Prague is a city that takes its liquid refreshment, and its after-dark entertainment, seriously. The beer is rightfully world-famous and beer gardens are a dream, a new trend for cocktail bars has taken the city by storm, and music and dancing options are plentiful.
Plus, with such a small city center, you'll rarely have to travel far to find the best bars and clubs. In fact, one of the great pleasures of Prague is wandering around Old Town and just popping into any of the bars that take your fancy (and that don’t look hideously overpriced). Go for the back streets, and don’t pay much more than 50 Kč for a beer.) Another Prague perk is the relaxed hours. In the past, bars used to close down by 10 pm or so, but now Czechs have taken cheerfully to all-nighters spent discussing philosophy in smoky dives, listening to jazz in cavernous underground clubs, or dancing on tables in avant-garde clubs.
Many of the best nightlife spots combine international pizzazz with a bit of Czech eccentricity—think beers delivered by a miniature railway or a cocktail bar where absinthe is a major component in most of the menu options.
Prague is also a very musical city, which is reflected in its nightlife. A lot of the clubs also host live music performances, and the atmospheric jazz clubs offer great shows almost every night of the week.
Clubbers have plenty of options too, although anyone looking for the cutting edge of cool is unlikely to find it in Prague, because having a good time is much more important. There's an increasingly visible gay scene, too.
For those who want to look beyond the bar, there are evening cruises on the Vltava that show off the city’s gorgeous waterfront, which is beautifully lit as the sun sets. In recent years, a thriving scene on Náplavka (a riverside walkway in Nové Mesto) has sprung up, offering cheap and cheerful pop-up pubs right alongside the water, often accompanied by food and fashion markets. And if we're talking alfresco drinking, Prague's beer gardens, comprising no-frills benches and brews in its beautiful parks, are a must-visit in summer.
And while Prague isn’t Monte Carlo, gambling is legal, and there is a range of establishments from exclusive high-end casinos to all-night herna bars with slot machines and video-game terminals. Most gamers say the top venues lack ambience and only the brave try the nonstop herna bars.