Mala Strana, also known as Prague’s “Little Quarter”, is one of the most historic corners of the city that you’ll want to explore from top to bottom during your visit. All that running around is bound to work up a thirst, which is when you may start to notice the range of fantastic bars in the neighborhood. Whether you want a proper pint of beer brewed by Czech monks, or a laid back evening with live music, the Culture Trip provides you with a list of the top five bars in Mala Strana.
Klasterni Pivovar Strahov is a well kept secret from most tourists, nestled on the hilltop above the Strahov monastery. If you save a little energy for the trek up the hill, this is the perfect spot for sustenance after a long day spent exploring Mala Strana. The beer here is the genuine article, made on site in a monastic brewery dating back to the 13th century. You can unwind with their lighter year-round drafts like the refreshing IPA or the Dunkler Weizenbock (a coppery dark wheat beer with chocolatey malts and a spiced, fruity aroma), or try one of their seasonal offerings, like the special unfiltered semi-dark lager they make at Christmastime. There’s plenty of options for a liquid lunch here, and while the beers are very full-bodied and flavorful, they won’t knock you out at 5-8% ABV. The food menu offers a solid list of simple but hearty fare, such as cheese plates for sharing (and pairing with beer), and a tender sirloin steak.
Bar Bar has become an increasingly popular spot in recent years, attracting travelers and hip locals alike. Whether you’re looking for a cold Czech Pilsner, a nice dry martini, or a huge satisfying dinner, this no-frills watering hole will not let you down. The atmosphere here is simple and unpretentious, focusing on warm, friendly service and great food. The food menu changes regularly to make use of local seasonal ingredients, and the quality of the food more than exceeds expectations of typical pub grub. Think elegant salmon dishes, hearty burgers, and colorful vegetarian options, all served in generous portions. The prices are very reasonable too, making Bar Bar your best bet for drinks with dinner in the heart of Mala Strana.
Just like the island it’s named for, Zanzibar is a laid-back oasis of cool, which is probably why it’s so popular with locals. You’ll find the entrance to this low-key little dive tucked in a narrow alleyway, where you can get away from the bustle of the main streets after a busy afternoon, kick back with a pint (or three) and stay till the wee hours. They’re just a short stagger away from the famous local restaurant U Kocoura, but if you’d rather camp out in one place, Zanzibar also offers their own menu of tasty tapas and generous mains.
Jazz fans rejoice; Blue Light Bar was made just for you. Hosting performances of some of the best local talent around, this cozy tavern radiates rich jazz culture from every nook and cranny of the establishment, from the brick walls covered with yellowing posters of great artists to the brilliant bohemian locals it attracts. The drinks are as smooth as the sets here, so leave your troubles at the door and come to Blue Light for a memorable night out.
Hemingway Bar is in Prague’s Old Town | Courtesy of Hemingway Bar
An homage to Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway Bar is a must-see on your visit to Prague, located just an stone’s throw away from the Mala Strana district. With dark lacquered wood, low lighting, and excellent cocktails, this bar is the epitome of old world class. With over 200 varieties of rum and the largest absinthe selection in the Czech Republic, there’s no end of fine spirits to sample here, and you may be rightly tempted To Have and Have Another. This is an ideal setting to conceptualize a new writing project, get lost in winding philosophical debates, write postcards ’til your wrist aches, or simply sit back and people watch. Make sure to reserve a table in advance, as Hem’s is a big draw for Prague’s local artists and other tortured romantics.