The 10 Best Cafés in Prague for Book Lovers
Prague is home to many quiet cafés | © Mo Peerbacus / Alamy Stock Photo
From the grand Café Rudolfinum to the more understated Kavárna Nový Svět, these Prague cafés are perfect for curling up in with a good book.
Cafe, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
The ultimate reading corner, Cafedu is, handily located just a short hop away from the National Museum
on Wenceslas Square, is built around the concept of a study café. Visitors will find books placed at various points throughout the space, and there are plenty of tables and chairs, where you can sit with a laptop, and comfy sofas. If you want more peace and quiet, you can make use of the dedicated study area upstairs. Although Cafedu attracts a predominantly student crowd, all ages are welcome. Choose from a selection of coffee, snacks and cakes.
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Housed in the same building as the modern art collection of the National Gallery, Café Jedna enjoys an unrivalled location in one of Prague’s most famous modernist structures. Enjoy a suitably minimalist environment in which to relax with a book or newspaper; the classic-style easy chairs and abundant space make for a tranquil reader-friendly atmosphere. Additionally, a cup of tea goes perfectly with one of the café’s sweet baked goodies. When finished at the café
, catch the latest exhibition next door or simply admire the gallery’s stunning interior.
Café Rudolfinum offers high ceilings, a fin-de-siècle atmosphere and Viennese formality. Visitors, however, often overlook this café, in the famous concert hall of the same name, as they dash to the more well-known haunts. It’s a pity, but on the other hand, travellers can spoil themselves with a coffee, cake and a good read, in the heart of Prague
, without the crowds to disturb them.
Dessert Shop, Dessert, $$$
Don’t let the location, close to the Sparta football stadium, be off-putting. Cukrárna Alchymista oozes calmness, especially in the wonderfully secluded garden. In summer, relax there with a novel and a refreshing drink, such as the Czech favourite citronáda (lemonade). In winter, stave off the chill outside with coffee and something sweet and sinful. The café is famous for its cakes, with its chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie particularly popular. The nearby leafy streets, to the west of the Sparta football ground, are pleasant for strolling along.
Globe Bookstore and Café
Cafe, American, $$$
Prague’s first English-language bookshop, the Globe Bookstore and Café first opened its doors in 1993, in the days of early post-Communism. Since then, the café has acquired cult status among anglophones, especially as the number of English-language bookshops has dwindled. Browse the front section for a bestseller on everyone’s reading list, and choose from a selection of fiction and non-fiction. Make a purchase, and then read it over a drink or lunch at the café section at the rear of the venue.
Cafe, Czech, $$$
Housed in a typically angular interwar tenement in the swish Bubeneč neighbourhood of the Prague 6 borough, travellers will find the quirky, cosy Kavárna Kabinet. A visit feels like a journey back in time; the café is suitably decked out in solid period furniture. Retro style is very much in vogue in the Czech Republic right now, and the interior reflects the strong interest in the First Czechoslovak Republic, which existed between the wars and is regarded with great affection. The café takes its name from the teachers’ staffroom or kabinet, in Czech schools.
Kavárna Nový Svět
Cafe, European, Czech, $$$
Somehow, relatively few visitors discover the many charms of Nový Svět, a winding cobbled alley just minutes away from Hradčanské Square. But that means they can have this atmospheric nook of Prague to themselves. In a sturdy whitewashed cottage, Kavárna Nový Svět, a homely little establishment café with a living-room ambience, provides a cosy refuge from wintry weather. In the warmer months, unwind with a glass of home-made lemonade. It’s best enjoyed on the intimate terrace overlooking a shady garden and the bubbling Brusnice Brook – bookworm bliss.
Kavárna Pod Lipami
Cafe, Coffee Shop, European, Czech, $$$
The name of this establishment translates to Café Under the Lime Trees in English, and like the nearby Alchymista, the greenery adds a rustic touch to this establishment in the bustling Letná area. The soothing, simple interior, with white walls and distressed furniture, welcomes book fans. Snacks to keep you going include Czech favourite buchty(chubby yeast-based buns). Kavárna Pod Lipami also serves as a space for events, such as art exhibitions, and the garden is open on warm days.
Restaurant, Czech, Vegetarian, $$$
Hidden away in a back street in an overlooked part of Prague’s Old Town, this café offers an authentic local experience hard to find elsewhere in the centre. This part of town is a mini literary quarter, with second-hand bookshop and literary café Kavárna Rybka on the same street. The front area of Velryba is busy, but in the back section, visitors will find plenty of space where they can settle into a comfy chair, sit back and chill out.
Cafe, Spanish, European, $$$
In the Pragu
e 3 borough, where travellers will find Žižkavárna, cafés are popping up like mushrooms after rain, to use a fitting Czech expression. This café has become one of the favourites in the area, and a constant stream of local people, students and visitors pop by. Despite the bustle, Žižkavárna manages to be peaceful enough for a quiet read; the side room attracts readers and students working on assignments. Alternatively, sink into the only sofa or grab a window seat. A daily soup menu, Spanish omelette and tempting cakes are just some of the food favourites.