Paying with Credit Card and Debit Card in Restaurants
All restaurants in the centre of Prague accept cash payment and most also accept payment by credit or debit card. If you are outside the tourist centre, you may only be able to pay in cash. Depending on your bank, you pay costs every time you use your debit or credit card. The bill in a restaurant does not include a tip. If your bill is topped up with a tip, you can be sure that you are in a ‘tourist trap’. Tipping in a restaurant is not mandatory, if you are satisfied you round up the amount to be paid.
Tipping in Restaurants is not Mandatory
When you pay with your debit or credit card, make sure that the amount to be paid corresponds to the bill you receive. In ‘tourist restaurants’ a tip is often automatically added to the amount to be paid. So check the screen of the card reader carefully to see whether the amount to be paid is the same as the bill you received. A tip as high as 20% tip is often added to your bill and this is absolutely not normal! Tipping is voluntary. If the service was excellent and the food was delicious and if you want to leave a tip, give it in cash.
Don’t pay for unsolicited extras
Tourist restaurants also tend to add extra items to your bill or incorrect prices. So remember the price and name of what you ordered. When you eat pretzels that are on the table and the glass of Becherovka that is automatically placed in front of you as soon as you sit at a table, you will later find this on your bill. Tourist restaurants also bring new beer as soon as your glass is empty, without asking if you want more.
When there are many tourists in a restaurant and when the menu is in many languages, or when there are no prices on the menu at all, you are being ripped off.
Two infamous tourist traps are:
1. U Fleku, Kremencova 11, the oldest beer hall in Prague that brews its own beer. To enjoy this you have to recognize and avoid some tourist traps. The glass of Becherovka you are offered as soon as you sit down is not complimentary. Tell the staff that you do not want it and your check bill to see if it was not added (unless you want to pay triple the price for the Becherovka)
2. Restaurant u Kalicha, Na Bojisti 12-14, beer bar and restaurant and always packed with tourists. This restaurant is mentioned in every travel guide and was made famous by the good soldier Svejk, the main character in the book of the same name by the Czech writer Jaroslav Hasek. The tip is already added to bill and that is not normal in Prague.
Two more restaurants that automatically add the tip to your bill: Mexican Restaurant, Las Adelitas, Male Namesti 13 and Restaurant and Brewery Pivovar U Medvidku, na Perstyne 7.