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Pictures of Prague
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Buildings built over river in Prague


Buildings built over river in Prague

Sunset behind Charles bridge


Sunset behind Charles bridge

Vineyard


Vineyard

Watchtowers


Watchtowers

Trumpet players


Trumpet players

Tower at Charles bridge


Tower at Charles bridge
Tower at Charles bridge

U Tri Pstrosu


U Tri Pstrosu

Yellow building


Yellow building

Vine covered building


Vine covered building
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Pictures of Prague, in the Czech Republic (known as Praha locally) and tourist information about the city.

I stayed at the Intercontinental, which is the worst five-star hotel I've ever been to. The bathtub flooded every time I used it.

 

If you take a taxi, you'll probably get screwed on the bill. I was charged 1000 CZK (about $60) for a five-minute ride. Taxi services are largely mafia-run, and often, you just don't have another choice. There are legit taxi services; ask your hotel for help, and agree to a price before you load your bags into the taxi. Also, know the conversion ratio for the Czech currency--they often take advantage of tourists who can't do the math.

Definitely go see the Prague castle--St. Vitus gothic cathedral, contained entirely within the castle, is beautiful. Naturally, you'll have to see the Charles Bridge and the artists who perform and sell their art on it. The torture museum was fairly awful; you'd be better off just googling torture devices, as they have nothing original and the English translations are terrible. The astronimical clock is one of the big attractions, but it was only interesting to me for a few seconds. The Jewish quarter (close to my hotel) was nice, but I didn't bother to visit the museum.

Overall the streets feel safe at night. The public transportation system can get you most places, which is good, since the taxis are mostly criminal. However, the metro ticketing system, at least in 2009, must be leftover from the Czech Republic's communist years. It's literally impossible to understand unless you research it ahead of time. You have to buy paper tickets from a machine with almost no English on it and about twenty buttons--each for a different ticket type. Then, upon entering, you have to get your ticket stamped by a machine. They randomly check tickets and will fine you 700 CZK (about $40) if you don't have a ticket or if you purchased the wrong ticket. I got fined 1400 CZK for two people because, though I bought tickets and stamped them, apparently the ticket didn't cover the zone I went to... and we really tried hard to study the metro and buy the right tickets.

If you're in the touristy part of the city, you don't need to know any Czech--literally everyone speaks English, and most people speak it very well. If you venture out of the heart of the city, most people speak very little English, and you won't see signs or menus in English. The Czech Republic outside of Prague seems to have quite a bit of poverty.

The Czech people are friendly and helpful, and dress extremely casual--even messy by American standards (which would be sloppy by French or Italian standards).

The Prague Zoo is considered on of the best in the world, but it's not. Most of the zoo seems to be antelopes, and almost all views are obstructed by fences or glass. It's one of the worst zoos I've ever been to.