Monday 13 June 2016

Why the Prater is not a Disneyland

250 Years as an amusement park

 The Prater was first mentioned in 1162, when Emperor Friedrich I. gave the land to a noble family called de Prato. The Prater wasn't always the place we know today. It was used as an imperial hunting ground for the aristocracy. In 1766 the Austrian Emperor Josef II donated the area to the Viennese as a public leisure area. Several restaurants and cafés were established. It became the most popular place to go for a dance with its huge ballrooms and music cafés. You could hear the classic dance music from musicians like Johann Strauss or Josef Lanner. Soon rides and attractions followed.

The grit of the Wiener Prater

A long tradition of petty crimes and prostitution exists in this beloved Viennese amusement park. Even though both were banned from the Prater, especially those juvenile delinquents keep popping up in the park. The latest crime on a larger scale happened at the beginning of December 2015 when a group of ten robbed around 19 visitors, the youngest only 10 and the oldest around 70.
Nowadays the center of all crime in the Prater is actually the Praterstern, a train station nearby, where especially at night shady things happen. People get drunk and drugs get sold. People, especially women get assaulted and some even raped, like the student who got raped in the station's restroom by three juvenile refugees. Because of the ongoing crime at that train station the police want to install more security cameras and the politicians are thinking about banning alcohol from the hall of Praterstern station.
Ever since the Prater was opened it has been infamous for crime, not only real crime but also staged crime. Many movies were shot in the Prater like “The Third Man” or even a James Bond with Timothy Dalton as well as many local productions like the crime series “Tatort” or the children detectives of “Tom Turbo”.
Since the dancing establishments for Waltz and Polka disappeared, new clubs like the Pratersauna, Fluc and Praterdome have appeared and they are now the epicenter of clubbing and because to get to most of these clubs you need to pass through Pratestern, you will most likely find someone there who sells drugs or has already bought some on his way to the club.

The Owners of the Prater

Prater attractions are owned by various families and individuals. Among others the Sittler-Koidls, who own popular attractions like „Break Dance“ or „Volare“. Probably the most iconic attraction, the Ferris wheel is owned just by one person Hans-Peter Petritsch. Family ownership of Prater attractions is probably the biggest difference to Disneyland, which is owned by just one corporation.

Food and Drinks 

But what is the main difference between Prater and the world famous Disneyland as far as food is concerned?
In a theme park you can find a lot of theme restaurants which sell exactly the same food on every corner. So you don't have so many options. The prices are also very high.
In Prater there is a huge variety and surely you will find what you like without searching long .
Here is a list of the most popular restaurants, pubs and cafés:

The Schweizerhaus is the most famous restaurant and beer house in this giant entertainment park. It is being visited by thousands of tourists but also natives. The signature dish of Schweizerhaus is a pork knuckle that is known by the name of
´´Stelze´´.  As a side dish you can choose cabbage, potatoes and mustard. Schweizerhaus has a huge selection of beer made in Austria, Germany and Czech Republic.

Kolariks Praterfee is a family restaurant established in 1991 and situated in the Prater Hauptallee. The founder of the Kolarik restaurants and - fun fact - also the inventor of the  bouncy castle, was Elisabeth Kolarik. Here you can enjoy meals like pizza and spare ribs or  a coffee with apple strudel.

Café Riesenrad

What about drinking your coffee while looking at the giant wheel called Riesenrad? This modern coffee house with traditional cuisine is visited daily by lots of tourists and it is situated at the entrance to the Prater. Restaurant Zum Englischen Reiter

Do you want to try the original Vienna cuisine and be surrounded by everything that is Viennese? If so, the Restaurant Zum Englischen Reiter is the right place for you. The food choice that awaits you is huge.

Who visits the Prater?

One of the main differences between classic Disneyland and the Prater is the fact that you wouldn’t go to Disneyland without kids. All the cartoons, princesses, castles… It would be kind of strange for an adult to go there alone, because Disneyland is meant to be a family place. Unlike that, the Prater is full of people that go there alone, or with friends.  You are more likely to see a group of friends than families with children, because it is more fun for young people and it’s also a better adventure for them. The access to the area is free and open 24 hours, so you can always see some drunk guys, or homeless people there. What you won’t see are mascots, or parades, that would give you “that family-feeling“. Many Viennese kids are actually skipping school there. You can typically find them on the Tagada. 

Who else visits the Prater? Why us of course! My Extasy experience was pretty bad. 
This attraction was too fast and furious. I was there with my classmate and she liked it. 
I don’t know if she is a human. I had a head- and stomach-ache for the rest of the day. I do not suggest you go there if you are drunk or have heart problems, or you are old.
I leave you with a picture of this attraction, so you know where you should not go. 
You are welcome. 

Look how disgusting it looks.  

