HONEST DEEP TALK ABOUT TOURISM IN PRAGUE w/JANEK (Honest Guide)


Hello, my name is Janek Rubeš and together with Honza Mikulka behind the camera. We are the creators of this show which is called the Honest Guide. Our plan today was to film a nice episode running around the city Unfortunately, it’s very cold even though it’s May and it’s raining. It’s unusual So we figured hey, let’s just find a nice coffee place that we like, sit down have a cup of tea maybe some chlebíček, and tell you something that you don’t know yet.
So I would like to talk about today about the issue that we (sort of) have in Prague which is locals versus tourists. Just to give you an idea to give you a perspective: At any given moment, there are more tourists in the city centre than there are locals in Prague 1. Which is a small part of Prague in the heart of Prague, where Charles Bridge is, and all Town Square and the Castle and everything that is very touristy If you’ve been watching our videos for, you know, past weeks or months you may notice that we show tourist traps or bad places and then we have to really search for a good place and That’s the reason because there are almost more tourists and locals and tourists have different needs than locals. So for example tourist doesn’t really need convenience or with you know bread and vegetables because most likely he’s gonna go to a restaurant but a local person does need that and also, Tourists most likely will not really care about what the prices are We did an example of that where there’s two stores facing each other on the street of Prague and one is 10 times more expensive If all these local stores will eventually be replaced by the tourist stuff then all the locals Will vanish from the city centre and it will not be Prague anymore. It will be Tourist land the reason also why it’s so dense is because the main tourist attractions are really on that one path It’s called the the Royal way of Prague which is very short. Everything’s on it So everybody goes to that one spot so What we try we make videos where we show people look you can see other great things other beautiful churches other great Restaurants other great views in other parts of the city to sort of spread out the crowds Yes, you may argue. You can say well then the other parts will become touristy as well We hope not we believe not we don’t think so, and we hope that we can make this very city center I don’t want to say local again, but livable again because really we’re at a point where it can break and Czechs will not be able to live in Prague City Centre. One more example, If a Czech tourist comes to Prague so I mean a person not living in Prague But you know somewhere from Moravia or Silesia some other regions, they are shocked at what they see in the city centre They cannot believe it. They are sad they cannot sit in a restaurant. It’s expensive They cannot buy anything in a store and so on and so on so that those are good examples of you know How the city center has changed. Also one more thing, we are showing hidden gems local places to tourists and Sometimes people argue and say well you’re gonna ruin the place with tourism and with more tourists It’s fair to say that if the video has 100,000 views, it doesn’t mean 100,000 people will go there at that same exact time No, they go through time. We showed this place in two of our videos already. It’s a great place I love this coffee place and I only met two people on the stairs and People working there are happy that we mentioned them goes for every place that we mentioned on our show We always ask can we show you on the video and 99 percent they say yes And I do not recall that we would destroy a place but and here’s a huge huge Exclamation mark the places we show are not No, no, no, no No for tourist groups, stag parties and guides that work in Prague. You guys I’m talking to very few of you right now You know who you are. we don’t make these videos so you can come here for three months work as a tourist guide take a group of 20 people and Take them to these places. That would be very bad idea Also, if you’re watching and you’re with a group of 20 friends and you’re coming to Prague for you know, I don’t know, celebrating whatever, the places we show are absolutely not groups-friendly and I’m talking about big groups of, you know, people who want to party and so on. So who are the videos for? Well in all honesty We are making them for us for people who have our same DNA or who feel like us who travel like us, you know We travel with Honzík, he travels with his girl, I would travel with mine and we like to discover experience something local so these are the people we’re aiming at we’re not going to be changing that just because we have bigger view counts we’re gonna stick to what we do and do it the same honest way as honest as possible A side note in general traveling in a group sucks If you want to discover Prague and you follow a person with umbrella, you’re not gonna be happy We have to say that we love and hate tourists at the same time It’s a huge group of 10 million people and mainly there are people some of them are great visitors to our city and they Help us and we try to help them. They learn some Czech words They learn something about our country about our history about whatever and that makes us happy and them happy But then there are obviously groups that we don’t like the fact that they’re coming to Prague. Those are people who only come for alcohol, drugs, prostitution and all they do is make noise and They just destroy the city. They dress up in costumes So I hope eventually somebody will give them the message: if you come to Prague with a stag party and you dress up in a costume you’re disgrace to everything and you’re not funny and we hate the fact that you’re coming here And it’s just horrible horrible horrible and you’re ruining the city not only for the locals but for other tourists as well Do that in an amusement park not On a street where people live.
