It’s a well-established fact that Prague should be on every traveller’s list of dream destinations, and we needn’t waste our time explaining why. What we’ll do is take you through five different neighbourhoods in the city, Žižkov, Karlín, Vršovice, Vinohrady and Vyšehrad. We’ll tell you the best places to have a meal, get a cup of coffee, or just go out for a drink.
Because to really visit Prague, you have to go where the locals really live and play!
Prague With The Locals
Žižkov used to be the “working class” neighbourhood. It’s now been gentrified and it’s become very fashionable. It’s now considered to be the hub of Prague’s nightlife.
It’s reported that Žižkov has more bars per kilometre than anywhere else in the world, at 300 bars within 5 square kilometres.
But it’s not only bars and nightlife. We cannot talk about Žižkov without mentioning Riegrovy Sady Park. It’s located on a hill, from there you get a lovely view of the city. It’s a great place to walk around or sunbathe, but the best part is the outdoor pub, Riegrovy Sady Beer Garden, which seats a thousand people and is frequented by the locals and tourists all summer long. It’s Prague’s not-so-secret happy place.
- Restaurant in Žižkov: Oblaca Restaurant, for modern Czech dishes and a fantastic view of the city. Address: Mahlerovy sady 1
- Café in Žižkov: Café Pavlac, because this is where locals go for the best coffee in Žižkov. Address: Víta Nejedlého 23
- Bar in Žižkov: Bajkazyl, just one of the 3000+ bars in Žižkov! Also, to drink like a local, order a glass of Únetické Pivo 12°: it’s brewed right outside of town. Address: Náplavka, Rašínovo nábřeží
Lots of hip spots have opened in Karlín of late, but in the 80’s and early 90’s the neighbourhood was a rough place to live, especially because of the presence of Neo-Nazis and a high drug and crime rate.
In 2002 terrible floods brought serious damage to Karlín, and the rebuilding has been phenomenal. Lately there’s been a building boom, and though rental prices are soaring, this district has a wonderful local feel.
- Restaurant in Karlín: Krystal Mozaika Bistro. Authentic meat-lovers Czech cuisine, and then unbelievably buttery fruit dumplings for dessert. Trust us. Address: Sokolovská 99
- Café in Karlín: Muj salek kavy, where the coffee and the whole breakfast menu are quite famous! Address: Křižíkova 105, Prague 8
- Bar in Karlín: Pivovarsky Club. Carefully curated selection of almost 300 local and imported beers, in addition to the six they have on tap. Address: Křižíkova 17
If Žižkov is fashionable and cool, then Vršovice is the “hipster” neighbourhood. Vršovice is where things happen. Its pubs have a unique vibe, an underground feel that draws intellectuals and artists from all over the place.
When in Vršovice you must go to Krymska Street, where you’ll find Café Sladkovský. Its founder, Kateřina McCreary, converted an old home into one of the most fun hipster bars in all of Eastern Europe, with its Art Nouveau feel and black and white photos on the wall. Café Sladkovský is where you’ll most likely run into Prague’s living legends from the intellectual crowd of Prague. Oh, and the burgers are pretty good too!
- Restaurant in Vršovice: Cafe Sladkovský. Need we say anything more Address: Sevastopolská 17
- Cafe in Vršovice: Coffee House. A ‘third-wave’ roaster that’s locally based. Address: Francouzská 100/312
Once again, if Žižkov is the fashionable district, and Vršovice is hipster, then Vinohrady is “yuppie”. In Czech, Vinorhady means “vineyards”, which is a good a reason as any to come and visit. There are a few places to sample the local Czech wines. And U Sadu has to be on the top of the list, too!
- Restaurant in Vinorhady: U Sadu. It’s a cool little pub, with plenty of beers and a nice patio outside in the summer. Not to be confused with « Usudu », the spectacular wine bar built in underground caves that’s located a few blocks down in the Nové Město neighbourhood! Address: Škroupovo nám. 5
- Café in Vinorhady: MamaCoffee. The Mama of Prague’s cafes, a roastery that serves ethically sourced coffee. Address: Londýnská 122/49
- Bar in Vinorhady: Vinorhadsky Pivovar. Vinorhady’s own brewery serving classic Czech pub specialities. Address: Korunní 106
You cannot miss Vyšehrad, as this is where Prague was born. It’s got a rich history you won’t find anywhere else, and so you must visit the fortress, the wonderfully renovated cathedral and the open-air summertime pub in the park, which is also located on the grounds of the fortress.
- Restaurant in Vyšehrad: Spajz restaurant. Bohemian cuisine at its finest. Address: Vratislavova 1/21
- Cafe in Vyšehrad: Kavárna Cekárna. Where to go for coffee after visiting the fortress. Address: Vratislavova 30/8
- Bar suggestion in Vyšehrad: Na Hradbach. That summertime open-air pub we were telling you about. Address: V Pevnosti 16/2
Book your Air Transat flight to Prague and start planning your visit!
Cover photo credit: Cedric Lizotte