Traveling to a city for the very first time is always exciting, especially when it is a famous European capital. While most people have Paris, London, Berlin, and Rome at the very top of their travel lists, those are only four countries on the Old Continent. There are many more worth your time, equally diverse and fun to explore. Czech Republic is certainly among them, a country perfectly placed for a mixing of Western and Eastern cultures of Europe. Its capital city of Prague has been an attractive tourist destination for decades as it is always among the most sought after trips, particularly during the holiday season. Perfect for both long and short trips, the city has so much in store no matter what you like.
However, as with many other places in the world, there are numerous things people believe about it that are simply not true. Stereotypes are sometimes to blame, but tourists are prone to making big mistakes on their own when visiting Prague. Nothing can ruin the whole trip as much as believing something and opting to do it without checking if it makes sense. If the road ever takes you to Prague or if you happen to be planning for traveling but have no idea where to go, here is an idea. What about going to the Czech capital but actually knowing what not to do when you get there? In this article we will talk about the biggest mistake you can make when visiting Prague so that you never make them.
1. Equating it with Russia
This mistake is usually made by people from Western Europe and North America, the places usually referred to as the West or the Western Civilization. It is a well-known fact that Czech Republic is one of the Slavic countries, and there is a certain stigma surrounding them. First of all, it does not take long for people to think they were all part of the USSR. Some believe they used to be Russia, others think that the Russian influence is as dominant as in some other Slavic countries. However, this country, particularly its capital, is anything but. There are of course traits that obviously give away the fact that you are in Eastern Europe. The language is Slavic just like Russian, but it is quite different. The biggest difference is the culture which has more in common with German than Russian. Just look at the architecture and the overall selection of food, drinks, and things to do. Not only is this equating a mistake for the tourists, but the Czechs are fed up with it because of history and traditions. It is borderline offensive and you should show care and respect for the locals no matter where you go. Do not think of it as just an Eastern European country and forget about Russia if you want a nicer holiday!
2. Believing Trdlo/Trdelnik is a Traditional Dish
The famous chimney cake many believe to be a take on the donut is one of the most popular sweets you can buy in Prague. However, it is everything but a national dish of the country. The city center is full of places where you can buy them and it is advertised as a traditional dish. Christmas and Easter markets are particularly filled with them. They are tasty and fun to photograph for your Instagram feed, but do not mistake them for a popular local delicacy. While the word for it is of Czech-Slovak origin, the same type of pastry was popular in Transylvania (Romania) and in Hungary during the 20th century. Prague is by far the place that elevated this pastry to new heights. Cafes in the center of the capital serve all sorts of trdelnik, most with a creamy filling or ice cream. Its history is too complicated to fit in a single paragraph and you should try it, but do not think it is local.
3. Only Stay in the Center
The center of Prague is a large area that spans several squares and numerous streets. There is a great mix of old and new, traditional and modern, and it can take a few days to properly tour everything. However, this should not be everything you see there. There are many other places you should visit while in Prague that are not in the immediate center. The most famous attractions and tourist zones are actually away. The Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, and St. Vitus Cathedral are downtown. However, the Prague Castle is not and it is the most important sight to see. You simply have to make your way outside of the center and explore it for a day. Make sure to check it out to make the most out of your Prague visit. Praguecastletickets.tours, more information here. The sights are not the only things tourists should explore. Walking about without a plan and allowing yourself to see the city during a regular day can teach you a lot. It is how the best memories are made.
4. Focusing on Beer and Food Too Much
Beer is overflowing in Prague, but do not come to the city solely for drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage. You should also not come just to try the famous sausages or pork knuckles. Do not get us wrong, they are delicious, but it would be a waste of time and of a holiday as a wider experience if your only driving force is food and drinks. This is how the city (and the country) attracts customers and you should definitely spoil yourself a bit, but leave enough time for other things. Shopping is fun in the city as it is a famous capital after all, so save some money for that as well. If you want to try the best restaurants and beerhouses, ask local tour guides and do not trust internet review services too much. People rarely post about their hometowns, meaning Trip Advisor ratings and reviews are by clueless tourists the likes of which you are not trying to be.