And here’s the paradox: these people are lured into Prague for cheap beer, drugs and the best party of their life well They’re never gonna get their hands on cheap beer because they only go to the tourist locations where beer is extremely overpriced. The drugs they will buy on the street are fake and illegal and they’re not real and a great party they’re only gonna party with their other friends from the city they flew in from
We got way too serious Also when we say “we” or when I say “we”, I mean the two of us, I’m not speaking for all residents of Prague I’m not speaking for everyone. I’m speaking for the two of us But let’s get positive. Let’s get, let’s put a smile on our faces: we absolutely LOVE Prague We adore and we love every bit of it. Even the ugly places. We still love them There are so many places there are so many different locations and we know that when you show some place that is something different than the castle and the bridge and then we meet people who watch our video there Many times they’re happier than when seeing the bridge or the castle or the astronomical clock The most disappointed… the biggest amount of disappointed faces I see every day is when people watch the astronomical clock doing like: ” is that it?” But then when you go to ride the non-stop elevator at the city hall People are having a blast there so those are the kind of things we want to keep on showing and There are so many assembly of but just our previous episode about running in Prague That was one of the the best videos we did You know to run in a Obora Hvezda, to run on Ctirad and get off the lookout Some people went there just to sit there and have a beautiful view and they loved it and it was amazing so so these are still the things when you want to show and we want to share with you because I think you absolutely Deserve to see them. And also for us the two of us to travel to a different city in Czech Republic other than Prague We’re always shocked by the lack of mass tourism because as I mentioned what is happening in Prague, nothing like that happens in Brno the second largest city and there are beauties to discover. There are great places to go to And when you walk in the main streets I mean, there’s the local life You can hear Czech, you see kids running around you see people rushing to work, from work, etc. etc. And not only Brno There’s other amazing cities to see and discover So if you want to go everything’s reachable on trains or buses: Liberec, Plzen, Ceske Budejovice, Olomouc, Brno I know I already mentioned, Hradec Kralovè, Pardubice, Nymburk We made guides to many of these places. So if your intention to travel to Prague is to see what different life may be then that would be your option to go to these places But probably the most famous City beside Prague there is in Czech Republic is Cesky Krumlov, and we get a lot of requests “Can you make a guide for Cesky Krumlov?” and I think I’m still struggling or we both are Should we do the guide? How will we do the guide? because I was just there a couple weeks ago and The mass tourism has killed Cesky Krumlov. It’s a very city center So it’s suffering from the same illness as Prague. If you just walk one street away from the city centre, suddenly nobody’s there. But then you have an issue if you’re staying in the city centre and you want to buy a bottle of water you can’t do that because there’s no stores because all the jewelry stores all the Trdelnik stores All these are there only for the tourists, and suddenly you can buy a roll or a bagel or something like that .
No, not bagel they don’t sell bagels and Czech Republic (lol). so we were negative we were positive and now there’s just pure love. I Love Prague. Prague is a manageable city, Prague is relatively cheap to live in Prague is my mother my family, my everything, my friends The fact that you can go to pretty much any bar and you’ll meet your classmate either from elementary or high school or university You will most likely run into your ex on the tram. There’s always something happening, always. Any given day there will be concerts, shows, exhibitions, every single day a dozen of them. So that’s why I absolutely adore and love the city. There’s always something to do you will never ever get bored and I believe I speak for the both of us that I don’t think ever move out Do we I do not Please don’t consider this to be a “hate” towards tourism, It’s just a topic that is very often opened with us with our Czech viewers or with our Czech audience so whenever we go somewhere to have a presentation this topic of mass tourism always comes up and We just wanted to show it to you because the two of us are sort of balancing on two sides Where on one hand were helping tourists and on the other hand, we’re trying to preserve the localness of the place If you ever want to discuss that over beer, you know where to find us So that was our long long long long talking episode. There’s another one if you are more into calm videos and not us running around chasing some crooks.
There’s one more where we explain Prague in 10 minutes But there will be other stuff Coming from us towards your way. So if you like it, we’re happy. We’re loving the fact that somebody’s still watching our videos We can’t believe it. We also made a book I’ll show you a magazine, but the book is in!
This is the three of us showing up with our book Honza, Eliska and me. So now I know you’re there. I know your writing already “Honza”… “HONZA”… Also we would love love love your feedback on this kind of talking-over-a-tea episode. Maybe Honza I can do the next one. That’d be nice So if you were bored, let us know if you if you liked what we talked about. Let us know and maybe even if you want to discuss mass tourism, we’re more than curious to hear your Opinions or your advices maybe you have.
That’s it! I’ll see you next week! 🙂 And since this was a long episode, I’ll teach you a word “HODINA”=hour “HODINA”=hour
and “HODINY” is clock “HODINA”=hour clock “HODINY” 🙂

