Today’s topic is breakfast, so dig in!

Welcome to another of our Prague excursions, this time we will focus on the most important meal of the day, and that is, my friends, breakfast. 

Now, what do Czechs typically eat for breakfast? It is a tricky question because despite being a native Czech, I cannot recall one particular meal for breakfast. Many people like salty meals in the morning, like bread with cheese and ham or eggs prepared in various ways. Others prefer pancakes, cereal or marble cake.

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Then we have all these special breakfast recipes for curing hangover. In this case, you might want to head to one of my favourite places – Café Louvre. Their menu includes meals such as morning goulash or beef broth. And yes, they do work! I am sure that a lot you will be looking for a quick fix after a long night in Prague, so try it yourself and then let us if it worked for you.

Apart from these delicious and effective hangover remedies, I also wanted to mention the typical Czech pancakes called “lívance”. But be careful, these melt-in-your-mouth fluffy waffle-like cakes with raspberry sauce are highly addictive! Just a heads up for those of you who do not fancy sweet things, they can also be prepared salty with smoked salmon and cream cheese and served with champagne!

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Another place that I must recommend is the restaurant Eska in Karlín serving fresh home-made bread every day.  Don’t expect anything fancy, you will get bread with a spread or a selection of home-made marmalades. No complex dishes, just enjoy the atmosphere. If you are looking for a different type of culinary experience, I recommend coming to Eska for dinner or lunch but that’s topic for another article. You will also discover an interesting new neighbourhood you wouldn’t otherwise see if it weren’t for this restaurant.

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Finally, a brunch tip. Do you want to celebrate something?  Are you in Prague with your family? Do you like the riverbank? Do you like ports? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the place for you to be is Port62. In winter, the restaurant and café serves delicious brunches on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which are different every week. The very friendly price 590CZK/person includes soft drinks and a glass of wine or beer. I have tested this brunch several times and I was always very satisfied. Make sure you get a table right next to the window, so that you can enjoy the calming view of the river with swans sometimes coming by to say hello. This is exactly how I imagine the ultimate Sunday relax should look like.

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5 great museums to visit in Prague

Museums in Prague, the Czech capital, typically have the country’s most valuable artefacts in their collections. Once you enjoy the city tour or in case of bad weather, you might want to look for some other attractions that will make your trip to Prague fun. We have chosen 5 museums for you, in which getting bored is not an option!

Public Transport Museum in Střešovice

Once you arrive to Prague, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to get anywhere you want. The city has a great public transport network: 3 metro lines and buses and trams that will take you all around the city. Tram no. 22 will take you to their predecessors, which transported passengers in Prague in the past decades. The permanent exhibition of the Public Transport Museum counts more than 40 unique historical vehicles. History lovers will also enjoy the exhibited historical documents, plans, old tickets and photographs related to transportation in Prague. Definitely a cool experience for everyone who enjoy being on the road!

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LEGO Museum

The most attractive museum in Prague is definitely the National Museum but as it under reconstruction at the moment, we will not send you there. However, what we can do is offer you a great alternative! What about seeing the National Museum in its LEGO version? It was built using 100,000 bricks! Sounds like a childhood dream, doesn’t it? You will also see a model of the Charles Bridge with 1,000 LEGO tourists. Whatever your age, you will surely enjoy the world’s largest LEGO museum displaying breathtaking constructions built from the all-time favorite colorful bricks!

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Museum of Communism

Even though the Czech Republic is geographically a part of Central Europe, many people from all around mistakenly associate it with Eastern Europe. This may have much to do with the fact that our country was under the influence of the communist Soviet Union for much of the 20th century. Politics, art, architecture, sports… everything was governed by the Communist Party. The fascinating Museum of Communism will take you back into the time of secret police hunts, censorship and mass media propaganda and show you what everyday life for the Czechs looked like under the communist rule.

