The best pubs and bars in Prague

·11 min read
Blue light bar, Prague
Blue light bar, Prague

Beer – especially cheap, quaffable and locally brewed – has long been one of the key draws of Prague. These days it offers more opportunities to try it than ever, with a swathe of craft beer pubs and micro-breweries joining the traditional pubs already dotted all over the city. In addition to settling in somewhere typically cosy for a pivo and some hearty local food, visitors can also find a notable network of wine and cocktail bars catering to a more upscale clientele.

Our experts share their top recommendations for Prague's best drinking holes below. You can also read their guides devoted to hotels, attractions, restaurants and nightlife, plus a weekenders' guide to the city.


Old Town

Tretter’s

Still the winner of international best-of laurels in the cocktail bar genre, Mike Tretter’s classic, decadent drinking hole has kept up its high standards, drawing a crowd of nightlife mavens with its cosy yet exclusive feel. There's almost too much emphasis on showmanship – the barmen toss and juggle shakers all night – but the goods do turn out flawless. One of the winning specials, the Gin Negroni, tempts with jasmine and bergamot. Seated at the dark-tiled bar in this Old Town shrine to top-shelf cocktails, as the international crowd of cognoscenti drifts in, you may just want to send one to someone.

Website: tretters.cz
Prices: £-££
Getting in: There is a doorman here and it gets busy; best to dress like you want in if you can

Tretter’s, Prague
Tretter’s, Prague

Groove Bar

This is one of the hippest spots in the Old Town, with a two-level bar with a dark and seductive interior, a reputable cocktail list and a top-notch electronic soundtrack. Staff are hip and young, as are the crowd, and with DJs at weekends it can get busy. There’s no dancefloor but it’s a great place to warm up for a club night, or just to enjoy a lively evening of great sounds, drinks and service. Try the signature gin-based Greenteani cocktail, or the whisky-infused Penicilin, and perhaps a couple of the tapas dishes for sustenance.

Website: groovebar.cz
Price: ££

Groove Bar, Prague
Groove Bar, Prague

U Medvídků

This former medieval brewery, which dates to 1466 and whose name translates to 'At The Little Bears', after its founder Jan Medvídek, has pedigree to be sure, with thousands of perfect Budvar pours filling mugs daily to patrons situated on rough benches and heavy chairs throughout its labyrinth of vaulted halls. There’s great pub grub too – much of it beer-themed like the beer-basted roast beef, beer onion soup and beer goulash – and if you feel like a challenge, try the X33, whose 12.6 per cent alcohol content ensures you’ll feel a kick.

Website: umedvidku.cz
Prices: £

U Medvídků, Prague
U Medvídků, Prague

Monarch

Prague’s wine revival has been sobering to witness – Moravian vintners are turning out critically acclaimed lines regularly, and Prague’s wine cards and tasting clubs have blossomed in turn. Neither are international vintages overlooked at cosy little Monarch – nor overcharged for as in days of old. Though it has morphed into more of a restaurant of late, serving steaks (including Black Angus) prepared on a Josper grill and Czech cuisine, it’s still a great stop for Czech wines, as well as a good selection of European offerings. Grab a seat near the large windows for some prime people-watching.

Website: monarch.cz
Prices: £

Pohostinec Monarch, Prague
Pohostinec Monarch, Prague

Black Angel’s Bar

Black Angel’s is a regular receiver of international accolades (best hotel bar in the world being a recurring theme). It can be found hidden inside the Gothic cellar of the Hotel U Prince, right on Old Town Square. The Prohibition-era atmosphere, bolstered by a jazz soundtrack (live piano every day; saxophone on Saturdays), comfy red leather banquettes and chandeliers on the high ceiling, is immediately enchanting, but it’s behind the bar that the magic happens. Whether it’s a classic Manhattan, an off-piste tipple like the gin-based Corpse Reviver or even a spot of molecular mixology, it’s guaranteed to be memorably made.

