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Useful tips before you go

  • If you wish to exchange money in Prague (especially in the city centre) please be careful as many exchange offices charge very high commission. You will have no problem withdrawing cash from any ATM machine as they all accept UK-issued debit or credit cards (much cheaper). Please note that the majority of exchange offices do not accept Scottish or Northern Ireland-issued banknotes. Therefore be sure that you have English notes (or use your card).
  • Keep your bags close to your body, carry money in a secure money belt, or in a wallet in your front pocket or inside jacket pocket, and be especially wary of crowds.  Be careful in crowded areas such as trams and tourist attractions – there may be pickpockets (common sense needs to be used).
  • When eating in cheaper restaurants please check your bill as sometimes foreigners can be overcharged with extra items added or changed prices. Prices in the menu always include VAT and you are not obliged to leave any tips. A service charge is always included although tips between 5% and 10% are widely expected when satisfied (recently the situation has improved and this is almost unheard of in the more upmarket restaurants).
  • Short-Change Scams. The most common scam is simple short-changing. Example: hand someone a 500 CZK note at a food stand, and the cashier hands back change for 200 CZK. If you just take the change and walk away without counting it, they’re winning, but if you do count notes and claim you gave a larger note then they hand you the other correct change, as if it was merely a small oversight. Anytime you pay for something, make a careful mental note of how much it costs, how much you’re handing over, and how much you expect back. Whenever you purchase something, make a mindful mental note of how much it costs, what amount you’re handing over, and how much you expect back.
  • When taking a taxi on the street be very careful; when possible always call a cab, from the airport pre-book safe airport transfer. It is not recommended to take a taxi from a tourist spot or a train station or from the inner city centre – even the locals avoid doing this.
  • If you are taking your mobile phone with you to Prague then before you go call your operator to check your roaming rates.
  • Cash Machines (trick – stealing your card): if you getting cash from an ATM try to use one inside a bank. If you have to use one on the street get someone in your party to watch out for you whilst using the machine. A favourite trick is for someone to interrupt you as you make your transaction, by pointing to a Czech note on the ground and saying you have just dropped it. You bend down to pick up the note and when you stand up again your card has gone.
  • Many museums and galleries are closed on Monday and quite a few smaller churches only open for services. Joining classical music concerts in the churches can be another way of visiting. Check for service and concert times at the church entrances.
  • The discount card “Prague Card” is suitable especially for those who wish to spend several days in Prague and visit the best-known sights while spending less money on the entrance tickets. As well as free entrance to more than 50 attractions, including the Prague Castle, the card also offers discounts at selected partners, and includes also a multi-language tourist guide to Prague.
  • Late evening or early morning walks, especially in the peak season, are the only way to avoid the crowds of people in famous locations such as along the Old Town Square and Charles’ Bridge. Prague Castle, frequently packed with tourists in the daytime, is surprisingly empty in the evening.
Short-Change Scams
The most common scam is simple short-changing. Example: hand someone a 500 CZK note at a food stand, and the cashier hands back change for 200 CZK. If you just take the change and walk away without counting it, they’re winning, but if you do count notes and claim you gave a larger note then they hand you the other correct change, as if it was merely a small oversight.

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9 comments

  1. I’ve been to Prague twice in the past two years and taking my wife there for a vacation in May. I have never had any problems there and while I agree that one must be aware it would be the same as in any other major city. You must put Prague on your “Bucket List”! In my opinion it is one of the wonders of the world and compared to other cities in Europe the prices are extremely reasonable.

  2. I’vee been to Prague twice in the past two years and taking my wife there for a vacation in May. I have never had any problems there and while I agree that one must be aware it would be the same as in any other major city. You must put Prague on your “Bucket List”! In my opinion it is one of the wonders of the world and compared to other cities in Europe the prices are extremely reasonable.

  3. The article makes it look like Prague is a city of crime. I have been living in Prague for 3 years and nothing has ever happened to me. Pickpockets are everywhere and if you dont mind your staff, you may as well lose them. Eating in cheaper restaurants is not a problem, Czech people are not cheaters. I guess the author is a really proud British person and he takes Prague as a part of the dangerous Eatern Europe, but it is not! Prague is a safe destination and articles like this are not justified at all.

    • You are so right. I have been once and about to go again. My partner is slovak and the czech and slovak prople are brilliant, very hospitable and welcoming. I would say try to visit somewhere outside of the city and outskirts. Its a bit cheaper and very interesting.

  4. I wish I’d seen this thread. My wife and me have already booked a non refundable 5 day break because we have always wanted to go to Prague. Now, we’ll have to look over our shoulder everytime we’re out. I thought it was a safe city.

    • Even though Prague has plenty of petty thieves and con artists, violent crime is unheard of. And all this threatening advices might sounds intimidating, Don’t be scared, just be alert – Prague is safe city to visit.

      • We have just booked a long weekend in prague in august and I’m very grateful for this guide. We were in paris in august last year and the “watch out” attitude is much appreciated but as we see it, you need to watch out in any of the major cities. Prague is no different from the others. We will go to prague and enjoy and be cautious as we always are – but will still enjoy it.

    • I’m going solo in March and have researched Prague extensively and this was the first negative comment I’ve deer. It is recommended be several sites that, if you’re traveling solo in Europe, start with Prague.

  5. I will visit Praha in September this year. Certainly this city is a wonderful place for a curious visitor. But when you read all the scams of the scums all round in that place, one gets disgusted with the whole thing.

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