The Essential Guide to Prague's Neighborhoods
Each of Prague's neighborhoods has a distinct feeling, be it for the architecture or the inhabitants, the cafes or the restaurants. In recent years, changes have been happening fast; with the renovation of many neighborhoods, forgotten beauty and charm has been rediscovered.
Vršovice is quite an interesting place, a mix of true alternative culture and art, smug hipsters and your average Prague resident. The locus of the action over here very clearly rests around Krymská street, an area that has garnered quite a reputation. One of the best places for a great lunch or dinner and a pint (or three) is Café Sladkovský, an unprejudiced alternative café using local products and house made food.
Lya Beer Café on Krymská 39 is our very own bottle shop and beer café, with a carefully curated selection of Czech and international beer. Specializing in sours (lambic!) and serving local specialty coffee, sweets & snacks. Just accross the street is Xao, a multilingual bookshop/gallery with exhibitions on graphics, illustrations and book culture.
For vegetarian/vegan cuisine done well, check out Satsang and/or Plevel, who also happen to serve some decent beers. Bad Flash Bar, with more than 10 taps, is a decent place to go and meet people. Patra is the new kid on the block, an LGBTQ-friendly gallery/cinema/cultural space that has a café with a rotating tap of microbrewed beer, whereas Café Šlágr is the place to head for a sweet fix with vintage Czech décor, delectable cakes, and good coffee. On the corner of Norská and Ruská is Neklid, a local favorite, with Únětické beer on tap.
Beyond the beer, Vinotéka Baryk is a fantastic little wine shop, offering quality Czech and European wines. As a bonus, not technically located in Vršovice, but right on the boundary, is Havlíčkovy Sady – one of the best places for a view and housemade wine in a beautiful park.
Having been renovated after 2002’s devastating flood, this quiet district sprouted some worthwhile establishments in between the businesses that crept in. Cafés like Můj Šálek Kávy and Kafe Karlín showcase the promising offers of Czech-roasted coffee, meanwhile, Bistro Proudu’s offers homemade foods in a fashionable café. Polevkarna specializes in delicious soups and Georgian breads.
Of course there’s Pivovarský Klub with 6 taps of quality beer and hearty Czech cuisine. On Sokolovská, you’ll find Lokál’s newest branch, Hamburk. Not much further past Lokál is a host of new places that are worth the leisurely stroll. Veltlin is one of, if not the, best wine bar/shop in the city, offering all natural wines (authentic, as they’ve come to be called by some) from Czech and the former Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Eska is a new bakery-cum-restaurant that’s already boasting a Michelin Bib Gourmand; this place uses interesting methods and do in-house fermentation, baking/cooking over fire and a reduced waste approach. Bad Flash is a multi-tap bar serving some nice micro-brewery beer, including from their own production. Diego Bar is a cellar bar pouring a number of great microbrews. Warehouse #1 is the place to go for top shelf whisky and other goodies.
If you’re looking for beer and culture, look no further than Kasárna Karlín, this cultural house (actually, it’s a barrack) has their own beer as well as art shows, cinema, a play area, practically whatever you may want.
Overlooking the Vltava and Prague’s historic center, you’ll find Letná Park, one of most popular green spaces, with good reason! To top it off, these lovely gardens include a scenic beer garden (a must-go place) and the giant metronome, formerly one of the largest statues of Stalin. The neighborhood of Letná is nestled rather cozily in between this park and one more, Stromovka. Stromovka, a lush green expanse, is one of the most tranquil places in the city, well worth a visit on its own, it does have a some nice beer gardens as well, including Tiskárna na Vzduchu, with Únětické beer on tap and a fun, buzzing atmosphere.
The Farm is known for their all day breakfast menu, and they serve mimosas, obviously a dangerous combination. Café Letka is a nice place to sit, have a beer from Matuška, a cake and coffee and relax. Prague’s Trade Fair Palace (Veletržní palác) hosts an impressive modern art gallery as well as the wonderful Café Jedna, with fairtrade coffee and beer from Vinohradský Brewery, a local microbrewery.
