Best bars in Prague
A quality draught beer and a bite to eat is all you need for a solid pub night in Prague, as proven by this laid-back local favourite. Locations in the Vinohrady and Žižkov neighbourhoods serve just what the name promises, ‘beer and hot dogs’ – but think more grilled sausages and bread than a doughy American bun. Casually dressed beer fans line the pub tables and mellow outdoor gardens, where smoking is still fairly common.
Fancy a glass of wine in the former swimming pool of an army barracks? Or a beer to go with your outdoor summer film screening? How about a comforting boozy hot chocolate after a spin around a pop-up ice skating rink in winter? This multi-purpose arts complex on the border of Karlín and New Town offers alcoholic drinks and entertainment for all moods and weathers.
This intimate Karlín wine bar isn’t limited to local wines, but you won’t find any bottles that have crossed an ocean here. The daily selection of natural vino poured each night comes exclusively from countries within the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. The friendly, multilingual staff are happy to chat about personal preferences and price points.
The effortlessly cool spot near Letná Park fades from mellow table service through the afternoons and evenings into a DJ-backed party from Thursday to Saturday. Just a tram ride across the river from Prague’s Old Town, locals sprawl across the window ledges on hot summer days, making it easier to spot this subtly marked bar lined with black awnings. Draught beer, sparkling wine and a seasonal cocktail menu fuel the party into the early hours.
When cocktail bars first took off in Prague, many stuck to a formula of Prohibition-era décor, international spirits and passionate mixologists who clearly took great pride in their craft. The suspender-clad staff at Hemingway Bar in Old Town gained an early reputation as one of the best. Reservations are essential to get a seat inside this popular, speakeasy-style establishment loved by tourists and residents alike.
Navigating the Czech wine landscape can be hard work, so a bit of help will certainly come in handy. Consider the staff at Vinograf your personal tour guide through hundreds of bottles, poured and paired with a platter of light snacks. Locations in New Town’s Senovážné Square and Malá Strana, both just a few steps away from Prague’s popular tourist drags, make Vinograf the ideal way to round off a day of sightseeing.
Your average Czech pub will offer one or two lagers from a single brand and potentially a dark ale on draught. But Beer Geek breaks the ‘Pilsner is king’ tradition with 32 microbrews on tap ranging from sours to stouts, catering to an international clientele in the Vinohrady neighbourhood. Americans, Brits, Germans and Belgians could all easily find a hometown favourite on tap. Food-wise, expect chicken wings in 11 different forms.
The young men behind Dva Kohouti – which translates, oh-so cheekily, as ‘the two cocks’ – come from solid pivo pedigree. Exposed beer tanks, bench seating and standing room tables create a minimalist, industrial vibe, while the beer garden has quickly become a buzzing Karlín hangout. Come here to discover the next generation brewmasters – don’t miss the house lager, brewed on site and served alongside a rotating selection of Czech microbrews.
Your seasonal cocktail at L’Fleur might be inspired by a Parisian artist or a Greek legend – try and suss it out yourself. The setting is elegant, with stained glass windows and chandeliers dangled over couples snuggled in booths, but a staff of young, much-tattooed mixologists keep the mood light and chatty. The extensive champagne list attracts guests looking to celebrate splurge-worthy events (including making it to the weekend).
Add some intrigue to your evening out at the Anonymous Shrink’s Office, which takes quite the theatrical approach to mixology. After ringing a doorbell and being led to a leather chair, visitors are presented with a menu full of Rorschach tests to help them choose a drink. Don’t worry – you’re allowed to confirm the ingredients in your chosen form of therapy before it arrives.
Many of this city’s pubs go back decades if not centuries, and Old Town’s U Zlatého Tygra (‘At the Golden Tiger’) has hosted its fair share of conversations between presidents, poets and influential Czechs. This is a glimpse inside Prague’s old-school drinking culture, minus the ashtrays since a 2017 smoking ban, but complete with wooden benches and arched ceilings, plus a perfectly poured glass of Pilsner Urquell with a healthy head of foam.
When disappointed visitors were turned away from Hemingway Bar’s full house, they needed a backup plan. Luckily, the enterprising Hemingway team jumped at the opportunity and added a more relaxed option just down the street. The long hallway of bar stools and standing-room space still offers exquisite seasonal cocktails and simple snacks like popcorn and hot dogs, but with no fear of rejection.
This new pub in the Vinohrady areas blends its Bohemian location with Moravian influences, including draught beer from the Dalešice brewery in the east of the country. A spacious combination of clean lines and light wooden tables, plus a traditional folk soundtrack, make for a relaxing environment in which to make light conversation with fellow travellers.
Bukowski’s Bar takes a very different approach from the bars with kitschy décor and out-there drinks that pull in punters around the city centre. This Žižkov neighbourhood favourite relies on simple, classic, reasonably priced cocktails served in dim candlelight. The best place to sit is at one of the tables tucked in the nooks and crannies of the bar’s adjoining rooms.
Steam punk décor and dance music collide in this late-night club in Prague’s edgy, formerly industrial neighbourhood of Holešovice. Multiple stages with live music and DJs spinning dubstep, hip hop and electronic music ensure the dance floors keep reverberating until 5am or later on weekends. Bartenders serve an eclectic crowd draught beer, wine and shots.
Feeling peckish? Here’s where to head next...
Fine dining in Prague used to be limited to a couple of tired mainstays in the centre, and finding a salad on a menu was like hunting down a white whale. Now the food scene in the City of a Hundred Spires has diversified and boomed, all without losing its down-to-earth spirit.