Tourist traps to avoid in Prague, Czechia
Prague is visited by around 7 millions of tourist each year and thus it's a very attractive spot for scammers who try various tricks to steal money from you. Here's the short list of tourist traps in Prague you should be aware of if you don't want to be ripped off:
Exchange offices with extremely bad exchange rate
There are numerous currency exchange shops in the city center that will try to rip you off offering you 33% less for your money than it's really worth giving you a very bad exchange rate.
Please look at these shops very carefully and before exchanging any money please do check the approximate exchange rate published by the Czech National Bank (Česká národní banka) and if it's drastically different than the one offered to you by the local shop then it's a scam. Please look for another shop nearby!
ATMs with extremely bad conversion rate
Please beware most of the ATMs in the Prague city center also offer a very bad exchange rate especially if you accept their conversion rate during the transaction. One way to minimize your loss is to decline their conversion rate on the screen during the operation which will result in getting your bank's official rate which is usually much better.
Another thing is that these ATMs will suggest you a default withdrawal of a very large sum of money like 20,000 CZK or more which will result in even greater loss for you for the bad exchange rate and withdrawal commission. Therefore always select a smaller amount by typing it manually and ever accept default large amounts that are suggested by the ATM.
Local shops with extremely high prices
Some of the shops in the Prague city center are typical tourist traps for those unaware of the local prices and another problem is that Czech crown is one zero more than other currencies and it's sometimes difficult to calculate the actual price in your own currency quickly in the head.
Many scam shops exploit this fact and will offer you a can of coke for even 10 USD so please be aware of that and always look carefully at the prices.
Most of these scam shops don't even display prices for the products and you only find out you're being ripped off at the counter. If there's no price displayed be sure this is a scam and never buy at such shops.
Taxi scammers are a serious problem there in Prague and in our opinion you should avoid taxis at all times since you're most likely to be scammed by paying like 10 times more than the actual real price for the ride.
Instead of taxis always choose an Uber or public transportation which is extremely cheap and works really well in Prague.
Restaurants with no prices displayed on their menu
If there are no prices listed on a restaurant's menu in Prague be certain this is a scam and the restaurant will try to extort as much money from you as they can. If they spot a tourist they will try every trick in their arsenal to make the final price as high as possible and you will be charged a large sum of money for your food plus they will charge you for the service which is not a usual practice in the Czech Republic in the restaurant business.
So if there are no clear prices listed on their menu do not even enter. Also avoid restaurants that say "traditional Czech food" in their ads as they are always tourist traps for the unaware travelers.
Money changers on the street
There are many money changers scammers in Prague city center who usually stand in front of exchange shops, aren't even Czech and speak broken English who will offer you an excellent exchange rate for your Euros and Dollars but instead of Czech crowns you will get expired Belorussian rubles that are worthless.
Under no circumstances exchange money with those scammers.