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  #1  
Old 06-23-2010, 01:08 AM
commasense commasense is offline
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What to see and do in Prague?

I'm going to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest in July, and am looking for some advice from my fellow Dopers. What should I see and do while I'm in Prague? (I've created parallel threads here about Vienna and Budapest if you have any suggestions about them.)

I don't need advice on the ten or twenty things that are at the top of everyone's lists. Assume that I've read about all of them and will be visiting some and have ruled out the rest.

What I'm looking for are your suggestions for things I might not otherwise have considered that are as good as, or better than, the big obvious attractions. Essential Prague things that the guidebooks may have missed. Or advice about ways to get around the city, ways to save money or avoid crowds while doing touristy things, traps to avoid, great places to eat, etc., etc.

I like science, technology, transportation, modern art, classical music, and weird and offbeat things.

We'll be there from July 2-7 if you want to recommend any events, concerts, etc.

Thanks.

Last edited by commasense; 06-23-2010 at 01:12 AM..
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:33 AM
Radegast Radegast is offline
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There is an excellent technology museum in Letna that has not only planes, cars, machines, etc., but also a simulated, very realistic, coal mine under it that you can tour. While there are a lot of great churches in Prague, you might want to go to the church Jan Hus built, which is the prototype for most protestant churches and has a very powerful simplicity. It is near Mustek. An interesting entertainment option is a Black Light Theatre show at Divadlo Image on Parizska Ulice. Out the 22 tram line toward Bila Hora is Hvezda, a park that used to be a hunting reserve with a unique star-shaped (hvezda means star) hunting chateau. The church at Vysehrad and the surrounding grounds are also very pretty. Prague castle is an all-day sight. An English tour is worth while. There are lots of nice restaurants now, but one needs resevations to get into most of the good ones these days. Drink lots of beer -- Staropramen is the local Prague beer. Gambrinus is the best of the Pilsen beers. Pilsner Urquelle and Budvar are for tourists. You can get house-brewed beer at U Flecku, which calls itself one of the oldest bars in the world. The beer is good but is pricey by comparison with local places, but it is worth a visit.

When we lived there, someone asked me if he could see everything in Prague on a long weekend. I told him I had lived there for nearly 3 years and hadn't yet seen everything.
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:51 AM
Radegast Radegast is offline
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Missed the edit window...

I missed your "classical music" mention. You should definitely see if anyone is in performance while you are there and try to take in a musical performance or an opera at the National Theatre (Narodni Divadlo) the Stavovske (Estates Theatre) or the Clementinum. Summer may be the off season for these venues, but there will be worthwhile concerts at the various churches around the city. For me, one of the best things about living in Prague was that the city and the whole society there breathed culture, art, and music. It was and is an essential part of the Czech soul -- more so than any place else I've been. I would dearly love to get back there one last time before I leave Germany this summer.

You can walk, tram or subway just about everywhere. Buy a multi-day transport ticket at any Tabac. Be VERY careful of pickpockets, especially on the 22 tram. My wife was picked the last time we were there, and they got her several times when we lived there, even though we were residents, knew the dangers, and blended in.

If you can get out of the city, go to see Karlstejn Castle. Folks may steer you toward Konopiste Chateau, as it has more stuff in it -- mostly unbelievable numbers of hunting trophies from Arch-duke Franz Ferdinand. Karlstejn is a serious castle.

You can PM me if you have specific questions.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:40 AM
MPB in Salt Lake MPB in Salt Lake is offline
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When taking cabs, BE SURE to have the driver tell you how much it's going to be (guesstimate) as Prague cabbies are world-famous for trying to rip off tourists........

That said, from honest cab drivers, taxi fares are dirt cheap and can be a great deal to get from Point A to Point B quickly.

Also, I seem to recall that there are a couple of places in town that may sell pretty good beer.........
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:01 PM
neuroman neuroman is offline
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Skip the museum of Communism. It was pretty underwhelming.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:03 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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You could check out the Sedlec ossuary. It's about an hour's drive from Prague, but worth it if you're into that kind of thing.
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  #7  
Old 06-23-2010, 01:05 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radegast View Post
There is an excellent technology museum in Letna that has not only planes, cars, machines, etc., but also a simulated, very realistic, coal mine under it that you can tour.
I liked the Science and Technology Museum in Vienna a little better.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:13 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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I would avoid taxis altogether as much as possible, and if you absolutely can't avoid them negotiate the price beforehand. It's easy to get ripped off if you don't speak Czech (and sometimes even if you do). Between the trams, metro and buses it's pretty easy to get around. Check your bill at restaurants to make sure you don't get stuck with something you didn't order, and be advised that the little bowl of bread isn't complimentary like it is in the states. If it finds its way to your table you might get charged for it even if you didn't eat any, and definitely will if you do. If you don't want any make it clear before the waiter can set it down.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:21 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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You already probably know this, but after a lifetime of speaking English it bears repeating: never forget that "no" is short for "ano" and means "yes." "Ne" is no. If you're trying to speak Czech and lapse back into an English "no," you've just said the opposite of what you actually mean.

Also, if you see it on a menu, "jŠtra" is liver.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2010, 07:54 AM
Radegast Radegast is offline
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
I liked the Science and Technology Museum in Vienna a little better.
Could be -- I haven't been to the one in Vienna. Note that the one in Prague isn't exactly the Smithsonian, but more than one might expect from a small country with a lousy (until recently) postwar history.
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2010, 07:18 PM
MovieMogul MovieMogul is offline
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Originally Posted by neuroman View Post
Skip the museum of Communism. It was pretty underwhelming.
I disagree--I thought it was very cool, with lots of interesting displays and ephemera from that time of history. It's pretty small and self-guided, but shows an enormous amount of attention to detail.

I love the artist Mucha and Prague has an excellent museum of his work, too.

And there's both a Torture Museum and a Sex Machine museum, both fascinating little hole-in-the-wall establishments near the city center.
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  #12  
Old 06-24-2010, 07:30 PM
MPB in Salt Lake MPB in Salt Lake is offline
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Originally Posted by ArchiveGuy View Post
I I love the artist Mucha and Prague has an excellent museum of his work, too.
This is def. worth spending an hour or two at, and though I know the OP said he wanetd recommendations for different, offbeat attractions only (ones not in the guidebooks) I think the Kafka House is pretty cool to check out, and there are several nice little bars and cafes in the vacinity to get a beer or a bite to eat at when you are done..........
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