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Airbnb + Prague / Prague Reputation = Value or Problem

Okay, I was kind of surprised that Prague has such expensive lodging. I guess there is demand and it's legitimate (after all, it's in Rick!), so it is what it is. Enter, Airbnb.com, the cool new (to me) way of finding small listings, directly. And WOW am I finding places that I'd love to stay. And in anywhere else I've been, I'd be done. But then, I remember the thing about Prague... taxis with broken meters. Waiters with bad math. Credit cards that cannot be let out of your sight. A whole page of sidebar, way above and beyond Rick's usual guidelines about money belts and pickpockets. So, when I see a listing for an apartment in Old Town Prague for $110 USD/night, should I be wary? There are a ton of listings for single apartments in Old Town that would suggest to me a market has been set lower than hotels and pensions and the like due to supply. But too good to be true? Any experience?

Posted by
1246 posts

Max I've used Airbnb three times in Prague over the last couple of years with absolutely no problems. In my experience the places are as listed and we've been pleased with the apartments we've had. Obviously check reviews and look at the pictures / features but I'd say that if you find one you like the look of then go for it! Alan

Posted by
31 posts

We used old town apartments rentals in Prague; had great apartment in old town across the street from the river. Did not expierence any rip off experiencest in Prague very safe city rode subway; teams; buses; taxis

Posted by
12320 posts

As long as you understand that you will be, or could be, dealing with individuals who sort of rent their apartment as sort of a hobby. You could get a gem or you could get the little old lady from..... I don't know how the AirBnB review system works but I do know that one of the largest if not the largest front for individual apartment rentals takes reviews by invitation of the apartment owner which might skew the results. I would look for a company (and they can be on AirBnB) that has several apartments for rent. They have a lot invested in stock and inventory and cant afford a bad rep and they are more likely to make it right if you do have an issue.

Posted by
337 posts

Thank you all for the thoughtfull replies.
Have booked for both Vienna and Pargue with AirBnB, in Prague, with a larger company with an inventory of about 30 rooms on AirBnB in Prague 1 and 7. In Vienna, less concern, a block south of Mariahilferstasse, between the first ring and the second.

Posted by
783 posts

Hi Max, I was also struck by Rick's warnings about Prague. It seemed way more serious than warnings about other countries. But I found Prague to be just like any other European big city (or ANY big city, for that matter)- watch your valuables, use common sense, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. But I did not feel like it was worse than other countries with regard to theft.

Posted by
12320 posts

I haven't been to Prague in a few years so when I read about Warnings I did some research and was stunned. That's way too bad even if it is all just half true. Thankfully we don't have those problems in Budapest (yet?) and it will break my heart if it ever gets that bad in Budapest. I guess our two glaring exceptions are the cabs at the train station where you could end up paying $20 for a $10 ride and the nudie bars where you will be lucky to get out with out being completely scammed. But that's the absolute worst of it.

Posted by
337 posts

Scam City, a TV show a friend mentioned, did their first episode in Prague. http://youtu.be/a8CLA4NxuO0 As someone who grew up in NYC before it went Disney, I'm on my guard kind of always.

Posted by
12320 posts

I guess the wall to wall tourism has also attracted some shifty types as well. Most of Central Europe is as safe or safer than 90% of the US. Prague is s beautiful town its a shame.

Posted by
337 posts

Well, I've learned... Don't buy cocaine (wasn't in my plan) Count change assiduously (mentioned in the guidebook) Don't let locals get touchy feely with you on the street (seems logical from my upbringing) Don't ride in a taxi to a place you didn't ask for in search of prostitutes (wife would've kept me from that, if I were the type). Ask prices of cabbies from the start (not planning on cabs).
And more.

Posted by
12320 posts

Yup, that's pretty much the list. The only place I have actually seen tourists being attacked was Paris, on two occasions, three if you count the one that tried to open my back pack.....while I was wearing it!

Posted by
224 posts

We've never been to Prague but am also been a bit surprised at the amount of info on scams and pick pockets. Even on Samantha Brown's Prague episode she talks about pick pockets. Hopefully my years of living in DC and our years being seasoned travelers will keep us safe! In 20 years we've only had a camera lifted in Mexico but after backtracking and offering $50, we got the camera back. And my husband swears his passport was stolen between Heathrow and our hotel, but I'm pretty sure lack of sleep because of a group of noisy teens and too many free glasses of red wine, he just dropped it somewhere.

Posted by
12320 posts

Linda, I don't know if I would say we have been fortunate or if life is just this good. More than two dozen trips over a decade and except for one gypsy's half hearted attempt to unzip my backpack in Paris; form Port Elizabeth S.A. to Moscow to British Columbia to Honduras and points in between I have never, ever had a loss of any kind. Now I am absolutely certain I just jinxed myself.

Posted by
4637 posts

I have been to Prague many times. Only once I had a bad experience when two polish guys tried to pickpocket me at Main Train Station, fortunately they did not achieve their goal. IMHO opinion Rome is much worse. I was there once and every time I was on public transport somebody tried to get to my money.