The Best Live-Music Venues in Prague

The vibrant music scene in Prague continues to flourish
The vibrant music scene in Prague continues to flourish | © Radim Beznoska / Alamy Stock Photo

Discover where to hear the best live music in Prague, including the best rock bars, jazz clubs and concert spaces.

The vibrant music scene in Prague continues to flourish, and a growing number of quality venues regularly host international artists, while also being a breeding ground for local musical talent. Here are some of the best places to catch a live show in Prague, whatever kind of music you’re in the mood for.

1. Café V Lese

Music Venue, Concert Hall

At ground level on the Krymská party street, this venue appears to be a café complete with retro furniture and forest-themed wallpaper (lese means forest in Czech). But under the ground, concerts are held in a cavernous stage area with a second bar and exposed bricks to bring home the garage feel. Heavily featuring progressive music and alternative genres, it’s the ideal place for catching live music on a weekday.

2. Reduta Jazz Club

Nightclub, European

Reduta jazz club
© Lucas Vallecillos / Alamy Stock Photo
A stone’s throw from the National Theatre, Reduta offers nightly jazz and swing concerts in a retro interior of sunken velvet chairs and gilt curtains. Running since 1958, the venue helped to sustain jazz as a cultural form under Communist rule. It is also associated with Prague’s Velvet Revolution in 1989, with the Jazz Society that played here counting first Czech president Václav Hável and many other dissidents among its members. Bill Clinton also famously once performed an ad hoc saxophone number here during a presidential visit.

3. ROXY Prague

Nightclub, Cocktails, Beer

Starting as an underground club in the ’90s, ROXY has maintained its iconic status on Prague’s club scene. It also remains one of the city’s main central concert halls, regularly showing prominent international acts as well as native talent, with a weekly programme focussing on rock and dance music. The monthly Free Mondays night shows live bands and DJs without charging a cover charge.

4. Jazz Dock

Bar, Cafe, Beer, Cocktails

In a glass block that appears to float over the Vltáva riverbank, Jazz Dock hosts eclectic jazz and blues concerts almost daily. It showcases everything from classic Dixieland to swing and new wave, by foreign and local acts. Audiences have the option to stand or book a table with service during shows. In the summertime there is also a waterfront terrace.

5. Lucerna Music Bar

Bar, Nightclub, Czech

Lucerna Music Bar, Prague
© Ondrej Hajek / Shutterstock
Housed within the passageway of the Art Nouveau complex known as Lucerna Palace, this music venue boasts two concert halls just off Wenceslas Square. Shows usually take place in the basement hall on a round stage with standing space spread over three underground levels. Larger-scale concerts are reserved for the grand ballroom, which is complete with theatre balconies and ornate ceilings. The venue has hosted prominent artists from all over the world, from Louis Armstrong to Phish.

6. Futurum Music Bar

Concert Hall, Music Venue

Futurum is a unique venue with stellar acoustics, located on the ground floor of the National House in Smíchov. While it’s mostly associated with live rock music, it is also home to occasional club nights as well as a long-running ’80s-themed party on Fridays. Shows are held in a spacious atrium marked by a long curved bar and circular Art Nouveau architecture.

7. Klub 007 Stráhov

Music Venue

Found among the blocks of student halls on Strahov hill, this compact rock venue dates back to 1969. Today, it remains a go-to venue for punk, ska, metal and harder forms of rock, with multiple acts playing every night. For first-timers, the easiest way to get here is by cab, just a 15-minute ride from the central Kampa area.

8. Palác Akropolis

Building, Theater

As the original epicentre of Prague’s alternative scene, Palác Akropolis hosts over 900 cultural events every year in two concert halls. Live music makes up a big part of the programme, with new and up-and-coming acts from all over the world, and genres ranging from metal to psychedelic and techno. Concerts usually take place in the basement theatre hall, surrounded by a labyrinth-like connection of bars.

9. Kasárna Karlín

Art Gallery, Movie Theater, Music Venue

Kasárna Karlín
© Dorota Velek

A converted barrack site near Florenc station, Kasárna Karlín is a cultural hub with a weekly programme of foreign and local musical acts. The former garage area was turned into a concert hall that promotes multiple indie bands from all over the world every week. In the summer, performances are sometimes held in the courtyard, beside an iron tower sculpture and a minibar carved into a 300-year-old oak tree by artist František Skála. The hollowed tree is big enough for a single bartender, and serves the beer Prague is famous for on tap.

10. Forum Karlín

Stadium

Forum Karlín hosts some of the more established musical acts that pass through Prague. With a capacity of 3,000, the multi-function event hall is built on the grounds of a former steam boiler factory in the Karlín district. It boasts an auditorium built over three floors with state-of-the-art acoustics and audiovisual tech. Some big names to have played here include alt-J, Dave Matthews Band and Jessie J.

11. Underdogs’ Ballroom and Bar

Music Venue

This subterranean venue in Smíchov is underground in more ways than one. The basement stage boasts rundown brickwork and exposed pipes, with a tunnel-like connection of enclaves in the back. The venue is known for booking up-and-coming post-punk, garage, electronic and experimental acts, both local and international. The club is located in the bottom part of the Eternia Smíchov building, which is used for music equipment rentals and is home to a second nightclub, as well as a mini skating ramp.

12. Studio Paměť

Music Venue, Theatre

Studio Paměť
© Petr Kněžek
Paměť is the Czech word for ‘memory’, a nod to this venue’s programme of nostalgic soul, funk and blues music. Located in a courtyard just off the nightlife-heavy Dlouhá street in Prague’s Old Town centre, a small café-bar fronts the ground-floor entrance, while seated concerts take place in a lamplit cellar furnished with simple wooden tables and chairs. The live-music programme runs on weekdays, while the weekend is reserved for theatre shows.

13. Jazz Republic

Music Venue

Famed for hosting performances by many international blues and jazz legends, this lounge is also renowned for its local talent. Located in the Old Town, the venue cooperates with a pool of 30 local musicians who regularly perform improvisational concerts here. Seated shows are held in an airy room walled with signed posters from past performers including BB King and Dave Brubeck.

14. Meet Factory

Art Gallery, Music Venue, Theater, Theatre, Building

Meet Factory is a cultural centre in the formerly industrial part of the Smíchov suburb, where concerts are held around eight times a month. The venue heavily promotes alternative pop, electronic and indie rock genres from emerging acts both local and foreign. Beyond the large concert hall, the industrial complex is home to various resident-artist studios and a theatre.

This article is an updated version of a story created by Diana Bocco.

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