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Prague questions

Old Apr 24th, 2003, 01:34 AM
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Prague questions

My parents and my aunt and uncle are off to Prague in a couple of weeks, and I'm trying to help them out with as much information as I can. My intention to have them well informed and looking forward to the trip was slightly thwarted by a travel agent who did nothing but tell horror stories to my mother about the city.

So maybe you guys can help me out:

1. Does anyone know current situation on the metro after the floods? I've heard varying report from "it's all perfect again" to "large parts of the metro system still aren't working". Anyone been there recently and can help us out?

2. Anything that they REALLY need to see (that might not be mentioned in the guidebooks)? My Dad is into music, they are all into gardens.

3. Its about 5 years since I was in Prague, and I was doing thing "student style" so found it very cheap. I know prices have gone up, but (say in relation to other European countries) is it very expensive now?

4. I take it that Wenscelas (?sp) Square is still an ... ahem ... undesireable place for lone women to wander around in the evening.

violagirl is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2003, 01:56 AM
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I live in Switzerland and go to Prague quite often on business.

As of two weeks ago, all the metro stops were cleared up from the floods and were operational.

Prague is a great place for a music lover, as there are concerts of every type at different venues, including various churches. A useful website is Click on the American or UK flag for English, then go to Culture, then choose either Theatre & Musicals, or Concerts, Operas, Ballets. A list of venues will come up. If you click on the venues, a schedule for the month will come up. It looks like there are lots of offerings for April and May. You can even buy tickets on line, although I have never done this. Your parents hotel could probably do this now if you send them a fax or e-mail.

IMO, Prague is the best value for money in Europe in terms of eating out and shopping. I think a clue can be taken from the ATM limit, it is like $30 per transaction. Your $30 would go a long way...

I can't say for sure about Wenceslas Square, I think it has been cleaned up a bit. However, IMO it is not the prettiest square in Prague, parts of the old town are so much nicer.

There is a great handicrafts store I went to last time I was there. They sell handicrafts from all over the Czech Republic. Great for gifts or yourself. Good prices as well. It is in the old town, details are:

CNP sro Melantrichova 17
110 00 Prague 1
tel: 420-221-632-480

Cicerone is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:18 AM
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Worth your while to take a look at - - one of those "labor of love" type websites, all about Prague.

Best wishes,

[email protected]
rex is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:56 AM
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I was in Prague this past November and they were still working on restoring the Metro services so I am delighted to hear that all the stops are functional again. The many trams are also an efficient and easy way to get around, particularly if you have a "Prague Card" which covers the cost of unlimited use on trams and the Metro.

Prague is absolutely one of THE cities to visit if you appreciate baroque adornment on and within many of the buildings..LOTS of gold leaf, etc., and in many parts of the city it still looks very medieval. The don't call it "The Golden City" for nothing and fortunately, unlike Dresden, it was almost totally spared the WWII bombing devastation. Lots of musical offerings as has been mentioned; the marionette theatres abound; the Castle and Charles Bridge and the old town square area are all wonderful to see. Sure, there are a lot of visitors depending on when you go but there's a reason people flock to these places. depite the presence of others, it is just nice to WALK AROUND in this environment.

I have not personally encountered the "ATM limit" mentioned above. When I was there I easily withdrew MUCH more than $30 worth of crowns but I agree that prices for food and such are very reasonable..even when the wildly popular glassware and crystal is sold in "tourist" areas the prices remain MUCH cheaper than you can get it over here in the US.

I am not sure there is anywhere that a "lone woman" can "wander" around without being hit on by somebody, either desperate or otherwise, in Prague or anywhere else. In your case it seems rather unlikely that parents and an aunt and uncle qualify so I wouldn't sweat it.

I am certain someone will tell you about the places not in the guidebooks that are "must-see": in their opinion..depends on one's tastes. I, for one, enjoyed seeing the Loretto and the attached museum which is "mentioned" but not played up in the guidebooks. Regardless, just seeing the biggies in Prague is rewarding and I am certain it will be a trip they will never forget.
Old Apr 24th, 2003, 04:34 AM
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I was in Prague in October '02. As for gardens - the gardens beneath the Castle have wonderful terraces looking out over Mala Strana. I entered them through the South Gardens (which wrap around the castle) - it was easier to walk down the terraces .

Make sure to reserve a space for the Municipal House tour. (I wish I had attended a concert there also)
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 05:12 AM
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There are several small gardens hidden behind high walls in the Mala strana district at the foot of the castle. Some of them are open to the public.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 05:18 AM
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For current concerts have them check in with the Travel Info center. We used the one in Old Town Square. We found there was a "Stair Concert" at the National Museum. This was really nice, it was a trio, they gave you cushions for sitting on the steps, it was about an hour and a half, and then went to dinner at a cafe on Wenselas square. There were 4 of us, never had a problem walking around there or elsewhere. We did a lot of walking tours at our own pace. Rick Steves has several.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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I am in Prague right now - happy that my hotel has a free internet connection. We drove in and found there there are road closed off due to construction, but after we got rid of the car we are having no trouble with public transportation at all. We took the Metro today. It is easy to handle. Prices are a liitle higher than I might have thought, but it is very easy to get a very good meal for $8 or so, plus you can spend a lot less. Prague is very busy, we are loving it, and so are LOTS of other people. We did walk along Wencelas Square last night about 8:30. It may have been to early, but I did not see anything creepy. There are a few beggars around but they do not get in your face, they are quiet. There were none on the bridge any time we crossed it. Perhaps they could not find space between the vendors? Prague is wonderful. BTW, we have taken 10,000 crowns each time we have used the ATM in CZ, no problem. Have to go - we are off to the Laterna Magika!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 09:58 AM
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Prague is one of my favorite cities, and I was just there again last May. All of this has been covered above pretty much, but my comments are:
1) yes, it is still very cheap in relation to W. Eur cities;
2) I've taken out more than US$30 from ATMs, also;
3) I have been around Wenceslaus Sq a little in early evening going to a concert, and there are some seedy characters around there and it's not a place I would wander around or hang out in the evening. I've heard about hookers at night around there, also, but whether it has been cleaned up or not, I would not advise one of your female relatives (mother or aunt) to wander around there at night alone, anyway.
4) there are a lot of wonderful things to see in Prague, but all of my favorites would be listed in standard guidebooks.
5) I love classical music also and usually attend several events (operas or concerts, recitals, etc); I would suggest they get the Praguepost newspaper on arrival to check schedules of events. It is in English. the National Museum does have excellent chamber music concerts and the acoustics are good -- sitting on stairs might not be comfortable for some people for an extended period, however, and would not be possible for some with limited mobility or probably very older folks, but luckily they are not long concerts there.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 01:13 AM
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That's exactly what I was getting at about Wenceslaus Sq. - I was offered money when I was standing there waiting for friends (and I'm sure it wasn't to read the guy a story!). Wouldn't have minded as much had I been all done up in a mini-skirt etc, but I was wearing jeans and about 6 jumpers!!

Thanks for the info everyone. I've only got this evening left to prepare them, because I'm off on my own travels in the morning!!
violagirl is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2003, 05:53 AM
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Violagirl - I topped my prague trip report for you - hope it helps....
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 05:57 AM
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Thanks. Much appreciated!
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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Topping is transiently useful. Similarly useful (or even more so?) is citing the URL:

That way, anyone who finds this thread can also find that one.
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