Steeped in history, with river views and castles galore, Prague is picturesque, prestigious and popular with touring party crews. The ubiquitous drinking team hoodies peppered around Student Unions across Europe could leave you to believe that cheap beer is the city’s selling point, and whilst no one’s complaining about prices there’s a world of nightlife to explore throughout the Czech capital. Whether it’s dive bars, mega clubs or underground caverns you’re after, the city offers a kaleidoscope of amusements to fuel an unforgettable weekend trip.
This guide will take you through some of our top picks to help plan the perfect night out in Prague. We recommend plenty of rest before savouring the mother of all central European party scenes, as a 6am finish is standard.
The first thing to celebrate is the Czech Koruna, the country’s wonderfully independent currency that will make your pounds last for miles. Like Budapest, avoiding the price bump that often accompanies Euros is a welcome change for frugal types, with the average price of a pint sitting comfortably at £1. In the past this made Prague a magnet for stag dos, however recent years have seen a relative exodus of the legions of lads on tour, allowing for the city’s more stylish side to come into the fray.
Now you’ve got some background on tourist trends of the recent past, let’s get down to business. We start off just south of the main tourist hotspot in the Old Town, in the bustling streets around the Mustek metro stop. Casual evening drinks can be enjoyed at the tastefully designed (though less creatively named) Cafe-Cafe, which sits on Rytířská. This low key shopping street is flanked by elegant buildings and designer boutiques, giving off a smart yet laid back atmosphere that’s typical of the Czech capital. Fashionable staff and even more fashionable dining options add to the sophisticated ambience.
As day turns into night, graduate from cafe culture to cavernous underground hideouts - a staple of the Prague bar scene. Explore every nook and cranny of local favourite U Sudu, where you have the choice between sipping on some Chianti at the upstairs wine bar or navigating the labyrinthine underground cellar (complete with table football facilities for more competitive types). At just a five minute walk from the impressive Wenceslas Square, it’s ideally located for linking up with night trams or heading north to the Old Town.
If you’re in the mood for more of an open air, alternative vibe then look no further than Containall. Neatly located in a courtyard right beside the Franz Kafka Museum, this New Orleans-inspired cultural centre converts shipping containers into galleries, boutiques and bars whilst also hosting open-air movie screenings and concerts. The river views won’t disappoint, especially if you’re warming up for a big night of clubbing on a sunny summer evening. The surrounding Malà Strana verges on tame and touristy, however traditionalists should consider a stop off at U Hrocha, renowned for its hearty atmosphere and delicious pilsners.
Away from the cobbled charm of the main tourist spots is Žižkov, with its edgy post-communist aesthetic attracting artsy crowds to its hip venues. For a touch of the unpredictable choose Bukowski’s , a buzzing cocktail bar named after the infamous American writer and inspired by his rebellious spirit. The staff are up for a party as much as the clientele, whilst the ever-effective combination of cheap cocktails and an international crowd means you’ll cross paths with cool characters. If you’re a real sucker for the themes then Malkovich Bar’s vintage wallpaper, 50s decor and respectable vinyl collection will leave you feeling right at home. Recommended if you want to discover some vintage tunes and single malts to show off to your friends at back home.
After sampling some of the finest bars and pubs that Prague has to offer, it’s time to embrace some epic clubs. For massive, multi-storey, commercial dance extravaganzas choose between Karlovy Làznê or Roxy. Both are in the centre of town, with the former spread over five stories and claiming the title of central Europe’s largest club. Prefer to dance in a giant glass cube with spectacular views (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?), then Duplex in Wenceslas Square is for you.
More underground options include ultra hip creative haunt NEONE, a permanent pop-up in an abandoned office block, which happens to be just 10 minute walk from easyHotel Prague - your go-to option for great value accommodation. Otherwise, GRID’s design-focused, exclusive events will open your mind to something new, all from within the impressive interior of a former 19th century publishing house.
So there you have it, a little taste of the best nightlife Prague has to offer, all the way from the basement to the rooftop.
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August 2017 | City in the spotlight
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