As students in Prague for the semester, we all like to have fun! And during your semester in Prague, this fun probably involves a lot of drinking, as Prague is famous for its beer, its nightlife and is filled to the brim with lively young people. But is it possible to have too much fun? Maybe so.
If you haven’t already heard, over the summer, one of the plastic yellow penguins lining the banks of the Vltava River on Kampa Park mysteriously disappeared. Just six days later, three foreigners in their 20s were arrested in connection with the kidnapping, and considering that the incident occurred around 5 am, we can assume the captors were intoxicated at the time. These three foreigners were then faced with the prospect of two years in prison if they were convicted of the crime.
While stealing plastic penguins might seem like a harmless and hilarious prank to a few drunk students, it cost the modern art museum about 70,000 czk in damage and it is now something that is on their criminal records forever. So, was it really worth it?
Now, the rest of us students in Prague can laugh about what happened, but we can also let it be a reminder: of course we like to party, but we also need to party at least semi-responsibly. At OhMyPrague!, we’re here to fulfill all your partying needs – we’re more than happy to provide a safe, friendly, and fun environment for students in Prague, but some of it is up to you. So how can you make sure you’re drinking responsibly with OhMyPrague!? We’ve got some tips for you:
1. Eat first!
The first rule of a night out is to start by lining your stomach. And for students in Prague, it’s pretty easy, because the food is cheap and delicious. Grab a group of friends and head out for some fried cheese or goulash – both hearty options to fill you up and prep you for your big night out.
2. Drink water
Do your best to stay hydrated throughout the night. Drink some water throughout the day before you go out (you should be doing this anyway!), and if you feel like you need to slow down at any point during the night, don’t be afraid to grab a glass of water. This will do wonders for your body while you’re out and it’ll help manage that nasty hangover the next day – trust us. Water is a win-win.
3. Know your limits
Know how much you can handle and try to keep track of how many drinks you’ve had (we know, easier said than done sometimes). Not only will this help you save money – and we all know as students in Prague we need to save money – but it will keep you from going over the tipping point during your night out. Even if you’re feeling alright, if you’ve already had 8 or 9 drinks you probably shouldn’t be going for that 10th one just yet. Wait about 30 minutes before deciding whether or not you actually want more to drink – as you probably don’t need it even though you might feel strange without a drink in your hand.
4. Charge your phone before you go out
Don’t get caught without a way to contact your friends. Make sure your phone is fully charged before you leave your place for the night. If you get separated from the people you know, this will be your lifeline to either call someone or to order a taxi home. Or, you could even share your location with someone you trust in case you get lost so they’ll know where to find you. It’s also not a bad idea to bring a charger with you in case you end up at McDonald’s by yourself at 3 am wondering where your friends are.
5. Watch your drink
We’re sure you’ve heard this before, but we’ll say it again: never leave your drink unattended at the bar, and don’t accept drinks from strangers if you don’t see it being made. Prague is a safe city, but sketchy people are still out there, so take the necessary precautions. Keep your eyes on your drink at all times to be sure it’s not being mixed with anything you didn’t approve of first – which might make you do things you normally wouldn’t do later.
6. Stay away from bodies of water, bikes, and scooters
Don’t attempt to do anything that requires coordination during a night of drinking – and especially don’t go wandering around near the river. The danger of falling, drowning, or crashing isn’t worth it. Even if you don’t hurt yourself in the process, you could hurt someone else or damage property and wind up paying bills for the next few months.
7. Stay with friends (or with us!)
Do your best throughout the night to stick with the people you know and trust. We’re always here to help when you come on a night out with us, so if you have a problem, we can help you figure it out.
Staying in a group in general is important, too. If someone has a crazy idea (such as stealing penguins from a modern art museum), if you’re in a big group it’s more likely that at least one person is a little more sober than you, and will hopefully be able to talk everyone else out of the bad idea. Look out for your friends, and make sure you trust that they’re looking out for you, too.
8. Know your way home
If you’re not confident enough to know how to get home from just about anywhere in the city, we would recommend downloading an offline map just in case something goes wrong. Don’t get caught wandering around by yourself in an unfamiliar area at all hours of the night. This is how many people get into situations that can cause trouble.
9. Use common sense
Let’s face it: we’ve all done some pretty crazy stuff while drinking and there’s no shame in admitting that. The real problem comes when we break the law, hurt ourselves or others, or damage property. Pulling a silly prank might seem fun in the moment, but before you do anything, stop and ask yourself if you would do it while you were sober. If the answer is no, it’s probably best to step back and not partake in whatever it is.
As students in Prague, we all like to party – but sometimes we just need to be smart about it. Keep these tips in mind and you should be just fine, and remember you can always come to us for help. Did we miss any tips? Let us know if you have anything to add in the comments.