Looking for love? Be sure to check out our full array of articles on dating in the Czech Republic!
Prague is known as one of the world´s most romantic cities, but if you are single it can be a lonely place. Picturesque views and beautiful places can be depressing if you have no one to share them with. Living in a foreign country adds an extra problem for those who are chasing cupid. So we run through the best ways to meet your match in Prague.
Online dating was quick to catch on in the Czech Republic and there are dozens of subscription-free sites to choose from. The most popular is Seznamka.com (www.seznamka.cz), which has something for every taste. Options range from Correspondence and Friends (Dopisování a prátelé) to Travelling Together (Cestujeme Spolu) to Sex Dates and Flirting (Sex Seznamka – Flirt). The site also contains popular gay, lesbian and bisexual sections, as well as special interest groups. Even if you speak no Czech you can still use the site, just make your way to the Foreign Languages section (“Cizojazycné”), where there are plenty of ads in English. If you are looking for an English-language dating site specifically for Prague, Metrodate.com is your best bet. The site provides video profiles, instant messaging, private messaging and information on singles´ events. The site does not just include foreigners living in Prague but also Czechs and people planning to come to Prague in the future. The Expats.cz Classified section (select ‘Personal´) is another useful way to meet other English-speakers living in Prague. The personals are divided into sections by gender and sexual orientation, and the ads are imaginative and often funny.
Another option is subscription-only dating sites. For a price, you get streamlined service, better search options and more help finding a match. Because of the subscription fee there are also fewer time-wasters. The biggest site in Europe is Meetic (www.meetic.com), which has 525,000 subscribers. Fees are around 1000 CZK per month for a basic package. Meetic has a separate “flirting site” for 18- to 25-year-olds called Superlov, and a matchmaking site, Ulteem, for singles over 40. The largest worldwide dating site, Match.com (www.match.com), dropped its Czech language site in 2006 due to lack of interest, so there are a limited number of users in this country. But for those interested in meeting foreigners Match.com is a good option. Lucy, a 27-year-old financial controller from the Czech Republic, and Gunther, a 30-year-old Sales Manager from Mexico, met online. “We clicked right away,” Gunther recalls. “We talked for four hours the first time we met on the site.” After meeting in person in Paris, the couple decided that they wanted to live together and Lucy moved to Mexico. “It sounds like an advert for the dating website, but Lucy was the second girl I chatted to on the site,” laughs Gunther. “I paid one month´s subscription and met the love of my life.” James, 43, a British Credit Controller living in Prague, dated online for more than a year. “I have met some really nice women online, and made some friends, but you can be chatting online for months and then know as soon as you meet that it´s not going to work,” he says. “Nowadays, I prefer to meet women in the real world.”
Quick, safe, and fairly painless, speed dating is on the rise. The concept is that an equal number of men and women are put into a café or bar and given a series of ‘dates,´ each a few minutes long. Women sit at small tables while the men rotate, moving to a new table when a bell rings. Daters are given scorecards to rate each date. If two daters both express interest in each other they are told and contact details are exchanged. The advantages of speed dating are quick results, a controlled environment, and limited opportunities for humiliating yourself. Daters are anonymous and if you pick someone who does not pick you, they will never know. “It is a lot of fun and feels much safer than internet dating,” says Anna, a 28-year-old English teacher who works in Prague. “And if you are not interested in your date you only have to put up with him for a few minutes.”
Rapid Dating (www.rapiddating.cz), which also goes by the Czech name Rande Motyl, is a new company running speed dating events in Prague. “I lived in the USA for seven years, and did speed dating while I was there,” explains Jana Olivova, founder of the company. “When I got home I realized that the Czech Republic is very behind when it comes to dating.” Bringing US-style speed dating to Prague was an obvious solution. “It´s a proactive way of increasing your odds,” explains Jana. Events have up to 40 singles and dates last three minutes each. Although there are separate events for Czechs and English speakers, expats who speak Czech are welcome at the Czech events and Czechs who speak English at the English events. There is one event every month and the price on your first visit is only 100 CZK. If you do not meet someone your first event, you can attend a second for free.
Alternatively, First Sight runs events with 20 singles and dates that last five minutes; with the option to stay and chat after all the dates are over. The price for an event is 500 CZK with a free cocktail included. According to First Sight, 80-percent of people who come to an event meet someone who they choose to see again.
Most of Prague´s dating agencies are strange organizations aimed at pairing rich West European or American men with younger and less rich Czech women. The companies´ male clients browse pages of photos of young women in their bikinis, pick out a few and either come to Prague to meet them, or have a prospective bride sent to their own country. One such agency, Hand-in-Hand, promises to help men find ‘a life partner who is significantly younger´ and ‘unspoiled by feminism.´ If this appeals contact Hand in Hand (www.eastern-european-women.com) or Planet Romance (www.planetromance.cz). Prague Paradise (www.pragueparadise.com) also specializes in matching Czech and Eastern European women with men from further West, but is more like a traditional dating agency. Both men and women pay fees (2500 CZK to subscribe) and are offered the same services. The company has 1,200 clients whose first language is English, and are happy to accept men or women of any nationality. All first meetings are in Prague; foreign clients fly in for a series of four or five dates per trip. The company arranges travel and accommodation for the dates, translation when needed, arranging visas and marriage planning. “The agency took care of everything from the first meeting to our wedding,” says Elena, a 25 year-old Ukrainian hotel manager who met her Czech husband through Prague Paradise. The agency claims that their introductions lead to around 22 marriages per year.
Make this your summer of love and get out and meet someone new!