Monday 2 May 2016

Zentralfriedhof - One of the largest cemeteries in the World

On a rainy spring day, our CzechAut Team visited Vienna´s best-known cemetery.
It was established in 1863. Currently, there are around 300.000 graves on an area of 2.5 km2.
Vienna is a city of music and that is the reason why personalities like Ludwig van
Beethoven, Franz Schubert or Falco are buried here. Because of the size of the cemetery, which features 80 km of roads and paths, you can use a public cemetery bus which has several stops.
Zentralfriedhof also has 3 main entrances and 3 funeral halls.

Zentralfriedhof in numbers:
Area 2.5 km2
Number of graves: 300.000
3.000.000 deceased
4.000 graves cleared per year  
3 funeral halls
80 km of roads and paths

Memorial of those, who donated their body to the science

This is the memorial of dead people who donated their bodies to the science. The atmosphere there was frightening but also peaceful. In a way it was an interesting experience for us.

As we were thinking about donating a body to the science, we came to a few resolutions. Our opinions were quite different from each other. David thinks that donating your body to science is a good idea, while Alina thinks that the body should be buried properly.
 If you are curious you can read more about donating the body to the science at:

Der Park der Ruhe und Kraft - the Park of peace and energy 

1.     Section
Symbol: circle
Element: earth
Energy: re- creation

2.     Section
Symbol: labyrinth
Element: air
Energy: healing

3.     Section

Symbol: square
Element: water
Energy: collecting

4.     Section
Symbol: circle
Element: earth
Energy: change

5.    Section

Symbol: triangle
Element: fire
Energy: development

6.   Section

Symbol: Battle Axe
Energy: change


With our blog crew we also visited this park, which is located in the central cemetery in Vienna. This place should fill us with energy and inner strength. At the beginning, we didn’t believe that it works, but as soon as we got out of there, we felt relaxed and kind of peaceful. We didn’t even notice how bad the weather was at that day. If you want to escape from the sad atmosphere that cemetery radiates, you should definitely visit this place. Down below you can see some pictures we made there. 

 This cemetary is so enormous  it even has a bus line with 20 stops taking those of us for whom walking is a burden to the resting places of the dearly departed.
To add education to gravitas you can visit the cemetary´s own funeral museum. Its exhibits take you through centuries of buryial rites and instruments, like this one here. What is it you ask? A heart-stabbing dagger of course! A reminder of the mass hysteria of the 19th century when people feared nothing more than being buried alive.


The ”Waldfriedhof” of the central cemetery is an almost natural forest besides the fact that every tree grows on the ashes of our deceased loved ones. The park symbolizes the circle of life and it seems to be the alternative to coffins and gravestone and gives some people the feeling that even after their death there is something growing beyond them.


But don´t worry about not finding the tree of your loved one, there are memorial trees at the south-east entrance. 

Monday 18 April 2016

Your TOP 5 Spring Destinations

Are you waiting until summer to pack your bags and take some vacation ?
In every season and in very month there is a lot to see and do around the world.
Our CzechAut team has prepared a quick list with some fabulous tips for your spring trip.

1 Zagreb, Croatia
Spring months are the best time to visit the Croatian coast and islands.
In Zagreb, we recommend renting a bike and going for a ride around the city or go hiking while enjoying the nature and the fresh air.
An advantage is that at this time the hotel facilities are not yet so busy.

2 Sevilla, Spain
The atmosphere in Sevilla during spring months is very special. In April the fiesta season starts, which means parties, local folklore and colourful parades. Live music is never missing. If you want to experience this magical city, do it in spring!

3 Copenhagen, Denmark
Are you ready for days filled with fun, sunrays and surprises? The capital of Denmark is the home of the oldest amusement park for thrill seekers.
Fashion lovers can visit the Copenhagen Spring Fashion Shows or explore the city by boat. Especially in May is this city full of life because it is the time of various celebrations.

4 Budapest, Hungary
This city has its charm and not only in spring. A pleasant climate will follow you while exploring the history of Budapest. You can relax in one of the thermal baths and later enjoy your drink in a rooftop bar. Don’t forget to try some traditional Hungarian food and true food lovers should not miss the Gourmet Festival.

 5 Lisbon, Portugal
If you want a mix of ancient and modern, Lisbon might me the perfect choice.
The must-see sights are definitely the Lisbon Ocenarium, which is one of the largest in the world and the Belem Tower, a symbol of the age of discovery.

Coachella festival

Hey guys!
Spring is finally here! Can you feel those spring vibes already? No? We do, and we will totally bring you to our spring wave, that we are on. The time, when flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and festivals are beginning, has arrived.
One of the most popular festivals is in California and it’s called Coachella and has been around since 1999. The main idea of Coachella is to be peaceful and to be dressed in the spirit of Indio, which is the main theme. It’s already well known, that Coachella is full of good music produced by the best artists in the world, for example, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Jay-Z, ACDC and many others.
This year Coachella will take place on April 15th – 17th and April 22nd – 24th at Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California. General admission tickets cost 840 dollars, a 3 day pass costs 1000 dollars and the VIP-3 day pass costs 2100 dollars. It’s true, they’re quite expensive but references from past years say that it’s worth it.  


