Prague has a rich literary heritage, including such names as, for example, Franz Kafka, the magic realism of Milan Kundera and the theatre of the absurd of its playwright-president, Václav Havel. Authors and poets such as Frantisek Palacky, Karel Hynek Macha, Jan Neruda, Bozena Nemcova and even the first leader of Czechoslovakia – Tomas Masaryk – are all still considered to be literary giants in the country. Monuments related to Kafka can be found in Josefov, Neruda in Lesser Town, and Hašek in the Zižkov district. At the same time, their legacy is preserved in the city’s many bookshops and theatres. Prague also has a fine tradition of puppet theatre, and a unique sideline in Black Light mime theatre shows.
Týn 4; tel: 224 895 737; www.anagram.cz; Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-7pm; tram: 5, 8, 14, metro: Náměstí Republiky.
This is a characterful bookshop within the Týn courtyard, selling books on Prague and various other subjects, and even some second-hand books in English.
Malá Štupartská 5; tel: 224 826 565; www.bigbenbook shop.com; Mon-Fri 9am-6.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm; tram: 5, 8, 14, metro: Náměstí Republiky.
An English-language bookshop, selling fiction, travel guides, children’s books, selected non-fiction, newspapers and magazines.
Globe Bookstore and Coffeehouse
Pštrossova 6; tel: 224 934 203; www.globebookstore.cz; daily 9.30am-midnight; tram: 17, 21.
An ex-pat institution, this store stocks books, newspapers and magazines in various languages and housing a pleasant café.
Široká 7; Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm; tram: 17, 53, metro: Staroměstská.
This shop specialises in Jewish books and prints, both second-hand and new.
Kavárna Řehoř Samsa
Vodičkova 30 (passage U Nováků); tel: 224 225 413; 9.30am-7pm; tram: 3, 9, 14, 24, 52, 53; metro: Můsek.
An excellent bookshop-cum-café tucked away in one of the passages of the Lucerna shopping arcade.
Kaprova 9; tel: 223 283 35; Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; tram: 17, 53, metro: Staroměstská.
An old-fashioned second-hand book dealer with a stock that includes a selection of English books.
Shakespeare and Sons
Krymská 12; tel: 271 740 839; daily 10am-7pm; www.shakes.cz; metro: Staroměstská.
An excellent English-language bookseller, with a second branch at U Luzickeho seminare 10 in Malá Strana (tel: 257 531 894).