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Jewish Museum

One of the best preserved Jewish Museums in the world consists of five synagogues, the Robert Guttmann Gallery, Ceremonial Hall and the renowned Old Jewish Cemetery. The moving exhibition reminds the visitors of dark times in the history of Prague when the local Jews were aggressively repressed by the Nazis. More than 77,000 holocaust victims are commemorated by inscriptions on the walls of the Pinkas Synagogue. If you are interested in the Second World War and the history of Jewish people living in Prague from the first time they settled here to the present, then this is the right museum for you. Our friendly guides will gladly share their knowledge of this dark part of our history with you.

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Beer Museum

Anyone coming to the Czech Republic will immediately notice that Czech people are true beer lovers. Many foreigners agree on the fact that there is a good reason for that as our beer is simply really tasty☺. We should consider it a significant part of our culture. So why not visit the Prague Beer Museum? You will explore tens of different beers and much more! Don’t expect to just look from one exhibit to another – the museum is also a cosy pub where you can try all the different brands yourself. Don’t forget to say “čau” or “na zdraví“, which means “cheers” in Czech, because beer is mostly about getting together with friends and having a good time!

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5 facts you didn’t know about Charles IV

In 2016, the Czech Republic celebrates the 700th anniversary of the most significant personality of Prague’s history – Charles IV. He was the man who ordered the construction of the bridge over the Vltava River known all over the world and founded the renowned Charles University in 1348, the first university in central Europe. The busy quarter New Town or the magnificent castle called Karlštejn were also founded during his reign. In his era, Prague was as a flourishing city and Charles was commonly known as the father of Prague. You can read about his reign and deeds in practically any Prague guidebook you can get your hands on. But you might not find there that Charles IV…

 

got first married at the age of seven

Charles IV was married four times, which makes him the king with the most wives in the history of Bohemian kings. On the day of his wedding with the first one, Blanca, they were both seven years old. Due to their youth, they continued growing up separately and met again when they were around fifteen. Blanca died young, as well as Charles’s next two wives. The four women in his life gave birth to 12 children. Not bad, uh?

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…beat the most popular hockey player of the Czech Republic Jaromír Jágr

As you’ve probably guessed, not personally, but he did beat him! In 2005, the Czech public television broadcaster carried out a national survey, asking a very simple question: Who is the greatest Czech personality ever? More than 68,000 people voted for Charles IV putting him on the top of the list, closely followed by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia. Apart from historical personalities, the top 100 included such names as inventor of contact lenses Otto Wichterle, director Forman (e.g. Flight vver the Cuckoo’s Nest), hockey player Jaromír Jágr, athlete Emil Zátopek, writer Franz Kafka (e.g. Metamorphosis) and many more personalities who represent the Czech Republic all over the world. Headed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor.

Charles_IV_kneeling_before_Madonna-Votive_picture_of_archbishop_Jan_Ocko…is actually Wenceslas 

The son of Elisabeth Premyslid and John of Luxembourg was baptized as Wenceslas. He got his name Charles after his confirmation when he was seven. In the Czech Republic, everyone knows him as Karel, which is the Czech version of the name.

 

…could speak Czech, German, French, Italian and Latin

In the old times, most people, monarchs included, did not know how to read or write. In addition to these skills, Charles IV was also fluent in five languages. Such polyglots are rare even today, in the age of online language courses and movies with original sound. But Charles acquired these skills in the 14th century! This is one of the reasons why he is considered as one of the smartest and most educated historical personalities.

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…said “in vino veritas”

Have you ever heard the saying that at there is truth in wine? It means that after a couple of glasses of wine, you will say whatever is on your mind. It actually goes back to Charles IV, who was a true wine lover. He promoted wine production and strived to improve its quality and the wine making process. Cheers!

Does he deserve to be the greatest Czech personality ever? We say yes, if only because the other 99 winners would never walk across his beautiful bridge if it wasn’t for him. ☺

Pastrami – the NYC delicacy finally in Prague

The meat product pastrami, which has been popular in snack bars all over the world for years, has finally reached Prague.

