Prague: Artel Style
Prague: Artel Style
In October of 1994, I moved from San Francisco to Prague to oversee production at a startup shampoo company owned by an American-a position I was 100% unqualified for, other than basically being a trustworthy person. This was the start of my love affair with Prague. Four years later, I founded my own luxury crystal company, ARTEL Glass. I've been in Prague ever since, and I now wholeheartedly think of this foreign capital as home. My decision to move here permanently was a most unexpected twist in my life, as I'd originally planned to stay for only a year.
Over the nearly two decades that I've lived in Prague, the flow of visitors has been constant. Many have been people I know; others, friends of friends; and more than a handful have been people who simply managed to get my email address through the very vaguest of connections. Each inquiry, however, brought the same request: a list of my personal must-see-and-do suggestions for their visit to Prague. Each time I answered an inquiry, I'd add some new information to a file I kept containing an ever-expanding list of shops, restaurants and often-overlooked sights, which I would send as an email attachment to my correspondent.
Eventually, I began to ponder the idea of wrapping up all of my Prague recommendations into a book that might fill a much-needed niche in the existing guidebook market. And that's exactly what I ended up doing! The first edition of Prague: ARTEL Style was published in 2007. It quickly became one of the topselling Prague guidebooks on Amazon and ultimately required three print runs (6,500 copies in all!) in order to keep up with demand.
Not surprisingly, Prague has changed quite a bit in the six years since the first edition came out. Several beloved shops and restaurants have closed, while many exciting newcomers have arrived on the scene, and I ultimately realized that the time had come to produce the updated and expanded 2013 edition that you now hold in your hands.
This time, I collaborated with an old friend and Prague aficionado, Scott Ross, who helped me out with editing and organization, and together we have made lots of positive changes. In addition to dozens of up-to-date recommendations for places to stay, eat, shop, and play, the 2013 edition has improved maps, new fun facts, a guide to Czech beer and local pubs, and lots of cross-referenced information that should make it easier for you to find what you're looking for.
Like the 2007 edition, this book is not intended to be a general "tourist" guide to Prague, as those are easy to come by (and you probably already have one). Instead, my goal is to provide you with the kind of "insider" info I give my visiting friends. I hope you'll find it to be a fun complement to the stodgier (and perhaps less materialistic) guidebooks out there as you plan your trip and during your stay.
Prague is an ever-evolving city, so I'm always more than receptive to comments and feedback that will help this guide stay up to date. I've included a survey form on the ARTEL website ( www.artelglass.com/are-yousatisfied ), which I hope you will use to let me know what worked well for you and where more improvement is needed. I will personally read every form that is submitted, and I thank you in advance for your input!
Just To Clarify...
I personally visited all the shops, hotels (where I stayed for at least one night), restaurants, cafés, and sights in this book (OK, except for the helicopter and hot air balloon rides). That is, every entry in this book is something I personally recommend, based on my own experience.
I did not receive any discounts, payments, or kickbacks in exchange for inclusion or a positive review in this book. Not that I wasn't offered any - because I most certainly was - but I turned all of them down in order to