Although I’ve lived in Prague for a while, and have been aware of the Nebe chain for just as long, the three bars had not been on my list of go-to night spots. That changed recently when some visiting friends stumbled into one of the bars and returned with positive feedback, tales of busy dance floors and cocktails beyond the long entrance queues. It sparked my curiosity. What do the Nebe bars have to offer, and why are they so popular?
The Nebe (“Heaven”) bar trio boasts central locations with interesting interiors. The three cocktail bars, located on Křemencova 10 (closest metro Karlovo Náměstí), V Celnici 4 (náměstí Republiky) and Václavské náměstí 56 (Muzeum), have been a hot-spot for both tourists and locals for some time. Nebe provides mid-range to high price cocktails for the city’s young & restless revellers into the small hours of the night. You’ll find all three Nebe locations staying open until at least 02:00 (some as late as 05:00) seven days a week (the only exception being the Křemencova 10 bar, which is closed on Sundays). People can be seen queuing in the street, even during adverse weather conditions, to get inside and soak up the Nebe experience.
The Václavské Náměstí Nebe is the youngest of the trio. The bustling cocktail bar, located on the edge of the Fenix Palace entrance, has become a popular meeting place both for those visiting the city and those living here. Despite advertising free entry, Nebe security insist that all attendees surrender their jackets to the cloakroom at the cost of 20 CZK per item. After a quick payment and ticket exchange by the efficient cloakroom attendant, I made my way into the large two-tiered, chrome-framed bar. The roomy lower level area offered lots of seating, which generally seemed to be taken by groups chatting and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. You’ll usually find the bar busy with lots of people, but the clever layout means the punters can move around the room with relative ease. An angelic centre-piece adds to the room’s ballroom feel, providing adequate lighting and a nice focal point in the room.
I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the Václavské Náměstí Nebe. The mini ballroom-esque room had a pleasant atmosphere during my visits. Bar staff were quick to serve customers and were fluent in English. Certain drinks weren’t available from the menu, but there were still plenty of original recipes and classic beverages to choose from. Václavské Nebe offers a range of gins (Beefeater 69 CZK Hendrick’s 130 CZK), vodkas (Absolut blue 65 CZK – Russian Standard 75 CZK), rums (Havana 65 CZK – Sailor Jerry 99 CZK), tequilas (Olmeca Blanco/Reposado 95 CZK) and whiskeys & bourbon (Ballantine’s 70 CZK – Chivas Regal 18yr 199 CZK or Jack Gentleman 110 CZK). Plus vodka, rum, tequila or whiskey based cocktails starting at 95 CZK up to 129 CZK or 690 CZK-790 CZK for the maxi cocktails. The maxi cocktails serve up 8 or even ten drinkers, so work out as fun option if you’re with a particularly thirsty group!
I sampled the exotic Bahama Mama (Havana black rum, coconut, cream, grenadine, pineapple and orange juice – 99 CZK), a fruity long drink with a tangy kick, the classic piña colada (99 CZK) and Nebe’s specialty frozen cocktail, Sex Pistol (Olmeca Gold, mango liqueur, chilli pepper and fresh mango). I liked the combination of unlikely ingredients and enjoyed the refreshing drink to the sounds of the latest chart hits booming out the sound system. I would recommend Nebe for those wanting a relaxed catch up style drink with the option of dancing. I found there to be a good combination of tourists and locals drinking and enjoying the atmosphere. The DJ booth, placed (discreetly) in the corner of the room, peddled out all the recent dance floor fillers. A back-to-back set of the most popular pop hits might not be to everyone’s taste, although all in attendance seemed to enjoy singing along to the mainstream hit-filled set. With the majority of the room dedicated to seating with bar stools, fixed tables and wall seating running around the edge of the room, I momentarily assumed that dancing would be out of the question. As the night progressed, the inebriated and excited gradually congregated around the small DJ booth blissfully dancing to his catchy-contemporary selection.
A few tram stops away, negotiate a dimly lit staircase to reveal the Křemencova Nebe set in an old cellar space with exposed brickwork. The bar has a long corridor feel where you’re likely to spend a lot of the evening shifting and shuffling out of the way of other customers. The clientele seemed a little older than the Václavské Náměstí branch, as young professionals and Czech and international students gathered at the long bar frantically ordering from the wide ranging menu. Less focus is given to the DJ, who’s practically invisible from the dance floor. Cheesy music is played all night, much to the delight of the thirsty groups partying the night away. A separate lounge can be found towards the back of the main bar room. A quieter chill out area, suitable for private functions and events, has a smaller bar which can be handy if the main bar gets too busy.
Groups of drinkers dominated the Křemencova Nebe: pub crawlers and birthday celebrations went on until the 05:00 close. The bar, with its great interior and energetic 20-something crowd, definitely felt more rowdy and upbeat than its central Václavské Náměstí bar, which is strange as I expected the opposite. The three Nebe bars don’t pretend to be something they’re not. Slightly overpriced, but well-mixed drinks, with cheesy music playing late into the night. A good choice for group gatherings or weekend sing-a-long fun in pleasant settings. Things generally start kicking off around 01:00. Watch out for the drunken clientele, things can often get hectic as the night progresses.
The Celnice Nebe had a pleasant and friendly atmosphere. The bar was busy from the early evening, with a mixed crowd taking advantage of Nebe’s 59 CZK Happy Hour cocktails. The Happy Hour runs daily from opening until 20:00 in all three venues. You can purchase well- prepared cocktails at a low price, served in nice surroundings with unobtrusive background music, making Nebe a surprisingly good venue for after-work drinks. Table service from attentive bar staff meant not even having to leave your seat to order well-priced beverages! I’m surprised by the Nebe trinity. Tasty, cheap early evening cocktails in a relaxed setting can be found beyond the bar’s young & restless reputation.
• Smoking Policy: Smoking
• The Crowd: Mixed nationalities and ages depending on the time/day
• Atmosphere: Relaxed
• Attire: Relaxed/party
• Price Range: Cheap during happy hour/mid-high thereafter
• Entrance Fees: None (cloakroom mandatory)
• Size: Various
• Music Policy: Cheesy/background
• Service: Very good/English speaking
• Restroom Check: Clean & tidy Nebe Křemencova 10, Prague 1 +420 608 644 784
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