Are you planning to visit Prague soon? I bet you have heard a lot about this charming city, its history, sights and cheap beer. Maybe it is even on your bucket list! Right? Then you should also know that Prague is not only beautiful, it is also full of touristy traps – basically just like anywhere else where travelers love to go. Let me take you through 4 practical tip showing you how to make your Prague stay more authentic and fun. Learn with me how to skip the touristy circus here.
#1 Predators of Prague – taxi drivers
Prague taxi drivers are world-wide known!!!! To be honest with you – in very negative way. It is a big shame for Prague and I bet in every guide book there is a mention (or rather warning?) in CAPITAL LETTERS about them.
Solution: I highly recommend walking or using public transport. Prague is perfect for walking and the downtown area is really compact so you can easily walk everywhere and you will always discover something new. Prague public transit is another option. It is very reliable, clean, cheap and comfortable. Sometimes it is even faster than driving a car (taking taxi).
In case you really need a taxi, there is one basic rule which may save you a lot of money: NEVER TAKE A TAXI IN THE STREET. Keep in mind, these taxi drivers are usually the biggest scammers. The more when they find out you are a foreigner (or tipsy/drunk). Taxi from the street is also more expensive than if you call it via dispatching. Taxi apps like Uber or Liftago are very popular here and it is a great (and cheaper) alternative to the traditional taxi. Don´t be afraid to use them while in Prague.
#2 Souvenirs from Prague. Which one is better: matryoska doll or army fur hat?
This is probably the biggest trap on visitors because everybody wants to bring back home something typical Czech. But what is it? While walking around downtown you can get an impression that the most typical and coolest souvenir from Prague/Czech Republic is Russian matryoshka, Absinth or Soviet army fur hat. Which is ridiculous and has nothing in common with our history or traditions. And you know what? Many of these souvenir shops downtown are owned by Russians or various eastern nationalities, rarely by Czechs. So think twice before you get in.
Solution: There are several places where you can find nice, original and tasteful souvenirs of different sizes and prices. Maybe you would love to walk away in new pair of original Czech sneakers, or maybe you want to start to write your travel diary in Czech handmade notebook? You can also pop-in to an authentic Czech souvenir/design shops Kuráž or Pragtique. Which are popular even among locals! And that is definitely a prove of quality.
#3 Trdelník, the boss of Czech pastries. Seriously?
This is a bit controversial topic as everybody coming to Prague is loving Trdelník. Cult of this simple-small-sweet-overpriced pastry is obviously spreading quickly among travelers. Many people even think this is a “must eat when in Prague”. The sign with Trdelník is hanging at almost every corner and once you see someone eating it, you can be sure it is a foreigner. Locals eat it very very rarely. Most countries from the eastern region call it their traditional pastry (magical words that sells). However, the place of origin is very unsure….as far as we know, most likely it comes from Slovakia. And what is Trdelník? Small piece of sweet dough wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with sugar. And if you want to ask what Trdelník word means, I say it means nothing!
Solution: definitely try it, it is very tasty. However, we really think there is too much buzz about this small piece of dough. In a regular local bakery, you can get two better cakes for the same price. If somebody is recommending you Trdelník, you can be sure, this person is pushing you into the most commercial and touristy thing.
Dana | guide for Prague Behind The Scenes Tours