If you’re visiting Europe then you should definitely include the Prague to your bucket-list. Prague captivates so many visitors yearly. To enjoy your time here, there are some thing you should know before visiting Prague. There are a lot of missteps and mistakes that can be avoided with some research and this post should hopefully clear them right up!
Here are 10 things that you should know before visiting Prague to help you prepare and plan your trip:
1. Coronavirus measures to follow & Current Climate
You’re required to wear a face mask at Prague Airport, on the Metro, and when attending indoor events with over 100 people. These include visits to theatres, cinemas, and concert halls. In my experience, there was little to no social distancing and masks were worn few and far between around the city. So keep that in mind if you visit and try to stay safe.
The city is more or less back to normal operation. It wasn’t as quiet as you might think during my visit in August. Shopping centres, markets, hotels, river cruises, most sights and attractions are open, some with reduced times. You can enjoy your time at the public parks, zoos, spa, and wellness facilities. If you choose to visit theatres, cinemas, or opera houses, you can check out the websites for more information as only a limited number of performances have resumed.
2. Look out for Currency Exchange Scams
There are some currency exchange offices that advertise “0% commission” but charge a ridiculous “exchange fee” when you change money with them and offer dismal rates. Pure RIP OFFS! If you choose to use a currency exchange office, make sure you confirm what the exchange rate is and the final amount of Czech koruna that you’ll get for your money. Some good ones are eXchange and Interchange.
Another currency exchange scam to lookout for is that many touts walk around exchange offices and they offer a rate that’s too good to be true. If you choose to bite, they give you old outdated currency that’s no longer accepted. Avoid these at all costs!
3. Instead withdraw money from ATMs associated with banks
On my visit, I mostly paid with my Monzo card or withdrew directly from an ATM and I found it a better rate than those I saw around the city. If you choose to withdraw from an ATM, avoid EuroNet ATMs because they charge a fee and they have horrid rates. Instead, look for ATMs associated with banks as they tend to have better rates.
4. Uber and Local Taxis in Prague
The public transport network in Prague is pretty good and can get you pretty much everywhere. However, you may still need to get a taxi from the airport or maybe on a night out and Uber is the best choice, especially if you’re more than 2 people, then it works out much cheaper.
Getting a taxi on the street will cost you way more than an app based taxi service as they tend to overcharge.
5. Wear comfortable shoes when exploring Old Town
Walking is the best way to see Prague, however, something to know before visiting Prague is the cobbled streets of Old Towns Square. I would highly recommend wearing trainers or any comfortable shoes because it would be extremely annoying trying to navigate those streets in heels. If you don;t want to leave Prague with a sprained/twisted ankle, keep this in mind when packing!
READ MORE | A TRAVEL GUIDE TO PRAGUE
6. You can miss the Astronomical Clock’s show at the Full Hour
It’s rather underwhelming. I would say if you happen to be in Old Town square at the hour and the show starts you can watch it but have no expectations. That way you;re not disappointed lol.
7. Museum, Shops and Restaurant opening times
Most museums are closed on Mondays. Many shops are closed on Sundays. Most restaurants are open until 21:00, at the very latest 22:00, if you’re lucky. Beyond that, there are lots of fast food places open very late.
8. Beer is Cheaper than water
The beer is actually cheaper than water and is usually served by the half-litre. Most of it is in the Pilsner style, which tends to be light in flavour and slightly less carbonated. You shouldn’t be paying more than 30-40 kc for a 0.5l beer. For the freshest beer, visit a tank pub or tankovna, where the beer is served fresh from the brewery, giving it a richer flavour.
Avoid any pubs, bars or restaurants that lists prices in Euros; they will usually be more expensive. Also, always ask if card payments are accepted before ordering. Smaller bars and restaurants tend to be cash only.
9. Czech Dumplings Are not as they seem
Another thing to know about before visiting Prague is the dumplings. When you think about dumplings, you usually refer to Asian or even Caribbean dumplings, where there’s a dough coating and some kind of filling inside. So if that’s what you’re used to , you’ll be in for a shock if you order a Czech dumpling. Czech dumplings are made of flour, yeast, egg, salt, milk and stale bread. It is steamed or boiled and then sliced so it’s nothing like what you expect a dumpling to be.
10. Absinthe in Prague
Absinthe aka The Green Fairy is actually from Switzerland but is very popular in Prague because it’s sold with thujone here. But the Czech Absinthe doesn’t have anise or herbs, so it’s not as pleasant to drink as the French or Swiss ones. You can buy some yourself in most shops or you can visit an Absintherie for the full experience. Bear in mind that many shops in Prague sell overpriced Absinthe so shop around before buying.
We’ve come to the end! I hope you’ve found this post helpful and now you have some things to know before visiting Prague in your back pocket! If there’s anything I’ve missed, please leave them in the comments so we can all be prepared!
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Until Next time xx