Prague nightmare.


Sep 30th, 2008, 03:59 AM
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Prague nightmare.

In prague for the weekend with friends.Sightseeing is great but thats where the good points stop.We went to book into the Melantric Appartments in Prague 1 but were told to come back in two hours.When we returned we were directed to a place like a holding area where there were about fifty other tourists.We were told that we were being moved to a different hotel seven kilometers away because of a burst water pipe in the hotel we booked,but staff refused to provide evidence of that.We had been travelling from one thirty am on friday and this was now after six in the evening so we resigned to go to this hotel to shower and get our heads down.The hotel we were moved to was very basic and the manager was very discourtious.It was costing about ten euro per way to get in and out of town in a taxi.The taxies attempted every time to rip us off,on one occasion my brother got a taxi on his own and the driver asked him for twenty five euro.When he refused he was verbally abused and threatened.Bars and restuarants are expencive.Being Irish we visited o Reilys Irish bar in prague 1.I would be loath to think that tourists around the world would think that this place is anything like a typical irish bar.Its expencive and despite what the official web site says the staff are very rude and unhelpful.Wenceslas square was a nightmare at night.Walking down the stree we were being harassed consantly to go into strip clubs and brothels.As i said the sightseeing is great,one bar where there were friendly staff and we enjoyed was the beer Factory in prague 1.Overall i think that they have officially taken the title of ripoff republic from Ireland.And sleaze city from Amsterdam.
dermody is offline  
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Sep 30th, 2008, 04:47 AM
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The Czech Republic can definitely be a learning experience for someone who hasn't been exposed to an economically challenged country before. You really have to be aware and alert.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
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Sep 30th, 2008, 05:02 AM
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Sorry that you had a disappointing trip.

It's possible that the mess-up with the accommodation was a genuine problem, but very badly handled. Prague gets so many visitors that I suspect there is no feeling in the tourist industry that one should make an effort to keep the punter happy.

The rest, sadly, is fairly standard for Prague. Nowhere else have I experienced so many efforts to rip me off as in Prague -- usually for relatively small amounts each time, but if I had not watched for things and challenged them, it would have added up to a fair amount in total. You need to do your homework before you go, and you need to stay alert.

You should know that "Irish pubs" overseas are very rarely like the real thing!
Padraig is offline  
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Sep 30th, 2008, 05:19 AM
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i think that they have officially taken the title of ripoff republic from Ireland

I wonder why you'd refer to Ireland as a "ripoff republic." I've never felt like I was taken advantage of in Ireland -- apart from an old farmer who asked for some change if I wanted to see the beehive huts

Sorry you had such a negative experience.
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Sep 30th, 2008, 05:29 AM
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Many Irish people refer to what is seen as the "ripoff republic". The phrase was, I think, popularised by a newspaper posturing as the champion of the consumer.

It does not refer to scams like restaurant workers padding bills or taxi drivers inventing rates; such things do not happen much here. It refers to institutionalised high prices, not all of which seem to be justified by economic or business needs.
Padraig is offline  
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Sep 30th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Why would you want to visit an Irish bar in Prague? The last time we were in the city we went to one because DH wanted to see a soccer match and it was very expensive with rude staff - we can get that any time at home in Dublin!

It's very easy in Prague to go slightly off the beaten track (just away from the Old Town Square/Charles Bridge axis. The Wenceslas Square area is very seedy at night and should be avoided, but the rest of Prague - especially the Mala Strana area - is lovely with plenty of good value places to eat and drink.
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Sep 30th, 2008, 06:38 AM
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We did get ripped off by a taxi but had no other bad experiences in March; we did have a private tour guide for two days and I imagine that helped. I am sad to hear your Wencelas Square experience but we only were there during the day with our guide; I have read much to be concerned about there. By contrast, I walked the Old Town Square at night in March and was never accosted....even strolled around by myself sipping a hot mulled wine after attending a concert. It was one of my best Prague moments.
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Sep 30th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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our 13 yr old son was practically accosted by "girls" right in front of us. we had to push one off at one point. it was VERY disturbing. (my husband was along, too.. but they were UNBELIEVABLE!)this was 12 years ago!

also had taxi problems but before we got into cab so never took it.

luckily we walked everywhere and took the trams/metro.

what a beautiful city though. i would try to avoid on weekends at all costs given the number of hen and stag parties i have read about.
lincasanova is online now  
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Sep 30th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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As I have read on other boards, stag/hen party situation is rather getting better because those people found other cheape destinations where low costs fly, such as Tallin.

I'm not a big fan of Wenceslas Square although I have had no bad experience su said by Lincasanova above. What I read and hear about the place is seedy, adult business, etc. I have not found the square that bad but it's not the place you want to be all the time when you are in Prague unless you ARE one of the stags/hens.

