There are three types of bars unique to Prague – the traditional Czech pub, with perfect local atmosphere and great, usually cheap beer, western-style bars serving trendy but expansive cocktails, and the casino-bars, a 24-hour combination bar-casino.
The price of a half-litre of draught beer varies enormously, from around 25 CZK in pubs at Prague’s outskirts to 40 CZK in beer halls catering mainly to local drinkers, to 100 CZK at outdoor tables in top tourist locations. Most tourist-oriented bars in the city centre charge 45 CZK to 80 CZK. Cocktails in the city centre range from 140 CZK to 300 CZK, spirits range from 40 CZK to 120 CZK, while good-quality Czech wine will cost from 300 CZK to 400 CZK a bottle.
The owners of the newfangled Czech pub Kolkovna have gone on to enjoy repeated success with new locations. But their flagship is still strong enough to earn first place, riding a wave of excellent draft Pilsner Urquell and variations on classic Czech cooking.
Location: V Kolkovně 8, Old Town. (website)
The brewery atmosphere is nice and the prices are still acceptable. You can find their typical Czech beer food.
Location: Vodičkova 20, New Town. (website)
Open: daily 10am-11pm.
This pub has recently been renovated from the original 16th century renaissance building. The beer hall looks exactly like it has come from 200 years ago. Named after a town mayor from the past, Vejvodů was saved from demolition in 1908 by a local historical society. The pub features old brewery equipment and artefacts downstairs along with strolling musicians and filling meals. Gambrinus and Pilsner Urquell beers are available.
Location: Vejvodova 2, Old Town. (website)
Open: daily 11am to midnight.
Old-fashioned good times are to be had here. You will find good, cheap beer and solid pub fare in the heart of Lesser Town. Outdoor seating is possible.
Location: Tržiště 23, Lesser Town. (website)
Open: daily, noon to midnight.
This is the old reliable place, where trendy and hip crowds are every night. It shakes, stirs and tosses the best cocktails in town. The drinks list is about the length of The Great Gatsby and nearly as pleasurable to read (over 300 drinks).
Location: Kostečná 2 (off Pařížská), Old Town. (website)
Open: daily 7pm-2am.
Caffrey’s Irish Bar
Here you will find a casual atmosphere and full menu on Old Town Square.
Location: Old Town Sq. 10, Old Town. (website)
Open: Sun-Thurs 9am-1am, Fri-Sat 9am-2am.
A lot like a North American college tavern, this is an all-purpose, expat-friendly pub that never seems to go out of fashion. You will find filling food with influences from both hemispheres and good beers from south Bohemia on tap. It serves up Mexican and American dishes, which include fajitas and giant chilli burgers. American-style breakfasts are available at the weekend, including French toast and pancakes. There is also sports coverage on TV. Brunch is served weekends until 5 pm.
Location: V Jámě 7, New Town (off Vodičkova). (website)
Open: daily 11am-1am.
It is a cosy and popular Irish pub. Czech, Irish and English beer, stout and ale are usually available.
Location: U Obecního dvora 4, Old Town
Open: daily 11am-1am.
This is a local favourite. Traditional Czech dishes and both domestic and imported beers on tap. You can have breakfast, too.
Location: Bartolomějská 11, Old Town
Open: Mon-Fri 9am-midnight; Sat-Sun 11am-midnight
U Malého Glena (Little Glenn’s)
This pub is the type of place you need in a well-balanced drinking repertoire: like a dive, but with a few high-end brands of beer and live music downstairs every night. It has it all. It is a good place to meet and be met.
Location: Karmelitská 23, Lesser Town. (website)
Open: daily 10am-1am.
Bar meets Czech hospoda. They fall in love. There is a full menu.
Location: Bělehradská 68a, Prague 2. (website)
Open: Mon-Fri 11.30am-midnight; Sat-Sun 3pm-midnight.
O’Che’s Cuba has washed ashore in Old Town, or at least a Guinness-addled dream of what Cuba would be like if it was run by Irish revolutionaries instead of Caribbean ones.
Location: Liliová 14, Old Town. (website)
Open: daily 10am-midnight.
This is a pricey sports bar, but worth it if you like a lot of big-screen action, free bowls of popcorn and sharp, shapely waiting staff.
Location: Ve Smečkách 21, New Town. (website)
Tom Tom Club Cocktails
A laid-back Mediterranean feel makes this newcomer a good choice for quiet chats and quick coffees as well as a nice Campari on ice.
Location: Dlouhá 46, Old Town
Open: Mon-Fri 10am-1am; Sat-Sun 11am-1am.
Tretter’s Bar Cocktails
This is a long bar stacked with good liquor and a steady crop of pretty people. It is the connoisseur’s choice. You will find top-notch cocktails and service in a classic setting.