History

Pastrami is a meat delicacy that has its origin in Romanian and Turkish cuisines. The word “pastrami” is derived from the Romanian verb “a pǎstra”, which means “preserve”. Carpathian villagers have been preserving meat by smoking since a long time ago. The Turkish meal called “pastirma” might be another predecessor of this dish but in this case the meat was dried, not smoked. However, pastrami is much more often associated with Jewish cuisine as it has become a popular kosher meal. It was introduced to the United States together with the two million Jewish immigrants who came to the country in the 1930s. They opened snack bars and specialised shops called “deli”, where pastrami and other delicacies are still sold today. Such places have always held the community together and reminded the people of their home through traditional cuisine but at the same time, they have always been opened to everyone.  The family businesses are passed from one generation to another. Click on the link to learn more about one such traditional “deli” on Manhattan – Katz’s Delicatessen, http://katzsdelicatessen.com/, VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEHrI0FGOOQ

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Preparation

Pastrami is made from beef brisket or short ribs. Pastrami from lamb, poultry and fish is also popular, while pork is rather rare. Preparing pastrami is quite a time-consuming and demanding process. Well rested meat (if beef is used) must be brined for at least 7 to 10 days, depending on the thickness and weight of the meat. Cooks are very protective of their original brine recipes. The cured meat is cooked at low temperature and then in steam in order to get rid of the unnecessary salt  and finally, the meat is smoked. Pastrami is traditionally served with rye bread, mustard and pickles (cucumbers, sweet pepper, cabbage…). In pastrami delis, sandwiches with a thick layer of meat and vegetables, dressings and other ingredients are extremely popular.

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Where can I get pastrami in Prague?

There are several places in Prague, where pastrami sandwiches are served from time to time, for example at the deli Lahůdkářství Sváček, http://www.lahudkarstvisvacek.cz/ or Naše maso, http://nasemaso.ambi.cz/cz/. The only specialised deli offering a wide range of pastrami sandwiches and other delicacies in Prague is La Bibiche, https://www.facebook.com/labibicheprague. The nice small bistro in the quarter Vinohrady on 21, Francouzská Street has been opened for already two years. They offer the usual pastrami dishes with coriander and ginger mustard, cabbage and cucumbers. Apart from these sandwiches, their daily menu includes warm pastrami meals (with jalapenos, homemade truffle mayonnaise, omelettes and others), seasonal pastrami, pastrami wraps and croissants. La Bibiche is not only about meat, they also have soups, salads, homemade pies and lemonades, beers from small breweries, special wines and choice coffee espressos on their menu.  The bistro also offers various vegetarian meals.

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La Bibiche, 21, Francouzská Street, Prague 2 (TRAM stop Jana Masaryka), MON- FRI 9:30 am – 7:00 pm, tel. 728 796 707, labibicheprague@gmail.com, https://www.facebook.com/labibicheprague

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How to spend a great summer in Prague

Happy July! With the warmer weather, Prague transforms into a lively city with a plethora of outdoor activities and festivities for locals and tourists to enjoy. Summer is the ideal time for a visit as it’s about being outside as much as possible. In other words, Náplavka, farmer’s markets, parks, wine tastings, and beer gardens are all yours.

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Prague Castle.

Without a doubt, Pražské Náplavky are the hottest events of the summer in Prague. Wine and cheese tastings, barbecue evenings, farmer’s markets, live music, and others are in their full swing as long as the weather permits it; every weekend and most weekdays.

July 5 and 7 – On the waves of MLP.

A literary event will take place on both days from 6 pm where poets and writers alike will be presenting their works. The Spanish writer Alejandro Pedregosa will be reading from its debut novel Un Mal Paso. The best part? There’ll be tango later and you need two for that, so bring your favorite person with you.

July 9 and 16 – Farmer’s Markets. Everyone’s favorites are on throughout July and August. Local produce, fresh fruit, and vegetables, handmade soaps, wine, bread are just the beginning of the list of what you’ll find at Náplavka’s farmer’s markets. You can  have your usual morning java and it’ll be freshly brewed by the riverside. Or if you fancy a glass of wine, don’t be shy. Weekend at the markets by the river – it’s the best of the best of what Prague has to offer.

