Prague/New Town and Vysehrad
The New Town of Prague (Czech: Nové Město) is in the east bank area to the east and south of the Old Town. A large part of New Town that borders Old Town from east (Republic Square lies on the border) and south belongs to Praha 1 district. This area contains Wenceslas Square, the main boulevard in Prague, and the National Theatre. Vysehrad is a district of Prague where there is a historical fort. It was probably built in the 10th century, on a hill over the Vltava River.
When the Přemyslid dynasty settled on the current site of Prague Castle, the two castles maintained opposing spheres of influence for approximately two centuries. Like this the second seat of the Czech sovereigns was established on a steep rock directly above the right bank of the Vltava river, in the 10th century. The zenith of Vyšehrad was during the second half of the 11th century, when Vratislav transferred his seat from Prague Castle, and the original fort was remodelled as a complex comprising a sovereign's palatial residence, church and seat of the chapter. The period of growth ended around 1140 when Prince Soběslav moved his seat back to Prague Castle.
Under the hill, there are several stunningly looking cubist buildings, constructed by architect Josef Chochol in the 1910s.
The New Town is well served by all three Metro lines. The following stations are in New Town or on its border:
- Line A (green): Můstek (lower and middle Wenceslas Square) and Muzeum (upper Wenceslas Square).
- Line B (yellow): Florenc (Praha 8 area, Prague City Museum), Náměstí republiky (Republic Square), Můstek (lower Wenceslas Square), Národní třída (close to National Avenue, National Theater), and Karlovo náměstí (Charles Square, Palackého Square, close to the Dancing House and the university area).
- Line C (red): Florenc (Praha 8 area, Prague City Museum), Hlavní nádraží (Main railway station, on border with Vinohrady), Muzeum (upper Wenceslas Square), and I. P. Pavlova (on border with Vinohrady).
The New Town is also accessible by many tram lines. The tram network is much denser than the metro network and can be useful to get around within New Town if you do not want to go on foot. A notable tram is line number 17, going along the river and connecting New Town (Palackého nám. near Charles Sq., National Theatre) with Old Town (Staroměstská, Právnická fakulta). Line 22 connects the New Town with Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and other tourist hotspots.
After midnight, when the metro is not operating, use night trams to get in or out of New Town. Lazarská street, just north of Charles Sq., functions as the central hub for all night trams in Prague. Many night tram lines cross Wenceslas Square in the middle (Vodičkova). There are also several night bus lines connecting I. P. Pavlova Sq. with other parts of the city. Another important station of night buses is Republic Sq. (Náměstí republiky).
Vysehrad is not located in the center of the city but it is well connected by metro line C (Vysehrad stop) and tram lines 6, 18 and 24 to Albertov stop.
- Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí). Václavské náměstí is a wide boulevard running down from the National Museum and it's crammed with bars, restaurants and casinos. It's truly the heart of central Prague. All three metro lines cross there: line A and C cross at "Muzeum" station (upper part of boulevard next to National Museum), while lines A and B cross at "Můstek" station (middle to lower part of boulevard). Wenceslas Square and the surrounding area was an important place of demonstrations during the Velvet Revolution in 1989. There is a big statue of St. Wenceslas riding his horse in the upper part of the boulevard. St. Wenceslas is the patron of Czech lands, so this monument was the focal point of the anticommunist demonstrations. Just few dozen meters down from the monument, at the place where Jan Palach burned himself in 1969 in protest against Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, there is a marble plate in memory of the victims of communism. The St. Wenceslas statue is also a popular meeting point; if somebody in Prague wants to meet u koně (near the horse) or pod ocasem (under the horse tail), this place is meant. A notable building is the beautiful Hotel Evropa in Art Nouevau style (1906) in the middle of the boulevard.
- National Museum (Národní muzeum). is a huge nature and history museum in the upper part of Wenceslas Square. The building was designed by prominent Czech neo-renaissance architect Josef Schulz in the years 1885 - 1891. In the older museum, there is an excellent permanent exhibition of various minerals including gems, as well as other interesting exhibitions including insects, fossils, animal skeletons, and stuffed animals from around the world. However, some of the information may be outdated, and the diagrams are not well done. One of the best known pieces is a large whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling, quite unusual in a landlocked country. The building itself is enormous and the architecture very grand, but the exhibitions in themselves need to be fixed up. The newer museum has exhibitions on Communism. Entry to the old museum is 150 Kč, new museum is 80 Kč..
