Looking for local advice? We’ve got just the guy to give it to you. Prague Superguide is a curated guidebook written and published by local authority Míra Valeš. We asked him for advice on a selection of Prague’s neighborhoods and he delivered.
Lesser TownThis smaller, cozier counterpart to Prague’s Old Town sits on the left side of the town center close to the river bend. It can be fairly touristy - no doubt about it - but there are surprisingly lovely, quiet spots there, too.
One of those is Vojanovy sady, a peaceful park accessible through an unassuming gate at U Lužického semináře street. A new store focused on local artisanal design called Artiseme was recently opened in the garden right next to the John Lennon wall. Not far from there, next to the Újezd tram stop, a couple of Scandinavian bakers worked their magic into the Artic Bakehouse, a great bakery for fresh bread, snacks and coffee. If you feel like some cold local beer and hearing some Czech, head to Lokál U Bílé kuželky located on a narrow street right next to the Charles Bridge. This is where locals go when in the area. If you’ve still got some time, have a wander through the park on Petřín Hill, which can take you all the way to the Prague Castle.
Vinohrady and ŽižkovIt can be tough to decide whether this area of Prague counts as part of the Vinohrady neighborhood or whether it belongs to Žižkov. Even the locals don’t always seem to agree on it!
If you decide to spend some time around Jiřího z Poděbrad square, make sure to visit the local modernist Church of the Sacred Heart that sits right in the middle. If you feel like having a drink or a bite, there is a great informal bar-slash-café called Bullerbyn nearby. Coffee Room is probably the best place for caffeine addicts in the area. For some local shopping, browse through the local branch of Czech sneaker producer Botas 66. There is no shortage of burger joints in Prague, but one of my absolute favorites is U Kurelů near the omnipresent Žižkov TV Tower.
LetnáThe upper part of the Prague 7 district is often referred to as Letná by the locals. Although this isn’t quite geographically accurate, the name has stuck. It is one of the leafiest, greenest parts of town.
If you decide to visit this area, don’t skip the large functionalist behemoth of Veletržní palác (Trade Fair Palace) where the contemporary branch of the National Gallery is located. This visit pairs well with a walk in Stromovka, which is arguably the most popular park in Prague. A great lunch menu, good coffee, or cocktails are all good reasons to head to Cobra bar. If you prefer to eat or drink on a budget, you can try Klub AVU, an upbeat spot attached to Prague’s College of the Arts. The service isn’t perfect (c’mon, they’re an art college staff!) but the slightly disheveled surroundings and some decent food make up for it. If you’re in the mood to shop, try Veverkova or Jana Zajíce streets where you’ll find a bunch of good shops with local designs.
HolešoviceThe lower part of Prague 7 has quite a working class feel to it. It’s no wonder that it used to be the nitty-gritty production district in the last century. This area is also flat (unlike many parts of Prague) and is perfect for cycling, in case you want to plan a bike trip.
The biggest attraction in this area for most visitors is DOX, a contemporary arts center in a large former factory that presents exhibitions, discussions, and events largely centered around social issues. You could also wander around Holešovická tržnice (Holešovice Market), a former meat market that holds one of the most popular Vietnamese bistros, Tráng An. Yet another ex-factory (surprised?) that’s within walking distance now houses Vnitroblock, a hipster coffee den and sneaker store. For good food, you could head to the busy bistro called Phill’s Corner or little further to one of the most popular branches of Home Kitchen near the Marina area along the waterfront.
KarlínThis former working class district has undergone perhaps the most radical revamp in all of Prague - from the cheap and cheerful 1990s to the current booming business area, where shiny facades of new office blocks meet the old and humble.
Kasárna Karlín, a community space set in former military barracks, can be particularly fun when the weather is nice. There is an indoor café and a program that ranges from art installations to movie screenings. For a quick snack, head to Garage, a tiny bistro on Křižíkova street where they prepare poutine, a dish of fries with meaty gravy invented by Canadians. If you feel more like pampering yourself, Eska is the place to go. This great, open-style, bistro-slash-bakery is equally perfect for lunch, coffee, or for a fresh loaf of bread. Fans of local fashion design can visit the studio of Pavel Brejcha, located on busy Křižíkova street. Ring Pavel’s buzzer if you want to get in. At the end of the day, you can wash it all down with cold Pilsner beer at Lokál Hamburk right on Karlín’s main square.
VršoviceFans of a good urban mix shouldn’t miss Vršovice - the hilly neighborhood where bourgeois meets working class and old meets new.
Start off at Čechovo náměstí where the impressive St. Wenceslas church is located. You can then make your way to the similarly impressive park at Havlíčkovy sady, or as locals call it “Grébovka”. Make sure you don’t miss the small but fantastic Café Jen along the way – these guys have the best coffee in the area! If you’re up for some shopping, try Xaoxax on Krymská street for a small community bookstore full of wonderful books, magazines and posters illustrated by local artists. If you’re hungry after all that, try Javánka & Co, a restaurant run by the lovely Juanita, who settled in Prague from Indonesia. They offer a great mix of Southeast Asian dishes with a fun, bric-a-brac interior.