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January 16, 2018

Is Prague Safe? Most Common Scams in Prague to Avoid

To answer the question “is Prague safe” I listed the biggest traps tourists and foreigners in general might fall for in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

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Prague, together with Vienna and Budapest are the most visited cities of the so called Eastern Europe (or Central Europe – there is a big discussion regarding this) with a very respectul figure of 8 million foreign tourists visiting the heart of Czech Republic in 2014 alone. But, Is Prague Safe?

However like every main tourist destination, it also attracts a large amount of con men willing to take advantage of unaware visitors. I split this post in two sections, one featuring the most common scams that happen in Prague, and the other, that is intended to give the reader a general picture of crime in Prague.

Prague Scams

There are a number of scams going on in Prague and most of them are concentrated in the region of the old town and the Charles’ Brigde, which are the areas with the biggest influx of tourists.

One of the biggest concerns are taxis in Prague which will not only require you to buy much bigger fares than usual, but will also take you to specific bars or night clubs, with which they receive commissions to send customers. The places will often charge you bigger than usual checks, and will not allow you to leave until you pay it – often threatening you with physical force.

In the area of the Václavské náměstí (Wenceslau’s Square) tourists will be also constantly approached by a number of offers, ranging from drugs to strip bars, and most of them will not lead to anything positive. Most of these approaches take place in the middle of the street, without any reference to a legit business such as a leaflet, and it’s advisable to decline all of them.

Metro Scams do happen in Prague although they are not as frequent. They involve groups of people posing as employees of the transportation company and asking you to show a valid ticket. This especially happens when stations are empty. If you do have a valid ticket and you are certain of it, you can call the police or tell them that you will only pay if they call the police, if they are not legit employees they will give up in these circumstances.

Restaurant and bar scams are also common, and you should be careful to order anything from any place where items and their prices are not clearly visible on the menu.

Crime in Prague

The rates of violent crime in Prague are very low. Since it’s independence in 1991 crime in Prague has decreased consistently and recurrent problems of the past as car theft and corruption are at the lowest levels in two decades.

As a tourist, apart from the scams above mentioned you will have very little reasons to feel any kind of worry while in Prague. The perception of safety is overall definitely positive as voted by users in the comparison website numbeo. The percentage of users voting on a high level of safety is one of top among all touristic destinations overall, and you are likely to find yourself more confident and comfortable in Prague than in Germany, France, Poland or Hungary.

Is Prague Safe for Black People?

If you are a black person, or a person of any other non-European origin, you will probably be safer in Prague than in the UK or France, as the Czech Republic is a quite safe country, and the number of foreign tourists is high enough that locals are used to receive people from all backgrounds. Prague is also home of one of the biggest communities of Vietnamese people outside of Vietnam.

I hope this article has helped you to answer the question “is prague safe?” and understand the dynamics of the Czech capital.

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