Safety and health in Prague
According to digopaul, Prague is undoubtedly one of the safest cities you can travel to. Robbery and episodes of violence are not something to worry about. There are police in the streets, and the Czechs are generally polite and law-abiding people.
You can be scammed if you act naively, but gold sellers, money changers and such as we often see in other big cities, are among the rarities in Prague. However, pickpocketing is a problem here as well. Take extra care of your valuables when traveling by metro and tram, or staying in places with a lot of people.
Taxi fraud can be a problem, which you can read about below.
The drinking water in Prague is clean and of good quality. The health services are very good, but the language can present problems. If you need medical assistance and it is urgent, you will get help in English by calling the emergency number 112.
Transport in Prague
The vast majority of visitors prefer to get their feet wet when they are in Prague. The city center is not that big, and most of the sights, shopping, bars and restaurants are usually on foot from the hotel. If you are going a little further than you bother to walk, public transport is usually the fastest and cheapest.
- You should preferably use safe taxi companies. There are several of these. Good examples are AAA Taxi, Sedop, SpeedCars and Profi Taxi.
- If you are going to hail a taxi on the street, avoid cars that are not parked in their own marked places. Especially avoid the taxis that are parked at sights, at the main train station and outside nightclubs in the evenings. These can be outright scammers. Ordering a taxi in advance, from a safe company, is usually always best.
- Uber and Taxify have both become very common to use in Prague, also to and from the airport. Both options are cheap and secure, but you must create an account and pay by credit or debit card to use their services.
- During the day, a taxi is a bad option in the city center. Prague is an old city with many narrow streets. On weekdays, there are therefore often long queues, which also happens on the main roads in and out of the city.
- From the airport, it is otherwise most common to take one of the taxis outside the arrival hall. These are licensed and run at fixed rates. Some hotels have their own airport pick-up and drop-off services.
- You can also take the bus from the airport to Nadrazi Veleslavin, and then the metro to the city center with the green line.
- The metro has three lines, green, yellow and red. The underground is the most reliable and fastest means of transport, as long as you are near a station.
- Trams are also a very good alternative when moving around the city center. They arrive quickly, walk often, but it can be a bit cumbersome to get to know the tram routes for those who do not live in Prague.
- You can buy day passes or weekly passes that are valid for all public transport in the city center, or single journeys with a transfer within either 30 or 90 minutes.
Price level and tipping in Prague
In Prague, most things are still significantly cheaper than we are used to from home, especially such things as hotels, transportation, food, and drinks. If you go to a pub in Prague you will probably find that the prices are almost suspiciously low.
It is normal to give tips, especially if you are happy with the service. A tip of 10% is fine, but you give what you feel for yourself in the Czech Republic. Restaurants that are a bit tourist-trap-like even state that tips are not included, and these you should really stay away from.
Shopping in Prague
- Fashion clothes and sports equipment can be much cheaper in Prague than in Norway, and if you shop for shoes, you can find regular warps in the city. However, electronics are not something you should shop in the Czech Republic as prices are often somewhat higher than in Norway.
- Genuine Böhmer crystal is the big thing if you want something distinctive In that case, you should avoid buying this in stores that are very touristy (the glass can be Chinese). If you are going to invest in a beautiful chandelier with Bøhmer crystal, do this at reputable retailers.
- The two major shopping streets are Wenceslas Avenue Namesti and the partial pedestrian street Na Prikope. Here are a number of large department stores and brand stores. At one end of Na Prikope, on Namesti Republiky, you will find is very good shopping mall called Palladium. The side streets in these areas may also be worth a visit if you are going shopping.
- Shops and department stores in this area are usually open until 21:00, and the vast majority are also open on Sundays.
- Remember that you get back the Czech VAT (21%) if you shop in stores that have Tax Free stamps in the window. The form must be completed and you must shop for more than 2001 Czk in total at each store. Be aware that there may be long queues at the airport where you will get your money back. Also note that you will normally have to show the goods (at the airport) for which you will be reimbursed. Do not check in your luggage until you have gone through this mill!