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Beware of tourist rip offs

Falkirk, Scotland
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Beware of tourist rip offs

Just back from our second visit to Prague & although we thorougly enjoyed it, a few words of caution - some restaurants adding up to 15-20% service charge to the bill. This did not happen on our first visit 2 years ago! One restaurant was in the Castle area & another just off the Old Town Square. Prices are still very reasonable compared to UK but beware of the hidden charges. Also beware of the biggest rip off in Prague - The Mystic is a cafe/restaurant on the steps on the way up to the castle (cannot remember the name of the street). We went in for 2 bowls of soup & a large & a small beer & the price was £12 (sterling). Daylight robbery! There are no prices outside or inside on the menus which should have warned us, but in Prague you just do not expect these prices. This included a service charge for a sultry waitress! Avoid at all costs & go to some of the many cafe/restaurants where prices are about one third of this!

Prague, Czech...
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1. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

I'd never been to this place, but I Googled it and came up with tons of warnings that it is a tourist trap. Good to know! Here is a selection:

members.virtualtourist.com/m/30858/1ac/7/

…blogspot.com/2005/12/day-1-in-prague-czech-…

From a Trip Adivsor post on August 10, 2006 (janetravels):

Just don't eat in that square especially not at the Mystic cafe where the biggest mystery is how a meal that you calculate to be 20$ actually ends up being billed at $42.ooUS. Have a great trip!!

Los Angeles
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2. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

Wish I had read this review before being ripped off by this awful cafe. Two waitresses stand in your way and try a few languages to see if they can strike up a conversation. It is pretty thirsty work walking up to the Castle (it was 40 degrees the day we did it!) and they don't have to work too hard to convince you to sit down for a drink. The menus don't have prices but how much can a coke cost?

We noticed a few other people arguing vehemently with the two waitresses and realized something was going on. Our turn for the bill came and we had been charged three times the amount - when we asked them to explain they said it was a cover charge per person which everyone in the Castle area charged. Odd since the day before we had a drink in a cafe less than 20 ft away and they didn't charge one. When we pointed this out the waitresses became surly and argumentative. When we asked to see the Manager we were refused and told the Manager was not there. They explained the cover charge covered the condiments on the table, when we pointed out we had not used them they then went on to tell us the cover charge also covered the glasses we drank out of and the seats we were sitting on! The waitresses had been talking in English to us all this time and then suddenly they said they didn't understand English anymore. We tried Spanish and French but they just ignored us and yelled in Czech. Their behaviour is disgusting and the Prague Tourist Board should take note of this and act on it. This cafe is damaging their tourist industry.

Prague is becoming very, very expensive. Everyone involved in the tourist industry is becoming very greedy and the tourists will start to dwindle if it continues. Beer is cheaper than soda/water so the Lager Louts will continue to visit Prague. Poland is becoming the new cheaper "Prague" for a lot of European tourists who want an affordable, cultural holiday.

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3. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

at the castle, try the u krale karla which is at the foot of the steps on the corner running off the back of the castle square (at the corner of ke hradu and nerudova street. good beer and some decent staple czech food. has a good outdoor terrace where you can watch the crowds.

as for soft drinks costing more or almost as much than beer, this is not unique to prague. try ordering a soft drink in a UK pub.

Great Yarmouth...
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4. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

Again, Peb7, an extremely negative view of the UK? Whats going on?

A pint of lager will cost you £2.80 to £3.00 here in my town and a Coke/Sprite/Tango will be £1.25. So where is your argument?

With the UK, what you see is what you get. Unlike some Central European countries we do not add on this and that or charge you more because it faces the town square or its on the waterfront. I'm starting to think Peb7 that you have a grudge for pretty much anyone/anywhere that has an opinion others than yours. Disappointing as i found other replies from you to be spot on and top class.

Edinburgh, United...
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5. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

pint of beer £2.80

half pint of coke etc £1.25

do the maths.

at least in Prague pubs you get service,in british pubs you get none,usually have to clear a table yourself before ypu can use it ,thats if you can get a seat at all.

sorry but Peb does have a point here.

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6. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

jimbo. think you will find that a drink in a bar facing covent garden market or in a restaurant looking over the thames will cost a lot more than a drink in a pub or restaurant a couple of streets away.

On the cost of soft drinks in the UK, try ordering a pint of orange juice and lemonade in a UK pub. Soft drink - same size costing much the same as a pint of beer.

in other words, the uk is no different from the czech republic in its relative pricing and in bars or restaurants charging more if you eat and drink at prime tourist locations. This was my point - why expect something different from what happens in your own country? My comment was not anti UK. Had the comment been made from a person in Belgium, I would, for example have pointed out that the same thing happens if you eat or drink overlooking a canal in Bruges. Just trying to tailor comments to the person who posted them

Great Yarmouth...
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7. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

I have to disagree UncleGus:

"As for soft drinks costing more or almost as much than beer, this is not unique to prague. try ordering a soft drink in a UK pub"

I have never purchased a soft drink that costs more or almost as much as a beer. If you pay £1.25 for a half pint then yes it is expensive, but you get soft drinks in my local town in a glass which is about 2/3's of a pint.

My grievance is not with the cost of the drink because i would pay whatever as long as it tasted good, it just seems to me that Peb7 always seems to have a little gripe towards British travellers thats all.

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8. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

jimbo. as said above, go to your local tonight and buy a pint of beer and a pint of orange juice and lemonade. then compare. I will do the same in riegrovy sady beer garden and post back.

the only reason that a litre of beer is the same price as a coke in prague is not because the coke is so expensive, it is because the tax on the beer is so low. this is different from the UK example, where the tax on the beer is so expensive and the price of the soft drink is a real rip off.

As for comments against Brits, read my comment on the thread "Brits travelling to Prague". A British person, not myself, highlighted this article on the BBC website today. I agreed and gave an opinion about it. Noone expects that everyone has the same opinion on this forum and indeed, if everyone did have the same opinion, the forum would be extremely boring.

I personally think that British stag parties are ruining Prague and call me an old fuddy duddy if you will, I cannot understand the behaviour - it is completely alien to me. I do know that there are many other people who hold the same view. However, I do appreciate that not all British visitors to Prague are stag parties, but the statistics do show, that a sizeable proportion (much more than a very small minority of people) are indeed in this category.

Suffolk, England
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9. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

I wish I had read this too about the Mystic Cafe before being ripped off - they must have been getting away with this for years!!! I added a review so hopefully a few more people will be aware.

Bangkok, Thailand
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10. Re: Beware of tourist rip offs

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The Mystic is a cafe/restaurant on the steps on the way up to the castle (cannot remember the name of the street). We went in for 2 bowls of soup & a large & a small beer & the price was £12 (sterling). Daylight robbery!

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Griper, just curious, how much do you figure you would pay for the same deal in the London downtown?

Dont get me wrong. Im a fierce critic of Prague rip-offs and troubled customer care.

The rule of thumbs obviously applies in Prague:

The further from the city, the lower prices you find

Just one example: At the bottom of the Prague Castle stairs, they sell the 0.4 czech mineral water for at least 40CZK. Yes, the very same water that you can buy in normal shops in stores in the city for about 20 CZK. Outside the city, you buy this bottle for approx.9 CZK.