A bit of a hidden gem, the grim street-level entrance belies the splendid interior, and an atmosphere which is reminiscent of the belle epoch.
The service is quite superb, which really stands out after a couple of days of Czech service, which can be surly. Have the Czech breakfast, which includes delicious apple cake. The English breakfast - toast and marmalade, baked beans and chopped up frankfurters, is only worth ordering for its comedy value.
As to Prague, being careful crossing the roads cannot be stressed enough. The drivers only stop on red lights (in theory) or if a pedestrian's corpse jams their wheels. Beware the trams, which are quiet and easily missed above the hubbub.
Try to get off the main streets at night, as the pimps, drug dealers, strip club and bar advertisers are utterly persistent and will follow you for long distances. Unless, of course, you are there for "sucky sucky" or the half price attentions of a lesbian midget.
One more thing: Large numbers of British stag groups are absolutely running riot there, and you can feel the resentment, even hatred, of many of the locals. If you are Prague-bound, start practising your Canadian accent now.
Narodni Trida 20, in the New Town.
My husband and I just returned from Prague where we had a great time! We stayed at the 987 design hotel and it was very nice. Sadly we were picketpocketed on our last day and the only thing we had left was the business card from the transfer company that picked us up, we called them and they actually came to help us, they took us to the embassy and the police station, all the time they were saying how sorry they were that it happened, they did not accept any money when we offered at the end. Be very careful on Charles bridge!
Avoid this in the early evening unless you want to be constantly pestered by ticket touts for sex shows. They are VERY persistant, I eventually had to get really rude with them before they got the message. They seem to be paid by result hence their persistance.
Get yourself a three-day transport ticket from the stand in the airport – it only costs 220Kcs, and pays for the 119 bus to the metro, plus all metro and trams while you’re in town. You can’t buy a ticket on the bus and, if you are foolhardy enough to leave it, attempting to get a ticket once you reach the metro can be somewhat problematic. The ticket machines don’t take notes for the 20Kcs (single journey) ticket, and staff can be reluctant to deal with pesky tourists. Having been to Prague twice, and never been checked for a ticket once, I told my girlfriend we’d be ok to get tickets later… a decision which could have proved costly, as the trams/metros now seem extremely well populated with plain clothed, badge wielding, ticket inspectors. The only reason we escaped on the spot 500Kcs fines was that the inspectors at Muzeum Metro station were over occupied with collecting 4500Kcs from “Reservoir Stag” weekenders… nice personalised t-shirts lads although, in the circumstances, not brilliantly inconspicuous.
Tickets don’t become valid until registered (with a date and time) and the little machines at the entrance to metro stations and on trams.
Everyone you know who has been to Prague will rave about the beauty of the place. This is indeed correct, architecturally. What no-one will tell you is that you can expect to be treated with downright contempt by about 80 per cent of waiters and shop assistants. Maybe it's a (perfectly reasonable) reaction to the influx of stag and hen parties, maybe it's the default setting of the Czech people, but it certainly ain't nice, however much you try not to take it personally.
Take care with your property in hotel breakfast rooms and restaurants. The hotel we stayed in had a card entry system but it didn't operate during the day, you could 'buzz in' or the door was open. Nobody looked up from Reception and there were no room number checks in the breakfast rooms. While we were there two ladies had their bags stolen while they were at the buffet. The breakfast rooms were in the basement and had a secure feel but anybody could wander around and the thieves did!
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