- Dancing House (Tančící dům), Rasínovo nábr 80, Praha 1. Officially named the Rasin Building. It is the work of the twentieth century architect American Frank Gehry, and is said to be shaped like a man and a woman dancing; hence its former name "Fred and Ginger".
- Botanical Garden of the Charles University (Botanická zahrada), Na Slupi 16, 128 00 Praha 2 (tram 18, 24 Botanická zahrada), ☎ +420 22491 8970. 10-17. Botanical garden of the Charles University with valuable outdoor exhibition and a collection of tropical plants in greenhouses. 50 Kč.
- Vyšehrad ("The High Castle") (You can get here by metro line C, station "Vyšehrad".). seat of legendary Czech princes for centuries before Prague Castle was built. Site of St. Paul and Peter's Cathedral, as well as the famous Vyšehrad cemetery known as 'Slavín', burial grounds of extraordinary Czechs. Don't forget to visit the casemate of Vyšehrad; they're rather picturesque, plus you can see originals of some statues from Charles Bridge. From the ramparts of Vyšehrad, you'll have an excellent view of Prague castle, Vltava, Smíchov (former workers' slum and industrial quarter of town) and Podskalí (area under Vyšehrad, once inhabited almost entirely by raftsmen). If you take a look from southern rampart, you'll see Kavčí hory, headquarters of Czech Television - rather futuristic building from 60s. For closer look to Kavčí hory, take metro line C, station "Pražského povstání".
- Vyšehrad cemetery, Stulcova. Established in 1869 on the grounds of Vyšehrad Castle, it is the final resting place of many famous Czechs like artist Alphonse Mucha and writers Jan Neruda and Karel Čapek.
- Basilica of St Peter and St Paul. A neo-Gothic church in Vyšehrad fortress.
- Velvet Revolution Memorial, Narodni 20 (From Cafe Louvre, walk toward the river. You will enter an archway, and after just a few meters, look at the wall on the left.). A simple brass plaque.
- Jubilee Synagogue (Jerusalem Synagogue), Jeruzalémská 1310/7. Built in 1906, designed in Moorish Revival form with Art Nouveau decoration.
- Walk around the Wenceslas Square in the evening.
- Sit and relax amongst the greenery in the Botanical garden of the Charles University.
- Small walk in the calm of the morning to observe the city waking up from the castle.
Wenceslas Square is one of the best places in Prague to buy books. There are two big multilevel bookstores. One is Palác Luxor, Václavské náměstí 41, it has great selection of foreign language books, including English, on the first underground floor.
- Fresco Vento, Rašínovo nábřeží 62, Praha 2 (Metro: Karlovo náměstí), ☎ +420 224 922 887, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM-midnight Weekdays. 11AM-midnight Weekends. Italian
- Restaurant Zvonice, Jindřišská věž, Jindřišská ulice, Praha 1, ☎ +420 224 220 009, fax: +420 224 220 028, e-mail: email@example.com. This romantic restaurant is spread over three levels high up in a Gothic bell tower. If you're lucky, you will get to eat dinner immediately beneath a huge bell. Mains approximately 600Kč, bottles of wine 800Kč to 7000Kč..
- Kmotra Pizza, V Jirchárích 12. A great, inexpensive pizza place with a relaxed setting.
- Pivovarský dům (Brewery House), Ječná/Lípová 15, Praha 2, ☎ +42 0296 216 666, fax: +42 0224 921 256. Microbrewery makes everything from a traditional Czech pilsner to beers flavored with sour cherries or banana.
- Radost FX, Bělehradská 120, Praha 2 (Tram 4, 6, 10, 11, 16, 22, Metro C: I.P.Pavlova), ☎ +420 603 193 711, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Vegetarian food. Radost is also a lounge and has a club in the basement, making it a favorite with expats. Mains around 160Kč-180Kč..
- Cafe Slavia, Narodni trida 1. A coffee tastes even better when accompanied by stunning views of the Vltava and Prague Castle. Cafe Slavia is the perfect place to stop for a coffee or light meal during a day of sightseeing in Castle.
