Subject: Re: Restaurants in Prague (was Local cash in Prague)
Dear Carollyn, Here's the first e-mail, advising about transportation and some restaurant advice.


The normal cab ride from the airport into Prague is 600 Czech crowns (just under $18), if you can get a taxi driver to agree to that price. To avoid having to deal with these rip-off artists an enterprising company has started a shuttle service. Cedaz Airport service has white vans able to carry about eight passengers and their luggage. In the city they leave from Republic Square, and at the airport they wait outside the international terminal arrivals area. To go and come from these two locations is 90 crowns (less than $3). They leave from the square every half hour from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm. They will also take a group of one to four persons to any address in the city center for 360 crowns (about $10), outside city center 720 crowns (about $22). To be picked up at a specific location you must call at least two hours before you want to depart to airport. Their phone number is (4202)2011-4296 or 2428-1005. Fax (4202)2011-4286.

The only reliable taxi co. is AAA (phone:3311-3311), an ultra-reliable cab company a Prague rarity, with English-speaking dispatchers and the lowest rates in town. About 320 crowns, $15 to airport.


Overcharging at Prague restaurants is less common now than it was a few years ago. But it still pays to check the bill, and if you use your credit card, keep a receipt to check against your statement when you get home.

Watch for the following tricks used by waiters throughout Eastern Europe, especially Czechoslovakia, to overcharge you: when you ask for a menu if they tell you they don't have one, insist, even if they say it is in their language, say no problem, they don't want you to see the prices, they would rather invent them; fish is very risky, once the bill comes you'll see five times the menu price, that was for 150 grams, you got 800; sometimes they will offer things that aren't on the menu, saying that nothing else is available (this is possible, but not likely), if the price is okay, go ahead but watch the bill, they are rarely itemized, just a list of numbers, check them versus a menu or your memory; very often, mysterious and quite large extra charges will be wedged in, ask about them, so few ask they normally fix the problem without a hassle; they like to bring expensive drinks or appetizers even if you don't order them, refuse; avoid anything but beer and simple drinks; with reforms and inflation coming on so fast, restaurants will often keep the old menus and just have a sign stating that all prices are 20% higher; never take anything without asking the price; see how the price compares to an average wage (2500 to 3000 crowns), no one will pay a week's wages for a meal; if it gets ugly, bring small bills, pay according to the menu and leave.