To see what’s on this summer, have a look at Pražské Náplavky.

Riegrovy Sady.
Riegrovy Sady.

Beer Gardens

Czech Republic and beer. Beer and Czech Republic. There is nothing more synonymous than these two things. And for a good reason. It’s well known that the beer is good but it’s also cheap and in the summer little shrines pop up all over the city. Hello, beer gardens! From Letná do Riegrovy Sady to Narodní Pivovar to Pivo a Párek to the Beer Museum you can have the best beer in the world almost on every corner. You’ll never not know where to go for a beer.

Parks in Prague

Spending afternoons off in the city’s countless beer gardens is a national pastime. Parks all over Prague bloom with green trees and flowers; become crowded, and generally the most favorite places to spend free time at. Riegrovy Sady, Letná Park, Kampa Park, Stromovka, and Petřínské Sady are the most popular of parks in Prague. The suntanning spot in Riegrovy Sady with the city’s panoramic view is a definitive favorite.

Kino. Cinema.
Kino. Cinema.

Open Air Cinema

A relatively fresh concept in the capital, outdoor cinemas are gaining popularity with increasing number of locations around Prague. Stalin, Tiskárna ve vzduchu, MeetFactory, Nákladové Nadrazí Žižkov, and Žluté Lázně are just a few on the list that have recently stretched out the screens and started showing a range of beloved classics: Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To check out what’s coming up, visit GoOut.

Photos by Sara Tomovic.

6 great coffee shops in Prague you don’t want to miss

Twenty years ago, it was impossible to find a coffee shop in Prague. Let alone a good coffee shop. Times have changed and specialty coffee shops are experiencing a boom around the world and Europe. Prague is no different. Think Prague gives thumbs up and love to these six coffee shops for you to choose from; both new and established on the Prague coffee scene.

 

Barry Higgel’s coffeehouse | Prague 7

These guys bring their coffee from London’s Workshop Coffee and with the sleek minimalistic design, they are the much-needed addition to Holešovice neighborhood. Barry’s Coffeehouse has an incredible potential to become the neighborhood’s top spot. Excellent coffee with healthy food options. With breakfast granolas, sandwiches, and soups, there is plenty to choose from.

Photo: Barry Higgel’s coffeehouse

 

Twenty7 | Prague 7

A rather serious affair, Twenty7 is an excellent good choice for an afternoon coffee or an early evening glass of wine. Cozy with modern design, rich menu, and coffee the way it’s meant to be. A place like this was needed in Prague a long time ago.

Photo | IG: @tanya_akulova
Photo | IG: @wnb_mischa

 

The Kavárna | Prague 2

They said “don’t open any more coffee shops in Vinohrady”, so the duo behind Coffee Break & Cake went ahead and did just that. Minimalist design, beans from Mamacoffee, and a whole list of drinks and food options; you can’t do wrong with The Kavárna.

Photo | IG: @nasekavarny

 

Ema Espresso Bar | Prague 1

The talk of the town. That’s Ema Espresso Bar. Hardly a new coffee shop in Prague, yet the hype has not worn off. Long queues outside of their doors speak for the coffee and the lack of cakes in the afternoon for their scrumptious sweets. They disappear fast and with a good reason. The only negative? No healthy food options. Go for the coffee and not for the cakes, unless you plan on hitting the gym.

Photo | IG: @pereguinn

 

Kavárna co hledá jméno | Prague 5

These guys definitely stirred up the pot. Newly opened on the left-side of the river, this coffee shop is a little bit of everything: an art gallery, a working space, a garden, and your business meeting point. Rustic details and a spacious main area set this place from the rest. Sweet cherry on top: the coffee is from Nordbeans. Although with its bitterness it might not be for everyone.

Photo | IG: @kavarnacohledajmeno

 

Můj Šálek Kávy | Prague 8

It seems like they do everything right: excellent coffee, food, locale, and they are open on Sundays! Go for the breakfast and cappuccino or a flat white, if you prefer your coffee stronger. Quality beans from Doubleshot do not disappoint. Get ready to wait for a seat or call in for a reservation in advance. You won’t be disappointed, though.

