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What NOT To Do In Prague


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Rozelle Foster



Welcome to Prague, the enchanting capital of the Czech Republic, renowned for its rich history, captivating architecture, and vibrant culture. As you embark on your journey through this magical city, it is essential to be mindful of certain things to ensure a memorable and respectful visit. This article will guide you through what not to do in Prague, shedding light on common mistakes and cultural faux pas that tourists often make.


Prague holds a treasure trove of historical sites, from the iconic Prague Castle to the Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square. However, it is crucial not to overlook or dismiss these remarkable landmarks. They are not mere backdrops for a quick photo opportunity, but rather living pieces of history that deserve your time, appreciation, and respect.


The Czech Republic is famous for its delicious cuisine, and Prague’s culinary scene offers a plethora of traditional dishes and delightful treats. Don’t make the mistake of limiting yourself to international fast food chains or exclusively seeking familiar dishes. Embrace the local cuisine, try classic dishes such as goulash, svíčková, and trdelník, and venture into small local eateries for an authentic dining experience.


It’s essential to bear in mind that Prague has its own distinct culture and customs. Show respect by familiarizing yourself with local etiquette. Avoid being loud and rowdy in public spaces, and be mindful of personal space. Additionally, learn a few basic Czech phrases such as “Dobrý den” (Hello) and “Děkuji” (Thank you) to show appreciation for the locals’ hospitality.


While exploring the city, be cautious of scams and tourist traps that prey on unsuspecting visitors. Use official currency exchange offices or withdraw money from ATMs, and be wary of individuals offering unsolicited assistance or selling overpriced souvenirs. It’s crucial to research reliable sources of information and be vigilant to protect yourself from potential scams.


Prague boasts a lively nightlife scene, but excessive drinking and rowdiness in public spaces are frowned upon. Keep in mind that the city has multiple designated areas for enjoying alcoholic beverages, such as beer gardens and pubs. Enjoy your drinks responsibly and be considerate of other visitors and residents.


When visiting religious sites, it is important to dress appropriately out of respect for local customs and beliefs. Ensure your clothing covers your shoulders, chest, and knees. This applies not only to churches but also to monasteries, synagogues, and other religious places of significance.


Prague has a well-developed public transport system consisting of trams, buses, and the metro. Familiarize yourself with the ticketing system, and always validate your ticket before boarding. Remember to offer your seat to the elderly, pregnant women, or individuals with disabilities if necessary. Respecting the rules and etiquette of public transport will make for a smooth and pleasant journey.


Engaging in any form of illegal activities is not only against the law but also disrespectful to the local community. Prague has strict regulations regarding drugs, so it is essential to abide by the law and avoid involvement in any illicit activities. Enjoy the city’s offerings responsibly and within the boundaries of the law.


Like any popular tourist destination, Prague has its share of pickpockets and theft. Keep a close eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation. Use a money belt or secure bag to protect your valuables, and avoid displaying expensive jewelry or large amounts of cash. Stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.


As you navigate through Prague, remember that being a responsible and respectful tourist is crucial. Embrace the city’s rich culture, indulge in the local cuisine, and explore the historical sites with awe and appreciation. By avoiding the common mistakes outlined in this article, you will not only have an unforgettable experience, but you will also contribute to the preservation of Prague’s charm for future generations.


Ignoring the Historical Sites

Prague is a city steeped in history, with its picturesque streets serving as a living museum of architectural brilliance and cultural significance. One of the biggest mistakes tourists make is overlooking the historical sites that make Prague so unique.


The city’s crown jewel is undoubtedly Prague Castle, a majestic complex that has stood for over a thousand years. Its towering spires, grand halls, and stunning views of the city are not to be missed. Take the time to explore the castle grounds, visit St. Vitus Cathedral, and marvel at the intricate details of the Golden Lane.


Another iconic landmark is the Charles Bridge, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture adorned with statues and bustling with street performers and vendors. Don’t rush across it in pursuit of the next attraction. Pause, take in the breathtaking views of the Vltava River, and admire the stunning craftsmanship that went into its construction.


