Cinema City Club Card – is it worth it?

The Cinema City Club Card costs 50 czk and is valid for a year. So if you go to the cinema more than 3 times in one year, it’s worth it. It takes 20 czk off the price of 2D and 3D tickets and you get 10% off of everything you purchase which you can use to buy tickets or refreshments. Cinema City is the best known cinema in Prague so they don’t have that much competition, but they still know how to keep customers hooked.

I went to see Interstellar yesterday at Metropole and I bought the tickets online ahead of time. This only costs 5 czk and allows you to buy student price tickets. Unfortunately my smart phone decided to die on me so when I got to the cinema, I had no e-ticket. They had to call the manager but I got my tickets in 5 minutes without any problems.

Earlier that day I was on Facebook and saw a Christmas Cinema City offer, free popcorn for liking their page and sharing it with a friend – the friend gets free popcorn too. I had to try it out and sent the link to the person I was seeing the movie with and we both got free small popcorn. Even though we arrived just 10 minutes before out movie, we had the time to go to the bathroom, buy coffee, get free popcorn and get our tickets without rushing. So it really does pay off to have the card and Cinema City has been working hard at keeping their customers satisfied.

I’ve been to the Cinema City at Slovansky Dum, Flora, Andel and yesterday I went to Zlicin for the first time in over a decade and was very satisfied. The cinema was much smaller than I’m used to but everything was perfect. I definitely recommend buying the card even if you’re not a frequent cinema-goer. There are other benefits including a surprise present on your birthday!


Abducted by a Party Tram

On our way home from dinner at U Žíznivého Jelena, Isaac and I saw a one-car tram at our stop, mistaking it for the 7 we ran to get it. The closer we got the stranger it looked. Standing in front of it we saw that there wasn’t a tram number but a strange logo instead. The tram only had a few passengers and they were dancing to thumping music under a disco ball. Intrigued, we stepped closer and one of the bouncers dressed as a tram conductor welcomed us onto the tram. He explained the tram’s circuit and offered us a 40 czk can of beer that they were selling out of a cooler.

We agreed to try it out but just for one stop, after all it was on a work night. The guy just laughed and said ‘right’ before attending to other newcomers. We drank we danced and like he predicted, we didn’t get off. The tram started at Andel and stopped for a while at one of the tram resting spots just past Na Knizeci. From there the tram went back through Andel and into the center. We went through Karlovo Namesti, Lazarska, Vaclavske Namesti, Namesti Republiky, across the river through Malostranska and back the end stop was at Narodni Divadlo where many continued to a club recommended by the the Party Starters. More and more people got on, happily torn away from their original evening plans.

The event was organized by Party Starters, they have a Facebook page too. This was their third tram party in 2014 and it originally began in Plzen. Here’s a video, I do not own any rights to it:

Bar Hopping on Czech Christmas

Czech’s celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December but they have public holidays from the 24th until the 26th. So what happens if you want to grab a beer and lunch in the city center on Christmas? I’t not an easy task.

I set out at 15:30 with my boyfriend Isaac and headed for our regular spot, Nagano 98. It was closed, and so were several places that we tried calling. We took tram 14 into the center, passing KFC near Novy Smichov shopping center which was open and a bunch of typical Czech pubs that were not. We got off at Lazarska and found a lot of small open fast food places. We decided to grab baguettes at Bageterie Boulevard near Narodni Trida. We got something from their quick menu which has small 39 czk baguettes. They closed at 16:00 on Christmas and the doors were already being locked when we left.

We decided to walk through the maze of streets between Narodni Trida and Narodni Divadlo, hoping to find something that was open. Most places had all their light off and their doors barred. Some had signs explaining their holiday schedules while others were just closed. Some expensive tourist places were still open and we walked into several smaller places but were turned right around because they were all just about to close. After being kicked out a few place, sometimes politely and other times not, we walked into Bar U Matěje. We walked in cautiously, looking around in worry that someone will tell us to leave. But we finally found a place that was properly open and it was filled with expats.

We got a couple of beers, their draft options were Pilsner, Gambrinus and Master, a dark beer. They also had a few Christmas specials, Cupito for 39 czk, a special punch for 59 czk and 2 x vodka + redbull for just under 100. The place was quite busy since it was one of the few open but the waitress was quick and friendly.

On our way out we realized that Isaac had forgotten his bag at Bageterie Boulevard but they were already closing when we left and we rushed back to a very closed restaurant. We went to the police station around the corner and although they were very friendly and gave us a ride in their car, they couldn’t do much else and advised us to wait until the next morning before cancelling all the credit cards. Since looking online proved that no one had tried using the cards, we took their advice. Luckily the bag and everything in it was recovered the next day, giving Bageterie an extra start in our books.

Chasing Running Sushi in Prague

Running sushi is an amazing invention. For those who have never hear of it, it’s all you can eat sushi that ‘runs’ by you on a conveyor belt. How does this experience work? You come to the restaurant, sit down, order a drink and then the fun begins. There are plastic doors that you open to get sushi access. The better, fancier places have two levels of running sushi, the bottom cold and the top hot. Sushi goes past you in circles in colorful little plates, and you can pick whatever you want and eat it. Soya sauce and chop sticks are already on the table so you can dig right in.

