By Olya Esipova, an adventure-loving psych student who originates from Uzbekistan and spends her free time acting as a warrior for endangered animals, socialising in the streets of Prague and dancing the salsa. Edited by Jess Wright
A city with all the magic and mystery of the gothic age, combined with the progressive mindset of a modern multicultural metropolis, Prague as a travel destination is hard to beat. The populace is open-minded, tolerant of the crowds of tourists that flock to the city, but with the healthy respect for personal space that many popular tourist destinations lack. And while prejudice is virtually non-existent, this liberal culture is complemented perfectly by the fact that Prague is safe at night. No place inhabited by crowds is entirely free of petty theft, however, so keep your belongings close. When it comes to the nightlife in prague you can always find something open, even in the icy depths of winter or deep into the night with many shops open until two in the morning. The things to do in Prague at night are so vast and varied that what you spend the evening doing really only depends on your taste. Whatever you’re craving, be it an evening exploring the weird and wonderful corners of an absinthe bar or a night dancing the salsa, there will be something to satisfy. Luckily for you I have listed all of my favourites right in this Prague nightlife guide!
Take A Stroll Through Prague Old Town
Even with minimal research you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Prague at night; this city is so wonderful to explore that you can simply pick a direction and walk, and you’re guaranteed to find yourself on the path to great adventure. Beautifully illuminated at night, the streets are stunning and safe, and I personally love nothing more than to hang out with friends, exploring the new places that are popping up all the time or the little unknown streets it is so easy to stumble upon. At night time the streets are a little quieter and you can almost get a feel of the way it was centuries ago. Take a stroll into Old Town for a traditional Czech meal of goulash, or simply admire the interesting sculptures and murals on the street. You might even make your way from Old Town Square to Charles Bridge; a popular choice amongst things to do in Prague at night. This a great route to do when you have a limited amount of Prague is a must on a list of what to do in Prague in 2 days.
Prague Beer Museum
In city where beer is consumed more than anywhere else in the world and is cheaper than water, you can be sure to find a beer museum. The Prague Beer Museum is located on Dlouha Street right in the middle of Prague’s Old Town, and is less educational institution and more a pub dedicated to paying homage to the greatest passion of Bohemia – beer. Spacious and offering a wide variety of beer on tap, it is also reasonably priced with friendly and knowledgeable staff. The owner in particular has a wealth of knowledge on the topic of beer, and is more than willing to share. Be sure to sample the Real Deal Ale, made by Permon Brewery especially for the Beer Museum. This spot has a beer for everyone – 30 Czech beers ranging from light and crisp to dark and bitter – and a great view of the river, making it the perfect stop off for some refreshments and nibbles before or after visiting Charles Bridge. For some more helpful tips on where to feast like a king, check out this tasty Prague food guide.
Žižkov is the quintessential example of off-the-beaten track explorations, and quite distinct from Prague's old town in the sense that foreigners are assumed to be expats living in Prague rather than tourists. Quirky and offbeat, the suburb has an edgy vibe and is home to a vibrant community comprised of students, artists and musicians, flourishing in a place that offers cheap rent, charmingly dodgy pub haunts, cafes and art galleries perfect for anyone looking to escape the tourist hordes of the Old Town. And if merely escaping the tourist tack is not enough of a rebellion against the expected, than a visit to a visit to Bukowski’s should certainly do the trick. This cocktail bar, whose namesake so famously celebrated individuals living on the fringes of society, does the name justice with a carefully shabby interior; dimmed lights, wooden bookshelves and faded wallpaper. An intimate setting, friendly bartenders and a range of fresh cocktails, beer and wine to choose from.
