropolis has been cracking down on this sort of vacationer habits. Bars and golf equipment usually are not as tolerant of vile habits as they was once. And now once you land on the airport, you’ll discover large indicators telling folks to maintain issues quiet after 10:00 PM.

My recommendation? Keep in mind that folks stay right here. And when you’re going to occasion, follow town heart. DO NOT ebook an residence in a cute residential neighborhood. We stay in these neighborhoods as a result of they’re quiet and away from the insanity.

Murray the gray tabby cat flops in the dining table, his paw next to a few Czech bills, like he's swimming in money.
Murray is coming to steal your Czech crowns.

Don’t deliver your euros.

The Czech Republic really doesn’t use the euro — as a substitute, we use the Czech crown (koruna). Over the previous few years, the speed has fluctuated between 21-24 crowns to at least one US greenback.

It’s not the simplest factor to calculate in your head, so I like to recommend downloading the Forex app and opening it once you need to double-check a worth.

And no, you possibly can’t use US {dollars} right here both. (You don’t assume this might have to be stated, however I’ve seen sufficient People attempting to pay with USD throughout Europe!)

I take advantage of my US bank cards for the overwhelming majority of my purchases in Europe. You need to use bank cards in most locations in Prague, too. In the event that they ask you which of them forex to cost — CZK or USD — at all times select CZK. You’ll get a markup in the event that they convert the worth.

A glass of bright yellow lemonade filled with passionfruit seeds at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Don’t count on lemon in your lemonade.

You’ll discover lemonades (limonady) on most Czech menus, they usually make a implausible nonalcoholic beverage possibility. In actual fact, plenty of eating places are at all times switching up their lemonades of the day — mango, lime, purple currant…

There’s only one factor. Lemonades within the Czech Republic don’t comprise lemon! They’re simply glowing water with fruit juice added. Except the menu explicitly says that it comprises lemon, it doesn’t comprise lemon.

So when you ask a server what sorts of lemonades they’ve at the moment they usually say, “Raspberry, ardour fruit, and lemon,” solely the lemon one really comprises lemon.

Moreover, malinovka is one thing you’ll typically see in pubs — it’s a candy raspberry soda (technically a lemonade by Czech requirements!), typically out there on faucet.

A city skyline with foggy Prague castle along the river, part of the sky blue but fog covering everything.

Don’t name Prague Japanese Europe.

The Czech Republic could be very a lot a part of Central Europe. Mentioning to a Czech that you just’re in Japanese Europe isn’t a great way to make pals — in actual fact, it will likely be taken as an insult.

Consider it this manner: Think about that you just make a journey to Pennsylvania. You’re hanging out in Philadelphia, sitting at a bar in Middle Metropolis, making dialog together with your neighbor, and also you point out that you just got here to Philly since you at all times wished to go to New England.

See how ridiculous that sounds? That’s what it feels like once you name Prague Japanese Europe!

Oh, and undoubtedly don’t name it Czechoslovakia, both. We’ve been velvetly divorced from our jap neighbor for 30 years now.

(For the file: Japanese Europe contains Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Romania, Moldova, and Bulgaria. Central Europe contains Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, the previous Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia) and Albania.)

A red and white tram crossing a bridge in Prague.

Don’t trip public transit and not using a ticket.

Prague is a metropolis the place you don’t have to indicate your ticket when boarding transportation, and there aren’t even turnstiles to get on the subway. As a substitute, there are fare inspectors that hop on board often and examine to see that everybody has a ticket for that journey.

Due to this, lots of vacationers find yourself confused and find yourself hopping on the tram with out shopping for tickets.

How typically do fare inspectors hop on board? I’d say most likely one in each 15-20 journeys. Even so, you don’t need to be caught and not using a ticket, as a result of the high-quality is steep. And I do know many vacationers who tried to play dumb (or, let’s be trustworthy, cry) and received fined anyway.

You should purchase tickets on board the trams and buses if in case you have a contactless bank card. You may also purchase tickets on the machines at entrances to the metro.

However what I like to recommend is that you just obtain the PID Litačka app earlier than you arrive in Prague. On right here you should purchase single tickets for 30 or 90 minute journeys, or for twenty-four or 72 hours. Or for a month when you’d like! This ticket is sweet for tram, bus, or metro.

Needless to say YOU MUST ACTIVATE THE TICKET and IT TAKES TWO FULL MINUTES TO ACTIVATE. They do that so you possibly can’t simply press the activate button when the fare inspector seems.

A bowl of Vietnamese pho next to a bowl of noodle and a plate of roasted pork and rice.

Don’t solely eat Czech meals.

It is best to completely attempt some Czech dishes whereas visiting Prague — however Czech meals can be fairly heavy, and I personally discover it powerful consuming a couple of conventional Czech meal per week.

As a substitute, make the most of Prague’s excellent worldwide eating scene. It’s one in all my favourite issues about residing in Prague!

