Náplavka (Rašínovo nábřeží), embankment, Prague 2
The historic centre is a must. But for a typical slice of city life and to mingle with the locals, spend some time in Prague’s new hotspots. Below we list 3 areas worth exploring just beyond the centre, and a central street that no visitor should miss, thanks to its concentration of eateries.
The post-industrial inner suburbs are reinventing themselves as places to eat, drink, and have fun. In addition, Vinohrady and Vršovice, minutes from Wenceslas Square and always desirable addresses, have become even more popular, thanks to a clutch of new restaurants and entertainment venues. Meanwhile, the Vltava riverbank at Náplavka has been transformed from a dead zone into a bustling boardwalk. And thanks to Prague’s excellent public transport, exploring all these spots couldn’t be easier.
Prague may be far from the coast, but the steamers and embankments of Náplavka add a distinctly nautical atmosphere to the city. The low-level embankment, separate from the buzzing streets above, was ignored for years but has gradually come to life as hole-in-the-wall bars such as Bajkazyl opened and steamers berthed permanently at the quay.
It has become a summer tradition for locals to enjoy a drink on the quayside or on board one of the boats. As part of a current regeneration project, the hole-in-the-wall establishments have closed but are scheduled to re-open in 2019. But you can still walk along the embankment at Náplavka and have a drink in a floating bar.
You can dance under open skies at A(VOID) Floating Gallery or play volleyball at Kayak Beach Bar, from where our kayak trip sets sail from. On long summer nights, the embankment spills over into neighbouring Výtoň, where you’ll find authentic Italian ice cream at Gelato Puro and French wines at Na Břehu Rhôny.
But Náplavka isn’t just a venue for a hot sunny day. The hugely popular farmers’ markets, selling everything from hams to jams, are open for most of the year, and the embankment hosts regular events including food festivals. You can also enjoy drinks from the stalls: for an alfresco coffee try Brewbar. On chilly but sunny days in autumn and winter, you could walk along the riverbank to get a different perspective of Prague Castle, followed by a warming coffee at Café Terapie.
Náplavka also provides a handy starting point for Vyšehrad, where we offer guided tours. Steeped in history, the clifftop complex is a perfect spot for a lazy afternoon, whatever the season. And if you’re an art fan, be sure to see the neighbourhood’s Cubist buildings, examples of a uniquely Czech architectural experiment.
Krymská street, Vršovice, Prague 10
Just a few blocks away from Vinohrady and within easy reach of Wenceslas Square, Krymská lies in the heart of Vršovice, a residential district of lavishly decorated tenements and occasional modern architecture (e.g. the Constructivist church of St Wenceslas (kostel sv. Václava)) on Čechovo Square). The neighbourhood is also enjoying a reputation as one of Prague’s up-and-coming areas, partly thanks to the concentration of independently-owned shops and cafés on Krymská.
If you’ve been exploring the city centre and want to unwind with something to eat or drink away from the bustle, Krymská is for you. Spoil yourself with coffee and a sinfully rich cake at patisserie Kavárna Šlágr. Café V Lese has a brick basement hosting music and poetry readings, and you can mingle with the Bohemian set at nearby Café Sladkovský.
Locals also flock to Krymská and around for the independently-owned shops, where you can find something a little different. As its name suggests, Boho Vintage Concept Store specialises in clothing and houses a café. Xaoxax, a gallery and bookstore focusing on illustration and graphics, hosts art workshops for kids.
Krymská also enjoys easy access to the vast Havlíčkovy sady, one of Prague’s most rewarding green spaces and dominated by the imposing Gröbe Villa. The adjoining park was inspired by the Italian Renaissance, resulting in quirky gems including a grotto and water cascades. The wonderful wooden Vineyard Gazebo, surrounded by the vineyards that once covered the area, makes the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine in summer.
Dlouhá ulice, Prague 1
Conveniently positioned just off Old Town Square, Dlouhá has become a foodie hotspot, and if you’re looking for some contemporary Czech design to take home, or entertainment options, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied.
When it comes to eating and drinking, you could spend all your time on Dlouhá: the street yields an incredible array of possibilities. If you’re just looking for coffee and cake, try the popular Au Gourmand; choose from a tempting selection of indulgent gateaux or French pastries, or soup for lunch.
Expansive Food Story, serving everything from Czech traditional to tapas, also doubles as a deli. Under the same roof, Pípa Beer Story offers 150 bottled beer varieties. Meanwhile, try Lokál Dlouhá for the typical Czech pub experience – thankfully minus the smoke. Join the locals for the classic lunch of soup and a main course.
Further along, towards the end of the street, Gurmet Pasáž Dlouhá sums up Prague’s increasingly diverse and cosmopolitan food scene, with an impressive variety of eateries under one roof. Naše maso butchers serves quality meats, including the famous Přeštice pork, and you can visit for lunchtime bread and sausage or book the space for a private dinner, complete with commentary on your meal. For something lighter, Sisters bistro specialises in chlebíčky, or open sandwiches, but with a contemporary, healthier twist. Also healthier, My Raw Café highlights the raw food craze sweeping Prague. The city also is also home to a large Vietnamese community, members of whom serve baguettes and more at Bánh mì Makers, and at banh—mi—ba on nearby Rybná. The international theme continues at La Bottega Bistroteka, a popular Italian bistro chain.
Just off Dlouhá, La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise boasts a Michelin star and, as its names suggests, specialises in a degustation menu based on Czech produce. Booking is strongly advised at both restaurants.
Dlouhá isn’t just a food street; entertainment options include Roxy, a local night club and concert venue legend in existence since 1992, and M1 Lounge. Young professionals head to James Dean bar, which oozes Americana, whereas Klubovna 2. patro goes for a grungier, edgier vibe.
Czech design has always enjoyed an excellent reputation, and if you’re looking for something to take home, you can find contemporary examples from leading designers at Qubus Design. Meanwhile, for Czech garnet, try Granát Turnov or J. Drahoňovský STUDIO ŠPERK. We offer a discount coupon for the latter, and you can purchase jewellery at both.
Letná, Prague 7
For Praguers, the Letná area is most famous for its vast park, a mecca for strollers, picnickers and inline skaters to name a few. The giant metronome, where a statue of Stalin once stood, offers wonderful views over the Old Town, as does the beer garden, a must in fine weather.
Letenský zámeček, a gleaming palace next to the garden, makes an excellent spot for an alfresco lunch, and if you fancy a game of pétanque, you’ll find a pitch next door. Other eating and drinking options include the popular Bistro 8, Café Letka, a good breakfast venue, and Bar Cobra, open well into the night.
For a rainy day, the National Technical Museum, a few blocks away enthuses even the most technophobic visitors. Highlights include the magnificent transport hall, devoted to all means of getting from A to B by land, sea, and air. Look out for the wonderful collection of Czech cars.
If you’d prefer a spot of retail therapy, the southern section of nearby Veverkova street has become home to a handful of independently-owned stores such as Jakoby clothes shop. And PageFive bookshop has acquired a cult following and stocks titles in English.