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Pretty Prague

It's Prague's perfect irony. You are lured by the past, but compelled to linger by the present and the future. Fill your days with Prague's artistic and architectural heritage, but after dark move your focus to the here and now in the lively restaurants, bars and clubs in emerging neighbourhoods like Vinohrady and Žižkov.

If Prague's seasonal legions of tourists sometimes wear you down, just drink a glass of Bohemian lager, relax, and be reassured that quiet moments still exist!

Enjoy a private dawn on Charles Bridge; sip a chilled beer in Letná above the improbable cityscape of Staré Město; or get reassuringly lost in the intimate lanes of Malá Strana or Josefov.

Everyday you'll uncover more reasons to support Prague's enduring reputation as one of Europe's most exciting cities.

Prague Castle & Hradčany

The city’s number-one attraction is Prague Castle. Castle highlights include jewel-studded St Wenceslas Chapel in St Vitus Cathedral; the view from the cathedral tower; the spectacular Vladislav Hall in the Old Royal Palace; and the Basilica of St George, Prague’s finest Romanesque church. 

There’s no charge to wander around the castle courtyards and gardens, and you can also watch the changing of the guard at noon for free. 

The Convent of St George houses the National Gallery’s collection of Czech art from the 16th to 18th centuries. Outside the castle entrance is the 18th-century Šternberg Palace housing the National Gallery, the country’s principal collection of 14th- to 18th-century European art.

Malá Strana

Head downhill from the castle to the baroque backstreets of Malá Strana (Little Quarter). Close to the cafe-crowded main square, Malostranské nám, is St Nicholas Church, one of the city’s greatest baroque buildings.

To escape Malá Strana’s tourist throng, head for Kampa, a broad park beside the river. The innovative Franz Kafka Museum (Cihelná 2b) proves the writer was much more than the T-shirt logo he’s become.

Adjacent is the ‘Piss’ sculpture by Czech artist David Černý with two stylised figures piddling in a puddle shaped like the Czech Republic. 

At the north end of Kampa is the elegant Charles Bridge (Karlův Most), built in 1357 and graced by 30 statues dating from the 18th century. Try and visit at dawn before the hordes arrive.

Staré Město

On the Staré Město (Old Town) side of Charles Bridge, narrow and crowded Karlova leads east to Staroměstské nám, dominated by the Gothic steeples of Týn Church (1365) and St Nicholas Church (1730s), and the clock tower of the Old Town Hall, where the astronomical clock (1410) entertains the crowds on the hour with its parade of apostles and a bell-ringing skeleton. At the square’s centre is the Jan Hus Monument, erected in 1915 on the 500th anniversary of the religious reformer’s execution.

Nové Město

Literally ‘New Town’, Nové Město is new only in relation to Staré Město, which was founded in 1348. The broad, sloping avenue of Wenceslas Square (Václavské nám) is lined with shops, banks and restaurants, and dominated by a statue of St Wenceslas on horseback. Beneath is a shrine to the victims of communism, including students Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc, both of whom burned themselves alive in 1969 in protest at the Soviet invasion.

Dining

Traditional Czech cuisine is strong on meat,dumplings and gravy. Try knedlo-zelo-vepřo (bread dumplings, sauerkraut and roastpork), cesneková (garlic soup) or kapr nakmíní (carp with caraway seed). Prague’salso got an range of international eateries

Beas

(Týnská 19) Tucked away in an Old Town courtyard,Beas dishes up good-value Indianvegetarian food. There’s another branch(Bělehradská 90) near the IP Pavlova metro station.

Giallo Rossa

(Jakubská 2) Dine in on rustic pizza’n’pasta,or duck next door to the takeaway window and grab a few late night/early morning slices (from 30Kč). Another deal you can’t refuse is free internet.

Na Verandách

(Nádražní 84) Across the river in Smíchov,the Staropramen brewery’s restaurant is a modern spot crowded with locals enjoying superior versions of favourite Czech dishes,and lots of different brews. Na Verandách is a short walk from Anděl metro station.

Pastička

(Blanikcá 24) Vinohrady’s emerging dining scene around Mánesova now features the unpretentious ‘Mousetrap’.Locals come for excellent Bernard beer, huge meaty meals, and to feel good about living in the funky part of town.

Dahab

(Dlouhá 33) Morocco meets the Middle East amid Dahab’s softly litsouk-like ambience. Relax with a mint tea and a hookah (hubble-bubble pipe) before diving into tangines and couscous. There’s also takeaway falafel and shawarma wraps.

Drinking

Bohemian beer is one of the world’s best.The most famous brands are Budvar,Plzeňský Prazdroj (Pilsner Urquell) and Prague’s own Staropramen. 

Čili Bar

(Kožná 10, Staré Město) This raffish bar is more Žižkov than Staré Město,with cool cocktails and a grungy style in welcome contrast to the crystal shops and Russian dolls just around the corner.

Bukowski’s

(Bořivojova 86, Žižkov) This late-night cocktail bar is driving grungy Žižkov’s inevitable transformation into Prague’s hottest after-dark neighbourhood.

U Sadu

(Škroupovo nám, Žižkov) Escape the overpriced tyranny of central Prague at this neighbourhood pub in Žižkov. With its ragtag collection of memorabilia including Communist-era posters of forgotten politicians, nothing’s really changed here in a few decades. An essential stop before or after gigs at the Palác Akropolis (below).

Letenské sady

(Letna Gardens, Bubeneč) This garden bar has views across the river of the Old Town and southwest to the castle. In summer it’s packed with a young crowd enjoyingcheap beer and grilled sausages. Sometimes the simple things in life are the best.

Dancing 

Lucerna Music Bar

(Vodičkova 36, Nové Město) Lucerna features local bands and almost-famous international acts. Jettison your musical snobbery at the wildly popular ’80s and’90s nights (admission 100Kč, open 8pm to1am Friday and Saturday).

Palác Akropoli

(Kubelikova 27, Žižkov) Get lost in the labyrinth of theatre, live music, clubbing, drinking and eating that makes up Prague’s coolest venue. Hip-hop, house,reggae or rocking Gypsy bands from Romania– anything goes. 

Club Radost FX

(Bělehradská 120, Vinohrady) Prague’s most stylish club remains hip for its bohemian-boudoir decor.


 

 


Recommendations

The city walking tour is fantastic"

Julie, Canada

#hopon to Prague