- Cafe Louvre, Narodni trida 20. Once frequented by Franz Kafka, this cafe is now a popular hotspot for a Prague locals. Their separate dining room offers French cuisine, for those looking for a different option than Czech food.
- U Kroka, Vratislavova 12, 128 00 Praha 2 - Vyšehrad, ☎ +420 775 905 022. Charm restaurant with delicious food and reasonable price. Try the double colored beer! € 8.
- Beer Factory, Václavské námesti 58, Praha 1, ☎ +420 736 630 868. 9AM-4AM. Novelty pub where you can pour your own beer from the centre of the table. As well as live sport, the giant tv screens show graphics ranking the 15 tables by beer poured. When all of the tables are occupied, the barstaff can get you beers or cocktails from the bar. Food is also available. Pilsner 45Kč.
- Duplex, Vaclavske Nam 21, Praha 1, ☎ +420 224 232 319, e-mail: email@example.com. Situated in Wenceslas Square, this club pays $5000 rent per day, and consequently charges an outrageous cover fee to teenage tourists who still think that Prague is the "wild" place it once was in the early 1990s. This club does a good job of keeping the more pleasant clubs in Prague free from tourists who come for Prague's more disreputable aspects.
- Lucerna Music Bar, Vodičkova 36, Praha 1. Nice, but a little touristy; they play mostly 80s music (with the accompanying music video on the big screen).
- N11 Music Club and Lounge, Národní 11, Praha 1, ☎ +420 222 075 705, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Th 8PM-4AM, Fr-Sa 7PM-5AM, Su 8PM-4AM. This club is named after the infamous "Nine Eleven". Run by natives of the USA, it is a well-run club whose rules are very strict. Cocktails 80Kč-150Kč, beer 35Kč-90Kč.
- RedRoom, Myslíkova 28, Praha 2, ☎ +420 222 520 084, e-mail: email@example.com. Small bar close to Lazarska, in which you can always find a mix of expats & locals. Live music venue for acoustic acts. Open late. Gambrinus 35Kč, Pilsner 45Kč.
- Sky Music Bar, Spálená 47, Praha 1 (opposite Národní třída tram stop), ☎ +420 774 982 445. Daily 5PM-5AM. Loud bar pumping dance music onto the street. Not much room for dancing. Popular with tourists. Staropramen 33Kč.
- Solidni Nejistota, Pštrossova 21, Praha 1, ☎ +420 605 000 500, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Frequented by the Czech Yuppie set.
- Sports Bar Golden Star (Sportbar Zlatá Hvězda), Ve Smečkách 12, Praha 1, ☎ +420 296 222 292, e-mail: email@example.com. Watch a big variety of sports on big screens, very close to Wenceslas Square.
- U Fleků, Křemencova 11, Praha 1, ☎ +420 602 660 290. Daily 9AM-11PM. A restaurant that brews their own fantastic dark, sweet beer. It is the color of Coca-Cola with an alcohol content of 5.5%ABV, but its flavor is not overly strong. The servers will suggest a shot of local herb liquer Becherovka, but it won't be free. The atmosphere of this pub gets very rowdy as it is loaded with tourists from all over and bands play regularly. It's a lot of fun with a group. U Fleků 13°lager 30Kč for 200ml and spirits around 79Kč..
- Vinarna U Sudu, Vodičkova 677/10. An incredible wine bar that doesn't look like much from the front...but if you look inside and go in the way back you'll find a huge underground maze of different areas each with their own unique music and vibe. Also conveniently nearby is the crossing point for all night trams.
- Atlas Cabaret, Darling Cabaret, Hot Peppers, Club Empire etc. around Wenceslas Square. The area around Wenceslas Square is popular with British stag groups, and there are numerous strip clubs on offer. Groups of young foreign men will be approached in the street by touts offering cheap drinks and women, and they will even trail you from pub to pub if it's a slow night and you haven't take them up on their offers. The strippers are full contact with touching allowed, while the girls in Atlas, Darlings and Empire offer full sex.
- Best Prague Hotel House, Wenceslav Square 48, ☎ +420 777 664 663, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Apartments where can sleep up to four people with living room, bathroom and kitchen from 2450Kč per night. Higher rates apply during peak season and for more than 2 guests.
