The Slavic Horror in the Center of Europe or What to Do in Prague

By Irina.

Swans near the famous Charles Bridge. Prague. Czech Republic.

The most famous bridge in the Czech Republic, the most beautiful bridge in Europe… I wonder, is it true? Two hours ago our plane landed in Prague, and in fifteen minutes we will see the famous Charles Bridge with our own eyes.

If you are wondering what to do in Prague, I may be able to save you a lot of money. I cannot understand how it happened that during our last trip to Italy we stopped in Rome for three days, but have arrived in Prague to stay for five? We are crazy!

“Golden Prague,” the city of a hundred gothic towers… If we take St. Vitus Cathedral as one tower, the Our Lady Before Týn as two, and add the rest of the towers of Prague, we will get eight in total. But there are jewelry shops at every step of the way. There is no chance to see all of Rome in two weeks, but in the case of Prague–one day is enough. In general, I would like to dispel the myth about the adorable capital of the Czech Republic and cheap holidays in Prague. If you are coming from some distance, you should think twice, whether it is the right place for your vacation.

The view from under Charles Bridge. Prague, Czech Republic.

The view from Charles Bridge. Prague, Czech Republic.

One of the medieval towers of Prague, Czech Republic.

The house in the center of Prague, Czech Republic.

Old Town Hall Tower, Staromestska Radnice, Prague.

If you are absolutely fascinated with the photos of Prague on the Internet, you should definitely visit this city, but here is my tip: choose your future hotel with all scrupulosity.

Prague offers a great number of hotels to suit every budget. We were absolutely lucky with a place to stay, or to be more exact, we put some effort into finding it. The room in the Hotel Questenberk cost 900 Euros for five nights. As you can see, nowhere near a cheap holiday, but we never regretted of our choice. Questenberk is located in the Castle Quarter or the castle district Hradčany, in a building that previously belonged to the ancient Strahov Monastery. This is a really excellent hotel: exceptionally friendly staff, a charming check-in, welcome with a beer or other refreshing drink of our choice, and complimentary welcome with fruit in the room.

The view from the breakfast room of Hotel Questenberk. Prague, Czech Republic.

The view of Prague from the breakfast room of Hotel Questenberk

The view of Strahov Monastery from one of the rooms of Hotel Questenberk. Prague, Czech Republic.

The view of Strahov Monastery from one of the rooms of Hotel Questenberk

One of the rooms of Strahov Monastery library. Hradcany. Prague, Czech Republic.

One of the rooms of the Strahov Monastery library

One of the rooms of Strahov Monastery library. Hradcany. Prague, Czech Republic.

One of the rooms of the Strahov Monastery library

The Hradčany district is probably the best place to live in Prague. This district accommodates Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, different foreign embassies, the Monastery of the Order of the Knights of Malta (1169), and Strahov Monastery with its unique library. A twist of fate: Prague’s oldest bridge, the Charles Bridge, connecting the Lesser Quarter with Old Center of Prague, has become such a boundary for me that some days I did not want to cross it.

The world-famous bridge divides Prague into two disjointed worlds: the calm Castle Quarter and a huge buffoonery on the opposite side of the river. Can you imagine your well-planned holidays spent at a large railway station? No? You will get such a chance in the Old Town of Prague. These are the realities and you should know them in advance. On one side of the Vltava River are located the residences of the Czech kings, and the nobles’ palaces; the other side accommodates two big marketplaces, historically inhabited by the crafts persons whose happiness probably consists of a pint of beer on the weekends. Time goes by but Prague doesn’t change.

The nigh Charles Bridge. Prague, Czech Republic.

Prague Castle and Gothic cathedral St. Vitus. Prague.

The view from Charles Bridge. Prague, Czech Republic.

If you are sixteen years old, your only goal is to experience the Prague nightlife, and you are coming with a noisy company from neighboring Poland or Germany–that’s one thing. However, if you need to cross the ocean, think again of what to do in Prague? Please, do not tell me you are going to listen to those vociferous youngsters in bars!

What about the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, Our Lady Before Týn, and the Astronomical Clock? Why not? But be sure to know, the cheap holiday in Prague does not exist.

If your usual menu consists just of beer, you earn money spending every day on the Charles Bridge on your knees asking for alms, and you are more than satisfied to spend the nights under the bridge or on the bench in a park, then the holidays in old Prague will cost you almost nothing! As Victor said: Only Hanoi was worse than Prague. We did not even say a word about that Vietnamese city in our blog.

