Personal Safety in Prague

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Mar 14th, 2007, 06:40 PM
  #41
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 16
We were pickpocketed in prague. Read my post
rbobauer is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2007, 08:24 PM
  #42
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I'm more worried than ever now! My husband and 16 year old son are leaving Friday for Prague. I have been on a couple of other forums and read about pickpockets, more in tourist areas, etc. However, not so much as I've read here. So unfortunate for those who have been.

My question, as I have been doing a daily itinerary for them, was to make withdrawals every couple of days using Debit card. However, I'm concerned this will be way to much to be carrying around now. Have already gotten the money belts, but should you only carry around max. $50.00 USD daily? Any recommendations here? As he would be making numerous trips to the ATM to pay for lunch, dinner, and sight-seeing.

Also, Im concerned with passports, Ive read to carry it with you at all times, and leave a copy in the hotel safe, should this be vice versa?

Originally had planned for them to carry passports, crowns for the day to cover meals, tram passes (they are staying in Vysehrad and not heart of Prague, so their main transport to the city), and debit card. Do the shuttle buses at the airport accept Visa, or most restaurants, cafe's, etc.? Same for paying for tickets to Prague Castle, or is it only cash? I even had someone suggest the Tram 22 to the castle to avoid the steep climb to the castle, and now I read it's the worst to get pickpocketed on!

Sorry for being so frantic, but until I stumbled upon this site today, it has me more concerned. Sure if lost only $10.00 would be upset but know that not out two days worth of a meal here, a shop there, buy a ticket here type deal, which would be considerably more money.
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Mar 26th, 2007, 01:06 AM
  #43
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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If they are using a moneybelt CORRECTLY there shouldn't be much, if any, problem with pickpockets.
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Mar 26th, 2007, 01:31 PM
  #44
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,432
"KY Home" - stop freaking out...!
Just because you read about people being mugged, it doesn't mean that it will automatically happen! Last summer. I had $2,000 in my wallet when I got off the plane, and it stayed right where I put it, until I gave it to the landlord. Gosh!!

ATMs are fine, but if they go to one every day, the fees will be enormous, and equivalent to your bank mugging you.

Split up the cash, so some is in one pocket, some in a money belt, etc... Credit cards are accepted readily, and I think the airport vans will take them, also. Why not go as far as pre-arranging an airport transfer, if you are that worried.

Prague is not a violent city. Of course, the touristy areas are targets, but I've stood waiting for a tram alone after midnight next to a bunch of gypsies in Zizkov, and was fine even then. Don't worry!!!
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Mar 26th, 2007, 02:09 PM
  #45
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 25
I agree with amp322. I am sorry if my blunt -- but honest -- remarks gave anyone any undue fear. I have been to Prague numerous times, and lived there for a time. Again, I am convinced that the "bad guys" are looking for an easy score. Someone with money hanging out of their bag. Someone who is distracted easily. Someone who is not being vigilant. Someone who is visibly intoxicated.

Wear a money belt (or something along those same lines), and you will be fine.

Really! Just be street smart and aware of your surroundings. That does not mean be paranoid.

Now go enjoy yourself! You're going to have a ball!!! Make sure you buy some Czech easter eggs; they should be available this time of year. Cheers!
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Mar 26th, 2007, 02:21 PM
  #46
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Don't worry too much about it, I travel there and am not concerned, but I've traveled a lot and am fairly street smart (at least I think so). I just don't put up with a lot of the nonsense many other tourists do, so that reduces my exposure (ie, I won't deal with strangers on the street or other places). I know I also am not targeted as much because I don't stick out -- and I'm not going into the whole wardrobe thing -- but just because I am alone and not carrying around guidebooks, cameras and talking loudly to others in English, etc., I know I am more "invisible."

okay, I really would not be using ATMs constantly as you planned and only withdrawing a little at a time. I think that is a very bad idea. Using an ATM in itself makes you a target, as many of them are on the street and quite visible to others. It will cost a lot, also, in withdrawal fees, probably. But what's the point of that -- someone isn't going to know how much you have on you, anyway, so if you are afraid of getting robbed, and the physical risks, it will be the same. Sure, there is slightly different money at risk, but still.

People need to be more careful, and more than in some cities, I think. LIke the metro late at night, a bad idea, there is more crime there than in some other cities.

There isn't any reason you have to carry your passport around with you in Prague, certainly it's not some police state. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. You have to trust your hotel on that one, also, if you are going to leave it in the hotel safe.

I don't know what you are referring to as a "shuttle bus" from the airport, so I can't help on that. I didn't take a bus from the airport, I took a private car or group shuttle van. Those are pretty cheap in Prague, why hassle with a bus all the way to Vysehrad. No, you will not be able to use credit cards in a lot of smaller places or restaurants in Prague. A lot of the cheaper/smaller restaurants there won't take them.
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May 17th, 2007, 05:31 AM
  #47
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 25
An update on safety issues in Prague. I just returned at the end of April from a week long excursion in the Czech Republic. I had no problems because I followed the advice I had posted earlier. I bought the Pacsafe neck wallet with wire in the cord, and wore it bandolier style under my clothes, and tucked the wallet under the front pocket of my pants. It was small, unobtrusive, and unnoticed. My passport, ATM card, credit card, and stash of extra money lived in there.

I will tell you that Wenceslaus Square has turned into an ugly and dangerous place from about late afternoon through the night. Pimps (oddly, Nigerians) and drug dealers are at every corner, and prostitutes draped about everywhere. If you are a single man, or traveling only with other men, you will be approached by these individuals for their "services". If I had been alone without my husband, I would have not walked in this area at all.

Just remain vigilant, especially on metros and crowded trams, and avoid Wenceslaus Square at night.

I highly recommend the Pacsafe products by the way; both the neck wallet and a large purse I bought have held up extremely well.
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May 19th, 2007, 07:49 AM
  #48
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I still would have to disagree with those saying that Wenceslas Square is dangerous. Yes there are tons of adult clubs, and it leads to seedy places located on side streets off of the square, but I would not say that your chances of being mugged, raped, etc are any greater there than in other places in the city. I've walked those streets every year for the past 10 years, and have never once had a problem. I walk with an aura of confidence to my destination, and not one Nigerian wearing a T shirt advertising a strip club has ever said a word to me. They just know that I don't look like someone interested in what they have to offer.

Now, if you actually want to go ahead & buy drugs, gamble, enter a strip club, talk to a prostitute, etc, etc, that might very well increase your odds of getting ripped off, mugged, taken advantage of, etc. You will encounter the kinds of people that are more likely involved with crimes in the city, and then you are more at risk.

Merely walking down the square, or Jungmannova, or Na Prikope, etc, etc, will not make you more of a target than walking along a deserted alley in Mala Strana or Old Town, which I, personally, am more afraid of, because the streets there are dark, windy alleyways.
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