59 thoughts on “HONEST DEEP TALK ABOUT TOURISM IN PRAGUE w/JANEK (Honest Guide)

  1. Ive been to prag the first time in 2011. Since then I am going there 1 to 3 times a year. Its only been 7 years but the amount of tourists has change drastically and with it, parts of the city. I remember that you could easily walk on charles bridge during the day and enjoy the view 6-7 years ago. Nowadays you are just dodging other people.
    Luckely there are tons of other things to see just a step left or right of the main track of attractions and you wont have too many people around.

  2. Oh no..can't believe Cesky Krumlov also become a mass tourism place..I hate crowds. seems like I will divert to other places next year when I visit Czechia.

  3. Im just in Prague right now. Great city of course, but i heard about and seen the tourism masses. So i have had the feeling of being scared to speak to locals since i almost feel like im bothering them. I just want to be a nice tourist 🙂

  4. Dear Janek and Honza
    My husband and I are currently visiting Prague and i am so so SO disappointed i did not find your videos earlier 😥! Not only are you entertaining to watch you are also a plethora of great advice, insight and information. Unfortunately we are leaving within the nxt 2 days and will not be able to do anymore sighting during this time. I agree the crowds are very overwhelming at times i can only imagine how the locals feel and can honestly relate to all the points you brought up in this video and others. That being said i really hope and pray my husband and i will have the opportunity to visit Prague once more or possibly even venture further out into this beautiful country, one things for sure We'll have a couple of great honest guides with us if we do!!! Děkuji Mnohokrât!

  5. I'm British, I've lived in Prague many years and I hate British Stag Parties – you aren't funny or original. You are an embarrassment to your country and you treat this wonderful city like shit. You should hang your heads in shame for the way you yell at people and harass them in the street. I've witnessed British stag groups jeering a group of Czechs who were marking the anniversary of a sensitive moment in Czech history. Those tourists didn't even know what the event was. It was utterly disgusting. You come here and leave having learnt nothing about the Czech history, culture or language. You make me ashamed to be British.

  6. It's the case of every major city suffering from mass tourism. It's messing up with the locals.
    Thank you for your honesty and a very interesting video. Every capital should have guys like you two. Keep it up!

  7. You're the best youtube ever. I apraciate, as Italian, your work for your city and your country, as well as your idea of tourism (that it's mine too).

  8. I'm a Danish guy, who is going to study in Prague in 2020, so these videos are very helpful. I am more prepared for my 6 months in the city thanks to these videos, more than any guidebook or website 🙂

    Thanks for what you do, and keep doing it! 😀

  9. I mean, I come from a large tourist city in the US, we have legit had people think that our city was 'fake' and built just for tourists. Ahhh so no more stag parties…. so basically you don't want it to look like Germany or London. I feel like 98% of the stag parites in those stupid costumes are either German or British

  10. I get what you are saying but… it is the capital right…. the expectations are a little bit silly that locals can afford any capital city. I mean it is sort of…. dreaming. You can look at Paris, NYC, London, Edinburgh and see that 'locals' usually live in the outskirts that's just the way it is, you would have to fix the whole world. Usually the centers are full of the A) jobs and B) tourist sites and that's just how it is. Do you think many people can afford to actually live in Manhattan!!! HELLLL NO that is for corporations, banks and tourists. Most people live in the outskirts like the bronx, brooklyn, etc. Same when I went to Edinburgh most people lived right around the main center of the city whilst the royal mile was filled with tourists. I am sure the same goes for Madrid and Rome and Berlin and so on.

  11. It is very nice your effort to save your city Janek, but forget it. Prague will turn into a theme park (or maybe it already did..) the same as did Barcelona and Amsterdam. In both cities for locals it has become impossible to rent or buy a normal place to live and all are rented out via AirB&B, destroying the neighbourhoods with bad quality tourists who come to drink alcohol, smoke weed and annoy the locals.

    Really a shame it has come to this…

  12. I like all your videos so far (discovered your channel yesterday and watched like 20 videos) but this one is intense and special. I would really appreciate more of this stuff.

  13. Dear Janek and Honza,
    You guys really inspire me for what you're doing to Prague. I'm from the MOST Touristy country in the world "Thailand", the country that cannot live without tourism.
    It is extremely sad to see our environment, culture and kindness disappearing everyday. Most Thai cannot bear it and leave, but I really love to see the change. The government and people won't help (because they highly depend on it)

    Phuket, south of Thailand, with the advertised paradise of Phi phi Island is turning grey and most people around the world don't know it. I really hope you guys can do an episode on this to spread the word. We desperately need help.

    Sincerely,
    Pilipda Samattanawin

  14. I didn't know what stag party is before, but I figured it is the same as bachelor's party in the US. Yes, these parties I find also disgusting and I think it was the main reason that I stayed away from Prague city center when I visited last year. Luckily, I ran across Honest Guide and it got me hooked. And did I say I am also native of Prague? And in addition to that, I grew up in Smíchov district.

