Rich in history and atmosphere, Prague is a fantastic place to soak up the past and appreciate the art and architecture of yesteryear. Even the most glorious cities, however, look better after you've taken a break and had a drink with a friend... or 100 friends. Here are some of the best places to get to know the locals in Prague.
Cloud 9 is the place to survey Prague from the top floor of the Hilton Hotel. This bar is sleek and modern with coloured lights and techno music playing in the background. If chrome and bright lights are not your thing, take a seat on the terrace and watch the twinkling lights of the city in the fresh air.
This is a place to show off and they do enforce the dress code. Rather than an after-sightseeing spot, Cloud 9 is more of a treat at the end of the day when you just want to dress up and feel like you’re out on a date. Although the drinks and food are quite good, the view is such a show-stealer that few people remember what they were served.
All of the 10 signature cocktails are delicious, but be sure to order a Charisma, the bar’s best-selling drink since 2008.
Vodka Bar Propaganda
Just a short distance from Old Town Square, this underground bar provides an unusual blend of Soviet history, alternative music and sports. Posters and newspapers line the walls and even the staff dress in Soviet-era clothing, creating a feeling of doing something you shouldn’t - evoking what the Soviet era may have felt like to some people.
The vibe and clientele are young and hip, the drink menu is extensive and the only food to be had is bar snacks – unless you count the Amaretto, cranberry, grenadine and cherry ‘Hot cherry pies’. Drinks are cheap and it’s a good place to stop in after dinner or before going out for a show. Occasional live concerts or other special events might convince you to stay a little longer.
They do have Czech beer on tap, but the homemade flavoured vodkas are the drink you want to order. Flavours range from ordinary vanilla vodka to Skittle-flavored.
Lucerna Music Bar
This concert club is inside the Lucerna Palace in the New Town. The palace is a spectacular art nouveau building and the bar is similarly designed. It is one of the venues that hosts performers at the Prague International Jazz Festival, and there is live music during the week. On Fridays and Saturdays the place becomes a rocking disco party.
The acoustics are great (it is a concert hall) and the drinks are inexpensive. The bar is popular with the local crowd for both the drinks and the music and the place is usually crowded. Don’t expect a quiet evening and eat before you arrive, as there is only a very small selection of bar snacks.
The focus is on the music, not the bar menu, but there is a large selection of spirits and several beers. Don’t ask for a cocktail unless it’s very common or you can describe how to make it... In Czech.
La Bodeguita Del Medio
If you happen to be looking for a little Cuban food and music while in the Czech Republic, this is the place to be. The music is lively and you can spice up your evening with the excellent food choices. La Bodequita is a short way from Old Town Square, but feels like you are stepping into Cuba without that long plane ride.
The first cigar club in the Czech Republic, this bar has a number of Cuban cigars available along with Caribbean-style mixed drinks and a menu that includes Cuban, South American and Creole styles with a few favourites such as burger and fries thrown in. As you might expect, the cigar ‘menu’ is as long as the one for food and varies with availability.
There is a huge selection of cocktails available, but you really want to order a freshly muddled Cuban mojito as soon as you sit down – there is no better place in Prague to get one.
Visit during the day and you’re walking into an old fashioned American-style malt shop with burgers and shakes served at bright booths. Come back at night and you’ll find that it has gone wild with a disco in the basement and dancing until the wee small hours.
The signature drinks list is fun to read through as the descriptions of the drinks are each followed by witty lines that are entertaining. Try the ‘James Dean’ and decide for yourself if it ‘arouses a storm of mind-blowing flavours’.
James Dean is only a five minute walk from Old Town Square and it’s popular enough that the line outside the door will let you know you’ve found the right place.
For 13 years a show called Krásný Ztráty (Beautiful Losses) that took place in a bar was hugely popular in the Czech Republic. In 2005 an actual bar opened in conjunction with the producers of the show - and a literary/theatrical bar was born.
Photographs, drawings and art pieces from local artists hang on the walls and a great mix of food is served all day along with a selection of coffees, espressos and drinks. As many actors, dancers, artists and students come here to hang out, you’ll want to savour your drinks and enjoy the company and the atmosphere. This is a great people-watching spot and you’ll find that their presence has influenced both the food and drink menu. If you’re feeling brave, try the ‘pickled cheese with a story’ and a glass of the Traditional Czech Killer to go with it.