Vršovice is Prague’s thriving bohemian quarter and is often compared to Berlin’s Kreuzberg or Paris’s Montmartre. It should without a doubt be high on your list of places for experiencing alternative culture in Prague. Once a working class neighborhood, Vršovice has transformed its once empty streets to the happening place to be with artistic vibes and cool, yet unpretentious hangouts around every corner. The heart of Vršovice is Krymská Street where it’s easy to spend a night out, easily hopping from bar to bar.
Bars & Cafes
Café v Lese (“Café in the Woods”) arguably is where bohemian Vršovice got its start by attracting hipsters to its doorstep. café V lese (“Café in the Woods”) is a must see on the Prague café/bar circuit. Since you are most likely terribly nostalgic for 1970s Czechoslovakia, come check out the retro interior and furniture of this bygone era. café V lese has a lot more to offer than just ambiance, especially since there is a music venue and gallery space underneath the cafe. There is practically something going on every day whether it be a concert, theater, design market, or exhibit opening.
When waiting in line to enter Ankali, it is hard to imagine this club is “off the map,” but once you enter you’ll understand. Ankali feels like a Berlin techno club. It showcases a wide array of DJs from all around Europe. But unlike Berlin clubs, Ankali does not thrive on exclusivity. Instead, it attracts a crowd of friendly, open-minded people who dress how they want, dance how they want while creating a positive environment for everyone. The acts tend to revolve around house, techno, dub, and contemporary disco, but the club is constantly bringing in new talent so be sure to check the schedule posted on Facebook.
On Krymská, one of the trendiest streets in Prague, you can find the latest edition to the city’s repertoire of queer cafe-bars. Unlike many other cafes, this one welcomes a crowd of queer people of all genders and orientations. Patra is the brainchild of the team behind Mezipatra Queer Film Festival, Prague’s one and only film festival by and for the LGBTQ community.
Koncept 0 is everything that a café lover in search of a quiet, uncrowded place with great ambiance is looking for. The white minimalistic décor with perfectly placed navy, red, and green furniture allows the customer finish their work while enjoying a good cup of coffee and background music.
JAM & CO.
A modern, hip interior with a touch of Asian lanterns and Buddha statues perfectly captures Jam & Co.’s approach to their fusion food—an Asian twist to well-loved American dishes. While the grilled tiger shrimp buns and homemade kimchi burger are two popular choices, the real star of the show is the baked sweet potato fries with their very own jam mayo sauce.
Vegan-friendly with cozy cabin vibes, Santsang offers its vegan community a wide array of rich flavors with its popular Panang curry, Pad Thai, and even Czech soup that will satisfy your spice cravings. The wooden, red-brick interior with hanging incandescent light bulbs, yellow flowers, and ambient music allow for an intimate setting to chat or eat solo. Santsang has become known for their spectacular daily American brunch with bottomless mimosas!
With music sheets for walls and a rustic kitchen decor, The Conductor champions the talk of the town with its cinnamon rolls (vegan variety available too) baked fresh daily and pulled pork sandwiches for people to grab on-the-go. The amiable atmosphere and friendly staff attracts both curious and busy passersby who wander in while waiting at the tram stop.
Boho Vintage Concept Store, a once successful pop-up turned permanent store, should be your go-to for hand-picked vintage fashion and relics. The items for the store are typically found at flea markets, ensuring that every item is unique and, of course, vintage. The store also organizes creative workshops along the lines of yarn making, as well as participates in street festivals.
Arts & Culture
Krymská Street, one May day each year, is turned into the liveliest of block parties that Prague has to offer. Imagine all of the hip places that already exist in this district moving out into the street to throw a party. Yes, it’s amazing.
Petrohradská kolektiv is a hub of contemporary art, get this, located in a former chocolate factory. Started in 2015 by two local artists, this alternative space boasts a gallery, offers an artist residency program for 60 local and foreign artists, and organizes events the likes of experimental electronic dance parties. Follow their Facebook page and stop by when they have an event.
This vast 3-tier park exists as a central area to Vršovice locals, inviting toddlers, grandparents, and four-foot friends alike to stroll through the numerous stone paths, talk and sit in seclusion, and adventure through hidden features within the park. The highlight of this tree-covered park is the amazingly instagrammable Grotta, an artistic cave of sorts worth getting lost in. The park also includes big playgrounds for children, a vineyard, and a café to sip beer in.
Contributors: Helen Kim & Amanda Bell