The steep discounts on restaurants and other random and unusual leisure activities offered by Groupon and the like provide a way to make huge savings while traveling.
The group buying phenomenon hit Prague, as it did many cities, in 2010. Since then there have been literally hundreds of startups jostling for market share. Prague doesn’t have a Groupon or Living Social and most of the sites are available only in Czech. There used to be 3 with English language versions, but as of this April 2013 only one is fully in English
Lime & Tonic – English is Lime&Tonic’s native language (they also operate in select other cities), this is more along the lines of Gilt than a generic Groupon clone – higher ticket deals for fancier places than the other two. Read more about Lime & Tonic in this post.
Slevomat – the biggest of the Czech Republic’s group buying sites, covering many cities throughout the country and usually offering 3 or 4 deals a day in Prague. Used to have an English language version but have since dropped it.
If you’re buying a deal to use when you are on vacation in Prague here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Pay close attention to the start and expiry dates of the deal’s validity.
- Check any exclusions or exceptions such as hours or days when you can’t use a deal.
- Be sure to follow the instructions for booking ahead.
For bonus karma points
When using a deal at a place where you are expected to tip, as a courtesy to the staff, tip relative to the full value of the deal, not just the price you paid (assuming the service merits a tip!)
Operators of group buying sites tell merchants that one of the reasons to run a deal is to get new customers who may come back at full price, which obviously isn’t going to happen if you’re on vacation. To make up for this write a review on TripAdvisor, AllPraha.com, Expats.cz, Prague.tv or the establishment’s Google Places page.