Prague was understandably popular with visitors before the pandemic, but life here often felt a little precarious before 2020. As a modest counterpoint to unfathomable tragedy, the pandemic has provided the city with a much-needed opportunity for a reset. Residents have had time to rediscover places and areas long abandoned by tourists. The sudden lack of foreign guests has forced restaurant owners to refocus on customers who actually live here. Historic sites have been renovated. And with new projects opening in 2020 and 2021, the city is more fun than ever.
As a result, Prague now feels like a place with fewer tourist traps and a more local feel. It also has a younger vibe than many visitors might expect, explains Jan Valenta, who blogs about local restaurants and offers food tours through his company. Taste of Prague.
“I think the biggest difference between Western countries like the US and post-communist countries like ours is the distribution of wealth between generations,” Valenta said. “Older generations here don’t have the money to spend in restaurants where young people go.”
Valenta, 44, says he defines youth “very generously.” But by any definition, the city is more youthful and vibrant than before, explaining the newfound popularity of public spaces such as the embankments, islands and parks along the Vltava River. may be
“There is more sense of community than there was five years ago,” says Valenta. “People want to meet outside and spend time together. I think this is a very new development and I think it’s great.”
Some of these new spaces include Chapadroa scenic and overlooked spot on the Old Town embankment that debuted as an outdoor concert venue and multi-purpose hangout in mid-2021. Even. Napuravka, New features have been added during the pandemic, including a new cafe and pop-up bar in the former ice cellar on the retaining wall along the river boardwalk.
It’s less fancy, but more direct when it comes to local memory. retro museum, an exhibition of everyday items from the normalization era of Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s, opened earlier this year inside the Kotva department store in the Old Town (adult, 220 kornie, or about $10). The comedy-kitsch collection of clothing, furniture, interior design, packaging, and collectibles fit perfectly into the setting of a renovated but still quirky Brutalist building built in 1975.
barbecue, beer, bakery
Most of the big new attractions are in the world of food, and many are far from the old town and central areas of Mala Strana.It may sound difficult, but Prague’s Extensive network of subways and trams a resident of Prague, strong sense of place A literary travel podcast speaks well to visitors.
“People who are new to public transport may not realize how easy it is to get around. What may seem far away is actually not far at all,” she said. increase. “I really enjoy looking at the architecture of other areas. There is always something beautiful or interesting to see.”
With a 72-hour ticket for the 330 corny or a 30-minute ticket for the 30 corny, up-and-coming districts like Holesovice are easy to reach. big smoker At the end of 2019, we started serving Austin, Texas style barbecue to the relaxed crowd (The Big Taste Platter offers 4 smoked meats and 4 sides, enough for 3 diners and costs 765 Colney provided in).Popular smash burger takeout window opens unprintable name Another subway ride in 2021 and in a few minutes you can check out the newly arrived shops in the once-desolate Smichov district, like the Manifesto Market in a food court that spans the globe. Its stylish Andel branch It will open in September 2021, just before closing its original location near Florenz metro station. Highlights include tacos, Italian seafood sandwiches, and Brazilian barbecue. Just around the corner is another of his 2021 arrivals, Bon Ramenthe third outpost of the local microchain.
Even areas with already enviable restaurant lists have gained some delightful new arrivals. A dining spot has appeared. Kuro Bistro & Barserves rotisserie chicken, roasted cauliflower, and homemade kimchi. A major development project is underway to transform the nearby embankment, but it already hosts several new cafes, bars and restaurants. yes cafe wine — A day café serving fine wines, homemade lemonades, creative brunch fare, cakes and easy-drinking cocktails.
One trend is spreading across the city. Better bakery and pastry shop. With the opening of his sixth and newest branch in Smichov in 2020, Antoninovo Pekashtvy Prague’s (or Antonin’s Bakery), even if the name is hard to pronounce. An espresso served with a poppy seed-covered lupac roll or a gingerbread-like pernik makes an ideal afternoon pick-me-up.
There are now three Icelandic-owned branches. artic bakehouse — Super flaky almond croissant with Icelandic cardamom-scented kleina pastry sauce — At four branches around the city, including the Smíchov branch, which opened in 2021 (about 110 kornies) odia bakery, three of which have opened since 2020. More traditional sweets, including small pies, sometimes called kolache in English, can be found in the Vinohrady district. Cus Colache, It launched in mid-2020 to rave reviews.
Due to social distancing and other public health restrictions, Prague’s famous drinking culture has seen less growth than in earlier times. important drinking fountains are open. american bar After a long closure, inside the Obecní Dům, or Municipal House, a landmark of the Republic Square. Other new arrivals are Pulta specialty beer bar focused on professionally tapped and frothy Czech lagers, and Omayaltaa cocktail bar operated in partnership with a cult Czech distillery Martin Jufaneka maker of fine absinthe, rare fruit distillates and a prized local gin known as OMG.
where to put your head
The recent lifting of virtually all coronavirus restrictions and significant cuts in rents for short-term apartments that residents will appreciate have heightened the sense of a city in full bloom.
While some hotels were completely closed during lockdown, some beautiful new arrivals like 2021 have topped them Hotel Cubeis a contemporary boutique hotel housed in a former 1920s movie theater (in August, a double starts at around €149, or around $157). The Julius Meinl Group has opened its first hotel in Prague. Julius, this summer. Many of the 168 rooms and suites come with a full kitchenette or kitchenette (doubles in August from around €145).Hyatt’s new Andaz Prague We opened 176 luxuriously appointed rooms earlier this year. A landmark neoclassical building, which the hotel translates as Sugar Palace, the Cukrovarnický Palac dates back to his 1916 (doubles in August start at around €342).
That seems good enough to justify a visit. But to sweeten the deal, the city has issued a new tourist card. Prague Visitor Pass (1,800 cornies for the 48 hour version). It offers unlimited travel on public transport plus free entry to dozens of museums, galleries, gardens, towers and historic sites.