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Homeless Guides Highlight a Part of Prague Most Tourists Never See

Homeless Guides Highlight a Part of Prague Most Tourists Never See
Reuters

Last year, five million tourists poured into Prague's bohemian bars, picturesque castles, and centuries-old alleyways.

A handful also had the opportunity to see a different side of the city. Pragulic, a student-run tourism company, offers tours hosted by homeless men and women. Rather than hit up the city's hot spots, these guides offer more personal tours of the landmarks of street living. This could include a trip to a used book store where a guides sells books collected from garbage cans; a visit to a square where he mines the dumpsters for food; and a trip to a fountain to collect drinking water.

Tours cost $10; guides keep half of that money.

Homelessness has become an increasingly pernicious problem in Prague. According to the radio show The World, there are about 4,000 men and women on the streets, up 7 percent from last year.

 Below, Reuters photos of the tours.


Honza B. (L) and his tour group visit a secondhand bookshop to sell thrown-out books collected from garbage containers in Prague December 7, 2012. Honza B., who is 55 years old and homeless, works for a student-run tour agency Pragulic as a guide that shows tourists the sides of Prague that sightseers would normally avoid. (David W Cerny/Reuters)


38-year-old homeless tour guide Karim enters Prague's main railway station to start his tour. (Petr Josek/Reuters)


38-year-old homeless tour guide Karim rehearses for a performance at a volunteer theatre in Prague. (Petr Josek/Reuters)


Tourists listen to tour guide Karim in Prague. (Petr Josek Snr/Reuters)


38-year-old homeless tour guide Karim stands at the Prague's main railway station during his tour. (Petr Josek/Reuters)

Amanda Erickson is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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