“There are two things that Jack Bauer never does. Show mercy, and go to the bathroom.”
More and more nowadays bathroom designers are bringing humour into facilities which are essentially there to help you perform your bodily functions. When venturing out in the centre of Prague, whether you are in a pub or bar, shopping, walking, running, playing sports, or maybe grabbing a coffee with a friend, you may find yourself needing to visit the toilet. If you wish to go to the potentially very average toilet in closest proximity to your current location, then by all means don’t let me stop you. But there may be a more quirkier option if you manage to hold out for a bit longer. Here, a round up of the most memorable toilets that I’ve found on my travels which probably just scratch the surface (eww) of Prague’s WC options.
Right smack-bang next to one of the most recognisable buildings on Prague’s skyline, sits the first entry to our list of memorable lavatories.
A sign on the street advertises the opening time for this toilet as 10am–8pm, which seems somewhat generous, and on venturing down the stairs to this riverside WC, I was pleasantly surprised by just how clean, modern, and spacious this hidden-gem of a toilet was. It did cost me a whopping 10 CZK but it was money well spent to be part of Prague’s lavatorial history.
On my first visit to this Hybernská club I was confused, when entering the gents, as to where a man should go if he does not need the cubicle – until I noticed a large-screen TV playing music videos and, at its base, a trough. Now logic would tell me that a trough would normally run along the bottom of a urinal, while every sensible bone in my body told me that I should not pee on a TV screen run by electricity. On enquiring with the barman he proceeded to tell me in front of other patrons at the bar that he would regularly come in during the morning, put on ČT1 or ČT2, and pee on the screen at whichever politician was on the TV at that time. When I went back later to take this photo, I still couldn’t bring myself to use the large TV screen, it just didn’t seem right. www.topgearbar.cz
Growing up I had a scrapbook and whenever I would find a cool magazine clipping with my favorite car or some singer or band I liked, I would cut it out and stick it in the book with a flour-and-water home-made glue mix. The walls in the gent’s toilets in Lokál on Dlouhá do seem to be a big kid’s scrapbook. The cutouts from vintage porn mags are a bit more grown-up than the cutouts I had, but essentially it seems like the same thing. The combination of the cool cars and scantily clad women on display seems very out of character for this fairly conservative Dlouhá beer hall, but I’m definitely not complaining.
There seems to be a trend among Prague bars and pubs in which they generally try to confuse their alcohol-impaired patrons into thinking that there is free punch provided in the toilets. At least I think that’s the idea. At this club/comedy venue just along from Anděl, it seems that Carmen Miranda tripped and fell head first into the urinal trough. I realize they are trying to keep things fresh but surely this is a lemon slice too far? www.phenomen.cz
První Pivní Tramway
I had been told about this place from a few people so I made the pilgrimage to this Prague 4 popular drinking hole. It lies at the end of the line for Tram 6 or Tram 11 in Spořilov, which is past Nusle. The exterior and the surrounding paraphernalia is of course all tram-based, which is naturally how I thought the gent’s toilets would be. On entering it seemed like your average row of urinals until I looked closely at the tiled walls.
There is a hand-drawn “gallery” of sorts drawn on the tiles, of women’s topiary (pubic hair) labelled with names. Whether these are based on real life or come from someone’s very active imagination and niche artistic skill I don’t know, but there they were. I will definitely return to this bar. Though no more lower region doodles were spotted elsewhere, it is all based on the inside of a tram with an extensive list of beers to be tested.www.prvnipivnitramway.cz
Palladium Shopping Centre
You know how it is when you’re out shopping with the wife or girlfriend, you have probably said the wrong thing, upset her and then you have to make her wait as you’re caught short and need to use the bathroom. Standard. So what better way when you’re there then to be judged by posters of women scrutinizing and smirking at you whilst you are trying to relieve yourself alongside other shop-wearied gents. I’m pretty sure they don’t have similar pictures of laughing men on the backs of the women’s cubicles – or maybe they do. If so let me know. www.palladiumpraha.cz
Just on the corner of Dlouhá sits this American diner/dance club. I’m afraid that it’s only the men reading this who will be able to witness the full tastelessness of what’s in store for them when they need to use the toilet here. Whether it’s supposed to be the iconic Rolling Stones’ lips or Marilyn Monroe’s, four pairs of giant red plastic lips await bathroom users at this location. www.jamesdean.cz
This is just what I’ve found on my travels… maybe you have come across even more disturbing, bizarre, or just plain shocking toilets around Prague. If so, share the love and help make our daily calls of nature a bit more fun.
What is your craziest encounter of the WC kind to date?