If you’re a beer lover, then wandering around the streets of Prague will make you feel like a child in a sweet shop. When you combine the top-quality brews with the fact that the price of a beer in Prague can be as little as 60p, it’s easy to see why waking up with a sore head and a mystery kebab (or borscht) on the apartment floor isn’t an unusual occurrence in the Czech capital.
Whether you’re a pils-nerd or prefer a darker brew, there’s some sort of hoppy goodness on the streets of Prague for you. Here, we give you some of the best tips to make sure you get to see the best of beer in Prague, even if you don’t remember it the next day.
There are multiple places in Prague where a beer is cheaper than a bottle of water, and frankly we’re more than okay with that, especially considering even the cheapest beer here puts many of the more popular lagers around the world to shame in terms of quality.
Pilsners, named after the Czech city of Pilsen, are the most common types of beer, but you get everything from pale ales to heavy stouts in the beer halls of Prague. In some places you don’t even really get a choice; you simply take a seat and workers walk around handing out beers to people who look like they’re nearly empty. It’s a great system, albeit a dangerous one for your wallet.
In most establishments you can rock up and order the house beer, which will be cheap and tasty. These can cost as little as CZK 20, (roughly 60p), even at higher quality establishments, although on the whole you’re likely to be paying around CZK 30 (GBP 1) for a pint. Pilsner Urquell is historically seen as the favourite throughout the country, although the Kozel range is a fantastic alternative.
Budweiser – that is, to say, Czech Budweiser, not the watered-down American version with the smart advertising campaigns from the early noughts – is also a solid brand to go for if you’re feeling lost in a sea of choice. Unlike Belgian beer, Czech beer tends to be a little weaker as nights out usually involve multiple pints, and people like to keep some of their wits about them after a session in town which can involve multiple pints, albeit of high-quality beer.
This also explains why any Czech person would turn their nose up at a beer that costs over CZK 100 and why the price of a beer in Prague is so consistent, no matter where you are: why bother paying for something when you can get the same quality for half the price, after all?
Pubs are generally supplied by one specific brewery, so if you’re looking for variety you need to head to a craft beer place or be willing to walk to different bars between drinks. They also don’t all pour in one way: you can ask for a mliko o r snyt, although if you’re not a fan of foam these choices won’t be to your liking.
Generally, you can just go and have a beer by itself, but most establishments will serve meats and cheeses to go along with it (at an extra cost, but worth it just for the soaking up effects of food on a stomach sloshing with booze). This beer and snack culture is a huge part of socialising in the Czech Republic, much like how the Northern Italians have their Aperitivo hour.
Although we’d never dream of telling you how to enjoy your beer, we’d also be the first to suggest that the country that drinks the most beer per capita in the world might be worth listening to when it comes to how best to down the brews.
The best pubs and beer tours in Prague
Generally speaking, the quality of beer in Prague won’t go down below a certain level, because anything other than top class pints simply won’t get a foothold in the city. This means that any pub you go into will serve you up something worth writing home about. However, if you’re keen to head to some more interesting or traditional style pubs/beerhalls, then Lokal is your best bet. There are different locations, with the central Dlouha Street pub being the most traditional in terms of service and decor.
If you want a slice of history along with your pint, you can head to U Zlateho Tygra, where Bill Clinton was famously taken on his first visit to the country after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Zly Casy is more of a local favourite, but don’t fear feeling out of place or being unable to order: the staff mostly speak English and, worst comes to worst, they’ll know you’re in for a beer and will hand you one anyway. Vinohradsky Pivovar is a pub in a similar vein, although a bit more modern in its décor.
If you’re looking for a beer tour in Prague, or just interested in breweries, Vinohradsky Pivovar can fulfil that itch too. Novomestsky Pivovar offers a similar experience and is also located in the centre of the city, so is easily accessible. However, sometimes you don’t want to organise a route yourself, in which case Beer Tour Prague offer the most comprehensive and most fun beer tour in Prague.
If you’re really interested in Czech beer and how the magic is made, then head to the Velkopopovice region of the city for the Kozel brewery tour. It’s a bit further out of town, but the brewery is much larger than the ones in Old Town, and you’ll learn a lot more about the brewing process.
If you’re willing to get out of Prague for a day, then the Pilsner Urquell tour is one hundred per cent worth the trip.
The best beer gardens in Prague
There’s nothing better than lounging out in the sun with a pint, and given Prague’s stunning Springs and warm Summers, it’s the ideal city to do it in. Letna Beer Gardens is the gold standard when it comes to beer gardens in Prague, offering a grassy spot for stunning views of the Old Town. Hospudka Na Hradbach is also a great spot; located in the Vysehrad fortress, you have the joy of enjoying a great drink in historic surroundings.
For more greenery, Reigrovy Sady park has beer available at kiosks throughout the space and offers sweeping views of the city, although there is no seating, so be prepared to bring a blanket. Containall Stromovka is our last suggestion for a great beer garden in Prague; open only during the summer, the venue has a wonderful bar and garden but also is home to several cultural events, including workshops and concerts.
Beer bikes, spas and baths - all the unusual ways to enjoy your favourite tipple
If you’re headed to the spiritual home of beer it might seem a little boring to simply sit in a pub and have a few drinks. That certainly seems to be how the people of Prague feel, who’ve adopted a plethora of weird and wonderful ways to get the drinks in. Prague Beer Bike are the original beer bike company in the city, and their experience means they still offer the most comprehensive tour, alongside free Wi Fi, a great audio system, and enough room for 13 people.
Those looking for the wellness option without losing the fun of a beer tour can head to Beer Spa, where you’re pampered like royalty and offered unlimited beer throughout your spa experience. If you want the spa experience to be totally beer based, then Bernard Beer Spa offer beer baths as well as unlimited drinks during the experience; allegedly, beer baths have many rejuvenating properties, so don’t feel too guilty about a trip here.
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