Website: blackangelsbar.com
Prices: £-££
Getting in: The house rules don’t extend to dress, but they do appreciate a smart turn out

Black Angel's Bar, Prague
Black Angel's Bar, Prague

Chapeau Rouge

This well-known party bar is conveniently located slap-bang in the middle of the Old Town. Popular for a couple of decades now, it feels like a throwback to the early 1990s, drawing a mix of locals and tourists – including the occasional stag or hen night – who mingle freely throughout its three levels. The vibrant, red-walled main room has a classic pub feel with music and drinks all day long and there are regular themed parties, DJs and live music. As the night progresses, make your way to the two club spaces – one movie-themed, the other more ‘techno’ – below ground level, by which time the absinthe cocktails and well-priced Czech beer should have worked their magic.

Website: chapeaurouge.cz
Prices: £

Chapeau Rouge, Prague
Chapeau Rouge, Prague

U Vejvodů

U Vejvodu, located in a lovely old building dating from the early 16th century, is a highly atmospheric beer hall and restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere. There are two different levels. In the lower area is a beer hall, decorated with photos of Czech brewing from the olden days, and offering filling Czech food served by uniformed waiters. Upstairs is more contemporary and pub-like with pop music and a younger crowd. There’s a variety of beers, wines and drinks but the beer to try here is the Pilsner Urquell; it’s one of the few places to serve it straight from the tanks.

Website: restauraceuvejvodu.cz
Prices: £

U Vejvodů
U Vejvodů

Hemingway Bar

With the most extensive absinthe selection in the Czech Republic, 200 varieties of rum, and an equally impressive collection of sparkling wines and champagne, this is one of the city’s classiest cocktail bars. Indeed, all drinks are made from premium spirits, with fresh juices and even homemade bitters (in some cases). The interior is as classic as you might expect, with a handsome wooden bar, a few round tables and leather banquettes. There are a few house rules to adhere to, but it can still be a lively place.

Website: hemingwaybar.cz
Prices: £-££

Hemingway Bar
Hemingway Bar

L’Fleur

This discreet bar is a great central spot for those wanting to avoid the big groups of Old Town. It's also a cocktail and champagne lover’s paradise. The interior has a classic 1920s feel with wood-paneled walls, leather booth seats and a jazz-era soundtrack. Candles and crystal chandeliers lend a refined air, which blends perfectly with the top-notch and often experimental cocktails, which are often made with house-made syrups and rare spirits. The champagne list is also impressive with over 300 different champagne wines, including very rare ones, from small producers. Try the Creamy Strawberry Fizz, a combination of local "Bohemian Gin" from Czech celebrity distiller Martin Žufánek mixed with homemade strawberry wine, clarified by cream and topped with soda.

Website: prague.eu/en/object/food/2443/lfleur-bar
Prices: £-££

L’Fleur, Prague
L’Fleur, Prague

T-Anker Bar

Located up on the roof of the Soviet-era OD Kotva shopping mall, this micro-brewery is popular for its huge terrace and sweeping views across the Old Town. But they also happen to have a great selection of local, around 12 in total with a mix of local and international beers on tap that change weekly, as well as an impressive selection of bottled beers, plus wines and mixed drinks. Reasonably priced dishes – steak tartare, risottos, grilled meats and salads – can be paired with the flavoursome drinks, and there’s a play area for children plus concerts and other outdoor events in summer.

Website: t-anker.cz
Prices: £

T-Anker Bar, Prague
T-Anker Bar, Prague

Hangar Bar

If you’re looking for something a little different, this place is worth a shot. The upper floor (Pilot’s Lounge) is crammed full of memorabilia from the glory days of Pan Am Airlines – including part of a Clipper aircraft, enamel signs of exotic destinations and waiters dressed as cabin crew. Downstairs in the Hangar Club there are photos of celebrity pilots and aircraft engines behind the bar. Both areas serve decent classic cocktails like mojitos, cuba libres and long island ice teas, and there are bowls, burgers and teriyaki wings if you’re hungry.

