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Watch Out for Overcharges!!! (Prague)

Author: Rowil F.
Date of Trip: March 2011

I traveled from New York to Prague in March 2011. At my arrival at Ruzyne Airport we were late about 3 hours. The car and driver I had reserved to be taken to my hotel was no where to be found. I do not speak Czech at all but I speak 6 other languages. Czechs don’t especially like to be talked to in a foreign language and most don’t even try to help. After a 5 hours wait I found a car to take me to the Aria Hotel in the center of Prague,about a 15 to 20 minutes drive. At my arrival to the hotel the driver demanded $120.00 for the trip which it was half of the distance from Manhattan to JFK and double the amount. ( The actual price is around $50.00 I found out later…) I couldn’t discuss the problem with the driver so I paid and took the car license plate and make to complain to someone later on…… FOGGERABOUTITTT!

At the front desk of the five stars Aria hotel I was told my room was no longer available and it has been given to someone else….no more rooms were available but my non refundable reservation deposit of $450.00 was due anyhow. :-((( Another bitter pill to swallow. I ended up taking $4.00 train to Prague 9 and stayed in a charming little hotel in a residential area of Prague 9 called Svornost Hotel. Very basic and spartan services are offered but the staff is very courteous and helpful.The hotel has a good restaurant with authentic Czech cuisine very well priced.Some of the wait staff spoke broken English and some French or Italian. Very small hotel,rather simple and no frills but the large single room was well equipped,very clean and to my surprise just $48.00 per night including a simple but delicious breakfast !. Compared to the $450.00 per night I would have paid in the other place it was a gift !. The 3 stars Svornost Hotel is located about 100 yards from a train station and you can be in the tourist trap center of Prague 1 in less than 15 minutes or about 4 stops.The draw back is that trains stop around 11 p.m. and you’ll need to take a cab to come back. But because of the savings in hotel rates I could afford to take cabs back and forth for under $30 a day RT. Bars,restaurants,pizzerias,taxis and tour guides will overcharge you so be very careful.Check the bill twice…even trice! Coffee shops,restaurants and beer halls are smokers paradise so get ready to stop breathing fresh air.

Prague is a magnificent city full of amazing museums, churches, castles, cathedrals, bridges,narrow and winding streets from centuries ago with amazing views and places to visit. Some buildings and bridges were built in 930 A.D. Make sure you dress down like the locals wearing comfortable shoes and simple clothing.Like any other mayor metropolis you need to be careful in certain areas.NEVER flash money or expensive jewelery. DO try the local cuisine.Do visit Brno and the famous Hotel Pupp ***** in Kalovy Vary.Make sure you take a good camera because the views are breathtaking! Enjoy and be safe. Czech Republic is an amazing country.

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