Running sushi in theory: Don’t eat all day and plan an hour or two for endless sushi eating. Make most of your money, try different sushi and eat a bunch of your favorites. Be full all day.

Running sushi in practice scenario one: You wake up early, decide to have a snack but only a small one. Starve all day waiting unexpectedly for that magical hour+ of sushi eating. You get to the sushi place and you see all your options. You can’t pick one to start with so you take several plates, fight for the yummy stuff with whoever you came with. You get mad if something you see coming is taken by others because it’s hard to comprehend that it will come again – basically the caveman deep inside you awakens. You keep eating more and more sushi until you feel quite full. You look at your watch, and it’s only been 15 minutes. You try to take a break and you turn your head away from the sushi, but oh, there’s a mirror and you can see the sushi beckoning you in the reflection. You try actually talking and making eye contact with your friend, colleague or partner who came with you, but the moving sushi in the corner of your eye is so much more enticing. Then you see something new that is being served and you grab it selfishly and devour it quickly, even though 20 more of the same thing are already on their way. You say ‘just one more’ a few times. Maybe more than a few. Once you start feeling sick you ask to pay and try to stand up. Standing up doesn’t always work right away, but after a while you begin to waddle out of the restaurant. You swear you will never eat again but somehow you are hungry several hours later. That night or the next morning you use the bathroom more than usual and swear off sushi. But you will always return. They always do.

Running sushi in practice scenario two:Very similar except you wake up and go straight there for breakfast, possibly with a hangover. You are the first one there so there are only a few options on the belt, mostly cold options that don’t get spoiled too quickly. You say you’ll wait for the good stuff but you take just one plate to munch on, then soon after ‘just one more’. Then they start serving something better but not your favorite. You’re so tempted that you give up waiting, because they probably won’t serve your favorite anyway and you eat and eat and eat. By the time your favorite sushi comes along, which surprises you but at the same time doesn’t, you are way too full. But you still eat more. If you are hungover and even if you’re not, you feel even sicker in this second 20 minute sushi gobbling scenario than the first – bet you didn’t think that was even possible.

Don’t get me wrong, there are few things as amazing as eating cheap all-you-can-eat sushi. But be warned, strong self control is required to survive…

There are several places to eat running sushi in Prague. The better slightly more expensive ones are in the shopping centersPalladium and Novy Smichov. Work day lunch time prices there are 318 for adults and 168 for children under eight years, on weekends and holidays the price is 338 for adults and 178 for children. Dinners, after 17:00 cost 398 for adults and 218 for children. These pricier places have the two levels of running sushi as previously mentioned. Then there is a cheaper option near metro stop I.P. Pavlova, Baifu running sushi on Bělehradská 75 with an adult price of only 209 czk after 15:00 and less than 200 if it’s earlier. Weekends are more expensive and there is only one belt so there is less of a variety.

Santa Con in Prague, Christmas 2014

Santa Con is an event that happens all over the world! Basically, people come together dressed as Santa and walk around singing carols. In Prague this event happened on December 13th and was a combination of dressing up, singing carols, bar-hopping and raising money for charity!

The Prague event is organized annually by Kate Powers who makes a public event for it on Facebook and organizes discounts at pubs, bars and clubs for people wearing a Santa Clause hat.

It started at 17:00 at The Globe Cafe, a popular expat meeting place, with happy hour drink specials (Cuba Libre, Cosmopolitan, Mojito and more for 69 czk! Beer for 25). Then at 19:00 the group moved to Hard Rock Cafe, a chain of awesome cafes around the world, I try to visit one in every city! We got two cocktails for the price of one, so 150czk – 200 czk, even for a Long Island Iced Tea! The finest Czech beer Pilsner was only 35 czk, and we got to enjoy our drinks on a private floor reserved just for us!

After Hard Rock, we moved to the main event, singing carols in Old Town Square! We sang as we walked and then got on stage in the historical square for a few verses. Then we continued by the tree. Even though it was quite warm, around 7 degrees Celcius, the Christmas spirit took over whole group and everyone who listened to us sing.

Next the group split up like it often does but we all ended up in Vodka Bar Propaganda around 21:30. We got free entrance and free welcome shots! There was live music and as usual, lots of new expats for us to meet. There was also a unique bartender who wore a Santa hat, and occasionally pants. At around 23:00 the group went to Double Trouble and got more free welcome shots and partied on, beforLucerna! At Lucerna those who made it there got free entrance (that usually costs 100 czk) and danced the night away. I have no doubt that many Santas lost their hats along with a few memories of the awesome night.

The Facebook event page had 122 people signed up. It is hard to say how many actually came with people coming and leaving at different times. But those who came contributed to the 2,500 czk that were donated to Dobry Andel, a Czech charity that helps family with children who have cancer and other serious sicknesses.

I definitely recommend coming next year, it’ll be even bigger, better and will raise even more money. Last year we raised 1,000 less than this year, lets keep this upwards trend going!

10 Unique Christmas Meals From Around the World

In Albania it is traditional to eat pumpkin and walnut pie. In the West these meals are usually typical for Thanksgiving and pumpkins are associated with Halloween. But in Albania, especially in Catholic families, it is typical to eat the traditional pie on Christmas Eve.