Photo | IG: @janlosert

Perfect filmmaking destination in the Czech Republic? Bohemian Paradise!

In the years of 1990’s, the Czech Republic has been considered as one of the top destinations for filmmakers. Low production costs, professional staff and beautiful scenery, that sounds great even to foreign productions. Recently, there are big competitors in Europe as attractive filming locations. Namely Hungary or Greece provide distinct tax incentives, however, Bohemian Paradise is still a fairytale place, literally. Countless classic movie stories loved by children and adults, too, have been shot right among breathtaking sandstone rocks area, just 50 kilometers far from Prague. As well as numerous US films shot after 2000’s.

Image credits: sometravels.com

The first nature reserve in the Czech Republic magnetizes tourist, climbers, artists and all nature lovers by its splendid rock towns, chateaux and green hills. You could see the paradise in movie scenes of Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman, Hellboy with Selma Blair casting, Brothers Grimm with Matt Damon or Beautician and the Beast with Timothy Dalton starring. The frequently visited gothic Kost castle served as a backdrop while making of Hannibal Rising. Stunning Prachovské rocks can be found in The Last Knights where Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman act.

Image credits: expats.cz

Just a step from the rock town area, you find yourself in the city of Mladá Boleslav, which is home to ŠKODA Auto Company, currently owned by Volkswagen Group. The local former prison gave place to Tom Cruise while shooting some scenes for Mission Impossible 4. What an event in Czechia, some of his die-hard fans were standing in front of a prison for over 11 hours, just to see him getting out of car!

Image credits: prague.eu

Nowadays, the Bohemian Paradise Film Office supports the local tourism by promoting the region via movies. They help to filmmakers in all ways, from searching for attractive exteriors and chateaux interiors, arranging the accommodation or assisting while transporting, to providing services in marketing and public relations.

In additon to Hollywood movies, one of the most popular Czech cartoon characters lives in the Bohemian Paradise, too. It is nothing but a Highwayman Rumcajs and his family, created by significant Czech writer Václav Čtvrtek. The favorite cartoon series takes place in the forest situated in Jičín area – a part of the paradise. That is how this destination has contributed also in the Czech culture.

Image credits: cestovani.idnes.cz

The gorgeousness of this story-book destination could be described also by adrenaline sport fans. High rocks serve as a favorite spot to climbers. These who are not equipped with climbing gear can enjoy adventurous walking tour on staircases built right in the rocks. Last but not least adventure sports buffs come every summer to support Kozakov Challenge longboard riders. The Kozakov hill, placed under the lookout tower is one of the destinations of World Championship in Longboarding. That is truly no chance to get bored in this well-preserved area, surrounded by forests.

Since we have been charmed by a place personally, we had to put together a guided tour around the Bohemian Paradise for foreign friends, who would like to see the pure Czech nature. Easy day trip with nice views to the landscape is a great way to discover the country from different point of view, compared to Capital Prague. With Tom Cruise or not, you will certainly turn your video camera on while seeing that picturesque scenery!

4 best spots in Prague for families

Are you planning a family vacation? Looking for things to do for all ages? And want an unforgettable family vacation? Prague has plenty to offer for families, including a zoo, museum and mirror maze. Below you can find the destinations that will be sure to pique your interest.

Toy Museum 

This museum is situated at the Prague Castle near the Golden street. The Toy Museum covers two floors with seven rooms. There is an extensive exhibition of unique toys at this museum. It houses antique toys including traditional Czech toys as cars, planes, motorcycles and trains. On top of that, there are teddy bears, robots, steam engines and a collection of Barbie dolls. This place is well worth a visit for children or adults. Besides, there are many places nearby for visitors to get food and drink they like. If you visit this Museum, you will spend a great time with your kids.