The Astronomical Clock in the Old Town Square is an engineering marvel and a symbol of Prague’s medieval past. Wait for the hourly performance when the clock comes to life, delighting onlookers with its intricate movements and symbolism. Take a moment to appreciate the centuries-old craftsmanship that still enchants visitors to this day.


Prague’s Jewish Quarter is another historically significant area that should not be ignored. Home to synagogues, the Old Jewish Cemetery, and the Jewish Museum, it offers a glimpse into the city’s Jewish heritage and the struggles faced by the community throughout history. Paying respects to those who suffered adds depth to your understanding of Prague’s complex past.


By ignoring these historical sites, you miss out on the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Prague’s rich cultural heritage. These landmarks serve as a window into the city’s fascinating story, and the stories of those who have shaped it over the centuries. Take the time to learn about the history, appreciate the architecture, and embrace the magic that lies within Prague’s historical sites.


Overlooking Local Cuisine

One of the biggest mistakes visitors make when exploring Prague is overlooking the local cuisine in favor of familiar international options. The Czech Republic has a rich culinary heritage, and Prague offers a wide range of traditional dishes that should not be missed.


Start your gastronomic adventure with a bowl of goulash, a hearty stew made with tender beef, onions, and paprika. This savory dish is often served with bread dumplings, which are perfect for soaking up the flavorful gravy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving it throughout your stay.


Another must-try dish is svíčková, a delicious combination of marinated beef sirloin, creamy sauce, and cranberry compote. This beloved Czech classic is often accompanied by bread dumplings and is known for its mouthwatering flavors and comforting appeal.


When it comes to street food, make sure to indulge in trdelník, a sweet pastry made from rolled dough coated with sugar and filled with various toppings such as Nutella, ice cream, or fruit. The aroma of the freshly baked trdelník wafting through the streets is simply irresistible.


Whether you’re a fan of meat or prefer vegetarian options, Prague has something for everyone. Try the traditional Czech dish called smažený sýr, which is fried cheese served with tartar sauce and a side of fries or salad. It’s a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.


Don’t forget to pair your meals with a glass of the world-famous Czech beer. The Czech Republic is renowned for its brewing traditions, and Prague boasts countless pubs and beer gardens where you can sample a wide variety of refreshing and flavorful beers.


Exploring the local cuisine not only satisfies your taste buds but also provides insight into the country’s culture and traditions. It allows you to connect with the locals on a deeper level and embrace the true essence of Prague. So step away from the familiar and dive into the tantalizing world of Czech cuisine. You won’t be disappointed.


Disrespecting the Local Culture and Customs

When visiting a foreign country like Prague, it is crucial to respect the local culture and customs. By doing so, you not only show appreciation for the country’s heritage but also ensure a positive and harmonious experience for both yourself and the locals.


Familiarize yourself with the basic etiquette of Prague to avoid any unintentional offense. Keep in mind that the Czech people value personal space and tend to be more reserved. Avoid being excessively loud or boisterous in public places, such as restaurants, museums, and transport, as it may be seen as disrespectful or disruptive.


When greeting locals, a simple “Dobrý den” (Hello) or “Děkuji” (Thank you) goes a long way. Taking the time to learn a few basic Czech phrases will show that you respect the local language and culture, even if your proficiency is limited.


Dress appropriately when visiting religious sites or attending cultural events. Ensure your clothing covers your shoulders, chest, and knees as a sign of respect. This applies not only to churches but also to monasteries, synagogues, and other places of worship. It’s important to honor the religious beliefs of the local community and adhere to their customs.


Tipping is customary in Prague, but it’s essential to understand the local norms. Generally, rounding up the bill or leaving a 10% tip is considered appropriate. However, always check if the service charge has already been included in the bill. Showing appreciation for good service is a way to acknowledge the hard work of those serving you.