- Hotel Elite, Ostrovni 32, ☎ +420 211 156 500, e-mail: email@example.com. Luxury 4 star hotel on the edge of Old Town and New Town. 78 rooms containing pieces of original antique furniture, A/C, private bathroom, IDD, pay TV, satellite, free WiFi, safety deposit box and a minibar, wellness, hotel garages.
- Hotel Atlantic, Na Poříčí 9, ☎ +420 224 811 084. A 3 star hotel located in the City Center on walking distance from all major historical sites. It offers 62 spacious, comfortable rooms, of which 3 have access for disabled people. Rooms are fitted with shower, WC, satellite TV, direct-dial (IDD) telephone, wifi and safety deposit box.
- Hotel Best Western Meteor Plaza, Hybernska 6, ☎ +420 224 192 559. A 4 star hotel located in the City Center on walking distance from all major historical sites. It offers 73 air-conditioned rooms which are all furnished. Amenities include shower and/or bath, WC, hair dryer, satellite/pay TV, wireless high- speed internet access free of charge, IDD telephone, personal safe, coffee/tea maker and mini-bar.
- Miss Sophie's, Melounova 3, ☎ +420 224 941 163. This designer boutique hotel/hostel is the perfect destination for a quiet getaway in the heart of Prague's New Town. Miss Sophie's offers private hotel rooms, apartments, and shared rooms. Gourmet breakfast is prepared and served daily in brick cellar basement. Prices start at 420Kč for a shared room and 1,630Kč for a private room..
- Mosaic House, Odboru 4, ☎ +420 246 008 324. A unique blend of 4* hotel and hostel. Downstairs, the restaurant and bar have a wide variety of local and international food and drink options. It's a blend of style, ecofriendly features, fun, and culture for all ages. Prices range from 250Kč for a shared room and 1,400Kč for a private double. Modern, eco-friendly, and centrally located. From shared rooms to private rooms with terraces, all are beautifully designed with cozy linens, gorgeous bathrooms, modern amenities. Also on premises is Belushi's Bar and Restaurant , which offers great food and drinks and live entertainment. Breakfast is served from 7am through 11:30am, with omelettes and scrambled eggs, pancakes and fresh fruits, fresh breads from their local bakery, coffee and tea. Lunch, dinner, late night eats, and everything in between served until 11pm. You can select from burgers and sandwich options galore, tasty salads, filling appetizers and specialty desserts menu.
- Dahlia Inn (firstname.lastname@example.org), Lipova 20, ☎ +420 776 686 719. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11AM. Family-run accommodation. From €39.
- Palace Hotel, Panská 12, ☎ +420 224 093 111, e-mail: email@example.com. Luxury five-star hotel just off Wenceslas Square. €370 per room.
- 987 Prague Hotel, Senovazne namesti 15, ☎ +420 255 737 200, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Skype: hotel987prague1. Just for €1 more get free phone calls to Europe. Free internet.
- Deminka Palace Hotel, Skretova 1, ☎ +420 224 210 281. Located in Prague city center, near the National Museum.
- Hotel Merlin, Gorazdova 22, ☎ +420 224 916 555, e-mail: email@example.com. Three-star accommodation in the center of Prague on the banks of the Vltava River, next to Dancing House near the metro station Karlovo náměstí
- Apartments Emma, Oldrichova 9, ☎ +420 774 80 77 87, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 10am. Apartments from two to four people to rent near Vysehrad castle. Kitchen, internet and no curfew. The host is very helpful for information about public transport, attractions and night life. From 800Kč for 2 person studio during low season. Rates are higher at peak times.
- Hotel Anna, Budečská 17, ☎ +420 222 513 111. Each of the 22 rooms is equipped with shower & WC, hair dryer, IDD telephone, satellite TV and a safety deposit box.
- Hotel Claris, Slezská 26, ☎ +420 242 446 111. All of the 24 rooms are equipped with shower/bath, WC, hair dryer, sat TV, IDD telephone with voice mail, safe and free Wi-Fi.
- Botel Racek, Podolské nábřeží, ☎ +420 241 004 811, e-mail: email@example.com. A hotel boat on the Vltava river offering rooms and suites, all with private bathroom, TV and phone. There's a Czech restaurant on board and you can enjoy drinks on the deck or in the bar. Botel Racek is ten minutes away from the city centre by tram and has private parking available. Singles/Doubles/Triples/Quads prices vary depending on season, there are last minute offers.