I wrote a Prague restaurant information lately, and this represents the end result of my years exploring the restaurant scene with my crew of foodie pals.

You possibly can get pleasure from artistic high-end tapas at El Camino, Neapolitan-style pizza at Manù, fiercely recent sushi at Yamato, Georgian specialties at Sunday Terrace, and much, much more.

I particularly advocate getting your fill of Vietnamese meals whereas in Prague. Now we have a big and vibrant Vietnamese neighborhood right here, and it’s uncommon to discover a European metropolis with implausible Vietnamese eating places in each route!

Learn Extra: 17 Finest Prague Eating places

Two glasses of rose wine clinking in front of a garden in Prague.

Don’t cheers with out making eye contact!

Eye contact is crucial when making a toast in Prague. Be certain that to look the individual within the eye as your glasses clink. If not, you’re doomed to seven years of unhealthy intercourse!

Moreover, don’t cross arms when toasting, and undoubtedly don’t toast with water — it’s thought of unhealthy luck.

When you have a glass of water, glowing or nonetheless, simply smile and nod as folks cheers round you. Individuals will perceive.

Moreover, don’t pour new beer into your outdated beer. When you have a bit little bit of beer left in your glass, end the entire thing earlier than refilling it.

Old Town Square in Prague, surrounded by candy-colored buildings, gothic church towers, and the metal-layered astronomical clock.

Don’t be late.

Czechs are extraordinarily punctual folks. It’s one of many issues I really like about them — and residing right here has actually made me a extra punctual individual! (What a change from New York, the final place I lived, the place everyone seems to be late on a regular basis and blames the subway.)

So be sure to’re on time to satisfy a Czech individual. Individuals are likely to arrive precisely on time, not 5 minutes early.

A view of the church towers and orange-roofed buildings of Cesky Krumlov
Český Krumlov is likely one of the most stunning locations within the Czech Republic.

Don’t ignore the remainder of the Czech Republic.

There are such a lot of cool locations to go to within the Czech Republic — but the overwhelming majority of vacationers pop into Prague for a number of days, and that’s it. Ensure that’s not you!

So what are some good locations value visiting within the Czech Republic?

Český Krumlov is a beautiful metropolis in South Bohemia, two hours from Prague, that appears straight out of a fairy story. Whereas many individuals go to as a day journey, I strongly advocate staying in a single day. You possibly can see my information to Český Krumlov right here.

Karlovy Fluctuate is a fantastic and romantic spa city an hour and 45 minutes from Prague, crammed with candy-colored buildings and set within the hills. That is one other good in a single day journey.

Brno is a enjoyable little metropolis in Moravia, within the jap a part of the nation, and makes an amazing cease between Prague and Vienna. There are many cool eating places and cafes, and it’s cheaper than Prague.

And when you solely have time for a day journey from Prague, my high decide is the city of Kutná Hora, well-known for its bone church and colourful buildings, simply 50 minutes by prepare from Prague. However when you’re a giant Czech beer fan, chances are you’ll need to go to Plzen to tour the Pilsner Urquell brewery!

A grassy square in Prague surrounded by pastel apartment buildings, the tall metallic TV tower in the background.

Don’t name it Czechia.

Sure, Czechia is perhaps the official identify of the nation — however the overwhelming majority of Czechs nonetheless name the nation the Czech Republic. “Czechia” is the phrase we placed on authorities types. The identify change solely went by means of in 2016, so it’s nonetheless a current replace.

It’s not a tragedy when you name it Czechia, and even some Czechs even favor to make use of the time period Czechia, however you’ll slot in with the plenty when you name it Czech Republic.

A giant billboard above a street, looking like a person drinking an enormous Staropramen beer.

Don’t drink Staropramen.

Czechs love their beer; that a lot is obvious. And also you’ll see Staropramen branding all over the place — on umbrellas, in pubs — and also you may assume that that’s the nice beer.

It’s not. Staropramen is extensively acknowledged as a neighborhood beer that isn’t that nice. It’s form of just like the Bud Mild of the Czech Republic — they spend a ton on promoting, however the precise product is a far cry from high-quality beer.

So what do you have to drink as a substitute? Tank pilsner. Tank pilsner represents the perfect Czech beer that town has to supply.

Pilsner Urquell is the gold commonplace; drink it when you possibly can. Únětice is one other native model value attempting (and visiting their brewery, simply exterior town, is one in all my favourite uncommon issues to do in Prague).

And don’t neglect the beautiful microbreweries that dot town! Two that I really like are Dva Kohouti in my neighborhood of Karlín (they often make New England IPAs, which makes me really feel at residence!), and Automat Matuška in Dejvice, a brand new “nanobrewery” that actually impressed me after my first go to.

Dining outdoors: a table covered with a chicken sandwich, a plate of kimchi, a roasted quarter chicken, a bright orange cocktail and a beer.

Don’t neglect to analysis if in case you have dietary restrictions.

