The Czech Republic or “Czechia” is home to beautiful scenery and over two thousand castles, mansions and chateaus. In fact it is the Castle Capital of the World! However, as easy as it is to be taken in by Czechia’s romantic charm, there are also 10 things you definitely should NOT do there!
1. Beware of Pick-pockets on the 22 Tram
Tram 22 follows one of Prague’s most scenic routes, passing the National Theater, Staroměstská and continuing up to the Belvedere, Prague Castle. However, this makes it a perfect place for Pickpockets to operate, and do so in gangs, distracting unsuspecting tourists, while others swipe personal belongings.
2. Don’t Wait for the Cuckoo!
In Prague, the still functioning cuckoo on the famous Town Hall Clock in Old Town Square, is an impressive feat of engineering. But waiting around with the masses of other tourists, staring at a clock is a waste of… well time. So here it is. Now you can see some real sites!
3. Don’t Buy Chimney Cake
Trdelník or Trdlo is a simple pastry that is sold on every corner of most cities for an expensive price. Also you’ll see it advertised in English as a Traditional Czech Pastry. Actually it’s Romanian and only really bought by tourists. In fact it’s name “trdlo” even means “nitwit”.
4. Don’t Get a Street Taxi
The Mayor of Prague found this out for himself, when he famously went undercover as an English-speaking tourist and was hugely overcharged. If you want to avoid being ripped off, be sure to have your hotel’s front desk call one or use an app like Bolt, Liftago or even Uber.
5. Don’t Buy Fake Souvenirs
Russian Matrioshka dolls aren’t Czech. The same with the furry Russian hats, in fact much like Chimney Cake, this selling of goods popularised by un-knowing tourists is almost insulting to the Czech people. Look for genuine handmade Czech wooden toys, garnets or locally sourced organic beauty products.
6. Don’t Expect Good Service
The service in many bars and eateries isn’t the super friendly kind of service you’d expect to see back home. You might get an occasional cheery waiter, but don’t expect it. However, do expect to leave them a 10% tip no matter how grumpy they are. And don’t leave it on the table, give it directly to the server.
7. Beware Exchange Offices
You may well see offers of 0% commissions and amazing exchange rates when you walk in to an Exchange Office. But beware, there’s almost ALWAYS small print; 0% commission for exchanging over $1000 dollars, or for VIP members only…
Also, it goes without saying, never exchange money on the streets. That’s just asking for trouble.
8. Don’t Drink in Tourist Traps
The price of a beer can be a good indicator of just how touristy a bar is.
The usual price for a large beer is around 55 koruna. Of course craft beers are slightly more expensive and in fancier restaurants and cafes, beer can also be more expensive.
9. Try Czech Food!
The likelihood is, you won’t find food like Czechian cuisine, anywhere else in the world. So while you’re here, why eat anything else? Try sauerkraut, beef and pork, duck and dumplings and don’t forget to try Czech craft beer.
10. Beware Cheap Czech Wine
There’s a reason Spain and Italy produce such good wine. The grapes receive a whole lot of sun. So it’s no wonder that Czechia has two types of red wine. Cheap red wine that the locals often mix with coca-cola, and expensive wine, that isn’t all that good either.
Where do you want to know what not to do in next?
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