Sure, the astronomical clock, Charles Bridge, and Prague Castle are all beautiful sites you won’t want to leave the city without checking off your Prague “must-Instagram” list. But if you’re here to see what truly separates this Central European capital city from the pack (and to separate yourself from the tourist mobs) then you’ve already taken a step (well, click) in the right direction. So get your chai latte to go, ‘cause we’re about to take a deeper dive into the artsy and alternative hipster hangouts that make Prague truly one of a kind.

kasarna karlin
Kasárna Karlín
Smack dab in the heart of Karlin is a hipster paradise complete with all the fixins’. Opened in June 2017, this courtyard of abandoned army barracks offers a unique outdoor hangout for Praguers and visitors alike. In the mood to chat with friends over a drink? Grab one from Prastánek, the 300-year old oak tree bar crafted by Czech artist Frantisek Skala. Want to get your culture on? Check out Karlin Studios art gallery or catch an avant garde film at the outdoor cinema — just be sure to show up early, as seats are limited and tend to fill up fast.


Nákladové nádraží Žižkov
Another great venue for outdoor hangouts, Nákladové nádraží Žižkov (Freight Station Žižkov) shows off the gritty urbanism Prague’s Žižkov neighborhood is known for. The former train station hosts a ton of events, including art exhibitions, movie showings, and concerts, as well as some more unique gatherings like the international circus festival Roztoč fest in 2017, and Refufest, which celebrates diversity and promotes solidarity with migrants and refugees through music, food, and comradery.


Vnitroblock
Nestled in the trendy Holešovice neighborhood, Vnitroblock takes hipster cafe culture to a whole new level. While visitors may come for the coffee and delicious pastries, they stay for the authentically artsy atmosphere and unique wares; the store is full of clothing, jewelry, and other accessories made by over 150 different local and foreign designers. Vnitroblock also boasts a dance studio and underground cinema, making it a truly multifaceted hangout spot for those looking to sample a bit of everything.


Cross club Prague
Cross Club
Chances are you’ve already heard of Cross Club. There’s no denying that Cross Club’s party reputation precedes it, and for good reason. Known for drum’n’bass, techno, reggae, house music, hardcore, dubstep, and more, Cross Club is one of the most prominent alternative clubs in Prague, and a staple of the Holešovice neighborhood. Exploring the steampunk, maze-like interior will lead you to a number of different areas where you can chill with your friends (definitely bring friends), as well as two separate stages that often put on concerts simultaneously. In addition to the music scene, Cross Club also promotes other artistic sub-cultures, including theatre performances, book readings, and film/documentary screenings. If you’re lucky, you may even catch an afternoon food festival outside the main building.
Pro tip: Be sure to also check out Cross Cafe, located on the building’s upper floor.


Štvanice Island
Get way off the beaten path with a trip to Štvanice Island. Almost entirely immune from the congestion of summer tourism, the island is a haven for adventurers seeking a truly local experience. Catch a pontoon boat near the Pražská tržnice tram stop in Prague 7 for a short ride across the river. Visit the Vila Štvanice for an alternative theatre performance workshop, concert, or just a beer. If you have a good center of balance, roll on over to the skate park. But definitely be sure to spend time just exploring the island and its graffiti-laden structures.


Containall — Stromovka
If there’s one thing hipsters are good at, it’s appreciating the repurposing of ordinary objects into something better. Since 2013, Containall has been a driving force behind Prague’s urban revival movement. Inspired by shipping containers being used as public spaces in New Orleans, Containall first opened an outdoor shipping container bar and cultural center in Malá Strana, which closed in 2017. The good news is that a new location recently debuted in Stromovka Park in Prague’s Bubeneč district, meaning visitors and locals can continue enjoying craft beer, ping pong tournaments, flea markets, and music, all while being surrounded by the beauty of one of Prague’s most spacious and lush parks.

 
Containall — Stalin
Reinventing the area where a large statue of its namesake used to stand is Stalin bar, Containall’s other cultural outpost. Landmarked by the Prague Metronome in Letná Park, Stalin has become a hub of cultural revival, as well as a platform for Prague’s evolving music scene (particularly electronic). Open from May to September, Stalin has something for everyone, every day of the week: theatre on Tuesday; live concerts on Wednesday; film screenings on Thursdays; Stalin Cinema Friday; music on Saturday; workshops, community and sports events, or musical choirs on Sunday. Visit after the sun goes down and you’ll be gifted with one of the most breathtaking views of the fully lit city.


Meetfaktory Prague
MeetFactory
The epicenter of international contemporary art in Prague, MeetFactory is exactly that — a glass factory transformed into a place where artists and those interested in art can meet, mingle, and make ideas come to life. Founded in 2001 by prominent and controversial Czech sculptor David Černý, MeetFactory is widely regarded as one of the best concert venues in Prague, with its shows primarily geared towards the international independent music scene. It also houses three art galleries that showcase curated projects, as well as work from both emerging and established artists.

