Just Back From Prague

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Sep 10th, 2002, 02:16 AM
  #1
Linda
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Just Back From Prague

My husband and I just got back from a week in Prague and I wanted to give you guys an update on the post-flood situation.
We were very pleasantly surprised by how much things are back to normal and by how hard they have worked to get things up and running. The biggest point I want to make here is GO! The friends we travelled with have been there twice before and were amazed at how few tourists there are. Up at the castle, which is normally packed, there were maybe a dozen people in the square. We never waited to get a table for six at restaurants, and worried much less about pickpockets because there was so much room to move you never really got close to anyone.
I would say that at least 90% of businesses in the flooded areas are open and many are having sales of 5-30%. We had no problem finding a place to eat as most restaurants are also open. We had heard that prices in Prague were now on par with most big European cities, but we were very surprised by how reasonable (and downright cheap) some meal prices were. The average lunch/dinner meal for 6 adults in the Old Town tourist area cost us $35-$50.
The transportation system is still a bit mucked up because they can't seem to keep the water out of some of the downtown metro stations, but we just took the trams everywhere and had no problems. Our apartment was in the Vinoradhy area (if anyone needs a two bedroom apartment recommendation let me know) and we took trams frequently. They have put on special trams that mimic the Metro routes, so we never waited more than 10 minutes for a ride.
All of that said, I will say that the Jewish Quarter is basically empty because the synagogues and cemetary are closed for an indefinite period. I really wanted to tour the cemetary in particular and was very disappointed to find it closed until we went to the Museum of Decorative Arts and found they have a great view of it from their bathrooms! I may not have been up close, but I got some beautiful photos of the cemetary without tourists in it!
We went to Cheske Krumlov two days ago and those poor merchants are hurting! You can clearly see evidence on the buildings of the water-levels, and some of the shops nearest the river were up to their ceilings in water, but they've worked very hard to clean up and reopen. I'd guess about one-third of the businesses were still closed there, but we had a wonderful time and I wouldn't hesitate to recommmend going.
All in all, I would definitely say that this is a perfect time to travel there. We kept saying how sorry we felt for the businesses, but how lucky we were because there were just no crowds anywhere!
 
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Sep 10th, 2002, 05:48 AM
  #2
Monique
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Thanks for your posting! We were in Central Europe a few weeks ago and had to leave early because of the floods. So we missed the Czech Republic part of our trip, unless you count the buses and trains and the airport!

I am trying to convince my husband to take a quick trip over there during Thanksgiving week! I sent him your email. Maybe the lack of crowds and the economic needs of these people will help me change his mind! Vacation time and money are an issue; he doesn't want to fly over there to stay for 4 days, but I do!
 
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Sep 10th, 2002, 06:39 AM
  #3
sharon
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Thanks so much for the info. I'm leaving for Prague in a week and am thrilled to hear that I will be able to see most of what I wanted.
 
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Sep 10th, 2002, 08:45 AM
  #4
Boots
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Thank you, Linda, for your report. I am returning to Prague for six days over Thanksgiving and was happy to read your comments. I was debating about returning to Cesky Krumlov, but think I will after your comments. Boots
 
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Sep 10th, 2002, 10:19 AM
  #5
shirley
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Linda hi, my son and I are planning on going to Prague 9-12 or thereabouts,was really happy to see your info on what is happening there.where is a decent place to stay. would appreciate any help you can give. shirley
 
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Sep 10th, 2002, 01:51 PM
  #6
Mark K.
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Thanks for your report! I've got a question--do you know if the EC trains are running again, especially between Prague and Berlin? I'm planning to go to Prague on Sunday, September 15 if the trains are running.

Thanks!
 
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Sep 11th, 2002, 01:51 AM
  #7
Linda
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Shirley,

We stayed at a large two bedroom apartment a little bit out of the Old Town area, and slept two couples and our son in it, so you might want something a little smaller. Try the website www.travel.cz I just checked it and they have lots of discounted accommodation. Their office was very helpful (even offering to stay open past closing when we got lost and had to pick up the key) and when there were a couple of small repair/housekeeping issues with the apartment they were right on it. They were also very responsive to emails and phone calls. Make sure to ask them for the latest tram route information when you get there because some of it is changing daily. The X-A and X-B trams are mimmicing the subways and are really frequent. Tram tickets are 12 krown per trip (30 Krown to the dollar) or you can buy short term passes at most Tabac (tobacco shops/newstands). Our 7 day passes were only about 8 dollars.

Absolutely don't miss going up to the the big castle complex on the other side of the river. You can take the tram there and then buy an entrance ticket. You don't need the ticket to get into the courtyards, but the cathedral and castle buildings are incredible and well worth the price. I think the ticket was 220 kr. If your son has a student identity card have him take that with him.

We ate at everywhere from cafe's in the main squares to little family-run Czech restaurants in the neighbourhoods and didn't have a bad or expensive meal anywhere. Remember though that unlike Germany (where we live) the tip is not usually already in the bill, so just round it up 5-10% and then tell the waiter the total you want to pay when you hand him the money.

Any other questions? Have a fantastic time!
 
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Sep 13th, 2002, 10:26 AM
  #8
shelley
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I am going to C.Krumlov in October. Where do you recommend staying?
 
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Sep 13th, 2002, 11:01 AM
  #9
Art
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For those of you going, I highly recommend a visit to the Museum of Science and Technology. There si a tour through an old mine, a movie camera exhibit and a collect of old cars. You can get an idea of how forward the country was in the 30's.
 
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Sep 14th, 2002, 07:23 AM
  #10
Annie
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Shelley, we are also going to Cesky Krumlov and will be staying at the Hotel Dvorak. It was highly recommended to us; hope we aren't disapointed.
 
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Sep 29th, 2002, 07:25 AM
  #11
Shelley
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Annie, thank you for the recommendation of the Hotel Dvorak. We are staying there in mid-Ocotber. Do you, or any other Fodor readers, have any suggestions re the hotel, places to eat, shops not miss, etc.
 
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Oct 7th, 2002, 03:06 PM
  #12
Chris
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We stayed at Pension Barbakan in Cesky Krumlov in mid Sept - would highly recommend it. It was delightful. We had a huge room up in the attic. Had a large bathroom with corner bath. Spotless and lovely furniture and fittings. Great breakfast. Really helpful staff. You'll find a website for it with pictures. It's even nicer than the pictures. Cesky Krumlov is beautiful - you'll love it! The floods have had a huge impact on the town but no problems for you as a tourist. It's just much quieter.
 
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