8 o’clock on a Friday night in Prague and I don’t want to sit in my hotel room writing Loyalty Traveler. But in this publish or perish world of blogging I do want to share a little bit of Prague with much more to come when I am back home again in Monterey.
A month ago or so Kelley and I watched House Hunters International when a woman was looking for an apartment in Prague. We both agreed that she should take the apartment right by the Old Town Square.
After two days in Prague, I now change my mind. I have walked through Old Town a couple times to snap photos of the beautiful architecture, however, I find the city a much more interesting place when I am in places with far fewer tourists.
Prague has an incredible number of tourists and many of the streets and alleys are quite small and crowded, especially when you are forced to remain on the sidewalks as vehicles pass through the street congestion.
My hotel is about 2 miles from Old Town and I enjoy this upriver area for its pubs, cafes and restaurants where I have yet to run into any American or British tourists.
Another big difference is the price of food and drinks are 50% more or even double in the Old Town tourist area compared to what I find 1/2 mile away from the main tourist sites.
Prague is a cheap destination. In the Old Town area a 0.5L beer is 45 to 60 CZK. The exchange rate is 25 CZK = $1.00 US Dollar.
Away from Old Town, average beer prices tend to be around 30 to 40 CZK or $1.20 to $1.60 USD.
Restaurant main courses are $10 to $15 in several of the Old Town restaurants I saw and more like $5 to $8 away from Old Town at a pub or midscale restaurant.
My $6 burger may not look like much, but it was 1/2 pound beef with bacon and cheese. Today I had a Turkish Donar box loaded with vegetables for $3 and an Indian Restaurant dinner main course with naan and beer for $9.
I have seen several segway shops around town, but no segways on the streets. I read a news story that segways were banned in Prague recently due to the tourist crowds and road traffic congestion making it too unsafe to ride segways.
14th century Charles Bridge is one of the city’s main attractions.
Difficult to get photos of any of the saint statues without several tourists standing in front of them taking photos, many with selfie-sticks. And this is January when the temperature is below freezing.
I was in Prague summer 2015 and there were an astounding number of tourists. Prague had over 6 million international tourists in 2016, mostly April to October.
The Czech tourism minister’s office is promoting other parts of Prague for tourists in 2017 with walking maps and tours away from the city center. I spent most of my day walking outside the main tourist zone.
Prague castle is actually best viewed from a distance in my opinion.