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.

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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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Easter Holiday Store Opening Hours

If you need to take a break from whipping women this Easter and find an open store, here’s a guide to the shops that are open.

I always get seem to get confused on public holidays. Some people tell me the stores are closed so I don’t bother going, then drive past and see them open. Other times I head out and they’re all closed. So here’s the definitive list of opening and closing times for Czech stores this Easter.

The Law:

Stores with an area of ​​over 200 m² must be closed on Easter Monday. They are, however, allowed to open at the owner’s discretion on Good Friday. This law came into effect in July 2016 and forces larger stores to close on 6 public holidays throughout the year.

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The following dates are holidays when the stores with the area above 200 m² must be closed:

January 1st – New Years Day

Easter Monday

May 8th – Victory Day

September 28th – The Day of Czech Statehood

October 28th – The Day of the Establishment of the Independent Czechoslovak State

December 24th – Open only until 12 o’clock

December 25th – Christmas Day

December 26th – Boxing Day

Stores can be open on the following public holidays:

Good Friday

July 5th – St. Cyril and Methodius’ Day

July 6th – The Day of the Burning of Master Jan Hus

November 17th – Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy

December 24th – Open only until 12 o’clock

Opening times for Easter shopping 2018

Billa

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Billa stores will be business as usual on Friday 30th March, but closed on Mondat 2nd. There is an exception to the rule on Easter Monday, as the Billa at the main railway station and the airport will be open.

Lidl

On Good Friday and during the weekend, Lidl will be business as usual, but all stores will be closed on the Monday.

PennyMarket

On Good Friday and during the weekend, PennyMarket will be business as usual, but all stores will be closed on the Monday.

Tesco

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Tesco Hypermarkets with non-stop opening hours or until 24:00 will close at 23:00 on Sunday. Other stores run until Sunday with standard opening hours. Closed on Monday although the petrol stations outside Letňan and Brno Vídeňská remain open.

Others

All other stores should follow the law as above. The larger stores will be closed on Monday, whilst smaller stores may operate at the owners discretion, often with reduced opening times.

Not all politicians are happy about the law and some are calling for it to be overturned. Trade and Tourism Association were especially against the ruling and previously estimated a loss for traders of about CZK 4 billion. A group of senators have filed a constitutional complaint against the law, although no progress has yet been reported.

Some shopping centers have decided that they do not want to open for a few hours, so they will close completely. The law paradoxically will affect some of the smaller traders in some places, which by its nature it should protect.

And if you were wondering about the whipping women bit…

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Research: Which Is The Best Nightclub In Prague?

Time for some market research.

Which is your favourite nightclub in Prague.

Think about atmosphere, clientele, music, price and drink selection.

Vote for more than one if you can’t decide.

 

Roxy – Disciples – Event Review

Saturday 24th March saw UK production trio, the Disciples, head to Roxy for an epic evening of cool vibes, great clientele and epic music.

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The Venue

In my opinion, I have to say that Roxy is one of the best nightclubs in Prague. It wasn’t always this way, as it did once have a bit of an infamous reputation but the club is now clean, safe and enjoyable at all times. The drinks aren’t overpriced and the ambiance is pretty relaxed, given the great location, late finishes and big names coming to perform here. Walking around the club, relatively sober at 03:00, I felt safe and relaxed, enjoying the good music on offer and cool people in the club.

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The Music

Michael C kicked the evening off and was already getting the crowd hyped when I arrived. He is no stranger to Roxy, being the resident DJ, performing his progressive house style on a regular basis and helping with the event production. Michael C lists Depeche Mode, Mike Oldfield and Daft Punk among his musical influences and you can certainly hear the different styles collaborating well.

“Definitely one of the best performances this year. The whole club was buzzing, everybody was really enjoying the music, even before Disciples came out and smashed it. Awesome night” – Roxy Regular

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The crowd were responding well to Michael C, and the club was filling up by the time Disciples entered the room and cranked it up a notch. They came in confidently and took over from Michael C, cranking up the collective mood of the crowd. People were dancing, getting carried away with the music and cheering when their favorite Disciples track started.

“Definitely going back to Roxy for more gigs in the near future. I think Disciples were awesome. I’m downloading the album in the morning!” – New Disciples fan

The Disciples were absolutely epic, and whilst I would never have considered myself a die-hard fan of theirs, I reckon I’ll be the first to buy tickets if they decide to come back to Prague. On this performance and the reception they received, I’m guessing they might be back here before too long.

Check out some shots from the evening:

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Needless to say, it was a top class event and well worth the entry fee. Roxy is a safe, cool and positive environment where you can hear some original music in an awesome venue. I would absolutely recommend heading to events here. It is undoubtedly one of the best clubs in Prague for music.

Take a look here for the upcoming events at Roxy:

FRI 30/03/2018 – 23:00

& ME ( GER)

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The German deephouse / techno producer & ME is known globally and has worked with some huge artists on epic collaborations. His sets were revered by fans all over the world at festivals like BPM, DGTL or Sonus.

WED 02/05/2018 – 20:00

HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE (USA)

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The broody brass band, composed of the seven brothers of renowned jazz trumpeter Phil Cohrana plays for the first time in Prague its mixture of jazz, funky, afrobeat and hip hop.

WED 27/06/2018 – 19:00

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB (USA)

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One of the most striking rock bands of the last two decades of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is heading to the Prague at the end of June. The San Francisco band survived the turbulence of recent years, and at the beginning of the year released the eighth studio album Wrong Creatures. Tickets will be on sale from Tuesday 20 March (15:00).