The Growing Prague Comedy Scene

English speaking comedy might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Prague, Czech Republic, but the idea is slowly catching on. Slowly but surely, the crowds are growing and the competition for spots is getting fierce.

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“Any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh.” – Stephen King

There are several venues across the city that have weekly gigs and a range of comedians from all parts of the world. Many of the venues have first-time comics, who can test themselves to see if they can make people laugh. If you’re brave enough, request a slot and give it a try. Many of the most famous comedians in the world started this way and gained experience and confidence by touring cities and playing in bars and clubs.

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”  – Mel Brooks

Prague Comedy Venues:

Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average. The comedians in Prague are certainly above average and will have you in hysterics on a weekly basis. The best venues to check out the comedy are RedRoom, organized weekly by Comedy PragueTchaiovna, Czech Inn Hostel and California Republic. The shows are always advertised on Facebook so check the pages and sign up to see what it’s all about.

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Come and enjoy the growing English speaking comedy scene in Prague. It’s an eclectic mix of expats, locals, and passers through who devote themselves to entertaining the masses with their unique styles and witty jokes.

The Comedians:

It would only be right to mention the man who helped kick off the English Speaking comedy scene in Prague, Luke Ryan, as he is genuinely hilarious and extremely motivated in developing new comedians and growing the scene.

The comedians in Prague are getting better and better and there are just too many to mention, but here is a quick selection from a recent event, with me at the top of course.

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The Prague Earthquake – Latest Updates

An earthquake registering 4.1 on the Richter scale shook Prague and the Karlovy Vary region overnight, causing some aggravated pets and mild trembles in some areas.

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The earthquake originated in the Luby district of the Karlovy Vary region and reached as far as Prague. This is the first time in 4 years that an earthquake of this magnitude has hit the region. According the Richter scale, a scale invented by Charles F. Richter to identify the magnitude of earthquakes, an event of this scale can cause the following effects:

‘Noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. Felt by most people in the affected area. Slightly felt outside. Generally causes none to minimal damage. Moderate to significant damage very unlikely. Some objects may fall off shelves or be knocked over.’

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*Possible effect of an earthquake

Prague doesn’t normally come to mind when you think of earthquakes and many residents were rightly concerned about the event. One Prague resident complained:

“It was mental. The dogs wouldn’t stop barking and my signed Michael Chopra photo fell off the shelf” – Mr M Colley – Prague resident

So far very few incidents of property damage have been reported to authorities and the geological office have said that this is a rare event and we’ve nothing to worry about.

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You can check on all geological events here.

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5 Ways To Make Friends In Prague, Czech Republic

How To Make Friends In Prague

Moving to any new city can be a daunting prospect. First there are the legal requirements and documentation to adhere to and the dreaded foreign office where you are labelled an alien questioned about your motives. If you aren’t moving for work, employment is also high on the priority list, as is finding long-term accommodation if you don’t already have it covered.

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Once you’re working, living comfortably and settled, you’re gonna need some friends. Sure it’s nice to go out with colleagues from time to time, but it’s always good to separate work and social life by finding people with similar interests and hobbies to enjoy spending your time with.

Whilst the planet is getting ever closer and ever more connected with social networking and the internet, it can still be a daunting prospect to go out in the outside world and make buddies.

So for Prague newbies, oldies, or indeed anyone looking to make new pals, here’s a few easy ways to make new friends in Prague.

InterNations

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InterNations is a company developed specifically for the above purpose. If you sign up on their website, you’ll get invites to their well-organized parties and events, where you’ll get the chance to meet other people in the same boat as you. It isn’t just about going to the pub with a label that says ‘Hi I’m Dave’ as the events have themes and entertainment where you’ll get a chance to try something new. I have a great memory of learning tango, although the instructor specifically pointed me out as the worst he’d ever seen, and I don’t blame him.

As the largest international community for people who live and work abroad, InterNations offers global networking opportunities, local events and expat-relevant information. At around 3,500 monthly events and activities, expats get to meet fellow internationals in their city, while forums and destination guides provide valuable tips and information. To ensure the quality of the network, InterNations membership is by approval only.

Reddit

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Reddit is an excellent forum where people post thoughts, questions, links and invites which are divided into subcategories. If you check the Czech forum, or subreddit, you’ll find people asking for restaurant tips, people asking if anyone wants to join them for a football match and even searching for beer buddies.

Obviously keep your wits about you if you agree to meet some randoms for a beer, but it can be a great way to meet new people. 5 Years ago I met some Italian guys who were new to Prague, asking about football teams to play for and we’re still friends today; although we drink beer more than playing football these days.