Palac Akropolis is a casual spot for a lunchtime visit during the day, but transforms into one of the best clubs in Prague by night. Another one to be found in the trendy Žižkov neighborhood and featured on the reddit thread “Accidental Wes Anderson”, this building will thrill anyone with a love for Wes Anderson art direction. The pretty example of art-nouveau architecture hosts a wide offering including a restaurant, café, bars, and a concert venue that has played host to local and international bands. The club section caters to all tastes, covering a variety of music genres from rock to electronic and many between. With so much going on in its multiple venues, Palac Akropolis is a one-stop shop and one of the most versatile places to eat in Prague; grab a bite to eat before enjoying a show, or simply dancing the night away.
Green Devil's Absinth Bar And Shop
Famous among Prague night attractions is the opportunity to take a sip of the “green fairy” – otherwise known as absinthe. This particular absinthe bar, near Old Town Square, inhabits the surreal setting of a 14th century cellar, lit with an eerie green glow that provides the perfect atmosphere to sip the luridly green mix of anise and botanical extracts. While the brands of absinthe available nowadays might not be strong enough to conjure the green fairy, the strange and surprising decor and availability of absinth ice-cream more than make up for it. Opt for a tasting for the chance to learn all the interesting lore surrounding this infamous drink. Upstairs in the showroom and shop you can browse a variety of absinthe bottle for sale, as well as an interesting assortment of cannabis products which became legal with the decriminalization of marijuana in Prague in 2010.
The Municipal House
For a fancier evening affair head over the Prague’s most exquisite example of the Art Nouveau; The Municipal House. Dating back to 1912 this elaborate building with intricately ornate interiors houses two restaurants – one French, and the other serving authentic Czech cuisine – and the oldest bar in Prague. The building, adorned with beautiful art pieces and exhibitions also acts as a concert venue, used to host special events and performances. The Smetana Hall in particular plays host to orchestral concerts whose sound is at best advantage in excellent acoustic space of the multilevel hall which occupies the entire first floor of the Municipal House. The perfect choice for a lavish night out, the Municipal House promises an evening of glitz with fine dining and a cultured appreciation of art and music.
Letna Beer Gardens
While Prague is the dream destination to those who enjoy a diet rich in meat and beer, you would be mistaken in thinking that appreciating these aspects – particularly the beer – of Prague can’t be romantic. In fact, visiting a beer garden in the leafy sprawl of Letna Park in the warm and breezy summertime is one of the most romantic things to do do in Prague. The beer garden is located at the top of Letna Hill, providing a gorgeous view of the city and a leafy paradise experience full with blooming flowers and birdsong. One of the more tranquil places to indulge in a pint, the Letna Beer Gardens are also somewhat removed from the touristy hotspots, separated from the busy centre by a river.
Zizkov Television Tower
While you might be justified in wondering why I would send you to what has been widely agreed upon as the second ugliest building in world, I have my reasons! The Žižkov Television Tower – iconic of communist-era paranoia – perfectly captures the strange and beautiful (if somewhat weird and twisted) sense of dark humour prevalent amongst the denizens of Prague. The sight of ten black figures of faceless babies crawling up the TV tower is just one of the many such strange sculptures by artist David Cerny that litter the Prague landscape. While the odd sight of the tower is enough of a reason to visit the TV tower district, there are several others including a 360º view from the top of the tower, and the surroundings beneath which offer a scattering of cool coffee shops, food markets and strange new-style modern churches quite different from the classic baroque.
Czech National Theatre
Another fine example of some of the cultures Prague evening entertainment available, the Czech National Theatre hosts some of the best performances in opera, drama, ballet. Another fascinating drawcard is the Laterna Magika which – translating to magician’s lantern – is unique to Czech, and combines film and live acting in its performances. The National Theatre, hugely majestic on the banks of the river and visible from Charles Bridge, houses four historic performing venues including the State Opera, the National Theatre, the Estates Theatre, and the New Stage. While the external beauty of the regal building and overtly cultured setting are enough to warrant a visit, to enjoy the Swan Lake ballet or The Bartered Bride Opera performed in this setting of old world glamour is an experience second to none.
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