Prague Nightlife Tips by RockTadgers
Prague Nightlife: 569 reviews and 499 photos
'Duende' is a sweet little spot, in a favourable location on a side street right by the river and Charles Bridge. It's a two-roomed joint at street level, which makes a change round these parts, and can make a positive contribution to whatever you're doing any given day. The window seats are gorgeous to sit in with a book and a beer, especially if the snow's coming down outside. The people who frequent 'Duende' are a diverse range, and the atmosphere is friendly and mellow - plenty of lively chats going on among the bric-a-brac.
No-one will tear up any trees at 'Duende', but it's that tranquility that makes the bar such a great place to spend an afternoon, or kick start an evening.
Dress Code: No dress code.
Address: Karoliny Svetle 30, Praha 1
Directions: Walking along the riverbank away from Charles Bridge (not Castle side), Karoliny veers away diagonally across Naprstkova.
Phone: 604 269 731
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Once a comforting place to tuck away in when the quirks of Prague were getting too much, Jo's Bar now seems content in it's old age to have a snooze in front of the TV then get to bed early. It's still a cosy wooden bar area with some more discreet tables out back, but the place has lost it's edge since the 'Garaz' downstairs has closed. Without that crumbling cellar place, always a great little room to dance to Chilli Peppers in a smokey, rough-edged, fire-exit-free place until the early hours, now the only thing to do is stack up on comfort food and discuss where you're going to head next.
Dress Code: There is no dress code here.
Address: Malostranske Namesti 7, Praha 1 CZ, 110 00
Directions: Lesser Town, near tram #12 stop
Phone: +420- 2 9001 1612
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Another name change, another atmosphere and crowd for this stalwart near Old town Square. Chateau used to be the place to go when you wanted to act like a world-weary expat out for a good night, and see where things took you. It was rowdy, crammed, sweaty, with an air of potential threat. The barstaff looked about ready to tell you a joke or kick the crap out of you and toss you in the gutter. The place attracted so many different groups of people, which generated a peculiar, infectious buzz. The tunes were all over the place, people casually spliffed up all around you. Everyone seemed to be on the verge of either brawling or fu cking. In short, it was ace.
Then the tourists found it. With the addition of a dance club downstairs, stag parties and price hikes, many of the characters who used to lurk here have evacuated. The walls are still blood red and the bartop is still battered metal, but Chateau has lost it's soul and it's edge. Weird that - is it possible for the Devil to sell his Soul?
Dress Code: A.D 2000 - Whatever. Ladle on the attitude, and if things hot up, be pre-emptive with whatever you can pick up.
A.D 2005 - Burberry and Lonsdale....drink your drink and try not to make eye-contact with the red-faced English chaps in checked shirts. One on one can be fun, but I don't like your odds against twelve of 'em.
Address: Jakubska 2, Praha 1
Directions: All roads from behind Tyn Church seem to lead to Chateau (Sorry, L'enfer Rouge...bollocks.)
Theme: People Watching
This is the cellar bar of the most raucous hostel in town, although they'll quite happily buzz you through if you don't look like you're going to bore people too much.
There is usually a loud, friendly party atmosphere as backpackers pumped up about being in Prague mingle with like minded individuals dropping in from the surrounding Zizkov district.
Until recently, the walls and ceilings were covered in entertainingly obscene and obscure graffiti, until they whitewashed it all to let the next boatload of travellers and local slackers start again.
The servers are just there for a good time with the guests, and it's a fantastic place to meet people, get mashed, buy a bag of green, and generally get loud.
Dress Code: Absolutely nothing is expected of you here, so throw something on and head on down. Dinner jackets are a no-no!
Address: Borivojova 102, Praha 3, Zizkov
Directions: If you can make it to the Zizkov TV tower, make your way down hill and you'll eventually find the street, running along the edge of the hill.
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Like nearby Tretter's, the owners of Bugy's realise they don't need to hose the atmosphere on the walls in order to attract a classy clientele, especially when they've got a list of awards longer than their menu of fine whiskeys to back themselves up.