MeetUp

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MeetUp is a cool application that provides a platform for people to organize events for likeminded individuals. If you’re a chess player looking for some friendly competition, a musician looking for people to jam with or a book fiend looking for a discussion, check out meetup and there should be a group meeting with your interests. It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests and hobbies, or alternatively just a nice way to meet people new to the city and looking to meet new people.

Old School Way – Pubs

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Some people are able to just walk into a pub, sit at the bar and strike up a conversation with other people. That’s one way I like to make acquaintances, although I understand that not everybody has the confidence to do that, and it isn’t always successful.

If you are one of those who doesn’t mind talking about sports or whatnot to randoms, head down to a decent bar in Prague, especially when there is football on the television so that you can start a conversation by calling the referee a derogatory name.

Facebook Groups and Pages

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Despite its recent security problems and data loss scandals, Facebook is still an extremely useful resource for those looking to keep in touch with friends and those looking to make new ones.

There are many groups and pages on Facebook that advertise events and gatherings across Prague and they often concentrate on bringing together people with similar interests.

Here’s a few that I found with just a quick search:

Prague TV

Prague Hang-Out Friends

Prague Happening Now

Expats in Prague

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The 2018 Prague Beer Marathon

Come and join us in July for the 2018 Prague Beer Marathon

A few years ago I was sat in a Prague beer garden watching the annual Volkswagen Prague marathon. I watched with interest as the sweaty competitors’ streamed past, painfully panting in the hot weather and decided that I wanted to give it a go. I wanted to give it a try, push myself to the edge of my physical capabilities and be proud of something I’d accomplished.

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Exactly one year later, sitting in the pub garden once again, watching the runners go past, again, I thought it’s time to try something different. So I decided to start the Prague Beer Marathon. It’s not like a real marathon, and if you get the route right, it’s not even that far.

The Concept:

12 Pubs around Prague have been given special Prague Beer Marathon beer mats which you will need to collect. You collect a beer mat by buying a drink, of your choice of course. You’ll get a map with all the pubs clearly marked, and your job is to take a drink in all of the bars and head back to the start point.

Bring a beer mat from each pub back and you’ll receive a competition t-shirt, a certificate and the winners will get a trophy and a worthwhile prize.

Work as an individual or in teams. Drink beer. Achieve something.

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Date:

Saturday July 7th

Further details to follow and registration will soon be open.

Stay tuned for more details.

Prague For Beginners: How To Avoid The Scammers

Prague is an epic city. Cheap booze, good food, great people, beautiful architecture and a safe environment all contribute to making it one of the most visited destinations in Europe.

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However, with the massive influx of tourists, students, visitors and movers, the opportunists have flocked to the tourist hot spots and now openly rip people off. From shortchanging Exchange Offices to taxi drivers who change their prices like the weather, here is a guide on how to beat the scammers.

Having lived in the city for 5 years, I do have firsthand experience and I’ve been messed around a fair few times. I wanted to create a quick guide to avoid the common pitfalls that often occur. I love this city and I genuinely want people to have a good view of the place I call home, so here’s how to avoid the scammers and enjoy yourself without going home and vowing never to come back.

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Beers

First and foremost, if anyone tries to charge 100 Czech Crowns or more for a beer, leave immediately as this is totally not the going rate and you can guarantee there is a bar within 500m that charges less than half the price.

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Even if you’re on a lad’s weekend, you should always check the prices wherever you go. Prices are higher in the immediate center of the city, but there is far more to Prague than Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. Whilst it’s worth visiting these places, there isn’t much point partying here. Read up beforehand on the best things to do, or keep reading this and I’ll tell you where to go.

There are a lot of Irish bars in Prague, and these are often the only way to catch up with Premier League Football and Rugby, although some are still a little expensive. This guide shows the best Irish Pubs in our opinion.

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Beer in the Czech Republic is pretty fantastic and from my experience in a range of establishments, I would say that 40kc is a decent price for a nice beer. You could stretch to 50, but that’s the maximum you should be paying for a beer in Czech Republic. If a small pub like my local can charge 27kc for exactly the beer from the same brewery, you obviously know how much these places are adding to your bill.

Accommodation

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As much as I personally hate AirBNB because it drives up the price of long-term renting in Prague, it is a pretty decent way to find a nice property in a good location.

As with most things, the prices are likely to be higher closer to the center of the city, but there are decent places to stay further away and almost everywhere is easily accessible both day and night.

If you’re on a super tight budget, you can find hostels with rooms that cater to all prices and if you’re more about exploring the city than having an en-suite, then maybe this is the best place to go. Ensure your valuables are locked away, or with you, as the hostel will more than likely not take responsibility for your goods.

There are also plenty of decent hotels in Prague with a range of prices to cater for your budget and taste. One of my favourite hotels is Vienna House in Andel, which has a great location, good food and a decent gym.

