In PRAGUE, do you want to be ROBBED?

Aug 25th, 1997, 07:24 AM
Joćo Martins
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In PRAGUE, do you want to be ROBBED?

I have seen often a lot of comments in this Fodor's site about metro burglars, dishonest
taxi drivers but not a word about the real thieves in Prague : (some)
RESTAURANTS. I would like to tell you my experience with the restaurant "7
Angels" in Jilska 20. Our first night in Prague, what a first impression! We were
not yet seated and we were offered appetizers, aperitifs and a lot of other "hors
d'oeuvres" (certainly "hors" prix) - which we decided not to take. We had a main
course but we were literally pushed into spending money and ordering more other
items on the menu, which we didn't want. Firmly we said : NO! I asked for a wines
list and instead we were presented two different bottles of wine. The prices were
respectively 980kr and 180kr. I thought I had misunderstood... (we all understood
the same and all of us speak (decent) English). Surprised, I said "800kr difference?"
And the answer (with a big smile) come quick : "YES! Of course we choose the
180kr bottle, first because of price and second because the label was less "export
style". We were pushed also into consumption of expensive desserts and alcohols.
We decided to have only light one's (in price and calories). At the end we were
about to pay the bill and I saw the amount of 880kr for one item, written in czech,
on it. It was for the bottle of wine... I claimed that we didn't had a bottle of 880kr
but 180kr. The waiter took the bill away and after a discussion with the girl, who
served us the wine, he came back and said : "No Sir, this is 880kr because this is
the price" and I said :"But..." and before I finished my sentence he explained that
the girl didn't speak very good English. She meant 880 instead of 180, even with
my surprised "800 difference" and the smiling "YES"! We asked for the wines list
and the answer was that "the owners are too lazy to have a written one!". Pointing
to the a "mountain of bottles" in the wall : "Even with all these French Wine
bottles I can see, you do not have a wines list...?" I argued. He said, yes! What
should we do more? Start to discuss with the waiter? We did not want to begin our
holidays like that and we accepted. The waiter, smiling, replied : "Very well, and
over the sum we charge 10 per cent service..." We couldn't stand any more. We
paid and we left without saying a word. Afterwards I was more afraid to be robbed
in a restaurant than in the streets! And, after we told this story to a nice Czech
lady we met, she said : they are not angles, they are SEVEN BANDITS! Despite this
stupid "soiree" we found other nice, good and honest restaurants we could
recommend you, fortunately! Joćo.
Aug 25th, 1997, 11:22 AM
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Leaving in 10 days for our trip. Do you have a hotel to recommend in Prague? Although we are booked, we're open to something nice, safe and reasonable. What respectable restaurants did you visit in Prague? Are the sights what we think they will be? thanks.
Aug 25th, 1997, 11:14 PM
Joćo Martins
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Dear Kathy,
We enjoyed three other respectable restaurants I can recommend you. I will send names and adresses to your e-mail. The hotel, a private B&B, was a little disappointing but we paid almost nothing compared with more central and rated hotels. Joćo
Sep 1st, 1997, 09:52 AM
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We too will be visiting Prague at the end of September. I am tokd that for foreigners who are booking hotels they charge almost double what they charge a native. Have you found this to be true. Also, what hotel and rate have you found? We are still searching.
Sep 1st, 1997, 06:22 PM
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Read the Lonely Planet guide for Prague. They have a good description of the ways the Prague restaurants can cheat you.
Sep 3rd, 1997, 01:12 PM
Kristin Lucas
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Although I do not doubt the experience above is true,
I want to say that we probably ate at ten different
restaurants in Prague in early June and were not
cheated. Actually prices were so low (compared to
any city I was ever in) that it was almost more like
us cheating them! I had been told that you are always
charged for anything you eat -- like catsup or peanuts
that are put out on the table, so I was careful
about that. Prague is beautiful, cultured, and wonder-
ful to visit, but you do have to be extremely care-
ful on the street with your possessions. AT ALL
TIMES. I gather that it is not the only city in
Europe like this.
Sep 3rd, 1997, 04:03 PM
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I know there are true stories about abuses in Prague but I wonder if it is any worse than New York or Venice or any other big city. For those reading this and perhaps considering a trip to Prague...GO! We loved it, were there for 8 days and had no problems. We rode the subway at night, walked the streets at all hours, ate in many restaurants and never once were taken advantage of. As the previous post mentioned, the prices were so low by comparison to Germany and Austria where we had come from it felt as though we were cheating them. In venice we were charged $8 for a glass of beer and short changed once but I would still go back at the drop of a hat. I felt safer in Prague than I did there. Prague is beautiful and worth visiting...but, as in EVERY large city, awareness is important. I heard in Budapest the same problem occurs with condiments, table snacks and even water being charged for but we went outside of the beaten track to neighborhood restaurants and experienced no problem whatsoever...maybe that is why we had no problem in Prague...we watch where the locals ate.
Sep 26th, 1997, 09:12 AM
bill toliver
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To Marge: We have been to Europe many times and have been to a lot of the big cities. Yes you had a wonderful time but I suggest to you that there is a difference in the cities you visit. I have never heard or read of someone being cheated or robbed in Vienna or Salzburg- I can't tell you how many times I have heard and read the horror stories about people's visits to Prague or Budapest or Rome or Milan. There are cities in which you won't be cheated or robbed - not that it never happens- just that the odds of it happening to you are so small as to be insignificant.
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