It’s four in the morning and you’re looking for a party, or maybe just a last nightcap to put the finishing touch on your evening. Lost for inspiration as to where to go? Fear not, we have put together a short list of venues to quench your late-night/early-morning thirst. Prague is literally full of places to go for either a party or a quite drink post-witching hour. There are countless Hernas and ‘adult entertainment’ establishments, and quite a few that operate as both. But what about the late night drinking spots that don’t specialise in gambling or nudity? I catered to my nocturnal spirit and took a tour of late night Prague.
Vinohradská 47, Prague 2
+420 222 250 143
Techtle Mechtle (or Hanky Panky in English) is one of the cleaner, more modern late night spots I visited. Located on Vinohradská, it’s a conveniently walkable distance from Wenceslas Square. It’s said to be the largest cocktail bar in Prague, and the underground space certainly has a wide selection of spirits, wines, and champagnes. Techtle Mechtle’s is open 17:00 – 02:00 Monday – Thursday and 18:00 – 05:00 Fridays and Saturdays.
There’s a real ‘European holiday’ feel about the place: loud dance music, a large selection of alcoholic drinks, and a small but adequate dance floor (one thing that most of the other late night venues lack). I found the staff friendly, English-speaking, and efficient, with a good knowledge of the drinks and impressive flaring techniques, which they employed while serving.
Techtle Mechtle’s crowd is pretty mixed, varying in age and origin; it’s a happy mix of tourists and foreigners. The interior is pleasant, exposed brick work walls with cast iron framework around the centrally-located large bar area. Plasma screens above the bar play a constant stream of pop videos, which seemed to pacify many of the late-night drinkers. There are lots of adverts dotted around the bar’s interior; the more suggestible customer might be brainwashed into ordering a bottle of Moët & Chandon thanks to the company’s oversized adverts, which cover some areas of the bar. During the weekend, DJs play a selection of cheesy ‘hits’ from various decades until closing.
Techtle Mechtle remains upbeat till the end. The tracks speed up as the customers get drunker! It has a pretty good reputation, but is often favoured by the younger Czechs. Don’t be surprised if you walk in on an 18th birthday party in full swing at 3:00 on a Thursday night! A true late-night wake-up spot!
Key words: Late night cocktails, pleasant interior, late-night party, central location
Josefská 42, Prague 1
+420 257 533 126
Blue Light is a legendary late night venue. Frequented by all manner of celebrities and sometimes even politicians, it’s loved by locals and tourists alike. The bar was even the subject of Czech photographer Alžběta Jungrová’s recent exhibition Blue Light Tonight, where many of the bar’s regulars were photographed in a number of entertaining poses inside the famous venue. Blue Light is a rugged, bohemian late-night venue, with old beaten furniture and scratched graffiti-filled walls that give the place a definite charm. The bar staff are friendly, English-speaking and willing to stop and chat if not too busy.
Find yourself a quite seat under the alcoves and drink until the morning or sit at the bar and soak up the atmosphere from one of the many characters that frequent throughout the night. Be wary of your possessions though, although I have never experienced it myself, I have heard stories of missing purses or bags after a late night visit.
Music doesn’t seem to be the main focus at Blue Light. There is no designated dance area, but after a few drinks some spontaneous dance moves won’t be frowned upon. A well-known, well-stocked, friendly late night venue where you might even see a star or two!
Key words: Legendary, rustic, friendly, no dance space.
Bombay Bar & Club
Prague 1+420 222 328 400
Literally a stone’s throw from the Old Town Square you’ll find Bombay, a popular venue for both tourists and locals. The crowd is typically older (late 30s-40s), although you can find younger tourists or
students mixing with the regular patrons. The atmosphere is upbeat and often intoxicated. I have seen groups of businessmen dancing with neck ties around their heads throwing up gang signs while knocking back colourful, expensive drinks. Not such a pretty sight, but definitely entertaining!
Bombay is open 19:00-04:00, Sunday to Wednesday, 19:00-05:00 on Thursdays and 19:00-06:00 Friday and Saturdays. Bombay can get really busy and the small space can be problematic. The mixture of overexcited businessmen and lack of space can sometimes cause tempers to fray. Drinks are served pretty quickly by experienced staff behind the long stretching bar, with party music played by DJs until late most nights. They can prepare more than 150 types of cocktails (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and offer more than 100 of the best spirits from whiskey to first-class rums, cognacs, wines and champagnes.