Image credits: myworldshots.com

Prague Zoo

This zoo is one of the most visited zoological gardens in the Czech Republic. It is situated near the Trója Chateau in Prague. At this zoo, there are 5000 animals and 650 species such as penguins, gorillas, turtles, sea lions, lions, tigers, suricates, flamingoes and elephants. Your kids can find a number of fun play areas. By way of illustration, your kids would appreciate the petting zoo, the train ride and the short chair-lift there. If you want to explore more the attractions nearby, perhaps renting a car will tempt you. You can visit the Trója Chateau or Prague Botanical Garden.

Image credits: zoopraha.cz

National Marionette Theatre

This National Marionette is situated in the Old Town neighborhood of Prague, Czech Republic. It is a must see in Prague. There are true gems of artistic craftsmanship. You will find out world-famous pieces, including Don Giovanni, The Magic Theatre of the Baroque World – Orfeo Ed Euridice. The puppet theatre is suitable for kids. There are also  many activities geared to every age group, for instance the Marionette show and the Puppet Gala Performance that is a mix of the puppeteers’ finest works. You will like this place if you are particularly one of those puppet lovers.

Image credits: panoramio.com – Dimitris Gikas

Mirror Maze

The Mirror Maze is located on the Petřín Hill. It is one of the famous attractions in Prague. This beautiful spot is fun for all ages. There is a room full of mirrors inside this Mirror Maze. If you go there, you will experience unique activities for yourself. You can see infinite reflections of yourself. You can even find shaped mirrors that would reflect you in different funny way. To be more precise, your appearance will change in crazy ways. Moreover, visitors can take photographs in this Maze. Therefore, if you want to keep your children happy and relax, this is the best place.

Image credits: wikimapia.org

Bonus Tip

Boost you children’s knowledge and curiosity in Letná museums.

There is a great combo of two amazing museums that you can visit in Letná area. Both National Technical Museum and The National Museum of Agriculture have many interactive parts that are just perfect for entertaining your kids. Once your visit to the museums is over you can walk just few hundred meters and visit beautiful Letná gardens where you can have a refreshing drink during summer.

Eager to find more ideas on what to do with your kids while visiting Prague? Check out this article with dozens of tips.

Prague nightlife is something you have to experience on your own.

Feeling bored? Feeling withered? Desperately needing to take yourself for a ride that will pump some fresh blood in those dusty veins? Or are you an advanced party-pro that is just thinking what might top-up his majestic enjoyment list? Well for both instances, ThinkPrague has the same correct answer. Prague nightlife.

Modern Prague Clubs in the heart of a beautiful historic city

A thing that is really not a common sight. Prague nightlife districts are set among some of the most astonishing monuments central Europe has to offer. As you wonder among areas filled with well mooded partying people, keep your eyes wide open! Some of the most fascinating sights are even more magical during the night. Not to mention they work well with alcoholic beverages that you get for the wonderful prices Prague nightlife offers. J.

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There is something for everyone. Absolutely.
Even though not as big as some of the world’s largest cities Prague has a colourful spirit and we at ThinkPrague say it’s nightlife is a wonderful example. Fancy a hip hop or R’n’B? Disco or House? Popular music is it for you? Than you literally have zero chance of not bumping into a perfect club that will accommodate your musical needs. The entire city is filled with classy places like DuplexRadost FX or James Dean. That’s where most of you joy-seeking visitors tend to find refuge. Modern electronic music also has a solid foothold in Prague Nightlife for many years. Atmospheric places like MeetfactoryRoxy or Cross Club invite great foreign dj’s at regular basis and their production tends to keep up with the top-o-the line European music establishments. From classic drum and bass to modern Berlin-guided techno, every week there is something happening that will be a must-see in your preferred corner of modern electronic beats. Rock and Rock ‘n’ Roll had been a part of local culture since dissidents were playing smuggled Rolling Stones LPs at secret gatherings before the fall of communism. And they are very much alive in Prague Nightlife even today. If that’s what you are after make sure to visit Prague clubs like Vagón or Klub 007. The spirit of the older days is kept there very preciously.