Another aspect of local culture to be aware of is the Czech love for nature and outdoor activities. Prague boasts beautiful parks and gardens where locals enjoy spending their time. Respect the environment by disposing of trash properly and refraining from damaging or littering the natural spaces.


Engaging in conversations about sensitive historical or political topics can be delicate. It is advisable to approach such discussions with sensitivity and an open mind. It’s also important to remember that visitors are guests in the country, and it’s best to avoid making derogatory or disrespectful comments about the Czech culture or traditions.


By respecting the local culture and customs, you not only show consideration for the people of Prague but also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the city and its inhabitants. Embracing the local way of life allows you to create meaningful connections and make your visit to Prague a truly enriching experience.


Falling for Scams and Tourist Traps

Unfortunately, as a popular tourist destination, Prague is not immune to scams and tourist traps. It’s important to be aware and vigilant to protect yourself from falling victim to these tactics and ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to the city.


One common scam is the currency exchange trick. Avoid exchanging money on the street or with random individuals who offer attractive rates. Instead, use official currency exchange offices or withdraw money from ATMs located in legitimate and trusted establishments.


Be cautious of individuals who offer unsolicited assistance or try to sell you overpriced souvenirs. These scammers often target tourists who may be unfamiliar with the local prices or customs. Research reliable sources beforehand and be wary of anyone who seems too eager to help or pressure you into buying something.


Tourist traps can be found in popular areas, such as the Old Town Square or Charles Bridge, where you may encounter street performers or individuals dressed in traditional costumes. While some of these are genuine entertainers, others may be attempting to take advantage of unsuspecting visitors. Take your time to assess the situation and be cautious with your belongings.


It is advisable to research and book tours or activities through reputable companies to avoid falling for fake or overpriced experiences. Read reviews, check the credentials of the tour guides, and ensure that the company has a good reputation before making any reservations.


Additionally, be wary of restaurants or bars that appear overly eager for your business. Some establishments may lure you in with enticing offers but deliver subpar service or charge extravagant prices. Take the time to read reviews and ask locals for recommendations to ensure a pleasant dining or drinking experience.


Educating yourself about common scams and tourist traps will go a long way in protecting yourself and your belongings. Stay alert, trust your instincts, and don’t hesitate to seek assistance from authorities or tourism information centers if you feel uncomfortable or suspect any fraudulent activity.


By being informed and vigilant, you can navigate Prague with confidence and enjoy your visit without falling prey to scams or tourist traps. Remember, a little precaution goes a long way in ensuring a safe and memorable experience in this beautiful city.


Drinking Excessively in Public

Prague is known for its vibrant nightlife and renowned beer culture. While enjoying a drink or two can be part of the experience, it’s important to remember to drink responsibly and avoid excessive alcohol consumption, especially in public spaces.


While it is legal to consume alcohol in public areas such as parks or designated beer gardens, excessive drinking and rowdiness can disturb the peace and disrupt the experience for others. It’s crucial to be mindful of your behavior and respect the tranquility of these spaces.


Prague has a variety of pleasant beer gardens where you can sample the local brews while socializing with friends or enjoying the company of fellow travelers. These designated areas provide a more suitable and controlled environment for drinking, ensuring that everyone can have a pleasant time without causing unnecessary disturbances.


It’s also worth noting that public intoxication can put you at a higher risk of becoming a target for petty crime or falling victim to scams. Remaining aware of your surroundings and maintaining a clear mindset will help you stay safe during your visit.


It’s always a good idea to pace yourself, hydrate between drinks, and be mindful of your alcohol consumption. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the flavors and culture of Czech beer responsibly, rather than to overindulge and jeopardize your well-being or the experience of others.


If you plan to visit bars or pubs, be aware of your alcohol limits and plan your transportation accordingly. Prague has a reliable public transport system, including trams and the metro, which can safely transport you back to your accommodation. Alternatively, consider using a trusted taxi service or ridesharing app for a reliable journey.