    Almost every time I visit I get asked "do you speak English?" by some poor lost tourist near city center or on a tram, bus or Metro. I usually am able to help them and until I saw Honest Guide videos I thought I should be the best guide there can be. But I am not. I can't be, because I come only once a year for two or three weeks, which is not enough to know what Janek knows and by far.

    I am really excited that there is a Honest Guide out there, because I share the same passion for the city despite that I don't call it home for more than three decades. I can attest that Honest Guide is really honest and it makes me proud that it is presented in such an excellent English making it accessible to everyone. Just keep it up! That's all I have to say…

  15. "NO STAGS – AND NO GROUPS WITHOUT PRIOR ARRANGEMENT" … the sign on the door of the Uisce Beatha Irish pub in Bratislava … that's a worthwhile suggestion for Prague bars to copy.

  16. The same is happening in Lisbon, Budapest, Barcelona, Krakow, and certainly along the Croatian coast. Even Amsterdam was managing it well back when I first visited it in the 80s, but now seems overwhelming.

    But Venice and Paris and Florence have dealt with it for years, so it's possible.

    For myself, I try not to be a "tourist" but rather an "explorer". I generally find that to be a much better time.

  17. Thank you for this video! I'd like to hear more from residents in the cities where tourism is getting out of control.

  18. Its the free market if u dont like it move out of Prague.just because you are an local dosent mean u have the right to live in the city center, if u cant afford it move somewhere else.

  19. My first time to Prague was in 1991. No McDonald’s, no Starbucks. It was a magical city. I still love it and have been back several times, as I now live in Poland. But I feel bad for the not so good changes in Prague. I too live in a city that attracts a lot of tourists, including the stag parties. So I understand your feelings too. Everytime I go back to Prague, I make sure to visit something there I have not been to before. Have made some lovely discoveries this way.

  20. Bravo ! Thank you for your work , dear ! I just discovered your channel and , here we go, now I am making travel plans for Prague , then Brno..or Brno and Prague..we shall see. Thank you. I feel the same way here in Bulgaria, Sofia.

  21. 6:20 ale urcite tu nejaky sou, 6:25 treba zajdou do bordelu. máme vysokej pornoprůmysl sem slyšel. Nebo nějaký partypuby.Sice to nevidíš nikde když je den, ale nejspíš tady něco je ne? nevim jeslti je honest říkat že to tu není. Fakt to tu není? Nebo je to jen tím žes to neviděl, neznáš či tam nechodíš?

  22. 5:00 everything you say here applies to Amsterdam as well, every time I see people who come to a city just to party hard and do drugs it is a reminder for me to be a good tourist in every place I go to. I hate people like that

  23. Genuinely like this episode about talking over a cup of coffee. While moving around things happen with the flow but when we sit down and talk about stuff we get deep into the conversation. Truely support about how a tourist should respect the place and the locals and not take things for granted. Will surely be looking forward to viewing more of such episodes.

  24. Such a beautiful city. I always stay in the Mala Strana. Even in the middle of winter the Charles Bridge was smashed with tourists. I don't even cross it to go to the Old Town Square..the most unenjoyable part of the city. The best time on the Charles Bridge is Sunrise. This is sometimes unattainable for a relaxing time because of the British stag parties crossing the bridge that are so loud you can hear them for a KM away. They destroy the city. But there is so much good eating, beer drinking, and things to do in the other districts. The Restaurants/Tank Pubs are great outside of Prague 1. But
    I love the Mala Strana

  25. 3:35 do you write them an E-mail before you make a video or do you just film and after that you ask the people who work there?

  26. I had plans to visit CZ for some 25 years, it finally happened 2019. Prague and Karlovy Vary. Amazing trip, and your channel encourages me to come back again. Thank you very much!

  27. i love when people show passion for their jobs, cities or whatever…  and you do here.  It´s a global problem, tourism or turists and it´s no easy to solve it… but i hope we can find a balance point between preserve, or even help, local life to improve and the massification of the most popular cities in the world 😉

  28. I have visited Prague several times and had a different experience each time thanks to you two. The town hall and the library have been my favorite things to do. You guys have saved my butt when I got to much money at an ATM and needed a money exchange that wouldn't kill me with an exchange rate. I have to say the Hippo is not very friendly to anyone but locals, but that is part of the charm. I enjoyed insisting on having a bier there even though they weren't to happy about it, but they did enjoy my girlfriend. She's hot! Stay strong my friends and see you soon, Prost!

  29. Im from austria but my grandparents came over a long time ago from czech republic so im still kinda connected to the country altough i sadly dont speak czech. Prag is a beautiful city just respect it as a tourist. I think its always difficult with that much tourism in big cities. Anyways 😀 na zdravi janek and honza 🙂

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