While Prague has many things to offer fans of art and culture, an undeniable attraction of the city and wider Czech Republic is its reputation for quality beer. But there is more to be had than just beer in the Czech Republic’s capital, with plenty of classy cocktail and wine bars too. Here are ten of the best cultural bars in Prague, from historic pubs to contemporary, chic spots.
Centrally located just off the Old Town Square is Black Angel’s – a cocktail bar elegantly decorated in a 1930s style with beautiful hanging chandeliers, exposed brick walls and sumptuous leather seats which create an intimate ambience. Opened in 2009, Black Angel’s and its masterful team of mixologists have been wowing cocktail fans and critics alike ever since – the bar has been recognized with a whole host of accolades including being listed in the World’s Best Bars in Europe by The Spirits Business and ranked among the Top Ten Bars in the World at the Tales of the Cocktail 2013 awards. Try classics like an Old Fashioned alongside experimental, contemporary cocktails.
Sitting atop the smart 11-floor Hilton Prague Hotel is the luxurious Cloud 9 Sky Bar and Lounge – a high-end bar with huge windows and an open-air patio that both offer stunning views over the city. Located close to the Vltava River, the venue offers its guests a lavishly decorated interior guaranteed to make any night out in Prague one to remember, while its exterior rooftop has the ambience of a stylish garden patio perfect for relaxing on warmer evenings. Cloud 9 Sky Bar and Lounge offers classic cocktails like margaritas, alongside variously priced wines, champagnes and spirits.
A massive brewery-turned-restaurant boasting eight halls and a courtyard garden, U Fleků is a legendary watering hole that has become a must-see for any discerning drinker visiting the city. Set out like a beer hall, with long tables seating multiple groups of guests designed to generate conversation, U Fleků’s staff bring around trays of beer – of which there is only one type, its own tasty dark beer – alongside trays of spirits that are bound to have you feeling merry by the end of the evening. Enjoyable for history buffs and music fans also, U Fleků’s brewery dates back to 1499 and traditional live Czech music is played in the evenings.
Hemingway Bar is in Prague’s Old Town | Courtesy of Hemingway Bar
Hemingway Bar, located not far from the Vltava River, is inspired by the notorious writer with a penchant for alcohol, Ernest Hemingway. The bar, though it serves many different types of cocktails both classic and contemporary, focuses many of its libations around Hemingway’s favorite tipples – rum, absinthe and champagne – and in fact, the bar is often cited as one of Prague’s premier destinations to sample the infamously intoxicating spirit – absinthe. The interior of the bar – cozy, intimate, with a certain old world charm – is the perfect place to try drinks that include Absinthe St. Antoine and the becher butter sour, made from the classic Czech liqueur Becherovka.
With a front entrance that belies its sprawling subterranean interior, Vinárnu U Sudu is a hidden gem located in a brick-vaulted Gothic-style cellar that specializes in high-quality wines from boutique wineries. Open in its current location since 1986, Vinárnu U Sudu has expanded its premises since then to include a ground-floor piano lounge and a picturesque courtyard garden that is ideal for sampling its delicious wines on warmer days and nights. Each week, from Wednesday to Saturday, local DJs from Prague play music to accompany a night of chic drinks that include Czech wines such as Svatovavřinecke – from the Chrástek vineyard in the South Moravian village of Bořetice, alongside a selection of beer, spirits and cocktails.
Beer sampler at Pivovarský Klub | Courtesy of shanatravelpanda
A must-visit for lovers of beer, Pivovarský Klub classes itself as a beer boutique – which is by no means a boastful term considering its choice of 240 different bottled beers and six beers on tap from all across the globe. With a stylish yet homely and warm interior, Pivovarský Klub is the perfect place to indulge your love of beer and to learn about a few new ales along the way. Try a traditional Czech variety like Černovar, a dark lager, or the Indian pale ale Sherpa 16°.
Don’t let the word ‘cafe’ put you off – like many cafes and restaurants in Prague, Café NoD sells a range of beer, wine, spirits and tempting cocktails like Cuba libres and cosmopolitans, best sampled on Friday and Saturday nights when Café NoD’s nightlife comes alive. But what really sets Café NoD apart from the many venues Prague has to offer is its emphasis on offering an experimental space for the city’s creative community; it has become a hotspot for Prague’s artistic natives through its hosting of offbeat dance and theatrical performances, thought-provoking art exhibitions and innovative audio-visual shows. So, if you prefer your drinks in arty, cultural surroundings, Café NoD is worth a visit.
AnonymouS Bar, which can be recognized by its Guy Fawkes mask logo, bases its ethos around three themes – Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot, the V for Vendetta graphic novels and the underground anarchic community Anonymous. With a dark and stylish interior with sumptuous, plush armchairs, the bar has the ambience of a luxurious study and any fans of cocktails will not be disappointed with the creations of the talented team of mixologists and bartenders. Established in 2012, the bar was named Maxim magazine’s Bar of the Week in April 2013 and serves a number of delicious cocktails like the New Orleans Fizz, mai-tais and daiquiris.
An important addition to Prague’s underground cultural scene, Cross Club, located in the hip Holešovice neighborhood, is a must-see destination for any dedicated clubber visiting Prague. Spread over several floors and boasting a uniquely industrial and futuristic design, Cross Club is one of Prague’s premier destinations for fans of drum and bass, dubstep, and house and techno, with musicians from across the globe playing there on a regular basis. The club prides itself on its alternative, subterranean personality and also hosts a number of events such as theatrical performances, book readings, indie film screenings and discussions about cultural issues.
For a traditional Czech drinking experience look no further than U Vejvodů. Located a few minutes from the Old Town Square in the heart of Prague’s historical center, the bar is set up in the fashion of a traditional Bohemian alehouse and is famous for its Pilsner Urquell beer – a pale lager brewed in the Czech Republic since the mid-1800s. U Vejvodů is the ideal location for any self-professed history buff to enjoy an authentic Czech beer – with parts of the building dating as far back as the pre-Hussite era in the 14th century. A range of other Czech beers like Gambrinus and Kozel are also on offer.