Nothing flash going on here then, just a classy, old fashioned cocktail bar with soft light and sounds letting the grown ups get on with chatting, flirting, and sipping their perfectly mixed cocktails. A decent bar allows you to watch the masters at work, which they do with the minimum of histrionics - after all, tossing cocktail shakers about while riding a unicycle would look positively crass in this type of environment.
The cocktail menu - hard bound, numbered and yours to own for 350kc, should you wish - is certainly worth a mention. Not only are there hundreds of cocktails to chose from, there are also dozens of whiskeys and a ridiculous amount of fine cigars to puff on. Drink prices range from 80kc to a staggering 20,000kc! It might take you longer to sample everything on Bugsy's menu than drink in all the pubs in Prague - and that is certainly no small achievement....
Dress Code: No dress code enforced, but probably best to dress like you're going to a classy cocktail bar.
Address: Parizska 10 (entrance on Kostecna)
Directions: Make your way down Parizska, keep an eye out for Kostecna on the left.
Phone: 222 810 943
Theme: Eating and Drinking
The bouncer held me, almost tenderly, up against the curve of the vaulted brick wall by the scruff of my neck, going through my pockets. I was just making idiot sounds - before this frisking, I'd spent an undeterminable amount of time hunched over on the bowl in the gents, throwing up in a neat pool under the partition. I later realised the reason they were going through my pockets was to find some clue of where I was staying, so they could pack me off in a taxi safely.
That was one of my first memories of Prague, and certainly the first of La Fabrique. Whatever else happened that night, I'm sure it was deeply shameful. But it does give me a fondness for Prague bouncers, who generally suffer a bad rap.
La Fabrique used to be a great place to drop in when it was free entry. You just kept going down and down flights of steps, deeper into the bowels of the Eurotrash disco bar, until you ended up sweating away on a dancefloor in a room no bigger than a broom cupboard with a group of girls from Dusseldorf or wherever. It was never quite a bar, never quite a club, which explains my reluctance to recommend it to anyone now they've introduced that cover charge.
The crowd is diverse and up-for-it-enough to give it the feel of a cheerful meat market, except the prohibitive drink prices (40kc for a small beer!) keep it from being a free-for-all.
So, La Fabrique. Never quite enough of anything to be a real hit. That wouldn't necessarily count against it if it was cheap - Karlovy Lazne has the same feeling of too many things going on at once, but at least you get your money's worth. Worth a punt if you've got the time and the money, and it might pay off with a good night.
Dress Code: The usual - wear what you want, but making an effort wouldn't hurt.
Address: Uhelny Trh 2, Praha 1
Directions: Making a right off the end of Rijna coming of Wenceslas Square, you'll come to the triangular square that is Uhelny Trh.
Yes, you've guessed it - another review of a Prague nitespot where the phrase 'Steps lead down into a subterranean cellar space' might feature somewhere along the way. But, thankfully, cellar spaces get sexy with a visit to St Nicholas Cafe, where many casually beautiful people coo to each other across the candlelight in the niches of this intimate little bar.
It's perhaps a little too sophisticated for a good old fashioned blow out, but if you're planning to be a bit civillised and have a few drinks (fairly pricey, welcome to Mala Strana) while listening to some live jazz, you could do considerably worse. An ideal place worth seeking out early on during your visit, if only to work out where it might fit into your plans at a later date.
Dress Code: The people who frequent St Nick's are usually fairly flush expats and up-and-coming Czechs. The overall dress sense isn't overly stylish, but the clientele certainly look like they know what's going on. The upper end of casual.
Address: Trziste 10, Praha 1
Directions: Coming off Charles Bridge onto Mostecka, make a left at the end, then dogleg right onto Trziste. Ignore over priced Irish joint J.J.Murphy's and watch out for St Nick's on the right.
Phone: 222 530 204
Theme: Live Music
"You are always welcome in Le Clan," it states on this decadent after-club club's flashy website, "If u know what is respect!"
Dodgy English aside, it gives you some idea of the exclusive nature of Le Clan and the supposed ideology behind it. It's been going for years and is a thoroughly insider place, perfect if you want to keep going after the clubs kick out - it's open until eight in the morning weekdays, eleven at the weekends.
