Prague Safety

i have traveled to some of the major european cities such as paris, rome, venice, etc. i have never been to prauge. i read a lot about safety and pickpockets. i feel after reading articles this is a huge deal. is it a safe city to travel to for a week with your wife? after reading articles i don't want to visit anymore. Do you think i'm over thinking the danger??

Posted by ashley
baton rouge, la, US
269 posts

Just to chime in: I've been to Prague three times. I spent the summer there as a graduate student, then visited twice with my boyfriend since then, the most recent being summer of 2009. Prague is just like any major city with an enormous influx of tourists. You'll be fine if you take normal travel precautions. We have wandered far and wide throughout the city center and way beyond and never had a problem.

Posted by Alan
Brighton, UK
631 posts

Thomas I spend about ten days a year in Prague visiting friends and have never had any trouble or felt threatened at all. My friend has lived there for seven years and had his pocket picked once while out very late at night. Apply the usual precautions - keep your money safely tucked away, don't wander into any area where you don't feel comfortable - and you should be fine. And it's worth it. Prague is a beautiful city and not to be missed if you can make it. Alan

Posted by Nancy
Dallas, TX, USA
144 posts

Prague is as safe as any of the other cities you mention. Just use common sense regarding your wallet. You and your wife are safe walking even at night almost anywhere in the city. Have fun and don't worry.

Posted by Amy
Madison, WI, USA
455 posts

We spent 4 nights in Prague and though I felt I needed to be more vigilant - it was not unsafe. I would put it right up there with Rome. You might be targeted for a pickpocket - but not likely anything violent. We roamed the streets at all hours of the night. Keep in mind too that the city is full of all kinds of tourists...so safety in numbers. The worst I can tell you was that while in St. Wenzeslas square my husband and I seemed to be being followed by a young guy...his eyes would dart away from us every time we turned around to look at him. I am positive he was trying to steal. We didn't give him the opportunity. So that was the WORST. Everything else was just normal for the rest of our time there. Money Belt!

Posted by Tanya
Charlotte, NC
49 posts

Hi Thomas, I was also apprehensive about going to Prague after all that I had read. I went with my Mother and had no issues at all. Just like the above posters stated - you might be a target for pickpockets because you are a tourist. I had a great time in Prague and am plannign to go back next year. By smart and you'll be just fine - hope you have a great trip!

Posted by Ilja
Seattle
1464 posts

I was in Prague many many times. Only once some Polish guys attempted to pickpocket me at Main train station. I was in Rome only once and every time I was on bus or subway somebody tried. I think that Rome has many more pickpockets per square mile than Prague. In my two visits to Paris no pickpocket attempt was made. Neither in Venice. I heard that Barcelona is the worst but I haven't been there.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2375 posts

There is little reason to worry. I'd guess Prague has a higher share of pickpockets and more areas outside of the tourist zones to avoid, but common sense vigilance is all that is required to avoid problems. From what I've read, you're more likely to get scammed at a touristy restaurant than anything. Avoid those, learn a couple basic greetings in Czech, and enjoy a wonderful city.

Posted by Emma
Derry
161 posts

Hi Thomas, RS's book on Prague scared the b'geebers out of me. I arrived on the 16th of July and five days later I was almost disappointed that nobody even noticed that I was there. Rode the tram, bus, train, metro, taxi, stood in crowds both day and night by "The Clock", Wenceslas Square, the Charles Bridge the Castle Quarter and Market. Nothing, Nada. It didn't seem fair. Relax, forget the bling, wear your moneybelt and enjoy the city.

Posted by Brad
Greeley, CO, USA
232 posts

Thomas we were just there in June. I concur with everyone here. And there are now cops everywhere at the major tram stops etc. We felt like we were in New York City with all the cops where tourists congregate. Loved that place. New york and prague i mean of course. Brad

Posted by thomas
atlanta
6 posts

Thank you everyone for your input! i can't tell you how reassuring it is to hear good things. i can't wait for the trip!

