Prague questions

Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:02 AM
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Prague questions

I will be in Prague for four days at the end of June. Some questions:
1. I have not been in Europe in 5 years. For men, so as not to be completely obvious as a tourist, what is worn by the locals - long pants, shorts, jeans ? Other clothing suggestions also appreciated.
2. Interesting, not expensive places, to eat (preferably used by the locals) in or near the tourist areas.
3. All of the museums and most of the castles are closed on Mondays, according to the guide books. Any suggestions on what to see and do?
4. How to get to Troja Palace by public transportation? Can you get there by boat?
5. Recommendations on black theatre, pantomine and puppet theatre.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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I, too, am travelling to Prague in July and would like some advice.

Sally's website has been very helpful. Does anyone else with valuable Prague experience have anything to add?

What is the most beautiful coffee house in Prague? The Bristol?

Cheers, thanks a lot.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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Ah, yes, the "clothing issue" again...I'm not sure there is anything anyone can really do, or why they would want to, to keep people from finding out they are a tourist but from my recent experience:
younger folks will be wearing a lot of denim and athletic shoes.
I think you'll find men in Prague wearing long trousers for the most part.
If you really feel the need to "fit in" I suggest you take up smoking, too.
 
Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:55 AM
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First, go to <a href="http://www.jasoncholt.com">www.jasoncholt.com</a> -- Jason's a British ex-pat who lives in Prague and has a very good website.

Next, wander the city on your Monday -- a good walking tour would suffice.

We ate twice at the restaurant for the hotel U ZLATYCH NUZEK (the Golden Scissors) on Kampa Island. The food was good and much less expensive than in Old Town Square.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Sorry, the link HTML tag didn't take.

U Zlatych Nuzek is near New Town square and just below the Charles Bridge.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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I've been to Prague twice in last few years and tourists there pretty much dress like tourists in the rest of Europe. Local men don't dress like tourists. Prague is a little more down-to-earth (and lower avg income) than some European capitals, so you don't have to be a fashion plate. Jeans are pretty common everywhere now, I'd say. If you are a tourist and there in hot weather, there is nothing wrong with wearing shorts in the daytime for sightseeing. A lot of other European tourists do that, also, depending on their age, of course (young ones do).

I will answer the beautiful cafe question, as I love cafes. I think the most beautiful is Cafe Imperial near Namesti Republicky metro stop. I like Cafe Slavia across from National Theater a lot, and it has a good river view on one side (in the daytime, if you get those tables), but other than that, the interior is nothing extraordinary. I like it for its ambience, location and history.

The Municipal House is beautiful, but I don't consider that a cafe like these others, but a restaurant -- their cafe is outdoors tables (very expensive, I've eaten there) and nothing special for looks IMO.

I have never heard of a Cafe Bristol in Prague.

As for what to do on Mondays,I've never had a problem. First, I think the main Prague castle is open on Monday (not positive), and some museums (maybe Mucha). Second, you can always use that day for walking around, shopping, etc., seeing a park maybe. Third, you could look for a day trip on one of the bus tour companies, checking hours of attractions, also, of course.

I did not go to that kind of theater, only classical music concerts and opera.

I tend to eat ethnic in Prague, for some reason, as I'm not crazy about Czech cuisine. Locals were dining at the type of restaurants I used, but that's probably not what you meant (Indian, etc.).
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Hi Dennis - I returned a few weeks ago, and if you click on my name it should drag up my long trip report (I threw in a bunch of websites for the restaurant and sights). As far as fashion, wear what you want, but if you want to fit in you should never leave your hotel without a cigarette dangling from your mouth, unfortunately. If you go to the opera or one of the many, many concerts available on any given day I'd recommend a nice pair of slacks, maybe even a tie, but for everyday use you'll be fine in jeans and/or khakis/slacks.

For #2, please define "expensive" or give an estimate of your range. You can pretty much eat like a king in Prague for remarkably little money if you're used to East Coast city prices...not to mention 0.5L beers for one dollar. For good local pub food, check out Pivnice Radegast near Old Town square, U Glaubicu near Malostranske Square, Malostanske Pivnice in Mala Strana, and for a nice meal I'd recommend Restaurant David in Mala Strana. Standard advice applies - walk a few blocks away from the major tourist zones to find local joints, and almost all have decipherable menus. We used www.praguepubs.co.uk extensively to find good local pub/food joints, and you'll find they've got a good section on transportation, too.

For #3, that's not necessarilty true- I think Prague Castle is in fact open on Mondays, and you could also make this a concert day/wander the squares day/hike in Petrin or Letna Park day/visit cathedrals day. I think the Jewish Museum is also open on Monday (obviously not on Saturday, though)...

Can't help you with the last two, but do enjoy yourself- it's a gorgeous place loaded with stuff to do!
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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Hi

I was in Prague last month. I skipped the Black Light theatre based on comments from friends of mine who thought it a tacky waste of time, but one person's tacky is another person's fun, so decide for yourself.