By drinking responsibly and being aware of your alcohol consumption in public, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience in Prague. Embrace the beer culture, savor the flavors, but always remember to do so with moderation and respect for those around you.


Dressing Inappropriately for Religious Sites

Prague is home to several stunning religious sites, including churches, synagogues, and monasteries. When visiting these sacred places, it is important to dress appropriately as a sign of respect for the religious beliefs and practices of the local community.


Ensure that your clothing covers your shoulders, chest, and knees when entering religious sites. This applies not only to women but also to men. Avoid wearing revealing tops, sleeveless shirts, shorts, or miniskirts. It is advisable to bring a shawl or a light jacket to cover bare shoulders if needed.


By adhering to these dress code guidelines, you show respect for the sanctity of the religious site and the beliefs of those who worship there. It enhances the spiritual experience for both yourself and others visiting the site.


It’s important to note that some religious sites may provide cover-ups or shawls for visitors who may have unknowingly dressed inappropriately. However, it is best to come prepared and dress appropriately from the outset.


When visiting synagogues in the Jewish Quarter, it is important to dress modestly as well. As a mark of respect, men should wear a yarmulke (skullcap) when entering and while inside the synagogue.


Remember, these religious sites hold significance and are places of worship for many individuals. By dressing appropriately, you not only demonstrate respect but also display your understanding and appreciation for the cultural and religious values of the local community.


As you explore Prague’s religious sites, take a moment to reflect on their historical and cultural importance. Embrace the opportunity to learn about different faiths and traditions, and let your attire reflect your respect for the beliefs and customs of others.


Disregarding Public Transport Etiquette

Prague boasts a well-developed and efficient public transport system, consisting of trams, buses, and the metro. While using public transport is a convenient way to get around the city, it’s important to be mindful of the etiquette and rules to ensure a smooth and pleasant journey for everyone.


When traveling on trams or buses, it is customary to offer your seat to those who are elderly, pregnant, or have disabilities. This simple act of consideration makes the journey more comfortable for those who may require it. Keep an eye out for priority seating and be ready to offer it to those in need.


It’s important to respect the designated spaces for passengers with disabilities or prams/strollers. Avoid occupying these spaces if you don’t require them, allowing those who do to access them easily.


Remember to validate your ticket as soon as you board a tram, bus, or metro. Failure to do so could result in a fine if caught by ticket inspectors. It’s also important to have your ticket available for inspection throughout your journey, as random checks are common.


Keep in mind that Prague’s public transport can become crowded during peak hours. Be considerate of your fellow passengers by keeping your belongings close to you and avoiding blocking aisles or doorways. This ensures a smooth flow of passengers and prevents unnecessary inconvenience.


Prague’s metro system is known for its efficiency and cleanliness. Help maintain this by not eating, drinking, or smoking inside metro stations or on the trains. Eating or drinking on trams and buses should also be avoided, especially during busy periods when spillages could cause additional inconvenience.


Additionally, it is polite to keep the volume of your conversations or electronic devices at a respectful level. Excessive noise can disrupt the tranquility of the journey and disturb fellow passengers.


By adhering to these public transport etiquette guidelines, you contribute to a positive and pleasant experience for yourself and others. The efficient public transportation system enables everyone to navigate Prague conveniently, and by respecting the rules and etiquette, you help maintain a harmonious environment for all passengers.


Partaking in Illegal Activities

It should go without saying that engaging in any form of illegal activity while visiting Prague is not only against the law but also disrespectful to the local community. It’s essential to be aware of the city’s regulations and maintain a sense of responsibility during your stay.


The Czech Republic has strict laws regarding drugs, and attempting to buy, sell, possess, or use drugs is a criminal offense. This includes marijuana, despite its relatively relaxed reputation in certain other countries. Violating drug laws can result in severe consequences, including fines, imprisonment, and deportation.


It’s important to remember that laws and regulations exist in place to protect both residents and visitors. By respecting these laws, you contribute to the safety and well-being of yourself and those around you.