Unfortunately, Prague is dirty, and its center is overfilled with kneeling men not older than 40, who don’t want to work even to clean the streets. Their choice is begging alms of tourists who come to Prague. I had not seen such a picture in a long time!

Kneeling men on the street of Prague, Czech Republic.

Kneeling men on the street of Prague, Czech Republic.

All this makes me wonder, why is this possible in the historical center, near the Old Town Hall (Staromestska Radnice)? This means some need to beg? Without a doubt, there is a city administrator in Prague, and what about the touristic police? A couple of times during our visit to this city I wanted to meet their officer.

At first, we were almost cheated in a Chinese shop. We walked around the city and moved quite far from the center, but that should not be a reason to charge tourists triple the price for a bottle of mineral water. There were no apologies, but they returned the money. What to say about the immigrant districts, if even a blue-eyed fair-haired Czech “legally” cheats tourists on the exchange rate at the central street of Prague?

The officer of the roguish currency exchange point in the center of Prague on the ground floor of the Hotel Aurus. Prague, Czech Republic.

The officer of the roguish currency exchange point in the center of Prague on the ground floor of the Hotel Aurus

The roguish currency exchange point in the center of Prague on the ground floor of the Hotel Aurus. Prague, Czech Republic.

The roguish currency exchange point in the center of Prague on the ground floor of the Hotel Aurus, Karlova street, 3

Everything looks fair and square on the surface: the exchange rate of Czech Koruna in this currency exchange point on the ground floor of the Hotel Aurus is the same as in other places, but somehow the amount of Czech Korunas you receive is 30% less. Why? More likely, your Czech language is not so fluent and you might have missed a tiny font postscript below the exchange rate table, saying that if the deal value is less than a thousand Euros, the exchange rate is 17 Korunas for one Euro rather than 25. I would call it a legal fraud. The deal is irreversible. You will not receive your Euros back, there will be no receipt; however, you may submit a written complaint to the bank, but the review duration will take 40 days.

Roguish city.

After two days of resting on the edge of vigilance, I dreamed of leaving Prague forever. For some reason the views of the most famous Prague Gothic monuments did not help. I was longing to leave for Dresden, where such “wonders of hospitality” are impossible. Two days were more than enough to view all historical districts of Prague, including the latest Art Nouveau. Once again, we asked ourselves, what else to do in Prague?

One of the breweries of Prague. Czech Republic.

One of the breweries of Prague

cheap-food-prague-5

Well, time to treat ourselves with the famous Czech beer and local cuisine. Do you really believe that American Fat Tire Ale from Colorado or pale beer from San Diego is worse? Think again.

I should say that all our friends have already been to the Czech Republic and many of them more than once. We were the only ones who had not been, and caused them to wonder: How could it be? You visited so many places, and have never seen the beauty Prague and have not tried veprove koleno (golden roasted large pork knuckle)? Well, now we have been. Assuming that Czech cuisine is too caloric for us, we ate in different Italian cuisine restaurants, at first. Gentlemen, if you’re going to open a restaurant of Italian cuisine, visit Italy at least once! Victor was strict in his verdict: There should be an announcement on the doors of the Italian cuisine restaurants in Prague “Italians, please, don’t enter!”

After the unfortunate “Italian experience,” we came to the Hotel Questenberk reception desk asking them to recommend a good Czech cuisine restaurant. They gave us several addresses and we went to one of them immediately. The restaurant “U Sedmi Svabu” was really good. We returned three times, deciding not to tempt fate. Their garlic soup with tender ham, fresh parsley, toast, and cheese (cesnekova polevka) was very tasty. What about the bill? Well, it was quite usual for Rome, Paris, Jerusalem, Barcelona, or Florence–70 Euro for two, with wine.

The loud conversation about the wonderful and cheap holidays in Prague, coming from the neighboring table, made me smile. No doubt, it is very cheap if you are drinking your third pint of beer. Even after half a liter of beer it’s hard to squeeze into your stomach something bigger than a sausage from an outdoor seller. There is no place where the fragrant veprove koleno or the roasted duck with plum and Bohemian dumplings could cost three Euros. Why on earth do they cost 30 Euros in France but only three here?!

By the way, in the Czech Republic the duck is tastier than in France.

