Journey Woman


Prague -- A Journeywoman's Point of View


Evelyn Hannon

When Journeywoman asked members of our JW Network for tips about Prague we never expected the wonderful response we got in return. We received so many enthusiastic replies -- each offering the type of female-friendly advice we absolutely love to publish -- everything from safety tips to inexpensive meal deals to where to meet English speaking expats. We're certain that our readers will benefit from all of these suggestions and we'll keep adding more as we receive them. Please keep checking back. Finally, what did we learn about everyone's overall impression of Prague? You loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.

Have a tip you'd like to add? Please send it to: editor@journeywoman.com and put the words, ' Prague Advice' in the subject line.

 

Please see an opera performance...

I visited Prague a year ago and fell in love with the city. The houses in the old section are painted ice cream colors and the subway is functional and kind of cute. It's really short -- only about three cars but it runs well and is clean, as was the entire city. The best recommendation I have for other JourneyWomen is to see an opera at the National Theatre while in Prague. I usually go to the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center in New York City. In a much less showy setting without all the money for costumes and scenery, I saw a fantastic performance of Rusalka. In fact, my companion saw the opera at the Metropolitan and thought what we saw in Prague was better.
Sharon, New York City, USA

 

I feel the same way about the opera...

When you’re in Prague, make sure you see one of Mozart’s operas. When I was there last with my Sights and Soul Travel group, we got to see the Magic Flute at the Estates Theatre. We got front row, orchestra seats for about $80 (American) and I tell you, it was the best opera I've ever seen. The choreography was stunning, the ballet part far exceeded our expectations and there was chemistry so thick between the audience and the performers that you could almost feel it. I hope I am not being overly dramatic but this is how both I and other women who were with me on this tour perceived it. Make sure you don’t miss it! Website: www.estatestheatre.cz/

 

Great eats, great artwork...

When I was in Prague last May, my friend and I stumbled onto a wonderful dining experience at a restaurant called Ranier Maria Rilke (www.rmrilke.cz). It is located very close to the plaza area and we wandered in for lunch. It turned out to be one of the best dining experiences we had. The restaurant is in an old house (that Rilke once lived in, I believe). It has wonderful artwork and is so comfortable and pleasant. The host (owner, I think) was very, very friendly and helpful. The menu had a lot of dishes with vegetables which we were craving. He suggested we share some dishes, which we did, and still ended up with food left over. And a pretty small bill at the end.
Ann, Oakland, USA

 

You must visit Cresky Krumlov...

About two hours south of Prague, near the Austrian border lies the UNESCO HERITAGE town of Cesky Krumlov. This is a charming small town with a river running through it where you can hire a wooden boat or rent a kyak for a very pleasant couple of hours. It's also the hometown of artist Egon Schiele and sports a museum with contemporary exhibitions. The town itself is charming, walkable and at the very end is a beautiful synagogue now undergoing restoration. The views from the top of the town are remarkable. Take a break from shopping and don't miss it!
Sherry, Toronto, Canada

 

Pickpockets and cabs...

First and foremost I'd like to tell other women that Prague is a great city. It is safe except for the pickpockets found on trams and crowded streets and just about anywhere tourists collect. They are skilled, so carry only what you can afford to lose; for instance, a copy of your passport will do - don't carry the original. Keep copies of your credit cards at the hotel, so you can quickly cancel them if your wallet is lifted.

Another thing to keep in mind are the taxis - have the hotel or restaurant phone for a taxi, and avoid hailing one on the street. If you pick up a cab on the street it will probably be an independent, and you'll pay up to four times the fare. Fortunately, they've sorted this problem out at the airport, so taking a cab from there is fine (and averages about 20-30 USD depending on where your hotel is). You can get into the city by public transport, but you've got to catch a bus and transfer to the metro or tram, plus get a ticket at the airport. If you have the money, I'd take the taxi.
Karolyn, New York State, USA

 

Know before you go...

We thought we were visiting Prague in the off season (mid September) only to find it is high season – places everywhere were packed, including the narrow streets in Old Town. Prague is not a wheel-friendly place for anyone with wheel-chair, walker or cane. Cobble-stones are everywhere. And stairs! So those who have such to consider, you may wish to check out things ahead of time in terms of elevator availability, ramps, etc.

If you have to walk downstairs to the loo, take coins with you. You might get all the way down and have someone waiting there, with hand out for payment to use the facilities.

Walk the Charles bridge earlier in the morning (10:00 is when the artists seem to begin to set up their displays) rather than later. Fun to meet the artists situated across the bridge and see the fantastic statues. Later on the tourists jammed it so you could hardly get through.

One of the best days my husband and I had was to take the metro (Nadrazi Holesovice) out to the bus (#112) that goes to the Prague Zoo. Winding up the hill past beautiful homes, then into the zoo at 9:30 a.m. before the crowds get too big, seeing only part of it (it’s huge), then lunch at the café down at the foot of it (entry). In the early afternoon visited the beautiful Hapsburg chateau (Troja Chateau) across from the zoo. A gorgeous way to see the art and furnishings of the period, and the amazing ceiling murals everywhere telling of the Hapsburg family. Dessert at the café’ afterwards. Both zoo and chateau very inexpensive and most impressive. Gorgeous views, and a most lovely and fulfilling day. Website: www.zoopraha.cz/english
Del, Tacoma, Washington, USA

 

 

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