Prague has a surfeit of beer gardens set in various parks around the city, where small shacks sell cheap beer and wine to a laid-back crowd. One of the nicest and most romantic is in Letenské sade; with fantastic views over the city and often at least one person strumming a guitar there's no better place to enjoy a summer's afternoon. There is also an acclaimed restaurant housed in an impressive Neo-Renaissance château in the park should you feel like treating yourselves.
Nábřeží Edvarda Beneše, 170 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic
+420 221 714 444
Google map: bit.ly/Z9BkmX
This is a fantastic place that serves 30 Czech beers on tap and offers flights of five or 10 beers. It's the best place in Prague for sampling a great range of Czech beers. Make sure you don't miss it!
The best thing about the beer is the price, 50p for a half litre. Of the big 5 brewers, Urquell is the market leader controlling more than half the market, which used to make a great lager, until they changed the brewing process, now there are far more interesting brews to be drunk. Try Gambrinus pale lager which is more of a golden beer, the style that as become very popular in the UK (like Youngs Golden Zest), but for the most interesting flavours try the dark beers, like the magnificent Kozel, similiar to the new wave of milds on the UK market, but without the image problem, my local pub in London has Budvar dark beer on tap, no milds!
Get out of town and visit Kutna Hora - the Cathedral and the Ossuary are really something else. Or take a trip East to Plzen and visit the brewery - it is surely the best place in the world to drink one of the best beers in the world - fresh as can be, and a pretty town center, too.
Large, central pub with great beer and good food - mixed clientele (locals/tourists) and (by Prague standards) friendly staff. There's plenty of room if you keep going back into the hall.
Na Perštýně 7, 100 01 Praha 1, opposite Tesco's;
Situated very close to the Charles Bridge this pub has a warm, inviting atmosphere. Wooden chairs, tables and half-timbered walls, decorated above with prints of 19th/early 20th Century fashions, give an old fashioned feel to the place, however, the atmosphere is more that of a pub/wine bar than a traditional beer hall. The menu has traditional Czech dishes, both substantial main courses - leg of pork, meat stews, dumplings etc.. and smaller snack style dishes i.e. sausages, cheese plate, potato pancakes. Good wholesome well - cooked food. They also serve delicious dark Velkopopovicky Kozel Beer
15 Na Kampe, Kampa Island Walk down the steps leading from Charles Bridge to Kampa island. The pub is on the left hand side. + 420 257 531 430 www.archibald,cz
Although the Irish ones especially are well run, they charge you 100% more for Czech beer which they do not serve that well. Britis seem to feel intimidated by Czech pubs because everyone sits down. But Czech beer deserves such respect. Try Olympia, Novometsky Pivovary, or Pivovarsky Dum.
Situated very near to Malastranke Namesti, this is a great place to stop and have lunch, or maybe a couple of beers, while exploring the Mala Strana area.
The atmosphere is friendly and inviting; a largish room decorated with frescos/paintings of Prague. At lunch-time it was very busy with a mixture of visitors and locals, all sharing the wooden tables. The general feel is of a good old-fashioned pub/beer hall.
The food is traditional Czech (Fried fillet of fish with tartare sauce
Pork fillet with cheese, Dumplings
Boiled potatoes,Red beet salad)
with a range of main course and smaller dishes. Service was slow with only one – very friendly and charming – waiter/barman serving everyone in the place. However, while you are waiting you can enjoy the dark and light Staropramen beer.
The food, when it arrived, was good quality and at a very reasonable cost. I’d recommend it.
Karmelitska 25, Mala Strana
Very near Malostranske namesti and St. Nicholas Church
This is possibly my favourite pub/beer hall in Prague. It’s situated very near the Loreto and a short walk from the Castle.
You can’t really see into the pub from the outside so it doesn’t always look like it is open (above the door is a trio of figures in stucco on the façade of the building) but don't be put off as inside is a small traditional beer hall, with long wooden tables and benches lining the walls, serving fantastic Velkopopovicky Kozel beer.
The clientele seems mainly to be locals with a smattering of tourists. It can get quite busy but still retain the sort of relaxed, comfortable atmosphere where at one table someone may be sitting quietly reading the paper while at another a group of colleagues or friends indulge in a lively discussion all seemingly happy and all accompanied, of course, by the wonderful beer.
The pub also serves snack type food such as sausage and mustard, scrambled egg with onion, salted fish, pickled cheese.
Large beers are 21 kr (approx. 0.45 sterling each) food ranges from about 20kr-40kr (0.43 to 0.87 sterling) each
In winter it’s a great place to escape from the cold, in summer a lovely place to rest your feet while exploring Hradcany. Highly recommended.
Loretanske namesti 1, Hradcany
About 30 seconds from the Loreta, 5 to 7 minutes from the Strahov Monastry and 7 to 8 minutes from the gates of Prague Castle
Pivovarsky Dum is a brewpub-cum-restaurant. As well as the usual light range of Czech pilsner it brews a variety of flavoured beers such as nettle, banana and wild cherry. Stylish surroundings and decent food.
Claims to be the oldest brew-pub in the world, founded in 1499. I don't think the building's quite that old, but it's a wonderfully atmospheric pub with intricate murals and a comfortable beer garden. The beer brewed on the premises is a dark lager in the style brewed before light lagers were developed in Plzeň and is delicious. Unfortunately, U Fleků has, since the outbreak of un-fettered capitalism in the Czech Republic, turned into a "see how much we can rip off the tourists" type venue, but despite this, it's worth a visit to see the fantastic interior and to taste the gorgeous beer. Beware if your waiter brings a glass of schnapps or similar with your beer; apparently this is done in such a way as to make you think it's on the house, but actually you're going to get charged a lot for it, so you should make it clear you don't want it.
Křemencova 11, Prague Tel: +420 224 934 019-20 Website: www.ufleku.cz/
The town of Plzen lies 90 km west of Prague and has one major reason for visiting it – the brewery. This is where Pilsner lager was born, and it’s quite a bit different from (and much nicer than) the stuff you drink back home, or even in Germany.
The brewery trip includes a descent to some very chilly underground tunnels where a lot of the brewing was done in the days before industrialisation, and where a large, moustachioed brewer in period costume will draw beer samples from an enormous barrel to offer you.
The town also has a charming central square with a very pretty church in the middle. There’s also a brewing museum, where you can see the history and, of course, try the beer again.
From Prague - E50 motorway; by train from Florenc station; guided tours available in the city centre;
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