How To Escape The Crowds In Prague This Summer

Friday, May 22, 2009


Prague, the 7th most visited city in Europe (and 19th in the world), swells in late May and early June during the Fringe Festival Praha and the Prague Writers’ Festival (as well as most of the rest of the summer, begging the question of whether tourism is destroying the city).

So if you find yourself there this summer and looking to escape the crowds, the Guardian has a handy guide of the top 15 “recreational” getaways, most of which are sure to be tourist-free, including The Lazarská, a public toilet turned hip club; the Olšanské nám?stí, a hilltop beer garden that also contains a club in a former nuclear bunker; and the Švandovo divadlo, a theater playing works by everyone from Shakespeare to Lars Von Trier.

My advice for getting off-the-beaten-path is pretty simple (don’t go to the 19th most visited city in the world – no just joking): is to befriend the natives. I know that whenever visitors come to visit me in NYC, I’m going to have much better insight into the best places to go than any guidebook because I live here, so of course the same would hold true elsewhere. Make friends on CouchSurfing, Facebook, Twitter, or any one of the dozen or so other traveling social networking sites, and let locals do what they do and love to do best, show off their town. But also remember, do what visitors do best at the end of the day, buy their guides a beer.

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