The guides at Insight Cities are professors, doctoral students, historians, journalists, art critics, and published authors. Sharing our cities with people from all over the world is an extension of the curiosity and commitment that led us to academic research, teaching, and journalism. As brainy guides, we look for the crucial detail, the vital, quirky fact that illuminates local cultures for you while also revealing global contexts. We care passionately about good storytelling and good hosting, and we take pride in having helped thousands of travelers of all backgrounds and places to get the most from their time in our great cities.
Vadim Erent was born in St. Petersburg and immigrated to the USA at 13. He did graduate work in Slavic Studies at the University of Chicago, then spent a decade traveling through the United States as an interpreter for the US State Department. He has lived in Prague since 2003. An art critic and literary historian, he contributes articles to Litteraria Pragensia Books, the affiliated press of the Philosophy Faculty of Charles University. Vadim’s photography has been featured in Vlak Magazine, Grasp Magazine, The Humanities Review, and Streetnotes. He is the editor of a book of international essays on Serbian filmmaker, Dušan Makavejev, published by Charles University in 2018. After years of giving tours of Prague to friends and family, he founded Insight Cities to offer in-depth experiences to a wider group of visitors. Vadim is married to Insight Cities co-founder Bonita Rhoads. They are the parents of a young Pražačka, Lucy, born in Prague in 2008.
Bonita Rhoads earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 2009. She was a lecturer at Charles University in Prague and an assistant professor at Masaryk University in Brno (the Czech Republic’s second city) for a decade before leaving university teaching to run her scholar-led guided walks company, Insight Cities. A native of New York City, Bonita moved to Prague in 2003 along with her husband, Vadim, co-founder of Insight Cities. She publishes on topics in nineteenth-century British and American literature. Her delight in her remarkable adopted city led her to become a dedicated student of Prague’s cultural and political history.
Kateřina studied Medieval Architecture at the Università per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy and Art History at the Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier III, France. Kateřina received her PhD from the Institute of Art History in the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University, Prague. A lecturer in Art History at both Charles and Anglo-American Universities, she is also an official guide of the Prague Jewish Museum, as well as a docent for the National Gallery on the collection of old masters at the Sternberg Palace, for the St. Agnes Monastery, and Veletržní Palace. Kateřina has been a guest lecturer on Medieval Art at the University of New Orleans and regularly teaches college courses in Art History, Jewish Experience in Central Europe, Holocaust Studies, and Prague Art and Architecture.
Jan is a financial affairs journalist for Ekonom (the Czech business weekly) after a decade working as a producer and reporter for the leading news radio station in the Czech Republic, Radio Prague (the Czech equivalent of the USA’s NPR). At Radio Prague, he hosted a 30-minute show on current national affairs, providing analysis and reporting for the English language service of the station on topics ranging from contemporary Czech culture and business to Czech history. Jan took his MA in History from Masaryk University in Brno. Fluent in Spanish (as well as English), Jan spent two years teaching in Latin America, then became the first translator of Che Guevara’s Motorcycle Diaries into Czech. Jan’s fascination with the turmoil of the twentieth century also led him to spend six years (2001-2007) as a historian and curator for the Regional Museum in the Moravian town of Mikulov, where he prepared exhibitions on Czech Jewish history, World War II history, and post-World War II development. Outside his busy work schedule, Jan always appreciates a good night out with taroky, a rapidly disappearing Moravian card game. For visitors interested in the war years, the communist and post-communist periods in Prague, Jan is your guide.
Alex attended Cambridge University, where he took his MA in English Literature. Since first visiting Prague in 1991, he has developed a close association with the city and has adapted a number of Czech works in translation for the stage, including Bohumil Hrabal’s Too Loud a Solitude and The Diary of Petr Ginz, a moving account of the life of a Jewish boy in 1940s Prague. As well as being an accomplished writer and poet, Alex is the curator of The Prague Vitruvius, an online guide to the history of the city’s architecture as well as being a lecturer in the East and Central European Studies Programme at Charles University, specializing in architectural heritage.
Kevin was born and raised in small towns throughout the US Midwest and has been infatuated with European culture and history since his teens. He initially fell in love with Germany, where he spent his first months abroad in the summer of 1990 as the Berlin Wall was still crumbling down. He first visited Prague, chasing after traces of Kafka and Mozart, in the summer of 1992, when it was still the capital of Czechoslovakia. He received his BA in German and Anthropology from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1996. But, Prague never ceased to be a draw and in the late 1990s, he plunged into the active study of the Czech language, history, and culture. After several years of intensive Czech language study and coursework in German literature and culture, Kevin earned a PhD in Germanics from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2012 with a dissertation on German, Austrian, and Czech cinema in the 1930s and 40s. Kevin has published widely on topics related to German and Czech cinema and has worked as a translator from both German and Czech to English. He has lectured at Charles University and is currently the Academic Director of an overseas education abroad program. Married into a Czech family, Prague has been home since 2001 and Kevin never ceases to be amazed by new discoveries in the city. When he gets the time, he enjoys listening to old vinyl records, playing the guitar or accordion, and reading sci-fi novels.
Pavel took degrees in French, History and Geography at Masaryk University before embarking on a decade of nomadic and enriching job experiences. He was a regional reporter for the Ostrava Studio of Czech Television, a field researcher for the Czech Tourism Agency, a contracted French interpreter for the municipality of Krnov, and a moderator of thematic debates for the Jewish Museum of Prague. Since 2012, he has been writing historical journalism and giving guided walks throughout the Czech Republic. Pavel delights in sharing his country and its magical capital of Prague with travelers from all over the globe while also traveling the world extensively himself.
Martina graduated from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a Master’s degree in World Religions. She loves architecture, history, geography and, of course, foreign languages, cultures, and traditions. She gives a wide variety of thematic tours as a licensed guide for the city of Prague as well as throughout the Czech Republic and, as a licensed guide of Prague’s Jewish Museum. Her particular focus is on helping travelers explore Prague’s essential Jewish history.
Zlatina earned her PhD in Slavic Studies from the Charles University in Prague in 2012 and is a seasoned guide, leading excursions, and tours on an array of themes from architecture to social and political history in Prague, Český Krumlov, Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, Kutná Hora, Konopiště, a number of other Czech castles and chateau, along with in-depth tours of Dresden.
Ernestina studied art history and photography at university in Prague, later working for an art restoration company, an experience that deepened her knowledge of the techniques and styles that make her hometown of Prague the wondrous encyclopedia of European architectural styles that it is. She is fascinated by the historical context of Prague’s iconic buildings as well, ultimately becoming a guide in order to help travelers uncover the stories behind Prague’s stones. Ernestina also has a special interest in the cultural and political history of Prague’s Jewish community and she helps visitors explore this essential dimension of Prague’s past and present as a licensed guide of the Jewish Quarter.