I have a file on Prague; if you'd like to see it, email me at
[email protected]
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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I forgot, here's a recent thread about what to wear in Europe

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34490469

but, as Christina said, Prague is less affluent and more casual than Paris or London
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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Sorry, Christina, I meant to write: the cafe in the Hotel Bristol on Wenceslas Square. Thank you for your advice.

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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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oh, I think I have actually eaten in that cafe. Yes, it's very famous for its decor, and is pretty, but there is a very small outdoor part and it is rather expensive. I had lunch there once, as I recall. It's not the same as the other cafes I mentioned, which are larger, indoors and more traditional for people to hang out, eat, etc. For example, my hero Vaclav Havel used to hold his dissident meetings in the Cafe Slavia. I am not explaining it very well perhaps, but these are typical Czech older coffee houses and very different from the cafe in a hotel. ON top of that, the cafe in Bristol Hotel (if it's the one I'm thinking of), looks onto Wenceslas Square which is not a pretty picture.

sorry -- I just realized that the famous hotel I'm thinking of on Wenceslas is the Evropa, so transfer my comments to it (pretty Art Nouveau). I guess I've still never heard of the Bristol and I am a cafe aficionado. I think it's enjoyable to see and experience the old, historic cafes. I think I was wrong on the Obecni Dum, from reading, they do have a cafe on the insider as well as their outdoors one, so it is probably very attractive, also. I must have wanted to be outside when I went there.

Cafe Montmartre is another wellknown one, and the Globe Coffeehouse and BOokstore is a historic one for expats, although I don't think known for its looks.

Here is a pretty complete listing of the best cafes in Prague (dont see Bristol on there)
http://www.wguides.com/city/243/subsub_134.cfm
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 01:38 PM
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You are correct, Christina. It was the Hotel Europa that I was thinking of, not the Hotel Bristol. (Where did I ever come up with the Hotel Bristol? That is in Paris, isn't it?)

I am looking for a pretty cafe, but more important, I am looking for a cafe for great people watching.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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I had a fabulous meal at Nebozezik overlooking the city. well worth it and not that expensive.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 02:09 PM
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The Black Light Theatre is cheap enough, but I also thought it was tacky. Had I known this before my trip to Prague, I would have done something else instead. I did like Laterna Magicka but since it's a 3D show I started getting kind of dizzy.

I really liked Restaurace U Seminaristy at 45 Spalena--it's across the street from the big Tesco and down a hallway removed from the street. As far as I could tell,mostly locals ate there. It was reasonable and very tasty.
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Old Apr 26th, 2004, 07:41 PM
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we tried the Lanterna Magicka because it seemed like very Prague thing to do. We are not "cultured" at all, and even we thought it was one of the weirder things we have ever seen and we left at intermission, we figured we had the gist of it. I am still happy we went tho, it was a completely different expeience that I was glad I had.
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Old Apr 27th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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ttt
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Old Apr 27th, 2004, 10:25 AM
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actually, there is a Hotel Bristol in Prague but it's in the Zizkov area outside the center and not known for its cafe that I know of (don't think it even has one). I just thought it was an odd thing to pick out.

Prague has great cafes, and the ones I named are good for people watching in various ways -- the big, old, traditional ones (Slavia and Imperial) are for inside people watching. The Evropa isn't like big sidewalk cafes in Paris, the outside part is very little and the sidewalk is not particularly wide there, either. So, you can do some people-watching from there, I guess, but people in the middle of Wenceslas Square (which is really like a long blvd) are not that interesting. At least they weren't to me, there are some cheap discount stores around there, cheap cafeterias, stuff like that, it's not a grand place.

They are not known for looks or decor in particular, but I like just plopping down in a chair in one of the main outdoor cafes around the main Old Town Square. Those are great for people watching. The area I didn't find so great for cafes is right near Charles Bridge on the Old Town side and going up the main street along the river from there (ie, Krizovnicka street). There are some good ones around Pariska (Paris) street, which is the rather elegant shopping street, and Siroka (which it crosses).

You won't have any trouble finding good cafes, I'm sure.
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Old Apr 27th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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Thank you, Christina. So Pariska Street would be considered the "5th Avenue" of Prague? What would you consider to be the most exclusive area of Prague?

Are you the same Christina that helped me find my mother in Florence during 9/11????
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Old Apr 27th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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no, I am not that Christina, I think there are a couple Christinas on here, most Italian. I should be Cristina because my father was a Spanish teacher and named me after a character in a Spanish novel, but he felt he had to Americanize it for some reason.

Parizska street would be like the Champs-Elysees of Prague, or Fifth Avenue, sure, that would do it. It's not as large as either of those, which makes it nicer (and not as commercialized as the Champs-Elysees, either, or not as many cheap chain stores yet, thank goodness). It leads off from the main Old town square, so you will probably end up on it at some time. It has the big airline offices, upper end jewelry and luggage stores, etc. Some of the wellknown Jewish Synagogues worth seeing are just off it, also, at the northern part. Barock bar at 24 Parizska is a trendy, upscale bar, for example--good for people-watching of that type. The Caffe/Bar Premiera is also wellknown on that street, right near there (18 Parizska). and is good for people-watching, coffee and breakfasts or desserts (and more, probably).
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