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Taxis

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In my opinion, you’re better off using Uber. Uber is cheap and easily accessible in Prague and you’ll never wait too long or get ripped off. Taxi drivers, however, do have a reputation for adding a few zeros to your bill if they hear you speak English. If you absolutely must get a taxi, agree the price beforehand, use a registered taxi company or just ask the establishment you’re in to call one for you.

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Although, with the price and ease of public transport in the city, day or night, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about taxis. The metro runs until late and there are always busses and trams at night.

Public Transport

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There are no barriers for transport like other major cities, so you can easily walk in and out without a ticket. This is, however, not advisable as the inspectors walk around often and can be pretty ruthless when it comes to charging you for not having a ticket.

Depending on the length of your stay and your public transport needs, you can get a 310kc ticket which would last you for 3 days, or a better option is individual 24kc tickets that last for 30 minutes. Remember to stamp these tickets in the yellow boxes on trams, metro and buses and don’t get caught without or you’ll end up with a hefty and unnecessary fine. Whilst this isn’t a scam, its worth taking note of so you don’t lose out.

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Drugs

In no way do we condone, promote or tolerate the use of illegal drugs, although we do know it happens. But whatever you do, don’t buy from the guys who hang around Wenceslas Square at night and offer it to people walking past. The best case scenario if you do this is that its aspirin, and the worst case is that you end up in hospital. Whatever they’re are trying to sell is not drugs and they make a tidy profit ripping off gullible tourists; meaning that unfortunately they’ll be there as long as they keep selling their aspirin.

Also keep in mind that arrests for possession are on the increase and if the police catch you with white powder or pills in, they’re likely to throw the book at you. The authorities are fairly tolerant when it comes to cannabis products, but it really isn’t worth the risk if you’re only here for a short while. If you simply have to, then don’t do it in public and don’t get caught.

Money

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Check what your bank charges to withdraw before you go. Most major banks nowadays charge very little for European withdrawals and this is often a better option than taking money with you and changing it at the so-called, commission-free cash desks.

In my opinion I would steer clear of these exchange places as they have a seriously bad reputation, even if they say commission-free. They aren’t a public service, so they aren’t doing you a favor by changing your money and they will want a little piece of the action. I have heard of friends getting totally ripped off by these guys.

There are several pre-paid cards you can find online that you can top-up before you go and won’t charge you for purchases across Europe.

Crime

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Like any major city, Prague has its fair share of pickpockets and criminals that will try their luck. Just keep your wits about you and your valuables close and you’ll be alright.

Prague is renowned for being a safe city and despite many pubs being open until 06:00 or later, you’ll never see violence on any of the streets. In 5 years I’ve not seen a single fight in a Czech pub, and trust me, I go to a fair few of them. Prague prides itself on being a safe, calm and relaxed environment so help to keep it that way and stay responsible at all times.

What to do

Don’t get hung up on Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. Sure, you should see these sights but you can do them in a day. There are plenty of other things to see, visit and do in Prague. Check out these places:

Zizkov Televsion Tower is a huge tower in Zizkov that dominates the skyline. It has some of the best views in Prague and was once voted the second ugliest building in the world.

Zizkov is a trendy, lively, happening district of Prague full of cool bars and interesting people. Well worth a venture and a few beers, especially in the summer.

Prague Zoo is ranked as one of the best in the world and has a huge collection of rare, endangered and lovable creatures in a great environment.

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Naplavka is a trendy waterside area that opens in the summer and plays host to pop-up bars, free gigs and some really cool people. Honestly, all the cool people like me go here in the summer.

Ice Hockey is the national sport of the Czech Republic and if you can get tickets for Sparta at the O2 Arena, you’re in for a treat.

https://thepraguegeezer.com/?s=PraguePrague is full of awesome parks such as Riegrovy Sady or Stromovka, where all the cool kids go in summer to play games, barbecue and drink beers in the sun.

Prague Aviation Museum in Kbely is an airfield storing hundreds of vintage aircraft, ranging from Soviet attack helicopters to Spitfires. They even have a Soyuz capsule on show.

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5 Retail Stores We Would Like To See In Prague

Whilst Prague is absolutely superb for many things, clothes shopping isn’t usually one of them.

With that in mind, here’s a list of stores we’d like to see make a venture into the Czech market. Whether or not they would be successful is always open for debate, and probably dependent on a variety of factors such as location and marketing.

What shops would you like to see come to Prague? Let us know in the comment or on our Facebook page.

Primark

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We generated a lot of heat last year when we heard information that Primark was set to open in the newly redeveloped Chodov Mall, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. We understand talks took place but nothing came of it, although given the buzz it created, Primark should certainly take notice and invest in Prague. They already operate warehouses in Prague, run by DHL Supply Chain, so the logistics are practically already in place.

