Vinohrady is a great area for bar- and cafe-hopping. Check out the streets surrounding náměstí Míru (Peace Sq), particularly along Americká and Jiřího z Poděbrad, as well as those around Riegrovy sady, which has one of Prague’s best beer gardens. Vinohrady is also the centre of Prague’s gay life. The vibe is scruffier – and trendier – in adjoining Vršovice. Repair here for after-hours drinking.
Over the years Vinohrady has evolved into the unofficial centre of gay Prague, and you’ll find many of the city’s better gay-friendly cafes and clubs in this area.
Prague is generally known for beer, not wine. And that’s probably for good reason. It may come as a surprise, then, that several centuries ago vineyards in Prague produced a substantial amount of wine, and the centre of this activity was Vinohrady (which means ‘vineyards’). Vinohrady, so the story goes, got its start in winemaking back in the 14th century, when Emperor Charles IV ordered the first grapes to be planted. The vineyards lasted around 400 years before the area was given over mostly to farms and eventually the luxury townhouses you see today. A small section of the vineyards survives to this day around the area of the Viniční Altán open-air wine garden.
Vinohrady Pub Crawl
The district of Vinohrady may be named for vineyards, but these days beer is clearly king. In the recent past, several major pubs have opened along the perimeter of central náměstí Míru (Peace Sq). If you'll pardon the pun, we're starting to wonder when they're going to rename náměstí Míru as 'náměstí Beeru' …
The proximity of the pubs makes for a perfect, low-energy pub crawl, and since there's a handy metro station nearby, it's a feasible destination no matter where you're staying. If you're still standing by the end of the night, there are dozens of additional watering holes within easy walking distance at which to carry on.
It's a toss-up where to start, as all three pubs serve decent food too. Vinohradský Parlament, on the square's eastern end, is clean, brightly lit and serves excellent and inventive Czech food, mixing staples such as pork and duck with more unusual entrées like venison and rabbit. It's a Staropramen pub, but usually has a couple of experimental brews on hand, and the Staropramen unfiltered and 11-degree lagers are both very drinkable.
From here, wend your way to the Vinohrady branch of the Prague Beer Museum on the square's southern side. Though the bar food is above average, this place really excels at serious drinking. There's no fewer than 33 beers on tap here, including excellent Czech regional labels such as Primátor, Svijany, Klášter and Rychtář.
Finish up the evening with a Gambrinus across the street at Originál 1869, which keeps the doors open until 2am on Friday and Saturday. The 10-degree Gambrinus lager remains the most popular beer in the country – not so much because it's great, but because it goes down like water. At this stage in the evening, that might be all you're looking for.