Hello, traveling with my family to the Czech Republic for the first time. Any Jewish suggestions and recommendations?
Shalom! There is a group of Czech Jewish historians focusing only on the Jewish history of Prague and Terezin camp called 'Terezin Private tours' and 'Jewish quarter tours'. It says it all :) they are the best in the world. I have never experienced better lectures on history ever. They are connected with archives, universities, and different Jewish organizations. It took me a few unpleasant experiences with the state official 'guides' and commercial tour companies before I found Pavel Batel! He is not only a professional Holocaust lecturer and researcher but also a great writer (I just finished reading his first book 'The Tour guide story') and a true master storyteller! I felt like I was traveling back in time with him. It was an experience of a lifetime. My family passed through Theresienstadt and nobody except Pavel was able to read and explain the details from the original ghetto cards. State officials (I was in Terezin four times during one week) were telling me to hire a historian. So I did also this for the Jewish Quarter of Prague. His colleague Yvonne is a young academic at Charles University and her dedication to Prague Jewish history is the same as Pavel's to Terezin. Try to contact them and you will not regret it. Nothing and nobody compares to them!
We felt the best guide for Terezin is the phenomenal Pavel Batel. For the Jewish walking tour of Prague I recommend Yvonne Weisgrab. She is Pavel’s colleague. If you search on this forum you will read numerous recommendations. We were there in 2019 and highly recommend their knowledge and passion for this history. http://www.terezin-private-tours.com/ I also recommend Jason from Living Prague for city walking tours. His tours of the city, etc are wonderful. He too is highly recommended on this forum. He is kind, engaging & knowledgeable. We have hired guides throughout Europe and they were at the top of our list.
Exceptional tour of Terezin with Pavel Batel. Pavel was terrific tour guide and exceeded our expectations. His knowledge of Terezin and the people that were interned there was impressive, very informative, and best of all interesting. We were picked up and our hotel, driven to Terezin and given a history lesson along the way. If you plan to visit Terezin, we highly recommend doing it with Pavel. You will not be disappointed.
I had an excellent tour of Prague's Jewish Quarter with Renata Blazkova (firstname.lastname@example.org). In fact, I think I got the recommendation from someone else on this forum. This was in 2019. I have no idea if she's still doing these tours, but you should contact her and see if she's available.
I strongly recommend Terezin Private Tours email@example.com with Pavel Batel. It is well worth the cost.
I cannot imagine having a more enlightening and moving experience at Terezin than what we had with Pavel.
Pavel offers insights and understanding that are a level beyond what you are likely to find with a standard tour guide. He is one of a very few university researchers focused on the Holocaust in the Czech Republic. His deep knowledge of the Holocaust and history of the Jewish people in Czechoslovakia during the Pre-war, war and post-war period based on interviews with survivors and research and diaries from the period offers and exceptional experience.
We were part of a small group of 4 (two couples) and I cannot even imagine learning more and having a more enlightening and moving experience at Terezin than what we experienced with Pavel.
Hello! My family and I recently toured Prague’s Jewish Quarter with Yvonne Penkakova and were very impressed. Yvonne shared context to help us understand the bigger picture, she organized the sequence of the various sites to match their historical timelines. Her detailed understanding helped bring to life the history we were witnessing and meant that she could answer every detailed question we had, even about ritual nuances from synagogue architecture. Her English was fluent, she was very friendly, she had good energy but was willing to go at our pace, and she explained her own family’s fascinating story. Overall we would recommend Yvonne to anyone without hesitation. We have toured with many guides and Yvonne among the very best! She was worth every penny!
Whatever good things you have read about Terezin Private Tour with Pavel Batel and the Jewish Walking Tour of Prague organised from the same website I can only agree with.
Both guides (Pavel and Yvonne) offer in depth knowledge with super delivery. There is so much that can be said but frankly if you want high quality person guides to Jewish Prague or Terezin you will not do better.
We visited in December 2022 and spent a morning with Yvonne walking around the Jewish quarter of Prague, including access to the cemetery where the history of community over centuries 'came alive' pardon the pun. The next day, with three other couples, we were driven by Pavel to Terezin for a fascinating, memorable and ultimately thought provoking day. The harrowing stories of life and death there were illuminated sharply in the dark of the cells and crematorium.
I cannot recommend both tours highly enough.
Our tour of Terezin - both forts with Pavel Batel of Terezin Private Tours was exceptional. We learned so much from his depth of knowledge. Pavel's depth of knowledge of the site and it's history is impressive - the result of personal research. The stories are heart wrenching & powerful, and should not be forgotten.
During our tour, another group overheard his stories and asked if they could join us, because his knowledge was so much more comprehensive.
We highly recommend spending a day at Terezin w/ Pavel. You will never forget it!
@val_geol, just had to add that the same thing happened to us during our tour with Pavel. There was 5 of us and before we knew it another group had joined us to listen to Pavel. I have heard this more than once on this forum. His passion resonates and draws an emotional response like no other! I agree, “You will never forget it!” Thanks for sharing your experience.
I would highly recommend the Terezin Ghetto Tour with Pavel Batel. This guy has been researching and writing about Terezin for many years, and it shows through the many stories he tells along the way - this is stuff you would almost never hear abut otherwise! It really brings the whole experience close to your heart and soul. This is something that is extremely important to do and experience, and this is the guy to do it with. He will pick you up from your hotel and drive you out to the site and lead the way. Here's the website: https://terezin-private-tours.com/terezin-ghetto-tour.html
A few things:
It appears that Pavel Batel has quite the fan club among first time posters on this site, helping with a little PR.
I know the tourism industry has been through hard times, so I can understand the motivation.
Pavel Batel really is a phenomenal guide. Not good. Not great. He is truly outstanding.
Yes, I took his tour of Terezin in 2019. Going there was my primary motivation for returning to Prague.... talk about a "must see" for me. And I was determined to go with Pavel as the guide. He does justice to those who passed through Terezin.
So I hope this little PR campaign from Pavel's supporters (which I have no association with!) doesn't detract from anyone's perception.
Did a private tour with Pavel of Terezenstadt......fantastic. He was so knowledgable, took us to places that are not part of the regular tours, and was delightful to spend the day with. Highly reccommend
I highly recommend Pavel Batel of www.jewish-prague-tours.com for a private tour of Terezin. Pavel is an academic whose knowledge of Terezin is vast and who is able to convey this to his audience in a compelling manner. I especially appreciated his insights for my work-in-progress documentary on Czech Jews. In addition, his business partner Yvonne Penkavova is an excellent guide for the Jewish quarter of Prague.
One-time posts are from people who visited Terezin with Pavel and were kindly asked to mention their experience on travel forums like this one. People do that for him because in most cases they are impressed by such an experience of guiding. He is not a guide but an excellent writer-historian storyteller. People establish accounts even though they don't come here like myself! Lately, he is facing an interesting problem that people want to go to Terezin because of a fascinating experience so many others describe but not because of a desire to learn about Terezin. If you are not ready to learn details with patience about the Jewish tragedy, hatred, compassion, and kindness... if you want to only "see" the Terezin sites say I did it... don't go with Pavel!