I agree about Mala Strana (and the Old Town). I have not had much problem finding calmness in Prague. Even Charles Bridge is a special place when you get there early in the morning before the crowd arrives.
kappa is offline  
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Sep 30th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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Have the problems in Prague worsened over the past few years? We were there in 2004 and had no such problems (and loved the city), but then read about them here fairly regularly.
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Sep 30th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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Was there last month, and had absolutely no problems whatsoever. Never took a cab, always had Mikes service take us wherever we needed to go.
Did not see any rowdy types, even though I had heard so much about them.

Some things just get exxagerated a bit, in my opinion.
Intex is offline  
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Sep 30th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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Did you research your Melantrich (correct spelling) prior to reserving there? Did you check travelers' opinions of it? I looked at TripAdvisor and its reviews are mixed.

Did you research Wenceslas Square? We have been there, and I've posted my opinion of it here, several times. Definitely not a place I'd choose to be at night.

I'm sorry you had a bad time in Prague. We loved it there, BUT we'd done our research in choosing our pension.

We also loved Amsterdam. It's inappropriate for you to call it Sleaze City, IMHO, because your poorly-planned weekend fell apart.
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Sep 30th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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I am not a big fan of Prague. It was nice to see for a couple of days, but there were too many other hassles, and I was happy to drive on to Slovakia and into Germany to return to civilization.
kerouac is online now  
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Oct 1st, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Sorry to hear that you had a bad time.

We spent some days (our first) in Prague in March this year and had an excellent time.

Booked the hotel and airport shuttle (had read about taxis) in advance and had no trouble or problems at all. Friendly people everywhere and a very nice experience. No hassle, no tricks, no nothing.

Trip report (almost 100% positive) at

EricBentzen is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2008, 02:02 PM
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Have said it before on this forum and will say it again. Be very careful of both taxis and restaurants in Prague.

Taxi drivers in Prague are shameless rip-off artists -- don't take cabs for any reason.

In restaurants, always ask to see a menu with prices printed on it if not provided with one, check the bill carefully when it arrives, and don't eat any snacks (nuts, crackers, etc.) you may find on the table (they are NOT free and you'll be charged exorbitantly for them). Sticking with restaurants suggested by reliable guidebooks is probably your best option to avoid a problem.

That being said, I found Prague a great city with stunning architecture, fine museums, and (except for the taxi drivers and the occasional unscrupulous restaurateur) very nice people. Well worth visiting if you take a few precautions.
bachslunch is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2008, 02:15 PM
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bachslunch wrote: "... except for the taxi drivers and the occasional unscrupulous restaurateur ..."

There are a couple of taxi operators that make a point of trading honestly -- AAA Cabs is one such firm. From what I hear, they can be trusted. I haven't used taxis enough in Prague to make a judgement based on my own experience.

In relation to dining, I think it is often the servers rather than the owners who perpetrate the scams, padding the bills pretty well as a matter of routine. In one place I visited there was a prominent note printed on every page of the menu telling customers that service was included and that people should pay only the amount shown on a machine-printed bill; yet when the bill arrived there were manuscript extras and a 10% SC added. In another place, I checked my bill and challenged some extras that had been added in; the waiter was so confused that he returned too much to me, and was amazed when I drew that to his attention and fixed things.
Padraig is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2008, 02:47 PM
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I'm always sorry to hear stories of a traveler's misfortune.

I see this is your first post, will you be joining us to share other travel stories?
P_M is offline  
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Oct 1st, 2008, 07:46 PM
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Sorry about the apartment mishap, "dermody". How long were you there for? I would have moved out of that other place after 1 night. Did you have to take a taxi, or could you have used the metro or bus/tram lines? I prefer public transit there, unless I call an AAA taxi. Wenceslas Square has never bothered me. I think it is actually more common to be bothered or approached if you are a man, because people are trying to get you to go into a strip club. Im a woman, and I have never had a problem, even late at night, while walking through there. Too bad you had a bad experience.
amp322 is offline  
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Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:08 AM
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I used to go to Prague when it was communist. It had a feeling about it like I expect nazi Germany had but it was EMPTY of tourists. Although there was little food the beer was great and if you had non communist currency you were treated like kings! For example if you waved a packet of Marlboros at the surly receptionist at the opera she would suddenly break out in a smile and the non existent opera tickets were available! The whole system was like that - I got through 200 cigarettes over a week in bribes! The people were quiet (no wonder with the threat of arrest at any moment) but it was marvellous walking over Charles bridge with about 3 other people. Now under capitalism it sounds a different type of nightmare. I think in a way (being greedy) I prefer the former Prague!
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Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:38 AM
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Heh. If it's any consolation, the Czechs bitch about the rip off artists too.

Many of the tourist shops are not owned by Czechs but by merchants who set up shop to make a quick buck. With owners who have no plans to stay in business past the end of the tourist season, you're not going to get a lot of good service.

Stay away from the really touristy places at night. Heck, stay away from them altogether. There are a lot of places more attractive than the 'must see' stuff in guidebooks.
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