Posted by Amanda
Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
45 posts

The key to traveling anywhere is to make sure that you blend in with the "local" crowd. Now I understand that is hard to do in some countries, however, if you do not represent yourself as the "typical" American, you should not have any problems. I visited Prague this past January and LOVED it. If you pass it up, you will be missing a truly lovely city!! The entire city is so vibrant and warm and the people are so nice! I hope you decide to go. Just remember that you have just as much chance of getting pick pocketed in Prague as you do in Paris, Rome, or Barcelona. Good luck! Amanda

Posted by Dutch
San Pedro, California
100 posts

I'll be making my first trip to Prague in mid-December for 2 nights. I've been freaking myself out reading about Czech safety and I'm really glad to read here from you on this board who have been to Prague recently. I am very cautious by nature anyway, having a great time in Rome and all over Northern Italy...not one problem there at all theft wise. I know all the precautions in public overseas and employ them always, but for some reason Prague literally terrified me..and I want to see it so bad. Thanks so much for making me feel better, guys. Peace to all Dutch

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2375 posts

Dutch and Thomas - I can actually understand why you feel that way. Many guidebooks, RS included, seem to overplay the "dangers" in Prague. Before I went last fall, I was quite concerned that I'd be cheated at a restaurant almost daily. Never happened and I had some wonderful meals (if you like roast pork...). Though it is good to do anywhere, I found having a few basic Czech greetings very helpful and it almost always warms you to whomever you are talking. I'd also avoid the most touristy restaurants right on the main square and streets and don't wander alone down dark deserted streets far from the central tourist areas. All pretty much the basic precautions.

Posted by Glenn
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
307 posts

Thomas, I spent 4 days in Prague last fall and would highly recommend it. It's a beautiful city and I didn't feel any less secure there than other cities in Europe. I was however, "accosted" by a couple of ladies on Wenceslas Square one evening( about 10:30) who wanted me to take them to a bar for a"few drinks"...they had the bar picked out and everything!....lol...of course I quickly and politely declined and went on my merry way, recognizing that there was something suspicious about them. Other than that, I found Prague to be a great city and would go back for another visit without any apprehensions at all.I traveled during the day with all my important documents safely secured in my money belt, and all other items in my day pack. Go for it, you won't regret it...

Posted by Ken
Spring, Texas
599 posts

I spent several days in Prague and didn't have a problem. I also have not had a problem anywhere else I've been in Europe. I keep everything of value under my clothes in a money belt. I'll carry a little bit of cash in a pocket without anything else in it. I also carry a decoy wallet in my back pocket. I use it to carry handwipes and some tissue. I figure any pickpocket will go for the obvious target. So far, no one has taken it. Back when I worked for a European company based in Brussels, many of us managers would make routine trips there. I couldn't believe how many of my peers (and superiors) got taken at the Brussels Airport. Several lost all their cash, credit cards and passports in one hit. We all got the same suggestion about taking precautions but they seemed to think they were somehow special. BTW - I've never lost my decoy wallet but I think there was one attempt. That was in Prague, by the clock.

Posted by Ann
Summerfield, F:L, USA
71 posts

Nice to learn that many people traveled in Prague without a problem. I cannot say that, however. Ear rings and a beaded necklace that one of my students made was stolen right off my body while in the Cathedral. Had them when I entered, but not when I outside again. I think it must have happened in the Ambultory behind the altar as it was jam packed with people pushing. No value to lost jewelry. But it is the principal of the act. After that I do not wear any jewelry except for an old watch in the Eastern European contries and I have been all over! I do always wear a money belt and a light jacket/shirt. If it is too hot, I tie it around my waist. Enjoy! Ann

Posted by SL
USA
34 posts

I just returned from Prague about a week ago, and it is as safe as any other North American or European city. That being said, I would advise you to take the usual precautions as you would in any major city, wear a money belt, and have a great time. Prague is a beautiful city, and if you get the chance, definitely try to catch a Black Light Theater performance!

Posted by Mardee
Cincinnati, OH, USA
155 posts

I am a single woman who has also been to most major European cities. I just got back from Prague and didn't feel any different about Prague than I did about Rome or Paris or Venice. I never felt the least unsafe nor was anything stolen from me. Obviously, I took normal precautions, but Prague is just like any other big city. Keep your valuables in a safe place, and use common sense and you'll be fine.

Posted by Wendy
Chatham
25 posts

We just returned this week and loved every second of Prague. We spent 4 days there, no issues with safety or pickpockets. We walked all over including at night, not a bit of hesitation on our part.