POTENTIAL INCONVENIENCES, MISUNDERSTANDINGS & DANGERS
The Czech Republic is one of the safest and calmest places in the world - even its revolutions and power changes tend to be "soft".
The breakdown of former Czechoslovakia was the only peaceful division of any country at the end of 20th century.
Its return to democracy and removal of the communist regime in 1989 is typically called "velvet revolution".
Prince Vaclav (Wenceslas) considered the Czech Patron-Saint whose equestrian statue is dominating Prague's main square, would hardly be considered great warrior. He, as well as Charles IV, another "Father of the Homeland" is rather known as a keen builder and a peace-loving pious man.
So, having excluded war, revolution and violent regime change, Prague is one of safest European capitals in terms of your personal safety. It is however also notorious for its (mostly imported) pick-pockets.
Our advice: keep all your valuables deep in your inside pocket well protected especially when traveling by public transport, you will avoid hours of waiting at the local police (just to get a confirmed statement that your documents had been stolen) and another hours at your embassy.
However, special attention should be paid to two following topics:
1) Fraudulent money exchange- we mean both street changers (never change money on the street! You will get Bulgarian currency worth less than the paper it is printed on) and regular exchange offices. To change money in the banks is fair but quite expensive and lengthy. If you chose the exchange office, always enquire how much you get netto for your money. Don't be fooled by large "0% commission" signs on their premises. It is 0% if you buy foreign currency, but you are buying Czech Crowns and some will charge you up to 20% and would not give your money back if asked for. Especially the large and seriously looking companies! Still many offices are very fair and offer good rates and 0 commission.
2) Taxis/cabs. If you catch a taxi on the street (instead of calling by phone) you will often pay 3 times more!
Some phone numbers of large local taxi operators:
257 257 257 City Taxi
2 3311 3311 AAA Taxi
2 4411 4411 Halo Taxi
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