The high quality comes at a high ‘Old Town’ price, with cocktails starting at 125 CZK and going up to 180 CZK. Beer-wise they offer draught Budweiser 55 CZK (0,4l) and 45 CZK (0,3l),, Pilsner Urquel (60 CZK), Heineken (80 CZK) and Corona Extra (90 CZK) in bottles. Bombay has a ‘no stag party’ policy, but many avoid this rule by entering in small groups. Door staff are polite but visible and quick to ‘assist’ if any problems should arise.
Key Words: High priced, businessmen, 30+, wide range of drinks
Lisboa Music Cub
Prague 7+420 605 084 374
Lisboa is a beautifully grimy venue. Complete with sticky floors, dirty toilets and cheap, cheap drinks. It flings its doors open from 19:00-02:00 Wednesday-Thursday and 19:00-05:00 Fridays and
Saturdays. Live music on most evenings is provided by either DJ Milano or DJ Matty who play tracks from a caged DJ booth. Both disc jockeys seem to be experts in the super-cheesy or Czech classics from
yesteryear. Lisboa felt like a UK seaside resort discotheque with 90s cave-like decor and rock-bottom drink promos to encourage it’s dubiously aged patrons to drink and then drink some more.
Staff are pretty friendly and keen to serve as quickly as possible. There were some problems with language barriers, but nothing too serious. The crowd seemed really young and it was apparent very quickly that I didn’t really fit in, but after a few cheap shots I cared less! I found large groups of giggling girls and gelled chaps dressed to impress and out to enjoy the large dance floor area.
Staropramen 10° 0,4l (30 CZK) and Hoegarden 0.5l (60 CZK) are served on draught or the sickly-sweet, headache-inducing Desperados (70 CZK) and Frisco (50 CZK) in bottles. Heineken (35 CZK) and non-alcoholic Stella (35 CZK) is also sold by the bottle. It took a fair few cheap drinks for me to enjoy Lisboa; arrive too late and you’ll find yourself playing catch up with a large group of Frisco-guzzling youngsters. Arrive even later and you’ll likely see the sleepy effects that overdoing the old alcopops can have on the same youngsters! Head over to Lisboa for a slightly weathered yet cheap night out.
Key Words: Cheap, dirty, caged DJ, alco pops, pop music
Retro Cocktail Bar
+420 606 824 005
Not to be overlooked or confused with the Music Hall, which is essentially housed in the same building, the newly renovated cocktail bar is open from 19:00-04:00 Wednesday-Saturday. You’ll generally find young twenty-something Czechs enjoying the cozy cocktail bar feel. The red-walled interior houses a hefty bar, well-stocked with booze. Bartenders are helpful, accommodating, and more than happy to show off their flaring skills. They offer bottled Staropramen (40 CZK) and Heineken (55 CZK), but only Stella (49 CZK) on draught. Plus a large selection of wines, spirits and champagne, all at pretty reasonable prices. The music played varies; cheesy Europop to even cheesier Czech hits. Patrons can dance happily until 04:00 under the disco ball located over the compact dance floor.
Key Words: Good cocktails, Czechs, twenty-somethings
Balbinova 23, Prague 2
Le Clan is in a class of its own. It’s your stereotypical late night/early morning venue with no visible name or door number outside, doorbell entry, and low lit underground setting. Don’t bother heading to Le Clan before 02:00 because it won’t be open! Patrons come and go freely and enjoy the strangely-charged atmosphere until way into the mid-morning. Le Clan has a perfectly eerie dark interior, with exposed walls and disheveled furniture (all in the nicest possible way). It’s a bit of TARDIS with surprising mini-rooms round every corner.
Staff are upbeat despite the late hour, and were pleasant and welcoming to any new faces. Music can vary with occasional DJs (check their website for the current listing). You’ll find a 50/50 mix of expats & Czechs with the occasional tourist group sampling the late-night vices Le Clan is famous for. There’s a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere which has a habit of sucking it visitors in. You’ll arrive late on Saturday night/Sunday morning and stay until Sunday night if you don’t keep a watchful eye on the time. A well-stocked bar and fairly clean toilets (expect long queues).
Key Words: Very late night, mellow, friendly, mixed genre music
Propaganda, a fair-sized underground bar in the city centre with an interesting communist based interior. Open 17:00-03:00 Monday-Sunday, with occasional live music; check website for details. Harley’s, a motorbike themed bar with pricey cocktails and a mixed crowd. They seem to have a strange obsession with Jack Daniels (apparently he lives there!) and dancing on the bar (think Coyote Ugly). Cocktails start at 120 CZK. Open until 04:00 Sunday-Wednesday and until 06:00 Thursday-Saturday. Please feel free to share any of your favourite venues in the comments section below!
See also: Prague’s Best Clubs – A brief look at Prague’s 400+ capacity clubs