Well, we only had to buy some souvenirs before leaving for Dresden (Oh mein Gott, wie ich Dresden liebe). But meanwhile, here in Prague, there is a large choice. The shop windows are overfilled with a plenty of strange and scary dolls, fully corresponding to the signboards of bars. The Clavic horrorrs in the center of Europe 🙂 Yes, the geographical center of Europe is located in Czech Republic.

Certovka restaurant. Prague.

One of the scary dolls. Prague. Czech Republic.

Plenty of pictures and photos of the best views of Prague, magnets of unimaginable forms, caskets with paintings of the famous Art Nouveau artists, Alfons Mucha and Gustav Klimt. Shop windows sparkle with jewelry made of Czech rubies–magnificent look! We bought a couple of pictures in order never to come back to this city. Despite all that surface shine, Prague left an impression of fake beauty. It’s like a second-rate theater, a second-class Europe: a dozen widely promoted buildings and beautiful views, and cheap beer. The people are different, of course, but more often they are very stiff and somber with a really strange mentality. Look at their souvenirs.

According to one of the Prague legends, from time to time an owl appears at the Old Town Hall, predicting difficulties with its sorrowful scream: whether it is a flood, a fire, or a war. Many times the inhabitants of the neighborhood houses were trying to shoot it down to prevent the disasters, but it came back again and again, making the citizens of Prague shiver with its morose groans.

Europe is changing rapidly, but Prague is frozen in time. The mentality of its citizens has hardly changed in several centuries. Their ancestors were kept in ignorance, frightened with devils, burned alive… Looks like they rarely felt happiness to transfer happiness to the next generations. In general, this time we chose a questionable place for vacation. 🙂 Prague did not give me a chance to betray my love for Italy, France, or Belgium. The only bright memory of the trip to Prague is the white swans under the famous Charles Bridge.

Swans near the famous Charles Bridge. Prague. Czech Republic.

St. Vitus Cathedral. Prague. Czech Republic.

Flowers. Zlata Ulicka. Prague. Czech Republic.

Zlata Ulicka. Prague. Czech Republic.

More about Czech Republic:

Castles of Bohemia: Bezdez

64 Responses to “The Slavic Horror in the Center of Europe or What to Do in Prague”

  1. Debra Kolkka Says:

    I thought I was alone in not liking Prague. Everybody told me I would love it, but I didn’t. I thought the people were rude, the food was awful and the architecture was not enough to make a difference.

    Like

  2. KJ @ alwaystravelicious.com Says:

    Nice photos ! I am going to prague and staying for a week there – going to a few day trips from prague. Did you explore outside prague? Maybe the other cities are more enjoyable.

    Like

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      We drove by car from Prague to Dresden and back and have seen only a province. The impressions is similar: it is not the real Europe.

      Like

      • HIM Says:

        I am sorry, but this is just wrong. Prague is possibly one of the most European cities you can visit, and so is Czech Republic. For over thousand years the region has been the fulcrum of European science, literature, music and arts, shaping what today is known as European Culture and Identity. Is not a coincidence that the city has been a major centre in two of the largest empires ever existed: the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian empires.

        I am not sure where you come from, but judging a city from a two days (or even a week) stay in a rather expensive hotel while dining in fine restaurants does not give you sufficient knowledge over a thousand years of history to conclude that what you saw is not Europe.

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        • Victor Tribunsky Says:

          I travel much, and try to understand every place. Five days in Prague was enough to understand its soul. I didn’t like this city inspite of its Roman and Austro-Hungarian past.
          Excuse me, but this is true.

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          • Paul Vaughan Griffiths Says:

            Your report is totally wrong. I live in Prague and It is a lovely city. I have lived in many places – USA, UK, Germany,Sweden,Spain,Belgium etc and your portrayal of Prague is a joke. The food is really good. You can have a bad experience in any restaurant in the world. The people are very nice, especially if you treat them nicely and the architecture is magnificent. Prague has history and culture. Dresden was obliterated in the second world war and is a sterile replacement. How can you compare a second rate German city to Prague. Prague is definitely good value for money. I live in Prague 7 and my pint of beer costs me 1 UK Pound or $ 1.65. This is NOT EXPENSIVE. A pint of beer in the UK costs,at least, 4 UK Pounds or $ 6.60 . Prices in New York are a rip off and so are the prices in New Jersey. Staromesta square is expensive but so is the centre of Paris and Trafalgar Square in London. What planet do you come from if you do not understand basic economics of supply and demand. My Mother was born in Bruge and it is a lovely city and so are many other cities in Europe. I do not know where you live but your experience of Prague is absolutely wrong. You may not like the city. that is your prerogative but myself, and thousands of other people love Prague and think you are talking a lot of bull. I travel very much as well and have lived in many places. Prague and Brussels are my two favourite cities in Europe. That is my view and I will stick to it.

