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.

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  • 1. L'Fleur

    Josefov | Bars/Pubs

    One of a gaggle of swanky cocktail bars that have recently taken Prague by storm, L'Fleur mixes it with the best of them, blending old-school...Read More

  • 2. Lokál

    Staré Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    This modern take on a traditional Czech pub has been an absolute hit with locals and in-the-know visitors since it opened in 2009, so it's worth...Read More

  • 3. Pivovarský dům

    Nové Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    This brewpub, which opened in 1998, may be short on history, but it makes up for that with outstanding beer. The dark, light, and seasonal microbrew...Read More

  • 4. Prosekárna

    Vinohrady | Bars/Pubs

    A chic little spot in a Vinohrady side street, Prosekárna is crammed with hundreds of varieties of prosecco. Make reservations but do leave...Read More

  • 5. Riegrovy Sady

    Vinohrady | Bars/Pubs

    Forget everything you ever knew about "beer gardens." This is the real deal. Benches, beer, sausages, and big screens for sporting events, all...Read More

  • 6. The Saints

    Vinohrady | Bars/Pubs

    This small British-owned pub and cocktail bar is centrally located near several other gay and gay-friendly establishments in Vinohrady. The...Read More

  • 7. U Zlatého Tygra

    Staré Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    The last of the old, smoky, surly pubs in the Old Town, the "Golden Tiger" is famous for being one of the best Prague pubs for Pilsner Urquell...Read More

  • 8. Výtopna

    Nové Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    Located on the very touristy Wenceslas Square, the drinks here are delivered by miniature train. It's gimmicky but great fun when the drinks...Read More

  • 9. Žižkov Television Tower

    Žižkov | Bars/Pubs

    Once just a slightly weird communist landmark, the TV tower now houses a swanky cocktail bar, restaurant, and one hotel room, all inside the...Read More

  • 10. Bluelight bar

    Malá Strana | Bars/Pubs

    Despite its location just off the main drag up from Charles Bridge, the Bluelight bar manages to remain a laid-back, smoky haunt for some dedicated...Read More

  • 11. Bonvivant's

    Staré Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    The cocktail maker's cocktail bar of choice in Prague, Bonvivant's has a nostalgic feel and an eccentric owner who is clearly passionate about...Read More

  • 12. Boudoir U sta rán

    Vinohrady | Bars/Pubs

    An old restaurant sign with a few missing letters creates the name of this discreet, gay-friendly bar with a backyard beer garden. ...Read More

  • 13. Bugsy's

    Josefov | Bars/Pubs

    A steel-and-glass, lights-in-the-bar design gives this popular American-style cocktail bar a modern look. The list of drinks has all the expected...Read More

  • 14. Caffrey's Irish Bar

    Staré Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    Caffrey's is one of the Irish bars that has "rebranded" since the downturn in stag parties. The menu now offers modern Irish cooking with imported...Read More

  • 15. Friends

    Staré Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    This (appropriately named) friendly bar in Old Town serves reasonably priced beer—and Western-priced mixed drinks—in a roomy cellar space. There...Read More

  • 16. Gin and Tonic Club

    Nové Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    With 6,400 combinations, this stylish gin palace offers everything from a perfect traditional tipple with ice and a slice to a G&T with...Read More

  • 17. Hemingway Bar

    Staré Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    Absinthe is all over Prague, and if you want to dabble in the green fairy's magic, there are worse places than the sophisticated cocktail bar...Read More

  • 18. Jáma

    Nové Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    An outdoor beer garden hidden from passersby on the street provides a refuge from the noisy downtown crowds. The indoor bar is decorated with...Read More

  • 19. JampaDampa

    Nové Mesto | Bars/Pubs

    One of the city's few lesbian clubs has a karaoke night and an occasional drag king show. The bilevel space, including a vaulted basement, is...Read More

  • 20. Malostranská Beseda

    Malá Strana | Bars/Pubs

    Once the town hall, then a mecca for writers and artists, it's now a three-story music and theater club. Every level of this attractive building...Read More

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