Caroline Corrigan

“The desire for simplicity and order helps us to endure and inspires us in the midst of chaos; chaos is the beginning, order is the conclusion.”
- M.C. Escher

Prague-based artist Chris Watson is putting a contemporary spin on the ancient design technique of tessellation. His collection of digital prints, which are on exhibit at Vinohradský Pivovar until February 2018, visually engage viewers using the geometric principals of tessellation to depict various motifs including animal heads, skulls, and local architecture.

“For me, my work is almost more design than art, as there are geometric parameters within which you have to work,” said Watson. “When you make a tessellating pattern, there is something quite satisfying about its completeness.”

Tessellation Art Praha PivovarA few of Watson’s tessellation prints on display.

Originally trained as an industrial designer, Watson previously worked at Dyson in the U.K. designing vacuum cleaners. After leaving Dyson and moving to Indonesia, he discovered the use of tessellation in art through the work of Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, who is often regarded as the ‘Father’ of modern tessellation.
“It was actually kind of similar to what I was doing in mechanism design for the vacuum cleaners,” Watson said. [There are] similarities between the geometry of tessellation and the geometry of mechanism design.”   

Watson moved to Prague in 2013 and began pursuing his art more seriously, producing a wide range of unique pieces and holding his first art exhibition a year later. Last summer, Watson approached Jan Korselt, one of the directors and co-founders of Vinohradský Pivovar, about using the brewery’s music hall for an art exhibition.

Tessellation Art PragueTessellation Art’s opening night at Vinohradský Pivovar

Since it’s opening in 2014, Korselt and his colleagues have used the music hall in the brewery’s downstairs area as a venue for an assortment of cultural events including concerts, theatre performances, lectures, and even comedy. The space has become the realization of Korselt’s idea to provide his patrons with an experience that goes beyond simply enjoying good beer, wine, and food.

“We don’t invest in marketing,” he said. “Culture is something we think is much more beneficial to us…this is our marketing. It’s not as efficient probably, but it’s something we like. It’s something that enables us to raise our heads from the schnitzel and the beer and look at something which is a little more serious.”

Korselt’s policy for hosting events is more ad hoc than meticulously planned, with he and his colleagues preferring to stay open to all possibilities, rather than maintaining a strict schedule of curated performances. Watson’s Tessellation Art is the first purely visual art exhibition the brewery has hosted.

“Chris sent me an email, and I thought it would be a good idea,” Korselt said. “I met with him, and Chris is a very nice guy and I rather believed in his personality and attitude than the art. I’m not an art connoisseur.”

Despite some apprehension about the exhibition’s logistics, Korselt said he and the other Vinohradský Pivovar directors were pleased with the opening night, held on Oct. 19th.

Vinohradsky Pivovar Event SuiteWatson explaining the geometric principals used in his work

Because of the space’s more relaxed vibe, Watson chose to forego music and instead balanced the atmosphere with projections and photographs of the last four to five years of his development work, in addition to animations that explained what tessellation is and the geometric principals behind it.

“On the opening night I got a lot of positive feedback which was nice, and I was able to explain the development process for different bits of artwork,” he said.
In addition to this exhibition being the first to showcase his entire collection, Watson was also able to introduce a new format for his work. While all of his prints can be purchased on canvas, Watson has recently started producing light box versions of his work, which can be purchased via Tessellation Art’s online shop.

Tessellation Art Pivovar PragueA light box version of the ‘Fox Head’ print

Holding an art exhibition at an unconventional venue like Vinohradský Pivovar also provided an opportunity for Watson to connect with a more diverse audience than what might be found in a typical gallery.

Location was also taken into consideration. Watson said selecting a place in close proximity to the architecture featured in his art helped make the work more relevant to the people visiting.

Vinohradsky Pivovar PragueThe Žižkov TV Tower is a local site featured in Watson’s work

“The art I do is a bit more mainstream in that it’s kind of accessible to everyone,” said Watson. “It’s affordable to a lot of people – I’m offering something which I think a lot of people will like, that is appropriate for a wide range of [home] decorating.”  

Watson’s full collection will be displayed at Vinohradský Pivovar until February 2018.

By: Caroline Corrigan
Photos by: Nicol Soukupová

 

         
  Vinohradský pivovar
Korunní 2506/106, Prague 10


Opening hours:
Monday - Sunday from 11.00 p.m. to 00.00 a.m.

TEL.: +420 222 760 080

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.vinohradskypivovar.cz


 
 
         



Christmas in Prague is a magical experience and there is so much happening in the city.

The Christmas markets and the tree on the Old Town square are symbols of the holidays in Prague. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony is usually scheduled for the last Saturday in November. The tree remains lit until January 1st. Renowned for being the most vibrant and busy of all Prague´s markets, the Old Town square market hosts some special Christmas events and features lives shows, concerts and dance performances along with great festive atmosphere.