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            • Victor Tribunsky Says:

              Thank you very much, Paul, for your opinion.
              You are right, your view is your prerogative, but my point of view is my prerogative, and I have a blog where I can write it.

              This is my view and the view of my wife, and I will stick to it too.

              Like

  3. Andrew Petcher Says:

    I agree with you. I did not like Prague and would recommend Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava in preference. I thought it was overrated, the people rude and the pork knuckle indescribably bad!

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    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      I should say the pork knuckle was not bad in the restaurant “U Sedmi Svabu,” but maybe it is better in Germany, I don’t know. We tasted it only once in Tallinn.

      Yes, Prague is overrated very much. This visit is a waste of time and money. We’d better go to Dubrovnik, Croatia, or stayed in Dresden.

      Like

  4. sueslaght Says:

    Well that review has definitely taken Prague down on the list of spots to visit. Amazing photographs.

    Like

  5. elisa ruland Says:

    Thanks for the tour (beautiful) and the advice!

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  6. travtrails Says:

    Now on my bucket list

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  7. debibradford Says:

    A gorgeous photograph.

    Like

  8. Alba Marie Says:

    I totally disagree! I’ve been to Prague twice, spent a year living in nearby Poland, travelling all around Eastern Europe, and I still find Prague (along with Tallinn) to be the most beautiful of all. Yes, it’s a bit crowded–but in Prague’s case, you must make an exception. Prague is gorgeous–its architecture is amazing, its views are wonderful. At Christmas time in the snow, it’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been! If you thought the people are rude, don’t go to southern Italy–that’s the only place I’ve found rude people! I don’t speak Czech–though I do know a few phrases in Polish, which is quite similar–but I never felt like this was a problem, and everyone was pleasant to me. And Prague IS cheap; I was paid in the Polish zloty (not a strong currency) so travelling to Berlin and Scotland while living in Poland nearly broke the bank, but Prague was great–and not just for beer, but for meals, for gifts, for accommodation, for everything. It’s quite easy (and cheap) to get to Vienna, Salzburg, Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Bratislava, Budapest and east Germany. You go to Prague to appreciate architecture and culture and history and local traditions/food/drink and in Prague’s case, the way the Czechs have stayed strong all these years under oppressive rulers–if that doesn’t interest you than maybe you need to rethink why you’re travelling.

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    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Alba, thank you very much for your opinion.
      I know why I travel, and I have been to South Italy and to more than 22 countries. I have what to compare, so I have my private opinion. Prague is not for me.

      Like

  9. Pam Says:

    Stunning, as always! Wonderful!

    Like

  10. Ship's Cook Says:

    Hi Victor we have been to Prague three times and have always enjoyed it, we used ATMs rather than currency exchange places so didn’t get ripped off. Best place for food we found was the Czech restaurant under the Municipal House which did great goose and pork and wasn’t that expensive. For beer and food the brew pub Piovorsky dum was very good and quite cheap.I think you must have been unlucky

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  11. Sreejith Nair Says:

    Another stunner, Victor 🙂 Superb images…

    Like

  12. BaconCape Says:

    Love the images, great blog 🙂

    Like

  13. wordsfromanneli Says:

    You’ve traveled a lot, Victor, and if you make every place sound wonderful just to be nice and try to please everyone, we can never be sure what you really think. I appreciate your objectivity in this post. I know it’s hard to be honest when you know people from Prague will be reading it, and some will be in denial about the less attractive side of it. I think every place has its ugly side and the fact that you saw more of it in Prague can be partly bad luck in your choice of restaurants or places you went, but it can also be the experience of many other travelers who are not willing to say so. I’m sure there are beautiful things to see in Prague, and you do mention those, but it’s refreshing to have an honest opinion about the place too. I think you’ve tried to be very tactful in the way you said it, so my hat’s off to you for your honesty and objectivity.

    Like

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Anneli, thank you very much.

