Thursday 10 April 2014

Visit to Prague in the Czech Republic

Prague, March, 2014, Capital, Czech Republic

The first thing that hit you is that the Czech Republic is doing well! The infrastructure with trains and roads connecting not only between the different parts of the Czech Republic but also to the neighbour countries of Poland/Austria/Slovakia and Germany is excellent and they must have very early on understood that it is important to have an excellent infrastructure to attract investor money and foreign companies.

Already when driving towards Prague there were well known companies on the road and even more when entering into the city, a city, that infrastructure wise is excellent to travel and work in. They have busses, they have subway and they have cable cars. The way to buy tickets should however be improved especially for the cable cars since you can not buy tickets from the driver but only at the stop and there was not always a vendor machine present so a minus point there!

Tourists, Prague, March, 2014

The city is completely full of tourists (around 60% of the cash in Prague is from tourists) that are spending plenty of money for entertainment, food and beer! And the Czechs are making excellent beer and they are well in time meaning that they even offer alcohol free beer which many today prefer to drink when one just wants to decrease the thirst without getting pure sugar injected into the veins as one gets from many sodas and other energy drinks.

It is funny to see how all the big world company chains are present in Prague and the influence that has on what people eat, drink and wear. I saw analysis of McDonalds, Burger King, KFC (analysis of Yum! Brands), IKEA, Bauhaus, Lidl, Aldi, analysis of Deutsche Bank 2014, analysis of Skanska, analysis of Debenhams, Skoda (which equalises analysis of VW in the end was present everywhere and especially the cable cars were made by Skoda), analysis of Allianz, analysis of H&M, Zara (analysis of Inditex), Mango (the links goes to my previous analysis of them) and many, many more that I have forgotten now while writing.

Another interesting aspect was that I found it completely impossible to extinguish a Czech person from any of the tourists. They dressed the same which is fascinating because at least in the store that I entered into to look at the prices they were the same as in Germany. So for the Czech people to buy a better quality garment from for instance Zara then they are forced to pay the same price as me here in Germany since in the end the products are imported from the same low production location in Asia most likely Bangladesh and the personal costs and locations are not that much lower. The question a bit becomes what is H&M for a Czech person? Are H&M due to the price they have to pay for the cloths considered as a high-end cloth chain and Zara as a luxury chain? It would be interesting to hear an answer there from a Czech person. The average salaries are in the end around 780 € in Prague and the cost of living has become very high lately so one can even count that a lunch in the city costs around 10-15 €.

Before going I had made a very poor calculation regarding what this trip would cost me. Coming from Berlin we are simply spoiled with prices. I would never pay more then 10 € for a lunch including beer in Berlin and therefore I calculated with around 5 € in Prague. Silly me! Sure the beer I get for 1€ or 1.50 € which is cheaper than in Berlin but the food was much more expensive and is usually composed by bread or potato dumplings with a brown sauce, sauerkraut and meat. It taste good but I must admit that the final day I decided to take a burger in the restaurant instead of the traditional food. Usually on the menus, also outside of the city centre without tourists, around 75% of the food on the menu was non traditional Czech.

Houses, Prague, March, 2014

In Prague there are an amazing amount of beautiful and well kept apartment houses! To be honest with you before going there my though was that Prague will probably become the next Berlin in a couple of years but after this visit I do not think so any longer. Prague has burnt their chances by having a too high price increase in the city. The artists and vagabonds would simply not be able to afford to live in Prague which they still today manage to do in Berlin and wherever they go the money and investors will funny enough follow to try to profit which forces the artists and vagabonds to go somewhere else.

Still, Prague is an excellent tourist place with many things to see and experience but do not think that it will become cheap. The city has a real centre and one can walk everywhere but in the end it becomes many kilometres. I think that I walked around 15-19 km per day which was probably good for my figure but my feet were crying every evening.

Bull, bullish, Prague, Czech Republic, March, 2014

So... in the future I no longer bet on that Prague will become the next "Berlin" but I still bet on the Czech Republic and the Czech people. They are hard working and as a Swedish person I have always felt a connection to them. Maybe it has to do with both of us are having small populations, both are well organized and the fact that both nations love ice-hockey and consider it a very serious matter but I can not tell for sure. As some of you have seen my bet went even further and I did recently invest in Cez which is the largest energy producer and provider in the Czech Republic so now I am not only emotionally connected to them I am also involved with my very own money.


Kenny said...


However, Zara actually has lots of "high-tech" production in Spain and Portugal. That's quite a different strategy if you compare with H&M with their cheap Bangladesh production! :-)

Fredrik von Oberhausen said...

Ah, it was some time again since I analysed Inditex and I had forgotten that. Thanks for the correction Kenny!