When in Prague, a certain charm coincides with drinking a Pilsner Urquell in its birthplace. However, if you’re a true beer lover, you’re bound to tire of drinking the 4.4 percent light lager that, according to many American expats, tastes reminiscent of a Pabst Blue Ribbon. After consulting with local beer aficionados and visiting several venues, I’ve compiled a list of the best spots to drink beer with the locals.
Riegrovy Sady Park
Inside Riegrovy Sady Park in the Vinohrady neighborhood sits a green, leafy oasis for beer and food. Open April through October, this venue features a large screen for sports viewing where locals, tourists and expats congregate to cheer on their home teams. On a game day, it’s important to arrive hours early to reserve a picnic table. Although the venue has only three beers on draught (Gambrinus, Kozel and Pilsner Urquell), the atmosphere and reasonable prices make this one of the most popular beer gardens in Prague. Food trucks line the inside of the park, offering traditional Czech food, burgers and ice cream. For your non-beer loving friends, the garden also provides a cocktail truck and malinovka, a non-alcoholic raspberry soda.
How to get there: You can reach Riegrovy Sady’s Beer Garden by any transport that connects to Náměstí Míru or Jiřího z Poděbrad, which are both a short walk away from the park. Free Wi-Fi available.
Address: Riegrovy sady 28, Praha 2
Hours: April-October, 11.00-24.00
Letná Beer Garden
The locals say that the view from Letná Beer Garden at the top of Letenské Sady Park is the best in Prague. It’s difficult to argue otherwise while sipping a cold beer at a picnic table that overlooks miles of rooftops and church steeples. Gambrinus is the only beer on tap and the food variety is limited, but if you focus on the breathtaking view, this beer garden is worth a visit, especially at sunset. Letná Park is also home to two restaurants, bike paths, playgrounds and a skate park.
How to get there: Letná Park can be accessed from many points in the city, and the beer garden is closest to Letenské Náměstí or Strossmayerovo Náměstí tram stops.
Address: Letenské sady, 170 00 Praha 7
Hours: Summer only, daily until late.
Situated near the I.P. Pavlova metro stop is a cozy restaurant with a colorful, Wes Anderson-esque aesthetic. If you’re a fan of the movie producer and his colorful films and tired of drinking pale lagers, Kulovy Blesk offers a wide variety of heartier beers. India Pale Ales (IPAs) from Czech, German and even American microbreweries can be found on draught along with 15 other types of brews, depending on the day. Sip on a cold beer and enjoy heavy, traditional Czech food while admiring the quirky wall décor. This restaurant is smoke free and equipped with English menus and a friendly staff.
Address: Sokolská 1499/13, 120 00 Praha-Nové Mesto
Hours: Open Mon-Fri 11.00-23.00 and Sat-Sun 17.00-23.00
A cozy, traditional Czech restaurant, Pivovarsky dum features some not-so-traditional brews unique to the in-house microbrewery. The beers on draught include coffee, nettle, sour cherry and banana beer and are bound to satiate any beer drinker with a taste for adventure. Known as one of the most popular establishments in Prague, it’s imperative to make a reservation beforehand.
Address: Jecna 14, 120 44 Praha 2
Hours: Monday-Friday 11.00. – 23.30
For beer drinkers interested in craft beer, Vinohradsky Pivovar is the place to go. This young brewery, open less than a year, is located in the Vinohrady neighborhood and brews four different draughts on site. The friendly general manager might give you a tour of the small brewery if you visit during the quiet lunch lull. If you choose this venue for dinner, book your reservation about two days in advance. The workers warn that the two stories fill up nightly. The menu (available in English) shows an array of unique Czech food, and you can buy the glass mugs labeled with the name of the brewery as a souvenir. The restaurant also offers music shows and documentary previews.
Free Wi-Fi available
Address: Crown 2506/106, 101 11 Praha 10
Hours: Open daily, 11.00 – 24.00
The appropriately-named Beer Geek is the place for those who really know their hops. Beer Geek has two locations: a store and a bar. For the beer geeks who want to purchase bottles and have a picnic provided by the lovely market in the Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, the Beer Geek store offers around 300 different types of brews from around the world. For the beer geeks who want to sit down at a bar, the Beer Geek bar (also located in the JZP Square) provides 30 beers on draught with about five or six interchanged daily. For the heavyweight drinker, this venue offers high gravity beers sometimes as high as 20 percent ABV. If overwhelmed by the vast array of brews, the friendly staff will help you with your selection.
Free Wi-Fi available
Store address: Slavikova 10, 130 00, Praha 3
Store hours: Monday-Friday 13.00-21.00, Saturday 11.00-21.00 and Sunday 15.00-21.00
Bar address: Vinohradska 62 130 00, Praha 3
Bar hours: 15.00-02.00
Bonus: Czech Beer Festival
If you travel through Prague during the month of May, visit the Annual Cesky Pivni Festival. Held in Letna Park, the festival lasts 17 days and features a large variety of beer, including Krusovice 10 and 12 in the main tent and beer from more than 30 breweries on draught in the other tents. The festival partners with a catering company to provide an assortment of food and some wine. A large covered environment, long picnic tables, live music and a diverse crowd drinking liters of beer make this fun atmosphere hard to top.
Free Wi-Fi available
Location: The tram stop Sparta is located right next to the festival zone (Trams 1, 8, 15, 25, 26, 51, 56). The closest metro stations are Hradčanská (line A) or Vltavská (line C).