      We don’t like to write this kind of posts, and usually, if we don’t like some place, we don’t write about it; however, not in case of Prague. This time, we were forced to write about our impressions for the sake of our readers

      Now we are waiting for comments from the Czechs. There is no one on this moment.

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  14. Sophie's World (@SophieR) Says:

    Haven’t been in Prague in about 10 years, but am now thinking it’s time for a new visit, simply because of your gorgeous photo postcards alone… never mind you not liking the city 🙂

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  15. gpcox Says:

    What an amazing place! Nothing like this in the U.S.

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  16. thebritishberliner Says:

    What a shame that you didn’t like Prague Victor/Irina but of course, not everyone will and like oysters, either you love them or hate them!

    I love your photos as they remind me of traditional Prague. I first went out there in 1994 and I lived there for two years when nobody in Britain had even heard of the Czech Republic in those days!

    Having said that I found the opera house, the castle environs, the Jewish Quarter, the jazz bars, and various theatre venues, splendid although you are right, certain dodgy people think it’s alright to cheat or charge the “tourist price.” You do have to keep your wits around you. Yes.
    P.S. I love oysters!

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  17. HER Says:

    This may easily be the worst review of Prague I have ever seen. No wonder you don’t enjoy travelling when you are too busy counting money every step of the way. You cannot expect Prague to be that cheap, it’s central Europe, not central Africa. Saying that homeless people just don’t want to work and Prague is dirty is pure ignorant. You can’t appreciate the food and drinks if you refuse to try local cuisine. You wouldn’t eat in Czech restaurant in Italy so why eating Italian in Prague. Ask the locals what to see and do in Prague, they would happily fill your 5 days with sights, museums and beautiful cafes. No mention of the Municipal House, Klementinum, the Castle and Cathedral, Vysehrad, Alphonse Mucha museum, Vltava cruises etc.? It’s just sad. And last but not least, it’s Czech Republic. Czechia doesn’t exist. I wish you happy travels in the future, but next time please make some effort and try to really get to know a place before you write about it.

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    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      HER. Thank you for your opinion. It is honest as my blog post.

      But I don’t need your guidance. We have been to any places mentioned by you, and you know what: You don’t need to eat the whole egg to know that it is addled.

      I did not need five, ten, or 30 days to understand that I liked Dresden, Riga, Rome, Venice, or Tallinn.

      Like

  18. Jdomb's Travels (@jdomb) Says:

    I think Prague is pretty, but I agree that there isn’t a lot to do there. It is the as many European cities though. There are museums, old churches, and a castle. It just gets old visiting city after city sometimes because I just like being active when traveling.

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  19. ranjana sahai Says:

    i do not know about prague in its entirety however a word about the photography
    it does capture the character of the place
    if it doesnt have one you could be sued by someone for luring them to go there

    Like

  20. millan Says:

    After reading this article, I win never visit Prague. Rather, I will spent my holidays at Vienna.
    You have not highlated about night life of Prague.

    Like

  21. Leon Lim Says:

    Hi there

    I was in Prague for 3 weeks this September, i.e. still peak tourist season, and loved every moment of it from the get go, except the rainy days! Even in the heavy tourist season, step just a little away from the main tourist route (roughly the “royal route” from the Powder Tower to the Castle) and presto few tourists. At some places, 15 steps is enough to get away from the crowds (e.g. from ever-busy Karlova to Lilliova) and explore the less frequented streets. Go to the tourist spots at 7am in the morning, peak season, and guarantee you few or no tourists and no need to do anything just bathe in the atmosphere.

    Probably the best money changer, eXchange, on Kaprova street, offered ~27Czk for 1Euro. I did get ripped off at one hotel but that was my stupidity and was a bit desperate for some Czk.

    Managed to stay in a combination of a private apartment and a boutique hotel (at strategic and quiet locations at Vodickova and near Charles Bridge), keeping daily accommodation costs at an average of EURO 80 per night. This is in peak tourist season. In a month from now, slash off 20-30% for the hotel prices.

    Found plenty of very good and affordable eateries and cafes with beautiful/interesting/medieval-like interiors. I admit I’m not discerning in my food choices and am partial to goulash (so many types), svickova and Czech dumplings (regular, gingerbread, carlsbad) so was more than satisfied. There are numerous other cafes, delis and patisseries selling really nice quiches, sandwiches, cakes and sundaes. Street food is ok, would only have those for a quick bite. Perhaps I was very lucky, but in 85% of my dealings with waiters and counter personnel at various shops and locations, I was treated well and many were polite and friendly. As an Asian travelling solo, I was expecting lousy service and poor treatment…fortunately, not so. Food prices were reasonable and in many instances 25-30% cheaper than somewhat similar items in my city (which in is a developing country).