Another illegal activity to avoid is the purchase and sale of counterfeit goods. While it may be tempting to purchase cheap designer items or pirated media, it’s important to refrain from participating in such activities. These actions not only support organized crime but also diminish the value of genuine products and harm the local economy.


As a responsible traveler, it is essential to be mindful of local laws, customs, and cultural sensitivities. Remember that you are a guest in the country and should act accordingly. This includes being aware of local regulations regarding public behavior, noise levels, and respect for public and private property.


By partaking in illegal activities, you not only risk facing legal consequences but also tarnish your reputation and the reputation of your home country. Travel should be a positive and enriching experience for both yourself and the countries you visit. By abiding by the laws and regulations, you ensure that your visit to Prague is memorable for all the right reasons.


Being Unaware of Pickpockets and Theft

Like any popular tourist destination, Prague has its share of pickpockets and theft. It’s crucial to be aware of this and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your belongings while exploring the city.


Pickpockets often target crowded tourist areas, such as the Charles Bridge, Old Town Square, or public transportation hubs. They operate discreetly, so it’s important to remain vigilant and keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.


Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or displaying valuable jewelry. Instead, opt for a secure money belt or a well-secured bag that is not easily accessible to pickpockets. Keep your belongings, including passports, wallets, and smartphones, in a secure and concealed location.


Be cautious of distractions created by strangers, as pickpockets may work in teams to divert your attention. Common techniques include bumping into you, asking for directions, or creating a commotion. Stay alert and maintain a firm grip on your belongings, especially in crowded areas.


It’s advisable to avoid leaving your belongings unattended in public places, even for a brief moment. Restaurants, cafes, and public transportation are common areas where theft can occur. Stay mindful of your surroundings and take necessary precautions to protect your valuables.


If you notice any suspicious activity or believe you have been targeted by a pickpocket, report it immediately to the local authorities. Keep a record of important phone numbers, such as the local police and your embassy, in case of any emergencies or incidents.


Being aware of pickpocketing risks and taking preventive measures will significantly reduce the chances of falling victim to theft or losing your personal belongings. By staying alert and practicing caution, you can enjoy your time in Prague with peace of mind and focus more on the city’s beauty and attractions.



As you explore Prague, it’s important to be mindful of certain things to ensure a memorable and respectful visit. By avoiding common pitfalls and following cultural etiquettes, you can make the most of your time in this enchanting city.


Ignoring the historical sites means missing out on the rich stories and architectural wonders that Prague has to offer. Take the time to appreciate the landmarks and understand their significance.


Embrace the local cuisine and indulge in traditional Czech dishes. Step away from familiar options and experience the flavors that make this country unique.


Show respect for the local culture and customs. Familiarize yourself with basic etiquette, dress appropriately, and learn a few Czech phrases to engage with the locals more authentically.


Be aware of scams and tourist traps to protect yourself from unnecessary financial loss or disappointment. Research reliable sources and exercise caution when faced with deals that seem too good to be true.


Drink responsibly and avoid excessive public intoxication. Enjoy Prague’s beer culture, but remember to respect others and maintain appropriate behavior in public spaces.


Dress appropriately when visiting religious sites to honor the beliefs and customs of the local community. By dressing modestly, you show respect and contribute to a harmonious atmosphere.


Adhere to public transport etiquette, offering seats to those in need and respecting the rules and regulations of the transport system. By doing so, you ensure a positive experience for yourself and fellow passengers.


Avoid partaking in any illegal activities and respect the laws of the country. By doing so, you contribute to the safety and reputation of yourself and your home country.


Stay vigilant against pickpockets and theft, keeping your belongings secure and being aware of your surroundings. By taking necessary precautions, you can protect yourself and enjoy your visit to Prague with peace of mind.


By being a responsible traveler and respecting the city’s culture, customs, and laws, you can have a truly enriching experience in Prague. Embrace the history, savor the cuisine, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this captivating city. Let your visit leave a positive impact, both on you and the beautiful city of Prague, for years to come.