Oldtowsquare Prague
Prague´s magical Christmas markets
with its beautifully designed wooden chalets take place on the major squares - Old Town square, Republic square, Wenceslas square or Peace square. They lay out plenty of exciting foodie items, handmade craft gifts and the most delicious warming drinks such as hot chocolate or spiced mulled wines. You will find great gift ideas as there is a vast selection of Christmas decorations, toys, jewelry, winter clothing and accessories. It is also a great alternative to the usual Christmas shopping experience. If you stroll around the city markets, you are sure to get in the festive spirit.

There are a lot of activities to be enjoyed in Prague during the Advent season, including carol concerts, Advent cantatas, choral singing, family shows, pantomimes, charity bazaars, expositions and fairs. Advent wreath and Christmas craft workshops for both kids and adults are also very popular. Advent activities and events take place in many locations such as Prague Botanic garden, Prague Zoo, Vyšehrad fortress or branches of the Prague Museum. Find things to do during the advent season and see what´s on in Prague for kids this Christmas.

Ice skating is fantastic wintry thrill and a great way to celebrate the cold weather. There are some great outdoor options in the very center of the city. Ice skating rink in Ovocný trh usually operates from November to January and offer equipment rental service. Na Františku ice rink provides great location for family skating but is also popular with dating couples. Take a look at the list of indoor and outdoor ice-skating rinks and enjoy favourite winter pastime.

Estate Theatre Prague
If you want to avoid the havoc of organizing meal at home, enjoy special festive menu in one of the Prague restaurants that are open for Christmas day lunch or dinner. Chefs put a lot of thought into their festive meals and they usually offer both typical Czech menus and non-traditional unique creations. See restaurants that put on special Christmas menus and check out where to go for Christmas day dining.

New Year´s Eve in Prague should be planned ahead since many venues such as restaurants, pubs and clubs require advance booking. It is definitely the biggest party night with a lot of celebrations, all-night parties and fireworks. New Year´s Eve packages usually include champagne toasts, open bars and shows – live performances or concerts. Discover what is happening in Prague for the New Year´s Eve and enjoy the most sensational celebration ever! See our guide to the best parties, free things to do and events you do not want to miss.

Prague´s New Year´s Eve fireworks display along the river Vltava is hugely popular event, which usually takes place in January, 1st. The best vantage points are at the Charles bridge and along the Vltava riverbank.

Prague Fireworks

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Many people, friend and travellers asked me about hidden gems in Prague. They all wanted to visit places that were beyond the usual tourist route. So I decided to make a list of my favourite places in Prague, which are at the same time hidden gems. I hope you will like them as much as I do..

HIDDEN GEMS & PLACES IN PRAGUE (Prague local tips)

Nový svět, a charming picturesque alley, is located in Hradčany (a quarter surrounding Prague castle), not far away from Loreta. A series of beautiful diminutive cottages were built in XIV century and housed castle servants and poorest Prague residents. Nový svět is a perfect alternative to a Golden Lane, a popular tourist attraction of the Prague castle and an area formerly inhabited by castle servants and craftsmen. Away from the hustle and bustle of a tourist area, you will find this peaceful fascinating spot, which preserved its authenticity and charm.

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John Lennon Wall, located on Velkopřevorské náměstí, once included Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from Beatle’s songs. In 1980s, it was a focus for Prague youth, which opposed communist regime and wrote their complaints on the wall. Nowadays the wall is filled with graffiti, peace signs, poems and is perceived as a symbol of freedom, love and peace.

Wallenstein garden, an early-Baroque garden by the Wallenstein palace in Malá strana, features an artificial pond with an islet and the statue of Hercules, 3 fountains, a series of sculptures, an artificial stalactite wall with grottoes and an aviary. Sala terrena is the dominant feature of the garden and a setting for outdoor performances and concerts.

Love padlocks or Love locks bridge is situated on a small pedestrian bridge over a sidearm of the Vltava river, close to the John Lennon wall and Velkopřevorské náměstí. There is a water wheel right in front of the bridge.

Deer Moat is a natural ravine of the Brusnice stream, located in the Prague castle complex. Even though deer are no longer raised there as in the XVII century, the moat is still home to many kinds of animals. Nowadays deer moat offers a peaceful stroll through lush greenery.

The Charles bridge at dawn. The Charles bridge is one of the most fascinating sites in Prague and one of the most beautiful medieval bridges in the world. You will fully experience its impressive beauty and charm if you walk there at dawn. Enjoy the stunning views and a magnificent sunrise, away from the crowds of tourists.

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Náplavka in summer, an area along the bank of the Vltava river, is a beautiful and lively place, which offers numerous cultural events and leisure activities. Locals usually come to enjoy beautiful romantic strolls with stunning views of Prague. Swan feeding is a popular attraction among children. You can also rent a boat, watch a movie or theatre or dance performances, live concerts or art exhibitions. Flea and Farmers´ markets are regularly held there. Náplavka is also very popular place for night entertainment since it features bars, pubs and restaurants, which are opened till late night.

Abigail
 
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