Throughout its 1,100 year existence, Prague has been a cultural hub in almost every era of history. It has sat two Holy Roman emperors and played major parts of both World Wars. Today, as one of the largest cities in the EU, it sees millions of tourists every year that come in search of the multitude of museums, galleries and historical exhibits. With over 10 major museums, it’s no wonder that Prague is rated sixth on a list of best destinations in the world.
With all of this said, it’s important to take into consideration what all of this might mean for your pocket. Over 6.4 million tourists a year simply translates to having a lot of practice at ripping people off. On my trip there, I was blown away by both the natural and archaic beauty of the city, but I also learnt some very important lessons about money.
The currency used by The Czech Republic is the Czech Koruna or the Czech Crown. Confusingly, the Czech Republic is in within the Euro-zone but they never adopted the Euro. However, in some establishments they will allow you to pay in Euros and when I visited, even US dollars. But there’s a catch! Because literally no one on earth knows by heart the current exchange rate between Czech money and their own money, what tends to end up happening is you get ridiculously overcharged.
Another problem I found was the daylight robbery pulled by the Money Exchange Bureaus. You’ll notice complaints of this if you read travel reviews; the rate advertised outside isn’t always the same or even close to the rate you’ll actually get. Don’t be swayed by any sign claiming ‘We take no commission’ as I suspect that might be Czech for “hahaha, sucker!” The tried and tested methods include;
- Converting your money in your own country
- Asking outright how much you will get for X amount of your given currency
- Using an ATM as they give up-to-date rates and aren’t generally malevolent (until Skynet goes live at least)
My last tip is a good one. The public transport system in Prague is phenomenal. If you’re planning to visit, I suggest making full use of it as the taxis there are an actual rip-off. With that said, if you find yourself with no other option but a taxi, you are going to want to find one licensed under a well-known company for safety reasons.This entry was posted in Europe