From its Bohemian art treasures to exquisite Gothic and Baroque architecture, Prague has always drawn admiration from those who immerse in its inimitable, storied ambience.
But no matter how much of a history, art, and culture vulture you are, a true traveller knows that in order to really know a city you have to get beneath its skin and find the ‘local heart’. You’ll need to seek out the venues where the people really socialise – not where they send you in the guidebooks. Lucky you: we’ve done the hard work, so you can enjoy these two excellent ‘locals’ favourite’ bars in Prague. Na zdraví! (To your health!)
Cocktail Hour at Amarula Bar
Let’s get one thing straight: this recommendation is not aimed at the beer drinkers, that one’s coming! In fact, Amarula used to be a normal local beer-drinkers pub, but in an inspired reincarnation it’s been turned into a cocktail bar. We’re not talking just the odd Bloody Mary or Mai Tai here – the Amarula’s cocktail menu could more accurately be described as a book, with over 1200 choices – including many featuring the bar’s namesake South African liqueur.
Amarula also specialises in hard-to-get spirits. The number of whiskies, rums and vodkas is astounding, and it’s a wonder anyone gets time to drink them, such is the range from which to make the agonising decision!
While Amarula is slightly out of the way, the quirky décor (complete with animal head trophies) and authentic vibe is well worth coming for. Try out your language skills and order the weirdest looking cocktail on the menu (or one of the 60 brands of whisky), then sit back, relax, and listen to the sound of the real Prague …
Amarula Bar is at Klapkova 26
Open 16:00 – 01:00 Mon-Sun
A Youthful Vibe at Bar Mrtvá Ryba
The fresh, laidback vibe of Bar Mrtvá Ryba comes from the fact that most of the locals who frequent it are students from the nearby Charles University. It’s located next to the Botanic Gardens, and in the warmer weather this lively bar becomes an indoor/outdoor venue as people wander out into the sunshine with their drinks.
Naturally, with a student-oriented bar comes student budgets, so the great range of local craft beers and wines is very well priced. Mrtvá Ryba is also a fantastic place to grab some cheap, hearty food for lunch or dinner: the absolutely huge vegetarian burritos, traditional Pikantule and rustic hand cut chips are all insider recommendations!
As well as great food, excellent beer, a buzzy student vibe, and cheap prices (do you want more?), Bar Mrtvá Ryba enjoys a fabulous central location and free Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect place to meet the local student population and experience how Prague really lets its hair down.
Bar Mrtvá Ryba is at Benátská 4/1965
Open Mon – Fri 11:00 – 23:00, Sun 18:00 – 23:00
How to Get to Prague
As one of Europe’s most visited destinations, by air it’s a cinch to get to Prague. From London, in just two hours you’ll be landing at the airport. To get into the city centre, if you’re feeling adventurous you can opt for a public bus, but there’s no longer a rail link. If you’d rather enjoy the comfort and convenience of a door-to-door service, Shuttle Direct’s shared or private Prague airport transfers will whisk you in to the city centre in style in around 45 minutes. Not only will you be delivered straight to your hotel, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your first sight of Prague’s iconic landmarks along the way.
If you’re planning on driving to Prague, you’ll be able to complete the 1000kms from the UK in about 14 hours – spread over two days. The most direct way will take you via the Eurotunnel to Calais, then along a picturesque route that passes through Lille, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt and Nuremburg. Once you cross into Czech Republic, the final part of the journey will take around three hours.
Where to Stay:
Hostel Downtown – For colourful budget accommodation in an unbeatable location, Hostel Downtown welcomes you right to the historic centre of Prague. Just 300 metres from the Metro, the hostel provides dormitory or private rooms and enjoys a relaxed, laidback vibe and a fun, inclusive atmosphere. Everything’s been thought of, with a communal lounge, shared kitchen, luggage storage, and laundry facilities all onsite – and you can walk to everything!
Charles Bridge Residence – Just a stone’s throw from the left bank of the river, the historic, character-filled Charles Bridge Residence offers old world glamour and original period décor. The perfect base from which enjoy the culture and beauty of the city by foot, the stained glass windows, parquet floors and beamed ceilings offer a glimpse into the romance of Prague’s yesteryear.
Hotel Mandarin Oriental – Set within hallowed surrounds on the genteel left bank, the Hotel Mandarin Oriental invites guests to experience the unique charm and character of an immaculately restored monastery. Living up to its name, the delicate flavours of Asian cuisine define the menu of the world-class Spices restaurant, with a choice of indoor or alfresco dining. The opulence and unashamed luxury extend from the magnificently appointed rooms to the sublime ambience of the wellness centre, located in a former Renaissance chapel.