Website: hangarpraha.cz
Prices: £-££

Hangar Bar, Prague
Hangar Bar, Prague

New Town

Velký Vinograf

Vinograf was opened by Klara Kollarova, former sommelier at the culinary shrine La Degustation Boheme Bourgeoise. It originally only focused on Czech wines but the new incarnations that have opened since, this one included, stock around a thousand individual wines from all over the world. The Moravians and Bohemians are still the big draw though, as are the long chunky wooden table and bar seats, and the large windows for people-and-tram-watching. The venue also has excellent wine-friendly tapas dishes (pastrami, perch roast, pulled beef pancakes) as well as elegant mains (risotto with bisque sauce, fois gras terrine, roasted squid), and you can also buy wines to go from here as as well as the dedicated shop across the street.

Website: vinograf.cz
Prices: £-££

Velký Vinograf, Prague
Velký Vinograf, Prague

Craft House Prague

Opened by a couple of local brewing aficionados, this small bar—designed in a light, unfussy style by the owners—offers beer (and cider) from no less than 27 rotating taps, mostly from the Czech Republic. There’s also a fine selection of bottled brews from all over the world and a separate bar (the Imperial Bar) handles stronger stuff; double IPAs, Russian Imperial Stouts and the like. Tasting flights of Czech or world beers are available to order; staff are helpful with guests wanting to know more about the drinks; and tasty Danish open sandwiches are available from 6pm daily.

Website: crafthouse.cz
Prices: £


Mala Strana

Klasterni Pivovar Strahov

Hidden away above the Strahov monastery in Mala Strana, this laid back and little-known bar is a lovely find after a day of traipsing around Prague Castle. The beer here has a long history, having been made on site by local monks since the 13th century. The current incarnation, however, created as part of a larger renovation in 2000, is decidedly modern. The beer hall, complete with copper brewing tanks, has hoppy IPAs, wheat beers and seasonal options – all unfiltered – while the two-level restaurant (St. Norbert), has good food and a courtyard garden.

Website: klasterni-pivovar.cz
Prices: £

Klasterni Pivovar Strahov, Prague
Klasterni Pivovar Strahov, Prague

Blue Light Bar

One of the cosiest taverns to be found in Mala Strana. This classic cellar bar can be found close to Charles Bridge. Its plaster walls are covered with tattered posters, graffiti from some of its more famous guests (Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp) and jazz album covers, which combined with the simple wooden furnishings lend it a vaguely bohemian air. It draws an arty and hip local clientele, who mix it up cheerfully with outsiders. Pass through the small and dimly lit seating area to find the main lounge and bar, lit with soft orange lights rather than the eponymous blue. Drinks span basic cocktails like Mojitos and Caipirinhas, and there are some good wines—but not much choice for beer.

Website: bluelightbar.cz
Prices: £

Blue Light Bar, Prague
Blue Light Bar, Prague

Nusle

Zly Casy

Zly Casy is a little out of town, but a few reasons make it worth the 30-minute taxi or train ride. For a start it serves almost 50 different types of beer over three floors, from classic Czech lagers and dark beers to wheat beers and the newest ales from local (often family) breweries. Then there’s the menu of Czech dishes (steak tartar, mini fried chicken breasts, fried Olomouc cheese), which are ideal for lining the stomach. There's a great atmosphere, thanks to a mix of locals, tourists and expats. Head to the wood-lined cellar if you want things more intimate.

Website: zlycasy.eu
Price: £

Zly Casy
Zly Casy

Mala Strana

Klasterni Pivovar Strahov

Hidden away above the Strahov monastery in Mala Strana, this laid back and little-known bar is a lovely find after a day of traipsing around Prague Castle. The beer here has a long history, having been made on site by local monks since the 13th century. The current incarnation, however, created as part of a larger renovation in 2000, is decidedly modern. The beer hall, complete with copper brewing tanks, has hoppy IPAs, wheat beers and seasonal options – all unfiltered – while the two-level restaurant (St. Norbert), has good food and a courtyard garden.

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