Being that Prague is one of the most scenic and historical cities in Europe, there are an abundance of tours all around the city. But no tour experience is quite as unique as Pragulic tours, which show you Prague through the eyes of a homeless person. The Pragulic project is an incredible way to change how people see the homeless and give the local homeless a chance to start again.
If you’ve ever been to Prague, you’ve probably seen beggars on the street. Unlike the homeless in other cities that may seek you out asking for money or even harass you, the homeless in Prague typically kneel face down on the ground with their arms outstretched over their heads holding a cup or a hat that you can drop a few coins in. It’s both sadder and easier to ignore. In contrast to homeless people around the world, they are no rush to look you in the eyes, much less tell you how they ended up there. But these tours are giving the homeless a voice and attempting to remove the stigma surrounding the people that make the city streets their home.
What is a Pragulic Tour?
Pragulic tours are a way to hear one of those stories from a homeless guide and see what Prague is like for someone living on the street.
Tours are 250 czk for adults and are booked online with a specific guide. This means that each tour is completely unique and covers a different part of Prague – typically a part that you wouldn’t think to visit while sightseeing.
You might want to join Jiri, a bankrupted businessman, through Lesser Town and Petrin Hill where he used to sleep. Or let a former Prague Philharmonic musician play you a violin solo in Kampa. Or meet Vaclav’s dog and cat who live with him under Hlavka Bridge. Some of the guides are former prostitutes or recovering alcoholics and they have a story to share as well as survival tips. You’ll discover how they kept clean and where they could get a restful night of sleep. But mostly, you’ll discover that homeless people are still just people and that the difference between you and your guide might be some bad luck or a bad decision.
One special tour, Prague Underworld First-Hand, is a five hour tour that begins at 7:30 pm and ends after midnight, taking you through some of Prague’s least glamorous locales where prostitution and drugs are a thriving business. This tour is booked two months in advance, so it requires some planning ahead of time.
If you don’t just want to hear about the experience but live it yourself, you can sign up for a completely authentic 24 hour homeless experience.
Aside from frank conversations and interesting stories, all Pragulic tours give you the satisfaction of knowing that your tour fee and your tips are helping someone rebuild their life. What’s the catch? Well… your guides are all Czech speakers. But you can notify them that you will need an English translator and a volunteer translator will join your group.
A homeless tour of Prague is certain to be an eye-opening experience that will leave you a little more streetsmart and hopefully a little kinder.