Onigirazu is a lunchtime treat, making what we’re inclined to call, but told not to call, a ‘sushi sandwich’. Bio Oko is a homely cinema screening independent films and keeping its clientele’s creative minds fed with great microbrews for years in their wonderfully chill, retro-Czech environment. Also tapping beer from the Vinohradský Brewery, Mr. Hotdog serves fantastic “grease-is-good” cuisine, hotdogs and sliders in the American style with daily and weekend specials, whereas Milada Bistro caters to a different side of the spectrum, offering haute cuisine from well known local chefs.
On the eastern side of the train tracks you’ll find all sorts of young people at the Cross Club, but better to go to Pivovar Marina, a brewery in the harbor making some rather nice beers with a cozy atmosphere.
Břevnovský Klašter, the monastery that houses Břevnovský Klášterní Sv. Vojtěcha Pivovar and dates back to the year 933, is one of the oldest recorded breweries in the world. Midway through the courtyard is Klášterní Šenk, an excellent Czech restaurant where you can sample some of Břevnov’s fantastic brews in a countryside-like tavern with some food that’ll keep you full. All the way across the courtyard, located in the old granary, is Břevnov brewery’s very own bucolic pub, Klášterní Sýpka.
Some of Prague’s most popular neighborhoods, Dejvice and Bubeneč’s tree-lined streets provide us with numerous cafés and noteworthy restaurants. Beyond serving their locally-roasted coffee, Kavárna Místo also has a menu of nicely prepared food, don’t forget the natural wine or beer to go with it. The recently renovated (yet still classic looking) Na Slamníku serves Únětické beer and remains one of the neighborhoods most lively and famous places.
One of our favorites is Café Lajka, a must visit for their coffee and beer, if nothing else. Just around the corner is Base Camp, a friendly bottle shop worth seeking out for their great selection of Czech and international beers with very fair prices. Pivovar Bubeneč is offering some beer of their own, as well as rotating taps of other micro-breweries’ beer, whilst their brother bar next-door has a few taps of their own.
Krkonošská hospůdka is one of those places to happily disappear into for hours. Another great place to have some Únětické beer is Hospůdka U Pětníka. Located in the National Technical Library building of the school is Café Prostoru, serving students locally-roasted coffee and a fresh pint of Únětice with a side of wholesome food and culture. This Café also has a rotating tap and is a great place to stop after Saturday’s farmers’ market on Vítězné Náměsti.
Bordering Malá Strana to the south is Anděl, a busy shopping/residential area. Full of office parks and a large shopping mall, this bustling district is home to the Staropramen brewery. Beyond the bland Staropramen pubs you can try Ale! Bar, a cozy little pub with a fine selection and friendly staff. BeerTime Pub, a multi-tap bar right near Anděl, is decent enough for a quick stop and a few pints.
Other establishments include U Buldocka, which is one of the few pubs serving beer from Zvíkov, and just across the street, Smíchovský Radniční Sklípek, a classic Pilsner pub. Further down into Smíchov is MeetFactory, an industrial art/concert space run by David Černý. A cool venue for events of all sorts, and as a bonus, they serve Matuška beer. Located a little out of the way is one of the best local coffee roasters, BirdSong Coffee, and just around the corner from them is the U Prince Miroslava pub, with enough beers flowing to keep everyone happy, no matter your taste.
Nusle is a rather large neighborhood with a few exceptional establishments packed into a small radius. Zlý Časy is a legendary pub with three floors that pour 48 taps of local and international microbrews, as well as some wonderfully fattening pub food. Just next door is Pivkupectví, with an ample and very well-curated selection of European and New World bottles, this is an easy place to quickly fill up a backpack.
Just around the corner is Sousedský Pivovar Bašta, a fine neighborhood brewery famous for its semi-dark lager and duck, although all of their beers are noteworthy; the beautiful Interior is partly wooden, and covered with hops and antiques without feeling cluttered or forced. Next-door, and by the same owner, is U Bansethů – a classic Pilsner pub serving fresh tank beer and a fantastic history.
