send to printer

Prague Nightlife

27 Kubelikova
Czech Republic 13000
Tel: 420 296 330 911

The Prague 3 neighborhood of Zizkov is the city's Lower East Side, Silverlake, and Mission District rolled into one: a formerly down-at-heel area quickly turning into hipster central before it moves on to 20-year-old Scotch and luxury condos. Zizkov remains before its peak, however, and Akropolis is the area's cultural capital: a concert venue that hosted the Pixies as well as a bar and restaurant where Venice Biennale artist Frantisek Skala designed everything, right down to the light fixtures. Most nights, live music means DJs, superstar or otherwise, but the performances have been branching out into theater, dance, and up-and-coming art-rock bands like Denmark's Mew. Slightly dirty, very smoky, and a heck of a lot of fun.

Cross Club
23 Plynarni
Czech Republic 17000
Tel: 420 736 535 053

This down-and-dirty bar, club, and theater started out as a squat before going legit, and there's still a decidedly anarchistic feel throughout its many subterranean levels. Located way out near the Holesovice train station, Cross Club is a blend of Eastern Europe and old East Village; an art colony in an urban wasteland; a smoke-filled den of iniquity. Every room is decorated with kinetic sculptures of found objects that range from clothes irons to stereo speakers—one room even has moving foosball tables mounted on the ceiling. Drinks are cheap and there are frequent punk-rock, ska, rockabilly shows, or DJ sets to bring in multilingual, artsy patrons. It might be hard to find, but once you see the house-high rotating sculptures out front, you're home.

Le Clan
23 Balbínova
Czech Republic 12000

This extremely late-night destination—open until almost lunchtime on weekends—hides beneath a quiet apartment building in Vinohrady, the residential neighborhood atop the old royal vineyards. Claiming that it "doesn't know what a VIP is," the club calls its backroom VSP (for "Very Strange People") and stars like Queen Latifah and Bruce Willis show up nonetheless. There's very little attitude or posing, but not everything is as it seems: Though already several meters below street level, a secret door leads to yet another level farther underground. If you want to hide from the paparazzi, no one is ever going to find you here.

M1 Lounge
1 Masna
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 227 195 235

On a narrow street off the bustling Dlouha strip lies this very cool bar with the approximate dimensions—think long and narrow—of a batting cage (although a major expansion is planned for early 2007). The mixed drinks are fine and the $1 beers plentiful, but the big hits come from the DJ booth, which plays disco and soul classic chill-out tunes, along with the occasional alternative set. The youthful clientele is hip and effortlessly glamorous, and the comfortable couches are a real relief after a night on the tiles.

3 U Pruhonu
Czech Republic 17000
Tel: 420 283 870 522

This is a high-style destination for DJs like New York's David Morales and London's Lee Dagger. An out-of-the-center location, on the apartment blocks of Prague 7, means that few tourists show up here, despite a growing reputation as the city's little piece of Ibiza. In the front, a cool lounge and restaurant serves froufrou cocktails, and in the back, a large hall fills up with sexy bodies moving to deep house. Downstairs is a spacey lounge that occasionally goes up-tempo, but no matter where you are, the music is so good and so loud that there's little you can do but feel the vibe.

10 Kremencova
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 777 800 411

Also known as the second incarnation of the old Iron Door, Nebe ("Heaven") is a cellar dance club and bar under about a thousand years of Old Town stonework, brick, and packed earth that both muffles the music (for those outside) and amplifies it (for those within). The crowd tends to be young and the drinks are cheap, but it's not quite a student bar—especially not the smooth not-too-exclusive VIP lounge at the back. Things usually get moving sometime between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., making an early visit a good idea if you want to snag one of the few tables and actually hear someone speak. It's mostly hip-hop and techno, but alt-music fans should keep an eye out for Heartbeats, a regular night of indie rock.

Prague Beer Museum
46 Dlouhá
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 774 771 085

When the Prague Beer Museum opened in September 2010, it forever changed the landscape for beer bars in the Czech capital: While most taverns in Old Town serve just one kind of brew, generally from large-scale producers, the Prague Beer Museum offers an unrivaled total of 30 Czech microbrews, often ones that are otherwise impossible to find outside of their home regions. Daytime drinkers can be rewarded with a quiet, reflective pint in a cozy joint that feels like it's been here just about forever. At night, however, this place can easily turn into party central: dark, loud, and often filled to capacity with a surprisingly stylish and flat-bellied crowd of young professionals. Our pick: just about anything from cult producers Kocour, Matuška, and Pivovar Kout na Šumavě.—Evan Rail

Open daily noon to 3 am.

Radost FX
120 Belehradská
Czech Republic 12000
Tel: 420 224 254 776

Partly riding on its reputation, this dance club—conveniently located at Vinohrady's western edge—continues to advertise its rank as one of the ten best clubs in Europe by Ministry of Sound magazine a few years back. Radost (as in "joy") has only improved since then, with better music (from Carl Cox to DJ Spooky) and updated decor for the chill-out lounge's see-and-be-seen scene. The upstairs record shop is also the best place in town to buy CDs and rent DVDs. In fact, you could easily base a weekend around this place: After a night in the underground dance club, party people congregate for weekend brunch at the street-level café, which serves much-needed filter coffee (a Prague rarity) and big breakfast plates so filling you'll probably not even notice that the entire menu is vegetarian.

Studio 54
38 Hybernska
Czech Republic

Leave it to modern-day Eastern Europe to create this low-rent shrine to '70s New York hedonism. One of the city's only true after-hours clubs, this Saturday-Sunday underground lounge between Masarykovo and Hlavni, the two downtown train stations, kicks off at 5 a.m. and keeps the beats pumping until it's time to crash at three in the afternoon. Night owls of various species end up here, some just before going to work, some after pulling another graveyard shift, and though the crowd is young, Czech, and extremely self-obsessed, strangers will fit in just fine, as long as they keep moving—and drinking. Obscure disco and house classics from a handful of resident DJs help maintain the buzz, and special events in coordination with other venues make Studio 54 a favorite party spot for the city's Peter Pan generation.

Tynska Bar & Books
19 Tynska
Czech Republic 11000
Tel: 420 224 808 250

Manhattan's Bar & Books chain—with locations on Hudson and Lexington—crossed the pond in late 2004 and landed its first European outpost on a lane behind Tyn Cathedral. The Prague branch offers an intimate, refined ambience similar to the originals back home, and is an amalgamation of boutique hotel bar and '50s prep school fashions. No fancy bottle-juggling, just great cocktails, Cuban cigars, vertical Scotch tastings, attentive service, and a respectful crowd. Monday nights mean free cigars for the ladies, and refreshingly, the drinks here are poured with a full .5-deciliter (1.7-ounce) shot, rather than the .4's commonly seen around town.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.