1.31.2012

Travel Tip #4: Don't Ride Trains for Free

Travel Tip Tuesday:
Don't ride trains/subways for free (mainly in Prague)
This little travel tip mainly applies to the beautiful city of Prague.
 In Prague, there is a subway system linking the city, but unlike London or Paris, there are no turnstiles or places to slide in your ticket. Instead, Prague's metro system works on good faith. You buy your ticket, entering a few coins into a machine, and then walk right on down to the platform. 
We unfortunately listened to someone from our hostel who explained to us that you don't need to pay every time, you can mainly ride for free because "everyone" in Prague does it.  Naively, we walked right past the tickets and straight down to the platform, where we hopped a train.  

Suddenly, as we are departing the train we hear someone shouting in Czech and realize that  his finger is pointing straight at us. 

We look around for a minute, trying to figure out what is going on, only to realize that the guy shouting/pointing at us is now in front of us and a cop, who is not so nicely asking to see our tickets.

Apparently, there are tons of cops in civilian clothes who ride the metro or hang out in the platforms and wait for trains to arrive. Once people start exiting they shout to anyone who looks like a tourist and demand to see their tickets. 

Obviously, we didn't have a ticket and there was no use trying to stall. I can't remember what we had to fork over for our little indiscretion, but I do remember that it was a lot!  

So if you ever find yourself in Prague, buy a subway ticket, it'll only cost you $1.25 and save you a lot of humiliation.

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