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Chic, upscale, and remarkably inviting; it's difficult to not stumble into this hotel and desire to hang out in the lobby bar over an afternoon drink for the rest of the day. Housed in a building dating back to 1911, the design hotel is uniquely Art Nouveau in style, greeting visitors with a restored storefront window that announces its presence on the street. The high-ceilinged rooms are lavishly yet minimally decorated with thoughtful pieces, however the ground level is the ultimate place to unwind. A tranquil library room equipped with mahogany shelving, a rolling ladder, and fireplace is a standout. Though the city flourishes with exciting eating destinations, the beautiful restaurant facing the hotel's courtyard makes a hard case for staying in.
Area / Old Town
Vibe / Chic and luxurious hospitality scene with a killer lobby playlist.
Bakery & Restaurant
Eska is mesmerizing, with an open kitchen that acts as food theatre for the diner. Nestled in the heart of the up-and-coming trendy Karlín district, this bright and airy warehouse space with sizeable windows is a bakery, a restaurant and cafe. Grabbing a seat at one of the hightop tables upon entry completely immerses you in the kitchen space, as the dining and prep area act as one symbiotic space. Breakfast and lunch are a particular distinction; as tantalizing pastries and baked goods are placed up front on the fly and the sights and smells of the chefs cooking is enthralling. The coffee is delightful, service is attentive and everything coming out of that kitchen is made right before your eyes.
Area / Karlín
Vibe / Open-concept kitchen connecting chef to diners operating in perfect harmony.
Migrating the winding cobbled streets of the city will almost always have you returning here to Old Town Square: the focal point of Prague's social and urban culture. It remains true that the public square is saturated with tourists and currency exchanges, which at first can feel chaotic and tiresome. It doesn't take long, though, for the old world magic of your surroundings to compensate for the noise. Interlocking roofs and colourful facades of various shapes and sizes all seem to fall in their right place somehow, encapsulating the people of the city and all of their innate qualities. It is the lungs of Prague that give the city its life while still remaining as lively and vibrant as ever. Because the square is the central hub that connects to all the side streets, it's an ideal starting point to stumble and get lost.
Area / Staroměstské Náměstí
Vibe / The magical and always lively heartbeat of Prague.
Prague's Old Town is overwhelming in its whimsicality, yet overlaid with the currency of 21st century life in the city. The first time you wander the streets will quickly find you getting lost in the allure of every building's ornamentation, extravagant architecture, lovely street corners, or quaint side streets. After you become deeply infatuated with all the physical beauty, you'll meet cheery locals who encourage you to pull up a chair at one of the many wine bars or beer pubs that spill out onto the street. A notable art stop would be David Černý's, "The Hanging Man", amongst many of the art installations in this area. Or just grab a pastry and coffee at EMA Espresso and begin wandering aimlessly, as that's an ideal way to discover the beauty of Old Town.
Area / Staré Město
Vibe / Cobblestone streets lined with stunning pastel coloured ornamental facades.
Attention to detail is not only found in the expertly sourced coffee here, but Místo is incredibly thoughtful in its design and space. The atmosphere is warm with the help of a series of wood-clad partitions, complemented with a minimal, linear marble bar stocked with the day's baked offerings. It won't take much convincing to stay and eat in, though, as the food program is outstanding; ranging from warming porridges, excellent poached eggs, or earthy zucchini pancakes. Upon entry, you are welcomed by concrete bleacher-like steps, which is arguably the best seat in the house to engage with your neighbour or people-watch the busy crowd rolling in. Though slightly outside the city centre, the elevated view from the Letna neighbourhood is worthy of a destination in its own right.
Area / Letna
Vibe / Neighbourhood gem with stellar coffee in unpretentiously hip digs.
Hovering over the city from the top of the escarpment is the unmistakable and prominent Prague Castle, which one would be hard-pressed to not see from across the river's edge. Dating from the 9th century and consisting of over seven hundred rooms, the painstakingly-detailed castle is the largest in Europe and despite its centuries-old history still houses the offices of the Czech Republic President. Once the immense architectural presence greets you upon entry into the grounds, it's a shear delight to get lost in the maze-like rooms and corridors, as well as the picturesque courtyards and gardens. Crossing the Charles Bridge and up the many steps to the top of the escarpment may seem daunting, but aside from the castle, the breathtaking panoramic views of the city is reward enough.
Area / Hradčany
Vibe / Historic castle for nostalgic romantics and architectural aficionados alike.
galerie jiří svestka
Like most historically dense cities, the hidden gems are often hard to find. This private gallery undeniably falls into that category, as it is based in a converted factory in Old Town that would otherwise be easy to miss. The gallery is instrumental in presenting up-and-coming local artists to the international scene, by profiling artwork exclusive to the Czech Republic and Central Europe with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art. The gallery has participated in over twenty international art fairs and continues to set a high level for Czech contemporary art and its global perception.
Area / Smíchov
Vibe / Local minimal gallery celebrating new art of Prague on an international scale.
Chef-owner Paul Day's sandwich spot Maso a Kobliha is already a destination-worthy spot for its tasty sandwiches and pillowy doughnuts. Yet for a more well-rounded experience of this chef's talent, the Asian-inspired Sansho is a casual but elevated restaurant that took a bold foray into being the city's first whole animal establishment. Combining an inventive approach to Asian cooking with seasonal and local produce, the set-price menu delivers high-caliber fine dining and is designed to be shared family style in an unassuming, casual, and intimate space. The thoughtfulness of ingredients, knowledgeable staff, and respect of good produce makes for a unique experience that isn't being replicated elsewhere amidst the city's restaurant scene.
Area / Nové Město
Vibe / Casual eatery on an inviting street corner with rare-to-find pan-Asian cooking.
With a dinner selection offered as a crafted ten course tasting menu or an a la carte selection, the highly-polished update to Czech cuisine here is a direct translation of what is found in the agricultural fields surrounding Prague. It's a brilliant study in all things seasonal, yet in a space that feels calm, collected, and just downright cool. The servers who play down the fine-dining experience with trendy jeans and casual aprons are educated in all aspects assuring your curated dining experience is nothing but enjoyable. The space is refined comfort; thoughtfully designed as a sleek minimalist room with cheeky objects acting as a reminder of where the ingredients are harvested from. Local and seasonal ingredients sometimes take the form of their initial origin, making you taste something so familiar and yet something so new all at the same time.
Area / Staré Město
Vibe / Casual atmosphere in a sleek space with a Michelin-star cooking treatment.
The contemporary new design of this boutique hotel with subtle retro nuances is a welcome retreat to the often older and more old-school hospitality offerings in the city. Housed in an older apartment block in a central location perfectly nestled between Old Town Square and the Karlín district, allows visitors a perfect jumping-off point to explore both neighbourhoods, without having to make a far trek to either. Rooms are made to feel personalized with cheeky quotes painted on the walls and customizable mood lighting that sets the ideal tone for shut-eye or rise and shine. Breakfast in a bright central courtyard is complimentary and plentiful if you're about the convenience thing, but excellent cafes and bakeries like the always lovely EMA Espresso Bar are a few steps away.
Area / City Center
Vibe / Boutique design hotel with fun and cheeky lighting steps away from Old Town.