Prague Districts: Vinohrady- part II.

Prague Districts: Vinohrady- part II.

For Part I. click here.

Families and children

Although Vinohrady is home to a large number of expat families with children, the neighborhood is limited when it comes to attractions for kids. On the other hand, Riegrovy sady and Havlíčkovy sady offer them plenty of space to let off steam and both have playgrounds. For indoor entertainment, Palác Flora, now officially known as Atrium Flora (see below) shopping mall includes an IMAX 3D cinema, which screens some of the latest blockbusters in English along with child-friendly (but Czech-dubbed) IMAX documentaries.

Prague Districts: Vinohrady- part II.

Education

As elsewhere in Prague, expat children in Vinohrady can be educated in Czech schools in the area. In terms of international schools, the Christian International School of Prague offers a Christian-oriented education based on an American curriculum.  No Czech colleges or universities have a presence in Vinohrady, but Prague College, a small higher education institution linked with Teesside University in the United Kingdom, is based in the area. It offers a limited range of British-style degree courses, mainly arts-related.

Entertainment and culture

Many people associate Vinohrady with the Divadlo na Vinohradech, the imposing Classical building with a yellow facade, on Náměstí míru and one of the Czech Republic’s most prestigious theaters. Performances are in Czech only. Otherwise, Vinohrady is a bit hit and miss, if you don’t speak Czech, although there are more options in nearby Žižkov, such as Pálac Akropolis (see Žižkov II article). Atrium Flora shopping mall includes an IMAX cinema (see above), and some films are shown in English with Czech subtitles. At a more informal level, both Náměstí míru and náměstí Jířího z Poděbrad host a range of seasonal events, such as Christmas markets, vinobraní or zabijačka.

Prague Districts: Vinohrady- part II.

Shopping and services

Like Prague’s other inner-city neighborhoods, Vinohrady is good for traditional, locally-owned shops, the kind of stores where the staff knows about the products. However, if you’re looking for malls, you’ll find them in Vinohrady too.

The western edge of the district, behind Muzeum, is within walking distance of the city center, with all that entails in terms of retail, but further east, the main shopping streets are Francouzská, Vinohradská and Korunní, where you’ll find a good variety of establishments, ranging from hardware shops to bathroom specialists.  As part of Vinohradská is, strictly speaking, in Žižkov, we’ve already mentioned it in the Žižkov II article, but a store on Vinohradská worth mentioning is the Robertson’s grocery/delicatessen, just inside the Prague 2 boundary. The shop opened fairly recently and sells British classics such as cream crackers, Cadbury’s chocolate and various brands of tea. The Vinohradská store is now the third in Prague after the shops in Nusle and Dejvice.

Vinohrady went down in retail history as the location of Prague’s first shopping mall, Vinohradský Pavilon, which opened in the mid-1990s. Ironically, the striking rhubarb-and-custard colored building, housed in a former market, is a now a victim of its own success, as larger, less exclusive malls have opened up elsewhere. The mall is now largely empty, although there is an Albert supermarket in the basement. There is talk of returning it to its original function as a food market. Albert has a larger supermarket in Palác Flora and smaller branches elsewhere in Vinohrady. Billa is also represented in the neighborhood.

While Vinohradský Pavilon languishes, Palác Flora (see Žižkov II article), part of the new crop of malls that mushroomed in Prague in the early years of the last decade, continues to prosper.

Restaurants

This section was actually quite difficult to write about, firstly because Vinohrady restaurants and cafés are very popular with expats, both “local” and those from other parts of Prague. Everyone, therefore, has an opinion on the best haunts and wants to see their favorite places in a list of recommendations. Then there’s the ever- present risk in recommending restaurants because of the element of subjectivity involved.

Our tips obviously cannot be exhaustive, and restaurants open and close all the time, but below we’ve tried to list some of favorites based on recommendations from other expats and Brewsta, Expats.cz restaurant reviewer. Vinohrady dining can be summed up in two words: “variety” and “value“. You can try a good selection of Czech and international cuisines in the district, and prices are usually quite reasonable.

If you just want traditional, hearty Czech pub fare, or slightly more elevated versions of it, you’ll be satisfied in Vinohrady. Examples include Obyčejný svět, a take on the classic British pub and rustic-themed U Palečka. The now-ubiquitous Potrefená husa and Chudoba are hybrids between traditional pub fare and more cosmopolitan cuisine.

For more cosmopolitan meals, you could try Mozaika, where the eclectic menu features international dishes, and Las Adelitas, reckoned by many to be the best Mexican restaurant in town. Pizza and pasta joints abound in Prague, but Pizzeria Grossetto is one of the old timers, although lingering dining is not really encouraged. If you’re looking for flavors from the east, Vinohrady now has four Indian restaurants, as Masala and Lal Qila and were recently joined by neighbors Dilli Delhi and The Pind. Vietnamese cuisine is served at Pho Vietnam Tuan & Lan and Hanoi.

Vinohrady also has an excellent and varied cafe scene. Choices range from upmarket elegance at Café Sahara and French-style rivals Millème Boulangerie Pâtisserie Café to 1950s retro at Kavárna Kaaba. The Atrium Flora mall has cafes in its food court, but if you prefer to patronize local joints, you’ll have plenty of choice in Vinohrady. Examples include relative newcomer Prádelna, andDobrá Trafika, which specializes in tea. Coffee lovers will want to make for the two Mama Coffee branches in the neighborhood.

Sport and leisure

Though there are no publicly-funded sports facilities in Vinohrady, a number of privately owned facilities are scattered throughout the area. The TJ Sokol Vinohrady complex, on the southern edge of Riegrovy sady, is part of a nationwide network of Sokol sports clubs, and includes a gym and swimming pool. Right by Náměstí míru is Fanatic Studio, a women-only fitness studio offering zumba and spinning among other things. Given the geographical overlap of Vinohrady and Žižkov, we’ve mentioned the BBC fitness center at Želivského and the HitFit gym in the Žižkov II article.

Prague Districts: Vinohrady- part II.

Healthcare

One of Prague‘s main hospitals, Vinohradská nemocnice, is located on the eastern edge of Vinohrady, close to Želivského metro station. Doctors’ surgeries can be found throughout the neighborhood, as can dental surgeries.

Strengths

•    Good range of shops
•    Varied range of affordable restaurants

Weaknesses

•    Not the most family-friendly neighborhood
•    Limited range of sports facilities


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