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If you don’t know Primark, it’s a bargain clothing chain from Ireland, which operates stores across the United Kingdom and Europe. It’s famed for incredibly cheap but reasonably fashionable clothing items, and would be a guaranteed hit among expats, tourists and locals in Prague.

Selfridges

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Whilst they might not actually sell fridges, Selfridges do sell some pretty luxurious items and a trip to Selfridges, much like Harrods in London, is often more about the experience than the actual purchases.

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Its flagship store is the second largest retail store in the UK, stocking everything from Gucci dresses to Bang & Olufsen speakers. It also operates a few other smaller stores around the UK and is always a hit with both tourists and the upper echelons of society. The products are almost always very high end, and whether it would be a hit in Prague is debatable, but a store on Wenceslas Square might draw in enough tourists to make the venture worthwhile.

It’s shopping, but not as you know it. Discover one-of-a-kind experiences, world-class dining and luxury brands at the department store that started it all, Selfridges Oxford Street, London.

Jack Wills

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Jack Wills is a British clothing brand and retailer who pride themselves on being fabulously British. Their clothing is aimed at students and a younger generation and I am a huge fan of their style and designs in both clothing and homeware.

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With Prague having a large amount of students coming from abroad, Jack Wills might just have enough of a pull to bring in the customers and make an investment worthwhile. The clothes aren’t dramatically expensive, although they aren’t quite as cheap as Primark, and a store in a decent Prague location has potential.

Jack Wills, for more than 18 years, has brought British heritage-inspired wares of the highest quality to the wardrobes of a spirited and inspired youth, epitomising what it is to be British, irreverent and carefree.

Nordstrom

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Nordstrom is an American chain of stores, founded by Swedes, which operates in almost 350 locations across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Nordstrom sell fashionable clothing brands, health and beauty products and offer a decent range of items for the home. Their prices offer a huge range of items at a range of prices and you can easily pick up a bargain if you search.

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The store has been a huge success in the states and rates as one of the top US retailers. Whether or not this could translate across the Atlantic remains to be seen, but Nordstrom is definitely built on solid foundations as they’ve been in business for more than a century.

A passionate drive to exceed expectations. For more than 100 years, we’ve worked to deliver the best possible shopping experience, helping our customers express their style—not just buy fashion. Nordstrom, Inc. is a leading fashion retailer offering compelling clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children.

John Lewis

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John Lewis is a chain of high-end department stores operating throughout the United Kingdom. The chain is owned by the John Lewis Partnership, which was created by Spedan Lewis, son of the founder, John Lewis, in 1929.

They have a huge range of home products, sourced from great designers. They sell a good range of clothing and the most up-to-date range of electrical products on the market.

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For me, John Lewis and its food department, Waitrose, has some of the best food available from any store. It is, I dare to say, even above Marks and Spencer when it comes to food quality. They also operate a little differently when it comes to its staff:

We’re a different sort of company, as each member of staff is a Partner in the business. We’re the largest example of worker co-ownership in the UK, and each year we share our profits with each of our Partners in the form of an annual bonus.

John Lewis is part of the John Lewis Partnership which includes the Waitrose supermarkets and a textiles factory in the north of England. Together we have over 85,000 Partners.

Prague Astronomical Clock Set For Digital Upgrade

One of the most famous landmarks in the Czech Republic is set for a huge overhaul as authorities have decided that the Prague Astronomical Clock will go digital.

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Why Change?

One of the main reasons for the significant change is that a major new study has shown that the majority of young people are not able to fully understand how to tell the time in the traditional way.

With declining watch sales and the rise of the cell phone, parents are not teaching their kids how to tell the time manually and tourists are getting pretty frustrated at watching something they don’t fully understand or appreciate. It is hoped that the upgrade will improve the understanding of the clock and its past.

The clock is currently going through routine maintenance and will have a grand reopening this summer, which will feature the new digital display.

Some wanted to take the development a step further and replace the figures and mechanisms with holographic projections, but this idea was deemed a step too far.

History of the clock:

The oldest part of clock dates back to 1410 when it was made by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, then later a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Charles University. The first recorded mention of the clock was on 9 October 1410. Later, presumably around 1490, the calendar dial was added and the clock facade was decorated with gothic sculptures.

Formerly, it was believed that the clockwas constructed in 1490 by clockmaster Jan Růže (also called Hanuš); but this is now known to be a historical mistake. A legend, recounted by Alois Jirásek, has it that the clockmaker Hanuš was blinded on the order of the Prague Councillors so that he could not repeat his work; in turn, he disabled the clock, and no one was able to repair it for the next hundred years.

Cheer up, it’s April 1st

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