You have to ring the bell to get in, and they do operate a sort of face control at the door - it's definitely not a free for all freakshow like Batalion in the centre. People do get turned away, but as long as you look semi-respectable and suitably nocturnal, and act like you've been going for years, you shouldn't have too much difficulty getting in.
The lay out is red and cosy downstairs, and it's common to see people crashed out on the sofas. Although their term for their clientele is V.S.P (Very Strange People), most of the people drinking there are decidedly chic. There are DJ's every night, and the ambience is light and sexy, despite many heavy eyelids. However, if you're chosen pick-me-up is taken nasally, they thoughtfully provide little fold down mirrors in the toilet cubicles for you to cut a line on.
Dress Code: There is no dress code as such, but if you look like you might cause a rumpus you won't get in. Similarly, if you're so drunk you've pissed yourself in the previous club, then you may aswell go to Batalion instead.
Address: Balbinova 23, Praha 3
Directions: Best jump in a taxi from the centre - you shouldn't pay more than 150kc, though.
Phone: 736 673 894
If you weren't an inquisitive type, you might sit and drink cheap wine for years in the unremarkable street level vinarna without any idea what was going on deep beneath your feet. However, the more curious visitor would make the discovery of a narrow flight of steps at the rear which leads, seemingly, deep into the bowels of the earth.
This is the real reason to visit U Sudu, an enormous, smoky warren of Gothic cellars that sprawl in every direction. It is always crowded and noisy, mainly by local students who cluster around the large wooden benches and drink the terrible wine. The whole secretive nature of the place means everyone is quite relaxed spliffing up, and the general atmosphere, despite the noise, is extremely chilled - perhaps because of all the herbal remedies being passed round. In fact, only by installing a sliding bookcase or revolving fireplace at the top of the stairs could U Sudu feel more secretive.
It's not an ideal location for drinking in the warmer months, as it's almost unbearably hot even in the winter - probably because of it's proximity to the earth's core.
Dress Code: The crowd at U Sudu tend to be students, so scruffy and studenty is the best way to fit in.
Address: Vodickova 10, Praha 1
Directions: Keep walking along Vodickova from Wenceslas Square until you think you've missed it, and keep eyes peeled for U Sudu on the left.
Phone: 222 232 207
Theme: Eating and Drinking
Hand Shandy, anyone?
You probably don't need telling by now that Prague's sex trade is thriving, and correspondingly, there are also dozens (if not hundreds) of cabarets and strip joints for foreign tourists to get themselves in trouble in. Wenceslas Square has been almost totally overhauled as a extortionately priced Red Light District, and these places range from elaborate to just plain grubby. Even in some of the more belligerent Czech pubs, it's not uncommon for the waitress to strip off her top after a certain hour.
The Golden Tree, however, is a good initiation point for someone who fancies seeing some titties without forking out 500kc to get through the door and without risking getting into a brawl with a group of English lads on a stag-do.
At time of writing, admission is free on Sun-Tues, going up to 80kc on Friday and Saturday. Female visitors are always admitted free. Downstairs is a traditional warren of vaulted rooms, one of them home to the stage for the Golden Tree's girls. There's always two on stage at any one time, and occasionally there'll be a special act, like a lesbo show. Their routines aren't very exciting, and the girls quite often look stiff and bored. They jiggle around for a bit before eventually getting their jugs out.
It's all a bit sad and depressing, but some hilarity can usually be derived from watching the other patrons and their reactions to the girls. Last time I visited in the winter, one prat thought it would be a good idea to lick one girl's arsecrack after popping a tip in her thong...and was on the recieving end of a high heeled boot in the face!
Should you have had enough of just watching, there's a tiny dance floor downstairs where you can try your luck with real girls. The Golden Tree isn't very nice, but it is a cheap and fairly safe alternative to the monstrous cabarets on the Square.
Dress Code: Although there are bouncers present, you could probably get in wearing just a leather G-String if the mood took you. The only thing they are really on the lookout for is obviously paralytic people and stag-dos.
Address: Karlova 6
Directions: From Charles Bridge, face away from the castle and keep walking straight. The street directly opposite is Karlova, and the sign with the cartoon woman with enormous titties marks out the Golden Tree.
Theme: Adult Spot
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