Prague is a fascinating city with plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, shopping and attending cultural events. But what happens when the sun disappears on the western horizon after gorgeously illuminating hundreds of slender spires rising from the city’s medieval churches and castles?
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It’s time then for having a good time, visiting many bars and vibrant night hotspots. Let’s set out for a nocturnal expedition of this enchanting city.
As the night starts
Prague’s nightlife scenario isn’t exactly like what you thought it would be in a Central European city based perhaps on some creepy movies you once saw. When night engulfs Prague, shadowy figures don’t start moving stealthily in dimly-lit lanes holding a sharp knife in their hands waiting for the right moment to target your throat or pocket. You may even be disappointed not to find any woman standing provocatively under a lamppost trying to catch your attention.
Prague’s nightlife is reasonably clean although there are many strip clubs and raunchy cabaret joints. If you aren’t traveling alone, you wouldn’t normally hesitate to take your partner along during your nocturnal forays into the city’s hotspots.
The vibrancy of Prague’s nightlife is apparent in the many discos and nightclubs located mostly in and around the historic Old Town. They churn out lively music from dusk to dawn, creating an environment that becomes so bubbly that you wouldn’t ever like to see your glass either full or empty except perhaps when you are trying to shake a leg.
You get excellent cocktails in these clubs. Stick to those besides beer and vodka but go slow on absinthe which has now found its way from the Mediterranean to Central and Eastern Europe. These clubs also serve excellent snacks and food.
But if you aren’t particularly fond of boisterous clubbing, you will find many other places for enjoying a night-out where you can have a few drinks and dinner, listening to soft music.
Pubs and nightclubs usually close around midnight but most bars and clubs remain open until dawn.
There isn’t any other club in the city quite like the Karlovy Lazne, located next to the historic Charles Bridge on the Old Town side of the Vltava River. It is a sprawling complex spread over five floors and considered to be the largest nightclub in Central Europe.
There are several reasons behind this club’s incredible popularity. Actually there are five clubs in this complex – one on each floor – and each with its own style. You pay only once to enter this complex and, at the cost of one ticket, you get access to all the five clubs.
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Start with the Music Café on the ground floor which also serves as a dance floor. And then climb up to the Discotheque for listening to 1970s disco music. The Kaleidoscope on the 3rd floor is famous for hit music of the swinging 60s and 70s that will take you back to the golden days of the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Paradogs Club is the next and patrons love it for trance and techno music.
The Chill Out café is right on the top floor and is undoubtedly the right place for chilling out. Relax on comfortable scattered cushions placed over beautiful rugs and enjoy your drinks. Look out through the wide windows that offer mysterious views of the Old Town’s nocturnal skyline while listening to soft music all the time.
And, of course, you get varieties of drinks and delicious food wherever you go.
The Mecca Club
It’s a fashionable club famous for organizing various cultural and social events. Many well-known international DJs often come here to play. Popular Czech musicians are regular features.
The Mecca is spread over two levels. Its main area is at the upper level where patrons first enter and encounter a massive bar, a huge aquarium and a dance floor. Sophisticated music installations provide excellent support to DJs for enthralling clubbers with quality music.
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There is also a restaurant at the upper level which serves excellent seafood. This level is very artistically decorated with paintings and sculptures.
The area at the lower level is quite different. It isn’t swanky but a delightful place to chill out with loud music, puffing cigars and drinking whatever you like.
The Mecca Club is a bit expensive by Czech standards but it gives tourists wonderful opportunities to mingle and interact with the city’s crème de la crème. Entrance fee varies between €50 and €300 depending on the reputation and status of DJs.
Although not located in the touristy Old Town, the Mecca still attracts hordes of fun-loving people who don’t mind traveling a little further and paying a little more for having a good time all through the night.
Duplex Club & Café
It’s an exclusive club located in the heart of historic Wenceslas Square occupying multi-level space on the top of one of the tallest buildings in Prague. From that height with walls built mostly of clear glass, patrons get spectacular views of the city. Cocktails are pretty pricey here but worth paying for because they are mixed well and served by pretty, sexy and young bar staff.
It’s a favorite rendezvous of the city’s rich and famous who come here to show off. Join them at least once and marvel at the breathtaking views of the city from the amazing rooftop terrace. The musical wizard Mick Jagger once celebrated his birthday here.
Strip clubs and raunchy cabarets
In Prague there isn’t much difference between the two. Strip clubs are generally known as cabarets. Let’s have a glimpse of the seamier side of the city’s bawdy nightlife.
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The entrance fee varies between €50 and €150. For private dancing the fee may go up three times. Skipping these places, however, is advisable if you are a lady or are being accompanied by one.
It’s situated in the 5-star Ambassador Hotel on the Old Town’s historic Wenceslas Square. Although named after the patron saint of Bohemia, Prague’s nightlife flourishes in this area.
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This is a stylish strip club and offers erotic striptease, Go-Go dancing and topless stage shows. Czech girls seldom shed all clothes. It’s open every night from 8 pm until 4 am in the morning.
This pricey yet popular cabaret is also located on Wenceslas Square. Spreading over six rooms, it has three bars and in-residence girls perform practically non-stop on one of the three stages.
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Darling’s target clients are fairly affluent tourists. To pick them up at night the cabaret’s extra-long white limousine with the word Darling boldly printed on its sides slowly moves around the Wenceslas Square.
Czechs love the beer they produce according to Czech methods and their country has the highest per capita consumption of beer in the world.
There are at least 800 pubs in Prague and most of these serve decent beer at a price that is cheaper than what you pay in your own country if you are from North America or Western Europe.
Don’t miss this quaint split level pub during your Prague visit. You will of course enjoy the drinks here but what you will also hugely appreciate are the paintings on the walls reflecting the times of Sherlock Holmes in Old England.
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The two large portraits at the entrance are familiar to most guests. One is of the celebrated detective himself and the other is of his trusted companion, Dr Watson.
Another bar that many travelers like is the tiny bar called Al Capone’s located on a quiet back alley in the heart of the Old Town.
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People like this place very much because they get quality cocktails at reasonable prices. What is also most likeable about this place is the unique environment it has created by replicating bootlegging years of the 1920s and 30s.
Make Prague your next holiday destination and enjoy exploring this enchanting city day and night. You may have to extend it a bit on reaching home to recover from exhaustion and hangover!