The historic city of Prague has many secrets hidden between its medieval cobbled streets that are more likely to be stumbled upon accidentally than discovered by following the well-beaten tourist tracks.
Here, Culture Trip lists the places travellers should visit in Czechia’s capital for a unique experience.
Though Prague has a great variety of small and large atmospheric cafes, some of them are not so easily spotted as they are located on the first floor terraces of buildings. One, in particular, Café Louvre, offers a great fin de siècle atmosphere and was frequented by such famous names as Franz Kafka and Albert Einstein. A tip: the café is rumoured to have the best hot chocolate in the city.
During its post-Communist years, Prague saw the springing up of many daring contemporary artists. David Černý, for instance, has stunned the world with strange and awe-inspiring sculptures such as the gigantic babies climbing the Žižkov Television Tower. Černý opened MeetFactory, which combines art exhibitions, workshops, theatre and musical performances that showcase Czechia’s alternative art scene.
Though there are many beautiful parks inside the city, Divoká Šárka provides a true escape into the untouched world of Czech nature. Only a short tram ride away from the city centre, this gorgeous valley offers a day out of hiking, swimming and even golfing. Legend has it that Šárka, who gave the park its name, was a beautiful female warrior who seduced her opponent Ctirad in a battle of the sexes for control of the city.
The Žižkov TV tower, with the aforementioned giant babies climbing to reach its top, is a very unusual and modern sight in the city. Moreover, it is very much worth it to climb to the top of the TV tower, which offers spectacular views of the city (not recommended for those with a fear of heights). The Žižkov neighbourhood is itself an interesting place to visit too, as it has the world’s highest concentration of bars per capita.
The Cross Club is delightfully unusual throughout, from the interior and exterior décor made of futuristic mechanical sculptures and frameworks to its eclectic music offering, which includes live bands, reggae, dubstep and a variety of electronic music. The club gets its name from its original intent to serve as a crossroads for different subcultures, so expect to mingle with all manner of people from Prague’s artistic circles here.
Another way to explore Czech art culture is to visit Qubus, a contemporary ceramics gallery located around the back of Prague’s Old Town square. Czech people are certainly one of the oldest nations that mastered the art of ceramics, with archaeological finds in the medium dating back to 25,000 BC. The gallery exhibits works of ceramics in all its forms, from traditional pots and bowls to a gold-glazed baroque clock fronted with a 1970s LED readout.
Especially dedicated to Czech national food and offering a 14-course tasting menu, La Dégustation Bohême Bourgeoise, located in Prague’s Old Town, takes its food inspiration from a 19th-century cookbook the manager found in a junk shop. The restaurant is therefore delightfully authentic and offers dishes such as třeboň catfish with kefir, poppy seeds and dill, or mnetěš pigeon with elderberry and hazelnuts.