Summer is a hot commodity in the Czech Republic. It’s the beginning of September and there is a very real sense that in a few short weeks, it’s going to start getting cold around here. So everyone is enjoying the nice weather and getting in as many summer activities as they can.
Whether you’re visiting Prague or you live here, you can do a lot in one spectacular summer day.
Start your day with coffee and cake
Cukrarna Alchymista in Prague 7 serves only coffee, tea, and cake. But some days, that’s exactly how you want to start your day. The quaint little stop has a gorgeous backyard seating area that looks like something in a storybook. It’s fairly quiet so you can enjoy the shade of the trees and listen to the birds twittering around you. You may even see a butterfly or two as you enjoy a decadent slice of chocolate cheesecake and a cucumber lemonade.
If you like to start your day with a more traditional breakfast, try Monolok Café in Prague 2 or La Bottega Gastronomica in Prague 3. The good thing about these spots is that they’re out of the busy city center, so you can have a more relaxed breakfast with no wait.
Take a walk around town
The streets are bustling with people and you can do plenty of browsing and shopping where Old and New Town meet. After a couple of hours, you can stop for a light lunch before you head to the river. If you’re still full from breakfast, you can go to the Bohemian Craft Beer Tasting instead, where you can get dozens of unique local brews and sit under a big umbrella enjoying the breeze.
Ride the paddle boats
The paddle boats on the Vltava River are the thing to do in central Prague in the summer. The river is full of paddle boats, even during the hottest parts of the day, so the lines for the boats can get pretty long. But there are a few companies, on either bank and on Strelecky Island in the middle of the river, that offer the service so you can try your luck at a couple of different places. The boats are rented by the hour, give or take however long you want; they don’t keep track in the strictest sense. You can paddle anywhere between the Charles Bridge and the bridge that intersects Strelecky Island. If you get parched, you can paddle over to the nearest riverside bar and for less than $2, you can get a large cold beer for your trip. You can also paddle over to a waterfront music venue where you can enjoy a live band from the water.
Go to the rooftop bar at the Dancing House
When the sun starts setting and you want a good view of Prague, take a quick ride up the elevator at the Dancing House. The building is just as interesting from the inside as it is from the outside. Grab a beer and go out on the balcony to enjoy the city around you. You can also sit in the air-conditioned interior of the Glass bar. The glass walls around you still offer a fantastic view.
Check out some live jazz
On the castle side of the river sits JazzDock, a nice lounge on the river with an awesome live jazz stage. They have a fully stocked bar (which I arbitrarily decide based on whether a bar has Mezcal or not). They also have food, so if you’re getting dangerously drunk after all the afternoon’s activities, you can get some nourishment while you enjoy the cutest little old jazz musicians in the Czech Republic. If you’ve ever been to Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub in New Orleans, it sounds exactly like that, except it’s actually European. If you’re not retired, you’ll probably be the youngest person there, but who cares? Good taste is ageless.
Have a nightcap at an underground bar
Vzorkovna is a labyrinth of a space reminiscent of a Budapest ruin pub. The stone walls are covered in writing, the furniture is all mismatched, and there’s a bizarre assortment of décor, like chandeliers and a giant white rabbit head. As you maneuver around the place, you’ll find a stand-up piano and a table games. The place is cashless, so you pay with a chip that you receive when you enter. Here you can get a nice assortment of Czech beers and food.
Sound amazing, right? It is. At the end of your perfect summer day, you’ll be happy and drunk just like God and the Czechs intended.