Baretta bar has some very nice pizzas and a comfortable garden, while just couple minutes up the street towards Vinohrady is Mozzarellart, purveyor of handmade cheeses and wonderful foods of many sorts. Just across the train tracks is Zubatý Pes, a multi-tap bar with some beers of their own; technically located in Vršovice, but close enough to deserve a mention.
Prague’s most (in)famous pub neighborhood, you can’t help but spot at least one watering hole from every street corner. This district rapidly grew into an alternative culture haven, fueled by beer and caffeine, with an almost palpable atmosphere conducive to an interesting evening in some random booze bunker. The district is dominated by Vítkov Hill, atop of which stands the world’s largest equestrian statue.
Located just at the foot of the hill, on the main artery of this district, U Slovanské Lípy has been a beer hall sending people home happy and full for a number of years. Prokopovo Náměstí (náměstí means square) has a horse statue of its own: the famed drunken author Jaroslav Hašek, while just off this triangular square you’ll find Sociální bistro Střecha, which employs homeless and marginalized peoples to cook some very nice food while serving great beer and coffee from similarly-minded companies.
Pivo a Párek will fulfill bottle needs in a pinch, and quench your thirst while you browse. Žižkavárna, on Kubelíkova street, is great for a coffee, cake and a beer from the nearby Vinohradský brewery. Palác Akropolis is a cultural house with a interesting restaurant. Further into Eastern Zizkov you’ll find Pivní Rozmanitost, one of Prague’s best bottle shops (and most affordable according to our price comparison). Rows of refrigerators house best-selling and hard-to-find local microbrews alike, otherwise they have a fantastic selection of beers from tiny German breweries and other international greats, as well as a small, but well-curated, tap selection.
Kino Aero is an arthouse cinema with an onsite bar that pours beers from breweries such as Břevnov and Klinec Katz; a good film with a good beer, what could be better?
One of Prague’s richest Art Nouveau neighborhoods, Vinohrady, or The Vineyards, boasts tree-lined streets that are both eye-catchingly beautiful and house some spectacular cafés, eateries, and pubs. The former municipal brewery on Korunní street recently re-established itself as Vinohradský Pivovar, a strong contender in the food/beer scene. The square at Jiřího z Poděbrad comes alive with one of the city’s best farmers’ markets every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, full of fresh flowers, produce, food and some rather nice beer and wine.
Just there off the square is BeerGeek Bar, possibly the best modern multi-tap bar with a large international selection. Just around the corner, on Slavíkova street, is the best Vietnamese bistro (so far) Tuan & Lan, and their daughter project, a fusion Viet-Czech café. Just north from here you’ll find BeerGeek Pivoteka (bottleshop) with a stunning array of beers from Czech and around the world and a couple taps. Possibly one of the best things to do is get a beer or two here (bottle or draught) and take it to Riegrovy Sady (Rieger’s orchards) park for a relaxing amble and beautiful views.
South down the hill from the park is Dno Pytle, a Bavarian-Franconian-Czech pub with great beers on tap, a small stock of bottles and, the cherry on top, the occasional gravity cask of lager. Dish on Římská makes our favorite burger (and supposedly some of the best burgers in Europe!) and has Únětické beer on tap, but if you’re wanting something sweet then head next door to Momoichi Café for Japanese-inspired bakes and a special sakura beer, high-quality saké, natural local wines, or some very tasty cocktails.
Right there on Náměstí Míru (Peace Square) there is a fantastic homemade ice cream stand, Vanille. Meanwhile, Kavárna Pražírna is a simply wonderful coffee roaster and cultural space with some of the best lagers around and homemade bread, while here make sure to try the marinated cheese! If the weather’s nice, stroll over to Havlíčkovy Sady (Havlíček’s Orchards) for our favorite park, complete with a mini-winery (and vines that are still producing) that serves you a wine to take into the park and sip while sitting among the still-producing vines with views of the Nusle Valley below. If that’s not enough, the park also has a beautiful Villa, a grotto, loads of red squirrels (it’s important, okay!) as well as a café, a gazebo, and playgrounds.
