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How do you avoid getting ripped off in Prague?

How do you avoid getting ripped off in Prague?

Old Jan 17th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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How do you avoid getting ripped off in Prague?

I have read some discouraging information about Prague's taxi drivers, police,train conductors and service people in general dealing with tourists.
It all sounds like " Maffia East". Pick up any of the available travel books on the market and look up "Prague".
Yeah, I could pick another city in another country. There are certainly enough to choose from.
I would just like to hear from some of you who went there.
Thanks
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Old Jan 17th, 2004, 07:37 PM
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I was in Prague in April and again in November of 2002. I had no problems whatsoever. We did, however, use the taxi the hotel sent to the airport for us and used it again back to the airport. I think I am reasonably careful with my money. I never once felt threatened. I hope you have the same experience.
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Old Jan 17th, 2004, 08:28 PM
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Public transportation in Prague is so good you won't have to use a taxi.
I felt perfectly safe in Prague. Just know the exchange rate, count your change, do your research and learn a few words of Czech. The warnings you here about Prague are not that different then the warnings we here about any big city. I am more paranoid about going to New York.

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Old Jan 17th, 2004, 08:34 PM
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i've been to prague four times...i read
the same sort of things that you
have been reading and i was pretty
worried....the good news is that
i've never had any trouble...i agree
that i'm more worried in us cities
...the taxi drivers are pretty crooked
but they are easy to avoid....go ahead
and have some fun you
lucky dog
-otis
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 12:17 AM
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SOME of the taxis in Prague can be notoriously crooked but the price of any and all taxi rides should be "negotiated" in advance..that is, if you ever have to use one. The tram and Metro lines are extensive enough in the part of Prague most folks visit that you shouldn't have to worry...I know during my several visits there that I have never had to.
 
Old Jan 18th, 2004, 04:40 AM
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We've been to Prague 4 times and took taxis all the time. Had heard the same stories and so we were prepared for problems - but only once had an issue. If you pick up taxis in front of your hotel or called by a restaurant you won;t have any problems. (The one cab driver that tried to cheat us lurked in Old Town Square. We simply ignored his outrageous demand, paid what the fare should have been and got out of the cab. He yelled a little - but when we told him to call the police he left. After all you can't really be cheated by a cab driver if you know what the fare is supposed to be.)

We found everyone else we encountered in the city to be perfectly friendy and usually very helpful - even waiters in the very pop Old Town Square cafes.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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I agree with the above.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 10:05 AM
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My mobile phone was robbed from my pocket as I travelled on the city train network.I booked a room at a hotel when we arrived at Prague Airport and got a taxi to the hotel.The hotelier asked for more but we paid no more.Next morning when we came down for breakfast he told us we were too late-it was about 10.15 on a Saturday..We went to a different hotel.An acquaintance of my sister,a young man, was murdered while out for the night in Prague.
 
Old Jan 18th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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We negotiated a price from a night club to the top of the mount near the soccer stadium. He didn't like the price we got him down to and drove like a bat out of hell to get us there. We could have all died for that cheap fare!
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 12:00 PM
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I've been there twice for about 10 days each and never had a problem. I only used a taxi once but never had a problem and treated the driver business-like but politely, not like a criminal. I did use the hotel's car-for-hire for going to airport or train stations, which was convenient (many 4* hotels have private care services).

I was approached by a city ticket inspector on a tram to check if I had a ticket. This wasn't getting ripped off, as I was not traveling illegally without one, so I showed it to her and that was that. I'm sure I was targeted because they suspected I wasn't a native (it was the famous "tourist tram" line 22 up to the castle), but it didn't bother me because I don't try to cheat other country's. I don't know what you mean about train conductors, they don't mingle with the passengers.

As for service people, I don't know what you are referring to there. I only bought standard things in stores and prices are marked, so there wouldn't be a way to cheat me exactly. Same for restaurants, priced are marked on the menus. If you can count, you can't be shortchanged, although nobody anywhere tried to do that to me.

I don't know how the police would cheat you. I think I might have read about some scams of petty criminals trying to cheat people for fines or tickets or something and are pretending to be someone official, but they weren't. I know someone on here has "warned" people about getting ripped off if you trade in the black market, but that's illegal to begin with so I figure if you engage in illegal activities yourself, you can't complain (black market currency trading or trying to ride public transportation without proper tickets).

Actually, the only warning I remember reading much in travel books is for the taxis.
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Old Jan 18th, 2004, 02:13 PM
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The only thing we had been warned about and had a problem with was the bill in some restaurants. We just made certain that we had written down the prices of things we had ordered so that when the bill came we could challenge any surprises. This did happen to us once or twice in areas that are more grequented by tourists. By the way, these were not particularly fancy or expensive places.

On the other hand, my son studeied there and lived there for a month and he never had any problems.
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