Sure, you possibly can completely get by in Prague when you observe a vegetarian or vegan or gluten-free weight loss plan. However it’s not as simple right here as it’s in Berlin or New York or Bangkok, for instance.

Conventional Czech eating places may be particularly difficult. Typically the one vegan merchandise is a bramborák (a potato pancake, generally with onions or garlic, cooked in oil). The go-to vegetarian dish in Czech delicacies is smaženy syr — fried cheese.

A minimum of our second hottest delicacies is Vietnamese, which gives much more to select from when you don’t eat meat, cheese, or gluten!

That being stated, the Czech Republic is a part of the EU, so there may be allergen labeling on menus. That makes it rather a lot simpler to know when you can eat one thing.

Both means, if in case you have dietary restrictions, I like to recommend doing a little bit of analysis on eating places with good vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free choices. It’s good to have a number of prepared behind your pocket in case that you must select a spot rapidly.

The Prague Christmas markets, with viewing platform in front of a Christmas tree and church towers.

Don’t count on the perfect Christmas markets in Europe.

This one is a bit controversial. I do know lots of people who’ve come to Prague particularly for the Christmas markets, that are stunning, festive, and far nicer than something you’ll discover in America.

Nevertheless…I’ve been to a LOT of Christmas markets in Europe, and Prague isn’t one of many higher ones. They’re high-quality, however they pale compared to what another cities have to supply.

In my view, among the finest Christmas markets are literally fairly near Prague — Vienna (4.5 hours by prepare), Dresden (2 hours by prepare), Munich (5 hours by prepare), and Nuremberg (4 hours by bus) are most likely my 4 favourite Christmas market cities in Europe. I haven’t been to the Berlin Christmas markets but, however I hear they’re additionally nice (4.5 hours by prepare).

Does that imply you need to keep away from Prague at Christmas? By no means! One of the best ways to plan a Christmas market journey in Europe is to have an itinerary taking you thru a number of cities by prepare or bus, permitting you to see how plenty of totally different locations rejoice the vacation.

So maybe plan a Christmas journey that takes you from Berlin to Vienna, or Munich to Budapest, stopping in Prague alongside the best way and permitting you to get a very good cross-section of Christmas markets.

Five roasting chimney cakes of various doneness rotating on a grill.

Don’t select a trdelnik for a Czech deal with.

All through the Previous City in Prague, you’ll see trdelnik stands all over the place. Trdelniky are chimney desserts — roasted over coals, coated with sugar and cinnamon, generally crammed with ice cream, generally out there in plenty of different flavors.

There’s only one downside — they’re not really Czech! They’re Hungarian! Somebody began making them in Prague they usually actually caught on!

As a substitute, go for a vetrnik — a Czech caramel cream puff. These are my favourite Czech pastries and you could find them all over the place!

I particularly love the one at Gardens Restaurant, one in all my favourite uncommon issues to do in Prague. Mysak, Eska (solely at lunch) and Cafe Savoy have notable ones, too.

A room with floor-to-ceiling rooms casting pink and blue light at sunset.

Don’t use Euronet ATMs.

These are among the commonest ATMs you’ll see across the metropolis heart. When you’re utilizing a overseas card to withdraw money, you’ll be charged a a lot increased price.

As a substitute, select an ATM connected to an actual financial institution. Three of the frequent banks you’ll see in Prague are CSOB, Raffeisen, and Unicredit. These ATMs are high-quality to make use of.

(In actual fact, it’s a very good behavior to solely use ATMs connected to banks once you journey. In case your card will get eaten at a financial institution ATM, it may be recovered. If it’s eaten by a comfort retailer ATM, you’ll by no means see it once more!)

A chic Prague cafe with painted green leaves decorating the ceiling.

Don’t neglect to tip when paying for meals.

Right here within the Czech Republic, it’s commonplace to supply an additional 10% or so on high of the price of your meals. If a invoice involves 500 crowns, for instance, simply say, “5 hundred and fifty,” and the server will thanks, then scan your card.

If it’s a small buy, like a espresso, it’s frequent to tip with a number of cash. Just a bit one thing further.

A pink, purple and blue sunset on the park in front o
Karlín, so near the middle and but a world away.

Don’t simply go to town heart.

I discover it curious that the overwhelming majority of holiday makers to Prague solely go to town heart — the Previous City and the New City — and by no means enterprise past it. That’s a giant distinction from different European cities.

So what do you have to do? Go exploring! 4 cool native neighborhoods with enjoyable eating places, cafes, parks and extra are Vinohrady, Dejvice, Karlín (my neighborhood!), and Letná. And lots of them have structure as fairly as it’s within the Previous City, however have a decidedly much less touristy environment.

Take pleasure in your hipster desires. These locations is perhaps the spotlight of your Prague go to.

Extra on the Czech Republic:

Extra on What NOT to Do:

Have you ever been to Prague? What else would you add to this checklist?



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