Coachella is so popular, that even famous celebrities are coming year after year. Nowadays Coachella has become one of the festivals, where visitors, mostly women are dressed on point, in the spirit of Indio. So if you want to visit Coachella, you should wear something that looks peaceful- colorful, has flowers on, or some interesting ornaments and be sure to wear a lot of accessories. You can also show much more skin than with other outfits you wear normally. With this starter pack, you should be ready for Coachella! We are leaving you with some pictures of celebrities who visited Coachella and which could also give you some inspirations for your perfect Coachella-outfit!  Be sure to leave us a comment, which of these are your TOPS! 

Monday 8 February 2016

Czech words in German

Austria and Czech Republic are very close. But the languages in each country are completely different. Around 30 000 Czechs are living in Austria. The number was much higher in the past. The obvious reason of the influence on the German language is that in the late 19th century 
400 000 of the 6 million Viennese inhabitants were Czechs.
There are many Czech words in German language that Austrians use on a daily basis and they don’t even know that the words come from the Czech language.

Here are some examples of the  words:

Peitsche - bič

Buchtel - buchta

Heisl - záchod

Hatschek - háček

Haubitze - houfnice

Kolatsche – koláč

Pilsner, Pilsener, Pils - světlé pivo

Pistole - pistole

Polka - polka

Powidel, Powidl - povidla

Roboter - robot

Slibowitz, Sliwowitz - slivovice

Zwetschke – švestka

Kren - křen

The following are particullary used from the old generation :

Auf Lepschi gehen – leňošit

Strizzi – strýc

Schetzkojedno – všechno jedno

Pomali – pomalu

Feschak – fešák

The ,,exchange´´ of the words and phrases works in reverse as well.
Here is a short list of words that originate from the German language and are used by Czech people only with some tiny differences:

cimra-das Zimmer 
cejch-das Zeichen 
filc-der Filz 
flaška-die Flasche 
haxna- die Haxen 
knedlík-der Knödel 
štos-der Stoß
špička-die Spitze 
ruksak-der Rucksack
sáček-der Sack
kýbl-der Kübel

The origin of the Czech people in Vienna

Hey guys!
Have you ever heard the expression „Ziegelbehm“ before? No? Because it’s actually a big part of the Austrian history.
In the late 19th century Vienna needed people to work on the Ringstraße boulevard and most of those people came from the Czech Republic. They were quite important for the Austrian economy because they helped to build a big part of the magnificent buildings you can now admire all over Vienna. But those people had to live quite a rough life, which was mostly caused by the conditions they had to live under (there were often too many people living in houses not even having toilets or anything close to a bathroom).
They were discriminated by people and assimilated really quickly even though 
400 000 out of the 1,6 million Viennese inhabitants were Czechs.

Monday 25 January 2016

Pivothek - the home of Czech national drink in Vienna

I was given the instruction to go to one of the many Viennese pubs. But because this blog should connect and find the connections between Vienna (or whole Austria) and Czech Republic and Slovakia, it wasn’t just any ordinary pub. This pub is called Pivothek -  a combination of the words pivo (means beer in Czech) and –thek which signals the collection of something. And they actually have a collection of not well-known (at least not worldwide) Czech beers, for example names like Svijany, Bernard, Lobkowitz, Primátor or Postřižinské pivo – a product of the famous brewery, which was featured in the well-known Czech movie Postřižiny. Many of these sounded familiar to me, even if I’m not a big fan of beer. You can get most of them in supermarkets in the Czech Republic or Slovakia, but if you’re not anywhere near, Pivothek is a good alternative. So when you’re up for drinking a beer, don’t forget to stop at Landstraßer Gürtel 19 – just a few minutes from Vienna Main Station. And of course, leave a comment - which one of their beers is your favorite?

Monday 18 January 2016

Czech last names in Austria

        Austria is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. About 20% of the Austrian population is of immigrant origin. Mostly newcomers are from Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia or the Czech Republic.
       Some Austrians, particularly near Vienna, still have rellatives in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Hungary.
       These immigrants brought their family name with them. After many years or centuries these new residents changed the structure of their names or even created new last names. The German dictionary has no hacek or comma above a letter. Like for example Ě, Č, Ř, Ž, Ý, Í, Š. And this is probably the main reason why those names were a little bit adapted. 
         You can find some Czech names in the list below.

Here are some examples:

German                                              Czech

Kratky                                                      Krátký

Sykora                                                      Sýkora

Suchanek                                                 Suchánek

Nowak                                                       Novák

Nowottny                                                  Novotný

Schimansky                                              Šimanský

Hanowsky                                                 Hanovský

Hlavaczek                                                  Hlaváček

Horejsi                                                       Hořejší

Vlcek                                                           Vlček

Cizek                                                           Čížek

…There are many more last names like these. And there is a big percentage of those that don´t even know they have a foreign origin.