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It’s cheap. Very cheap.
It’s not important if you’re coming for stag party or honeymoon, nightlife prices in Prague are among the lowest in Europe. Compared to other major cities such as Paris, Berlin or Vienna, you are in financial heaven here. Entries to clubs, drinks, food, cabs… you name it. Everything you need to enjoy the ride is very likely to cost you a lot less than in your hometown. And for such a low prices there are tons of fun to be had. But on top of that all there is one thing that makes Prague one of the wonders of the world: Beer is actually cheaper than water! It sounds crazy but it is true. One of the perks of Czech culture, it’s always more economical to have another pint than to experiment with sobering.
Why saying you’ve seen everything after experiencing Prague nightlife is not a lie
Can’t get lost with nightlife guides!
If you are afraid of roaming an unknown city at night and on your own, we don’t blame you. However ThinkPrague offers you an easy solution. Get to know the city first with our experienced guides! There are tours practically for everything, even for nightlife districts with experienced nightlife guides. You can join up with a large group of other visitors or even have your own guide that can take your private stag party to a whole new level and explore various areas!
 
So if you think it through and through I’m sure you will come to the same conclusion as we did. Prague Nightlife is a thing you need to experience!

What did the grey communist era bring to the people of Prague?

Today, it is no problem to buy premium food and clothes or to verify information from different sources. However, the situation in the country was very different during the communist era from 1948 to 1989. The truth is that when something is readily available, you do not appreciate it as much as the under-the-counter stuff. On the one hand, we will never experience what our parents felt when they bought the Beatles’ Long Play Album, watched their first movie in the cinema or when they bought their first jeans in TUZEX, which was a chain of stores that sold luxury goods manufactured in the West, otherwise unavailable to Czech customers. On the other hand, luckily enough we will also never know the feeling of being rejected to study at university on the basis of our family’s political opinions. 

Moreover, we also do not need to be close friends with the nearby butcher just to get fresh meat for Saturday lunch. We can set up our own businesses and travel, without having to get permission from the state officials. Thirty years ago, life in Czechoslovakia was completely different. Prague, as the capital city, was the seat of the Communist party, whose political decisions were dictated by the Soviet Union. Freedom would be the last word you could use to describe the then situation. Employment would be much more fitting. Everyone had to have a job. The resulting construction boom left us a number of industrial buildings, factories, and monuments from this period in Prague and the rest of the Czech Republic. Some of them have been reconstructed, other remain as they were.

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Architect Petr Kučera describes the famous Wenceslas Square as a “monument to communism” and for the last five years, he has been working on its revitalization. He thinks that square is a good reflection of today’s Czech society and that change is necessary in order to transform Prague into a West European metropolis. Well, we just have to wait to see what happens.

An example of a successful reconstruction of Soviet architecture and art would be the controversial statue of a big metronome in the park Letenské sady. It replaced Stalin’s statue, for which the place used to be called “meat queue“, referring to the lack of fresh food being brought to local stores.

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003kletna-metronome-prague_54_990x660_201404232224One of the most important venues during the Communist era was the Strahov Stadium. In its time, it was the largest stadium ever built, with the capacity of 220,000 people. Its main purpose was to host the mass synchronized gymnastics shows called Spartakiáda. It now serves as a concert venue and is in desperate need of reconstruction.

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Although the country has gone through massive changes since Czechoslovakia was divided into two independent countries in 1993, you can still see that it is only recovering from the dark totalitarian period. Brutal political trials, prosecution by the secret police and large-scale media censorship are just a few examples of what Czech people will never forget. Despite all of this, members of the Communist party are still represented in the government. Many socialist buildings can also be found in Prague.

With our new guided tour called Retro ŠKODA Cars, you get a chance to discover the most significant monuments of the Soviet times in Prague. As authenticity is the most important element when trying to experience the atmosphere of times long gone, you will sit behind the wheel of a retro ŠKODA automobile, one of the symbols of life under the communist regime. Since this was the most popular Czech car in the 70s, you could hardly look for a better time machine that would take you behind the Iron Curtain and allowed you to make up your own mind about it.

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