Prague by day and Prague by night host different experiences all together. Prague had us excited indeed, what with the biggest music club in Central Europe, the quirky Jazz bars and an Absintherie. We were eager to see why Prague had gained such a reputation for it’s party goer nightlife, with clubs staying open from dawn til dusk and stag parties flocking there in abundance. Here are my top bars and clubs in Prague you have to visit.
The Ice Pub
Before hitting the nightclub scene, we decided to give The Ice Pub a shot, a bar situated on the lower floor of the Karlovy Lazne nightclub. A more affordable experience than the world famous Ice Bar in London, we booked our allotted half an hour slot, paid the 200Kc (£5) and patiently awaited. We were provided with thermal jackets and entered the -7℃ pub and headed for the bar. We were given a choice of three vodka based cocktails; bitter, sweet or sour, all included in the entry price. The room itself was small but offered a lot to look at. There were numerous statues; a Michael Jackson themed ice sculpture, a DJ, a woman and an ice throne that luckily had a cushion on top! We spent the half an hour taking photos, sipping cocktails from our ice glasses and listening to the musical genre of Euro Trash. The ice bar is an attraction we would definitely recommend and doing so in the evening before continuing the drinking!
Karlovy Lazne: Europe’s Biggest Night Club
Our next stop was the biggest club in Central Europe: Karlovy Lazne. This 5 floored nightclub had something for everyone. Whether you’d choose to cool down in the ice bar on the first floor, be transported back to the 70’s on the Oldie’s floor or relax a little on the chill out level, the choice was yours. The entrance price for the club is usually between 180Kc – 200Kc which, after dark, allows entry to the Ice Bar as long as a drink is purchased. The nightclub itself was a bit of an anticlimax. The time of year and weather may have had an impact as each floor of the club was entirely empty. Moreover, a huge club that can fit an extremely large number of people may have put off clubbers as there were no queues or large groups of people entering. This may be a club that needs to be experienced at the peak of high season, when the sun is shining and people are all on vacation. Yet for the winter, stick with the Ice Bar and venture to smaller clubs in the Old Town.
Harley’s Cocktail & Music Bar
Our second most favourite bar of the trip had to be Harley’s Cocktail & Music Bar. Nicknamed The Coolest Hell on Earth, this free entry bar keeps it’s doors open til 5am daily, bringing in the more alternative of travellers and Prague-ians. The music is what won us over, heavy rock, classic & alternative, metal and the odd chart hit here and there. The drinks were cheaper than those found at other bars, shots of spirits starting at 70Kc and mixers costing a lot less. They also had an extensive range of cocktails, ranging in strength from normal to hardcore offering many with an Absinthe base. We found ourselves dancing on the tables and drinking the night away into the early hours of the morning. Harley’s is another must-see and will provide a good night for anyone with an alternative music taste!
James Dean Bar
Our favourite bar lay not far from Harley’s and went by the name of James Dean’s. The free entry nightclub was situated below an all American Diner and could be found on the outskirts of the Old Town Square. Jame’s Dean’s was packed to the brim with people of all ages and occupations. Some men and women seemingly waltzed in after work, briefcase in hand, still in their suits, unwinding from a hard day’s work for a dance and a cocktail. On the other spectrum were holiday makers, Czech University students and travellers. The drinks weren’t on the cheap side, a vodka and red bull coming in at 160Kc (£4) which marries up with British prices and thankfully was still cheaper than the likes of London. The music ranged from Jazz, Swing, Current Chart Hits and the classic likes of Elvis, Chuck Berry & Johnny Cash. The atmosphere was lively and fun, with a busy dance floor and booths scattered along the edges to take a rest when your feet get sore!
If you’re after a more sophisticated and Jazz vibe to your evening then Jazz Republic is the place to go. Situated in the New Town, this Jazz bar offers musical variety seven days a week. The live music element features more than just Jazz as you’ll find yourself bopping away to Blues, Pop, Dance and even Reggae. The first floor hosts the stage and live performances which you can buy tickets for on the door or in advance. However, if you’re a clueless tourist like I was, rocking up halfway through a pricey Jazz performance and sitting at the bar awards you with a free Jazz show and unlimited service from the bar staff. Win Win! We believe that this bar on the weekends will be packed and lively providing a great evening for a couple of drinks or more.
Last but not least, the most interesting left til last, has to be The Absintherie. Situated amongst the windy streets of the Old Town, the luminous green Absinthe bar is difficult to miss. Open from 12pm to 12am daily, this Absinthe bar hosts a range of deadly shots, delicious cocktails and even Absinthe infused food. The Bar hosts cabinets full of Absinthe in all of it’s varieties, varying in flavour and alcoholic content, spurring games of who can find the strongest. Upon the walls lay portraits of famous writers and philosophers who dabbled in Absinthe consumption, many of whom are not around today. The Bar offered a range of products to buy too, in particular the traditional Absinthe spoon and selling Absinthe flavoured chocolate, ice cream and coffee. Not being great lovers of the Absinthe’ aniseed taste, we chose to stick to the cocktail menu trying an Absinthe Mojito (Staroplzenecky Absinthe, sugar, lime, mint, soda) and an Absinthe Acai Collins (Absinthe 35, spiced berry cordial, sugar, lemon, soda). Priced at a mere 155Kc (£4) per drink, the 70% strength cocktails soon set us up for a night out in the city and kept our pockets happy. Whether you’re an absinthe lover or not, pop in and try one of the cocktails or just to have a look around as it may fascinate you!
What were your favourite bars in Prague? Have you visited any of these?