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Scams and Tourist Traps in Prague


As in all highly popular tourist destinations, there are plenty of traps in Prague of which visitors should be aware.

Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments

Every European capital has a museum of torture; the Czech capital is no exception. “Ours” offers a meagre collection of items, from plastic skeletons and drills to chastity belts, head crushers, and other undoubtedly “interesting” objects. Of course, if you aren’t a fan of cheap-looking imitations, we recommend that you avoid this poor-quality but expensive attraction.

Unfortunately, as is often the case with such sights, this monstrosity of a museum isn’t exactly inconspicuous – you’ll find it in the Old Town, right by one end of Charles Bridge. There is also a similar museum in Celetná Street.

Sex Machines Museum

When you walk from the lower part of Wenceslas Square through winding Melantrichova to the Old Town, you’re bound to notice the three-storey Sex Machines Museum at the end of this street. Visitor are lured inside by stories ancient sexual practices and various examples of erotic equipment, both ancient and modern. Admission is CZK 250, i.e. approximately EUR 10. For the same price, you can explore Prague Castle, among other things with one of our English-speaking guides. The standard admission for the short tour, without commentary, includes St Vitus Cathedral, Golden Lane, St George’s Basilica and the Old Royal Palace. Don’t even stop at the Melantrichova Street attraction. Instead, go exploring and discover the beauty of Prague.

Wax Museum

The Wax Museum is another place best avoided in all circumstances. This is especially so Prague, where there are so many other beautiful monuments to see. Basically, visiting this attraction is a waste of time.

Chocolate Museum

Isn’t chocolate a Belgian or Swiss speciality? So why to Prague to learn about the history of cocoa and chocolate? If you want to taste genuine Czech confectionery, it’s best to visit a cake shop and try a Czech dessert, such as an indiánek , (“Little Indian”, a chocolate-covered confection), laskonka (custard sandwiched between meringue slices), or a  větrník (“windmill”, similar to a choux bun). You’ll find a selection of the best places to try them in the “Prague Coffee Shops and Bakeries” sections.

Thai massage

You can’t miss Thai massage parlours as you walk around the centre of Prague. Long rows of chairs alternate with “fish pedicure” tanks, in the shop windows. Just dip your feet in the tank and let the fish get down to work. There’s no doubt that this sight offers a curious performance for all passers-by who are visiting Prague. Mostly because they can enjoy the spectacle, as they walk around the Old Town, of tourists having their feet nuzzled by fish. However, if you succumb to fatigue as you wander around Prague, how about refreshment for your body and soul at a spa we recommend? Enjoy real relaxation as professionals attend to you.

Prague souvenir shops

Searching for that perfect gift for your loved ones is no picnic, and one of the reasons why in the end we end up with the worst options. Either we rely on the duty-free zone at the airport or head for the souvenir shop at the last minute. The latter is most often found in Karlova Street, which leads from Old Town Square to the Charles Bridge. But if you don’t want to take home a “Czech Me Out” T-shirt or a Russian Matryoshka doll (we aren’t in Moscow but in Prague, the Czech capital), try to avoid such establishments.

You can find our selections here.

Restaurants in Prague

The term “service not included” already features in the “Tipping in Prague” section.

Some restaurants in the city centre try to increase guests’ bills by adding an “cover charge”.

When choosing a place, we recommend avoiding the main tourist routes, especially those in the Old Town or Wenceslas Square, where prices can be up to twice of those elsewhere and the service miserable. If you’re looking for a cup of coffee, a pint of beer, or well-prepared local fare, it pays to venture into the less frequented side streets. Here are some places that we recommend.

Restaurants at lunchtime offer a special menu at reasonable prices (usually around CZK 130 / approximately EUR 5), featuring mostly local dishes. The menu is therefore very rarely translated into English. But don’t hesitate to ask the waitstaff – maybe they’ll be kind enough to translate the meal titles for you.