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

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