    Architecture is wonderfully diverse from romanesque to baroque to art nouveau and modern. I could/can never get enough of the bridge and castle views, the Vltava, view of the bridges over the Vltava from Hanavsky Pavillon & Letna, views from Strahov and various towers and church towers. So many other sights: The interior of St Peter & Paul’s basilica/church at Vysehrad is one of the most beautiful in my opinion. Even the interior of a large post office at Jindriska ulice is wonderfully decorated! Then there are the many interesting house signs dotting the city… The city centre and surrounding areas are a visual feast.

    The city has numerous museums worth visiting. The one at Velertzni Palace (for modern art) contains a few paintings by Klimt, Picasso and Renoir and 1 or 2 each by Van Gogh and Cezanne (could be more I can’t remember) and countless fascinating art pieces by Czech and other European artists from 19th and 20th centuries. But the current highlight is Mucha’s giant sized and beautiful 20 Slav Epic paintings.

    I counted a total of 5 people begging in the touristy areas during my stay. None outside these areas and none in “New Town” and other sections of Prague visited (Smichov, Vinohrady, Holesovice etc). Compared to my city in Asia, Prague streets are generally clean…and definitely comparable to places like Venice and Paris. One downer is cobwebs on statues and bridges.

    At Manufaktura and a wooden-toys shop at Hradcany near the Loreta, you can find very good locally made souvenirs to take back.

    Been to numerous European cities but none have left such an impression on me as Prague has.
    Miss the city already and vow to return many times, in spite of the long 15-20 travel hours (one-way).

    Btw – fantastic photos, seeing them makes me want to return even more! 😦

    Happy travels.

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  22. Slovak Chik Says:

    Ahoy! I laughed at your review of Prague. Perhaps your pedestrian taste is not compatible with the cultured, sensuous Bohemians. You were in the heart of a rich, complex, ancient place. Seems this was overlooked on your way to gobble up the sites. Did you read the history of those sites? Did you make it to the Jewish Cemetery? Are you not impressed that the old astrological clock has been working since the early 1400’s? That is an astounding technological feat! And you say our ancestors “were kept in ignorance”? The old city center is a World Heritage site. There is cubist architecture in that city. Cubist! That is high minded stuff, my friend.

    Honestly, asking the hotel clerk where to find good Czech food is wise. I agree, ask a local. But also look around you! Walk the streets. Peek in the windows. Dining out is about atmosphere, as well. Find the charm. You visited an Italian restaurant? What did you expect? Would you choose Italian food in China and be disappointed at its lack of authenticity? Learn the meaning of “campy,” if you’re going to do that. And, if you’re so well traveled, how did you not know to change your money at an ATM, rather than a hotel?

    Please do not say that Prague does not change. You’d never even been there before! It makes you sound like an ignorant snob. It’s been in upheaval for 25 years. For the past 100, really.

    We can overlook your lack of education, but to say Prague is second-class and uninteresting is simply grand-standing. Travel should open your eyes, not put your nose in the air. I think you secretly enjoyed it more than you’re letting on because your photos betray your criticism. They are quite inviting.

    We are living in fascinating times and you are privileged to experience so many places and report on them. My advice is to loosen up and get yourself smudged from local indulgence. Then you will know a place and your critique will be more genuine and interesting. Děkuji.

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  23. Neal Boren Says:

    I absolutely hated Prague. Unfortunately I was there for four days. I too, stayed at Questenberk Hotel and loved it. The city is dirty, most of the locals are rude, and it is very expensive for what it is. The food was not good. It was an absolute relief when we left and got to Amsterdam, where there is a plethora of dining options at all price levels.

    The photos I took were beautiful, but the city is shallow beneath the surface. It is a model with grime under her fingernails. The one bright spot for me was the Jewish quarter, which was clean, beautiful, and an absolute delight to walk around. This is not enough to spend four days let alone one full day though.

    Travelers beware, this destination is worth only one or two days, and I would even caution against that.