Location: V Kolkovně 3, Old Town
Open: daily 7pm-3am.
Dry martinis, margaritas and other staples are mixed well by Prague standards. Prices are steep. Ladies’ night is every Wednesday.
Location: Lázeňská 6, Lesser Town. (website)
Open: daily 2pm-2am.
This is the in thing. There is a cocktail and DJ lounge. It is mad here.
Location: Michalská 19/Jilská 18, Old Town
Open: daily 7pm -4am.
Žíznivý pes (The Thirsty Dog)
Nick Cave got so bummed out here he had to write a song about it. Everyone else appears to be having a good time.
Location: Elišky Krásnohorské 5, Josefov
Open: daily 11am-2am.
Irish Pub Dublin
There are lots of bars to choose from in this part of town, but few have the quality of beers on tap as this neat, step-down pub – assuming you like foreign beers, of course.
Location: Lipanská 2, Žižkov
Open: Mon-Sat 5pm-1am.
If you truly enjoyed sipping gimlets and martinis in your old college apartment, Hapu is for you. There is a pub-style bar with a tremendous bartending staff and perfectly shaken cocktails. Get here early if you want a seat as this place is constantly packed with thirsty locals and tourists.
Location: Orlická 8, Žižkov
Open: Mon-Sat 6pm-2am.
This is a down-and-dirty pub, which draws a mixed crowd of Czechs and expats. Although it serves Krušovice, a good burger or quesadilla will fix things just right.
Location: Šmeralova 1, Bubeneč. (website)
Open: Mon-Fri noon-1am; Sat-Sun 11.30am-1am.
Bar and Books
This high-end cocktail bar lends itself to gentlemanly imbibing. Silent James Bond movies on the screen and a custom soundtrack add to the sophisticated yet casual ambiance. Known for its assortment of single malts and good cigars, it also shakes a rather nice martini. Deep red walls and vaulted copper ceilings, soft leather banquettes, dark wood panelling and the signature book filled library. The bar has a capacity of up to 75 guests.
Location: Týnská 19, Prague 1, Open: 5pm – 3am (5pm to 4am on Thu, Fri, Sat) and Location: Mánesova 64, Prague 2, Open: 5pm – 3am (website)
This classy subterranean place is stocked with good scotch and one of the city’s finest selections of upscale brands. The bar readily mixes around 200 cocktails.
Location: Dušní 6, Old Town
Open: daily 7pm-3am.
This is an inexpensive, casual Czech pub only a couple of minutes’ stroll from Charles Bridge. You never have to leave (until the staff force you to) – especially when prices are reasonable.
Location: Smetanovo nábř. 14, Old Town. (website)
Open: daily 10am-midnight.
Double Trouble Club
A bar and club with small party atmosphere and huge cocktail list. No one is going to be shocked by people dancing on tables or seats, or even on the bar. Actually, this is the norm here.
Location: Melantrichova 17, Prague 1. (website)
A very nice spot for everyone looking for great drinks, excellent food and modern music. Open daily from 5 p.m. until the early morning hours; closed on Sundays.
Location: Zborovska 82/7, Prague 5. (website)
Bombay Cocktail Bar
Only a few steps from the Old Town Square you can find the busy, popular music bar Bombay. It is quite a small place with a tiny dance floor. Regardless of its size, a good atmosphere and the best cocktails in town are always guaranteed. Thanks to its location in the centre, this bar attracts mainly international travellers. Bombay is a nice place with exposed brickwork, high ceilings and archways separating the bar from the dance area.
Genres: 80s/90s/00s Party Music
Opens: Mon-Wed 17:00-04:00; Thu 17:00-05:00; Fri-Sat 17:00-06:00
Location: Dlouha 13, Old Town. (website)
This cocktail bar is certainly unique. There is no attitude or flashiness in this strictly neighbourhood Žižkov venue. The prices here are less than they are at alternative cocktail venues, such as Bugsy’s or Tretter’s, but every drink is equally well made. It is nice for singletons, as you can have a seat at the bar and flirt with the cute barman or barmaid. It is open each day from 11:00-02:00. Address: Orlická Eight, Žižkov, Prague Three. Metro Station: Flora.
This light-hearted club and pub in central Old Town is geared towards the English. It occupies a large Gothic cellar, adorned with all types of bric-a-brac from the Communist era (such as posters of Lenin). There is live music on some evenings and a good crowd is always on hand. It also serves good quality bar food. It is open each day from 18:00-04:00. Address: Michalska Twelve, Prague One. Website: www.propagandapub.cz. Metro Station: Mustek.
Tip: Read about Prague’s growing microbrewery scene.