Prague is a lot of fun, whether you’re there to see the Infant Jesus of Prague or explore the Old Town Square, there’s always something fun and exciting to do. But, Prague is also not as everyone expects – if you’re from the US, there’s a lot of unexpected things you’ll come across.
1. Money Exchanges on the Street
If you see someone exchanging money on the street and think this is a good idea, you’ll need to think again. A lot of people, primarily tourists that are not from the European Union, will exchange money with a random person on the street.
Don’t do this.
The random person often exchanges a weaker currency, or the person exchanges counterfeit money.
While this may happen in any city, it’s common for thieves to target tourists. If you’re going to exchange money, do yourself a favor and go to your own bank. It’s much safer to use an ATM or a local bank than exchange money with a random stranger.
2. Taxis Can Be Very Dishonest
Taxis around the world are dishonest, and this is especially true in Prague. In fact, I remember a story of a journalist in Prague that went undercover to show just how bad taxi scams are. The journalist claims that in some areas, as an American tourist, it’s almost 100% certain that taxi drivers will scam you.
Old Town Square and The Main Train Station are the most common areas where taxi scams occur.
In some cases, the taxi charged the passenger 33% more for their fare. Be very careful when entering a taxi, or walk to your destination if you don’t want to be overcharged.
3. Air Conditioning? What’s That?
Europeans always tilt their head when they hear about America’s love for air-conditioning. A lot of Europeans view life without air conditioning to be much nicer and more comfortable. Tourists that are visiting Prague may be surprised to find that air conditioning units aren’t blasting in private homes or offices.
Travelers should expect temperatures to be warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter – indoors and outdoors.
Bring the appropriate clothing. Tourists have even tried to bring their portable air conditioners or fans with them to beat the heat.
4. Some of the Best Areas are Outside of City Centers
City centers are a lot of fun, and they offer a new, lively experience. Tourists often flock to these areas, but it’s these tourist-filled areas that locals will shy away from the most. Locals don’t want to be stuck with high prices and people asking them questions all day.
Locals have hip, fun areas outside of the heart of the city that they visit.
Prices are better, food is often better and it’s a true Prague experience. But, if you want to spend time with tourists and visit tourist-oriented areas, the city center is the right choice. For me, I like the outskirts where you can see how people live, what they do during their spare time and enjoy Prague without all of the tourists.