As beautiful as Paris, as bohemian as Amsterdam, and with Europe’s best beer, Prague is a gem.
It’s a European favourite – at times it feels like half the world’s travellers are on Charles Bridge. But explore its cobbled lanes a little further and you’ll find the real Prague; boho galleries, traditional bars, gothic spires and bijou cafes.
Arriving at Václav Havel Airport Prague
Prague’s only airport is about nine miles (15km) from the city centre. It takes about half an hour to get from the airport into the city by public transport, and 20–40 mins by car, depending on traffic.
You buy your ticket before you get on a bus, tram or train. You can choose from a selection of tickets or passes at a public transport information booth at the arrival halls of Terminals 1 and 2 (cheapest). You can also get tickets from an automat or the driver. Follow the signs in the airport to either the Airport Express bus, which takes you to the main station in Prague. There are also a couple of buses that will take you to Metro line A or B. Bear in mind that there’s limited space for luggage on public transport.
If you have large or heavy luggage, you can find a taxi through a contact counter in Terminal 1 and 2’s arrivals hall, and then follow signs to departure points. If you’re hiring a car, you’ll find all car rental offices in a separate hall on the ground floor of Parking C. You can also book airport transfers in advance through your hotel or a private company.
From traditional beer halls to sleek new cocktail bars and clubs, Prague’s nightlife is kicking from dusk until dawn.
Beer halls and pubs
To sample the legendary Czech beer, a traditional beer hall or pub gives you the most authentic experience – and the cheapest pints in all of Europe. Rub shoulders with locals, sit in a beer garden on a warm evening, and if you’re lucky, hear traditional accordion music. Expect the clientele’s age to vary; you may well end up being drunk under the table by Grandfather Czech.
Bars and wine cellars
As Czech drinking culture evolves, you’ll find a new generation of sleek, cosmopolitan cocktail bars, trendy microbreweries and cosy wine cellars. Raucous crowds of stags, hens, expats and youngsters spill out into the Old Town square, while the winding side streets have quieter bars. As Czech wine grows in popularity, wine bars are popping up serving home-grown wines from Southern Moravian vineyards in romantic candle-lit cellars.
Night clubs and live music
Prague’s got a small but wonderful selection of jazz clubs, and you can find live music every night in the city’s central area. Clubbing in Prague is big business, if not a little stuck in a time warp, with a range of house, techno, indie and lots of 80s nights. Head to the hip Holesovice district in Prague 7 for more heavy-hitting industrial factory dance clubs.