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  24. Frank Says:

    I’m afraid this is one post I don’t agree with you in any way Victor.
    We had the fortune of staying there for 3 months last summer. We’ve been travelling full time now for a little over a year and along with Prague, have stayed in Thailand, Croatia, and now Budapest. First of all, as far as costs, Prague is the cheapest place. Sure you can pay an absurd amount for a hotel – you can do that anywhere. But Prague was the cheapest place we stayed in over the past year ($500/month in an apartment a 35 minute metro ride from the center). Again, you can pay an arm and a leg in a fancy hotel or one of the tourist restaurants along the river in the Lesser town. Why wouldn’t you say for example in an Airbnb apartment, lots of beautiful ones in the city center where you would have had better value for money.
    Begging – well, come to Budapest if you want to see begging. Makes Prague look rich. Actually, you’ll see more bums in Montreal than you’ll see in Prague.

    The way one sees a place depends on how we travel and how much time you spend. As slow travellers we try to live as locals. Another thing we find as slow travellers is that first impressions, those gained over a few days or a week, are often false, and that certain places that might be great for the tourist (you cited Dresden and Dubrovnik) may not be great places to spend more time in. We also loved Dresden but it’s for the tourist, not the traveller. Same goes for Dubrovnik but even more so – it’s a tourist trap with greatly inflated prices in an old town full of restaurants and souvenir shops. I think you mentioned ‘authenticity’ somewhere above. Well…

    I think maybe there’s one thing I will agree with you on: Czechs are not the friendliest people, especially not in the Old Town. But that’s also because they have to cope with the tourist garbage coming here to get drunk in their city…And you can get scammed (again, like anywhere else), especially by the thuggish Mafia-style drivers right in the Old Town. But again, there are reputable companies and drivers that I’m sure your hotel would have recommended.

    We spent 3 months in Prague and loved it. Again, we travel a different way and saw it from a different perspective.

    Always love your photos though :).

    Frank (bbqboy)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Thank you for the comment, Frank.

      When a couple of months ago I have read in your post that you and Lissette lived in Prague for 3 months, I thought: Wow! It would be a real feat for us.

      In every European capital (or a big city) we always stay for 3-5-7 days in the historic part of the city. We eat and and walk there as well. Usually it is enough for the first impression about the city. So the terms for comparison are approximately equal.

      I should say, Prague ranks last in our rating of big European cities (except Athens; Greece is going through hard times today).

      Like

  25. Some Jana Says:

    I am czech and was living in prague 10 years ago and now, and many things change, yes its dirty, shops” supermarkets ” are dirty , many dirty homeless or people on drugs and begging people, giving also to me very very bad feeling about this city, I am 40 and I think that people who live here and work in city office lost skills to see it, I say always that everyone should go to live abroad to see … Now Prague is full of people from russia and ukraine tourist comming to Prague they dont know, the languge soubds similar but I would say 70% of people working in shops and restaurants here have rusdian accent( we dont like it) no idea how they got working permit as they non eu, but its obvious in shops theh are more dirty then before, this people are more arrogant and loud . Prague change and I am sad about it, same as I have feeling that the new generation is so self focused they dont care( talking also about 40 y old owners of bussinesses) they better hire some russian speaking for less money to get better profit … it is all sad …… and Prague is not what was 10 years ago, also if you come to see architecture what in old city is amazing, you can not avoid small unpleasant experience like smelly corners or dirt in underground or tram and very negative people… one time one russian told me and what have you been in Moscow,? there people are more rude… no I dont care I dont want to compare with bad but with better.. so sad we left some people to change Prague to this .10 years ago it was looking Prague took good direction….who to blame? yes my generation, I speak a lot to people but 1 voice is not much …… on countryside things are not that fancy but people are better…….. hope ithis will not change

    Liked by 1 person

    • Victor Tribunsky Says:

      Hello, Jana.

      Thank you for your voice.

      You are right one million times. Big European cities are worse now than they were 20-30 years ago. I have been to Paris 30 years ago and recently, I have been to Berlin (Eastern) 25 years ago and recently, I have been to Madrid… etc. Today they are much more worse.

      Therefore I prefere small towns as far from capitals as possible. For me, there is one exclusion, Rome, Italy.

      Praga is very interesting city, but people.. You already said it.
      Eastern migrants never made no one European city better, unfortunately. You and I can’t change the situation. So let it be.

      By the way, during our staying in Prague (2014), we have not met no one Russian speaking store seller or waiter. Maybe, something changed for three years.

      Thank you again for your comment.

      Like


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