The ‘Lesser Quarter’, or Malá Strana, is nestled along the Vltava river below the castle. It’s a fairy tale maze of cobbled winding streets full of shops (including many bad ones), cafés, and of course Czech history. Get lost in the Castle grounds (Hradčany), step inside St.Vitus, wander through the nearby gardens, climb Petrin hill, and enjoy everything Malá Strana and the Prague Castle have to offer.
Tucked behind the castle grounds in a historic Monastery is Klášterní Pivovar Strahov, brewing rich ales and lagers, with a great menu of classic Czech fare. A brief walk from the castle is Nový Svět, a cute, quaint little café (the alley it’s located on is equally cute and quaint) with locally roasted coffee and great homemade food. A beer with class can be found in the former monastery that now houses the Augustine hotel, who have a dark lager allegedly brewed to the historic recipe from the former brewery within this site.
At the foot of the Charles Bridge, to your right, on Míšeňská street, you find Lokál U Bílé Kuželky, serving possibly the freshest and best-tapped Pilsner Urquell alongside a menu of Czech cantina classics. Meanwhile, just past the two towers securing the Charles Bridge is Roesel, a small little café and pub with a focus on quality ingredients and products, easily one of best places this side of the river. Following the river south, pass through Kampa Island’s tranquil park – or maybe stay a while – and continue south to the next bridge after Charles Bridge, a stone’s throw away from here is Café Savoy, a great place to have a coffee and cake, or food from local ingredients, with a beautifully done interior.
One other place, located just around the corner for Savoy, that tops the charts in Prague is Café Lounge, who serve nice beer from Matuška, but better to go here for European micro-roastery coffee, a natural Czech or European wine (try an orange wine!), or the local Cidre that’s produced in the French manner – or, better yet, try them all, because all of these are revelationary.
Václavské Náměstí, Prague’s modern square is a gritty mix of shopping and tourists, dabbed with history. Finding a good bite and beer is perplexingly not the easiest of tasks. Four notable breweries reside in New Town. U Fleků, the only brewery in central Europe to be brewing continuously for 500 years, serves exceptional dark lager and gives a great historic brewery tour; Novoměstský Pivovar brews light lagers, Ferdinand has a flagship restaurant, and U Medvídků is known for their strong lagers.
Just on the edge of the center, you’ll find Nota Bene, a modern restaurant serving cuisine made from farm fresh ingredients with 6 notable beers on tap. Just down the street is Aliance P.I.V member Kulový Blesk, with 14 taps that keep up with the newest beers from noteworthy Czech brewers. If dining on the finer side of things is up your alley, Sansho makes a fantastic menu of Asian fusion cuisine, and Čestr serves Pilsner Urquell and steaks to perfection. Náplavka, on the stretch of river bank from under Palackého Bridge along Rašínově Nábřeží, is lively river-walk, hosting events and a farmer’s market, and home to Bajkazyl, a DIY bar/bike shop.
Surrounded by the old castle walls, the fortress of Vyšehrad overlooks the Vltava, complete with a beautiful church, park, a few restaurants, and a beer garden. One of the most pleasant places for an afternoon stroll.
The classic heart of the city, Old Town is an endlessly charming labyrinth of beautiful buildings, historical monuments and things to do. Starting with the oldies but goodies, U Rudolfina and U Zlatého Tygra, famous for their Pilsner, atmosphere, and devoted local fans, over the years have become cultural institutions. Lokál, voted in recent past years as having the best Pilsner in Prague, captures Czech pub charm and serves traditional Czech food. Further down on Dlouhá is Naše Maso, a premier butcher shop serving tasty Czech-style deli lunches and selling cream of the crop meat cuts.
Beyond the Pilsner, Pivovar U Dobřenských serves housemade herbal ales (and beer ice cream!), possibly some of the most interesting and flavorful ales in the city, and have a great chef and baker. U Tří Růží on Husova makes excellent beers, especially their ales, while Loď Pivovar is offering up their own beers on their boat, making it quite unique.
For a pint of one of the best lagers in the country, head over to the Skautský Institut, just by the old clock, or in case of clear skies you can have stunning views of the Old Town with a beer in hand at Sluneční Terasa T-Anker. In case of caffeine deficiency, head over to Tri Café for some coffee from European micro-roasters.