The Reality of Scams in Prague

National Geographic offers a documentary series called Scam City which features scams from ten of the world’s most popular cities. “Ever had your pocket picked? Been ripped off by a taxi driver? Well, every year, hundreds of millions of tourists have their holidays ruined by conmen and scammers and often in the most glamorous cities on earth. Now Conor Woodman enters the underworld of petty crime and gets scammed…so you don’t have to”

I have just finished watching season 1, episode 2 which features scams in Prague, Czech Republic. I have just come back from an exchange here for three months and have personally witnessed a lot of these scams. There was nothing surprising on this documentary (well, I guess sort of the being threatened in a whore house and having to pay 500 euro), I have heard tell of every one of these scams even if I haven’t personally experienced it. Although this documentary is very real and Prague can be a sketchy place, this should not deter you from visiting this amazing city.  It will obviously talk about all of the scams because that’s what the show is about, it should the ratio/likelihood of this happening you should be considering yourself with. If you watch this documentary then this will bring you closer to not getting scammed because you will be aware of the realities and will watch yourself when put in similar situations.

Some tips:

  1. AAA taxi is a legit taxi service and will not rip you off. Make sure you have their number on hand in case you are ever in an emergency where you need a taxi. Also make sure you have the address written down for where you are staying in case of any language barriers
  2. If you are worried about taxis ripping you off then tack public transportation. Prague has very reliable transportation and offers trams, busses and a metro system. You can use the DPP site to plan your journey and see exactly where and when to catch the tram. The only downfall with this system is that you need to know the name of the stop you wish to get off at but this can be found by using Google Maps. If you Google the place you are going you can then look on the map to see which stops are in the area and base your journey off of that
  3. The Drunken Monkey has since closed down but it is a rip off of a pub crawl. We had a blast on this, it was my first real night in Prague, how could we not, but it was definitely not worth it! We could drink for “free” (i.e., after paying 500 czk just to go on the pubcrawl which would not cover the price of your beers and cover charges at the bars) in the first bar (The Drunken Monkey) but the beers were only 3.2%. The night we went on this pubcrawl was the first night of the alcohol prohibition so we were not able to drink any liquor so I cannot speak to the quality/availability of liquor VS beer
  4. Don’t buy drugs on the street. Just don’t. I know people who were ripped off both on quality and quantity. It’s all around stupid, if you REALLY need to get a fix, make friends with a local and get an insiders tip
  5. If you want to go to this Christmas Markets go to the ones at Náměstí Míru as opposed to Wenceslas Square. The prices are more reasonable and the items aren’t as touristy

2 thoughts on “The Reality of Scams in Prague

  1. Good advice here. I’ve been living and working in the Czech Republic for about nine years. I don’t get to Prague very often, but you really have to watch yourself in the centre where most of the tourist attractions are.

    As for pub crawling in the Czech Republic, I advise against it. If you like a good drink, Czech beers and spirits along with Moravian wine can be wonderful to experience. It really is a waste to get so wasted that it ceases to matter what you put in your system.

    Czech beer is like any other country’s beer, there’s good and not so good. Make some local friends and get their advice on the better brews and where to find them. The same can be said of Czech spirits, get a local to advise you.

    Not to advertise myself, but I do have a blog on the Czech Republic. The focus is not on Prague, but much of the information is applicable to any place in the country:

  2. good points here..Im czech, I used to live in Prague for 3 years, just watched the documentary “Scam City Prague”, heh, it looks like wild east, actually I was never rubbed there, but I didnt visit sex clubs, didnt buy drugs on street, once I noticed, the bartender tried to charge for many more beers, that I drank… its truth about taxidrivers, I talked to many tourists, while I was working in hostel, they got ripped off, some drivers charged them 10times the price! .. this is complete scandal, people should stand for their rights and visit the police station, if they feel, they´ve been misused or use public transport instead, which is good and can get you anywhere, anytime…

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