Prague’s historic cobbled centre is one of the most charming in Europe, with winding laneways, sweet buildings, and plenty of picturesque views. Across the river from the Old Town, the city’s new quarter, Mala Strana, brings a great selection of amenities to visitors.
Sitting pretty the other side of the magnificent Charles Bridge, this quaint part of the city acts almost like a village, opening out into hidden squares and serving all sorts of traditional Czech concoctions.
From family-run restaurants to lively underground bars that bring the area to life at night and a mouth-watering selection of dessert shops, Mala Strana is giving the Old Town a run for its money.
While it might be incredibly difficult to pronounce, Cukrkavalimonada (Lázeňská 7, 110 00 Praha 1 – Malá Strana) serves simple, fresh food cooked with passion and seasonal produce. Expect hearty dishes like pastas, salads, and savoury pancakes alongside a selection of wines and beers from around the Czech Republic and further afield.
For a fine dining affair in the cosy district of Mala Strana, grab a table at Konirna (Maltézské nám. 292/10, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana). Set in the charming Maltezske Square, it brings guests traditional flavours using fresh seafood and international influences. Browse a menu filled with poultry, fish, and wild game while sipping on a glass or two of speciality wine from all over the world.
Café Lounge (Plaská 615/8, 150 00 Praha 5 – Malá Strana) provides diners with a stylish, laidback experience that is imbued with the contemporary charm of Prague’s blossoming hipster scene. The smart dining room is a firm dinner favourite, while the cobbled courtyard patio is ideal for sharing a summer platter in the afternoon.
Boasting a luxurious wooden décor, Café Savoy (Vítězná 124/5, 150 00 Praha 5) takes diners back to the days of the First Czechoslovakian Republic. The Neo-Renaissance ceiling that dates back to 1893 adds a touch of whimsy to the dining experience, which is made complete with hearty breakfast dishes and gourmet dinner ideas – think Czech snails or veal sweetbread.
For the wine connoisseurs, Vinograf Wine Bar (Míšeňská 68/8, 118 00 Praha 1) is your best friend. Boasting a selection of fine tipple from all over the world and incredibly knowledgeable staff, it is one of Mala Strana’s most dedicated wine bars. Put your feet up after a hard day’s exploring and tuck into their wine tasting menu with a few side snacks to keep hunger at bay.
Close to the famous John Lennon Wall (about 50m from it, in fact), you’ll find the John Lennon Pub (Hroznová 495/6, 118 00 Praha 1). Here, you can soak up the Beatle vibes while tucking into the pub’s classic drinks, like baked smoked knee black beer and Prague’s favourite, Pillsner Urqell.
For a mix of culture and food, NAPA Bar and Gallery (Prokopská 296/8, 118 00 Praha 1) is the place to go. With its summer garden and consistently changing exhibitions, it’s the perfect place to grab a drink and talk art. Downstairs, the well-stocked cellar opens up every now and again to host a local band or two.
Get your hands around a frothy draft beer at the Shadow Café Karlin (Křižíkova 134/58, 186 00 Praha 8), a quirky hotspot in the heart of Mala Strana. Their speciality? Rums from all over the world, of course! And if that wasn’t enough, you can enjoy the tunes of international DJs while playing a selection of traditional pub games.
Enjoy a hearty dose of Irish charm at JJ Murphy’s (Tržiště 4, 110 00 Praha 1), Mala Strana’s resident – and extremely popular – Irish bar. Serving an outstanding selection of Irish fare alongside all sorts of Guinness’s and stouts, you just know you’re going to have a rip-roaring time when you step foot in this hangout.
Puppetry is an important tradition in Prague, so there are plenty of places to snap up a marionette or two in Mala Strana, and Marionety (U Lužického semináře 5, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana) is one of the favourites. Dating back to 1993, this eclectic store sells a collection of quirky characters, as well as holds regular puppet making workshops throughout the year.
You’ll smell Manufaktura (Mostecká 276/17, 118 00 Praha) before you see it. Selling everything from natural cosmetic goods to unique home spa products, it’s a 100% Czech concept that will make you feel a million dollars. Perhaps the best part, though, are all the samples, where you can try out the balms, scrubs, and lotions before you buy.
ARTEL Glass (U Lužického semináře 82/7) is Prague’s premier place to go if you’re on the hunt for a stylish souvenir. Inside the modern, contemporary store – which, on first glance, looks like a gallery – you can pick up handcrafted Bohemian crystal glassware made by American founder Karen Feldman and other renowned glassmakers.
AMI Puppets (Nerudova 47, 118 00 Praha 1-Malá Strana) is another revered marionette shop in Mala Strana. Inside, colourful characters dangle from the ceilings, their eyes unblinking, waiting to be picked up and taken to their forever home. Browse the rows of themed puppets or check out some of the other traditional Czech crafts on display.
You can’t walk down the street in Prague without passing a creperie, and Café Creperie (Dražického nám. 64/9, 118 00 Praha) is the go-to sweet treat pit stop in Mala Strana. Here, you can sample original French crepes stuffed with all sorts of mouth-watering goodies. For the more savoury-inclined, there are fillings like spinach, tuna, egg, and ham, as well as a selection of well-stuffed baguettes and paninis.
Duck into Creperie U Kajatana (Nerudova 248/17, 118 00 Praha 1), too, which sells all kinds of delicious desserts alongside a main menu of crispy pizzas and other savoury goods. Try the Romanian delicacy, trdelnik, with its huge array of fillings, or opt for a simple French crepe smothered in jam, cream, or Nutella.
And if you want something a little more chilled on Prague’s warmer days, head to Angelato (Újezd 425/24, 118 00 Praha) for a delicious scoop of traditional Italian ice cream. Marvel at the huge selection of colourful flavours and grab a table inside to watch the world go by – one of the best ways to cool off in the summer sun.
There’s no doubt about it, pastries are the best way to start a day of exploring in Prague, so hit up the Bakeshop Little Bakery (U Lužického semináře 99/22) to kick start your day with a bang. With the giddy selection of miniature desserts, handcrafted croissants, and delightful sweet bites, you might have a difficult time deciding what to order.