The oldest statue on the Charles Bridge is that of St. John of Nepomuk, who was thrown into the river in 1393. Tradition holds that rubbing his image ensures you good luck and a return to Prague.
TRVL Tips

5 Prague Cafes for (Hopeless) Romantics

Photo by Peter Adams

TRVL Tips 5 Prague Cafes for (Hopeless) Romantics

Yes, there was a gorgeous building around every corner. Sure, the parks, gardens and bridges proved impossibly romantic. And of course, the beer was rich and cheap and everywhere.

Nils von der Assen
Nils von der Assen Editor

But the first thing I think about when remembering Prague – where I spent an eventful winter semester studying history and literature – are some of the iconic cafes, where time seemed unmoving and unimportant and where I truly lost my heart to that jewel of a city.

Lesser Quarter

Whether it’s the high ceiling richly decorated with chandeliers, the small fountain at the entrance, the meticulously dressed personnel with their matching red ties, or just the sheer spaciousness of the place, Café Savoy makes you feel like you’ve entered the glamorous belle époque. Built in 1893, this charming spot at the edge of Prague’s Lesser Quarter is not as tourist-packed as most of the city’s other classic cafes. Here’s where you’ll go for coffee and sweets, or for a hearty breakfast before you’ll head for nearby Petrin Hill.

Kavarna Slavia

Old Town

Probably Prague’s most iconic and well-known cafe, Kavarna Slavia was – and is – the beating heart of the city’s political, artistic and intellectual life. This is where troubled geniuses like Franz Kafka and Rainer Maria Rilke daydreamed away. It’s at these tables where, during the 1980s, the late Vaclav Havel and other political dissidents planned the Velvet Revolution that helped build the Czech Republic as we know it today. Sitting at the art-deco cafe on Narodni street in Old Town, looking through its giant glass windows and taking in the majestic views of the Danube River, the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge and the imposing National Theater, this is where you’ll feel the full extent of Prague’s grandeur.

Café Imperial

New Town

If Art Deco makes you happy, be sure not to miss this place in Prague’s New Town. Its interior defined by ingenious mosaics, bas-reliefs and ceramic tiles, Café Imperial – built in 1914 and heavily revamped in 2007 – serves pretty decent coffee and has a range of Czech cuisine classics on offer. Oh, and for the beer-lovers out there: trust me, the American and English breakfasts at this place will cure any hangover. People watching is great fun here, too; Imperial is a favorite among local office folk. Plus, there’s live jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings!

Grand Cafe Orient

Old Town

Prague’s Grand Café Orient is located on the first floor of the House of the Black Madonna, the world’s first ever Cubist building in the city’s Old Town designed by renowned architect Josef Gočár. Opened in 1912, the cafe was closed in 1920 but underwent a massive restoration and reopened in 2005. Since then, it’s been a solid (coffee) favorite among locals and tourists alike. Give the cocktails a try here, too!

Cafe Louvre

Old Town

This place… Don’t get me started. It’s just so atmospheric. Say ‘Cafe Louvre’ and my mind wanders back to a sun-kissed Saturday afternoon in late February. Spring was peeking around the corner. Having secured an ideal window seat – quite a rarity, you have to be lucky or just very early! – hearing the gentlemen of respectable age playing billiards in the corner, drooling over the black forest cake that rolled past us on one of those classic trolleys, taking in the Parisian look but distinctly Czech feel of the place, all while looking at the woman in front of me who was writing me a goodbye note in Russian, I realised I was living the dream.

Planning a trip? Get in touch with me for more Prague recommendations!

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A tram passes though a building near the Charles Bridge. Prague was only bombed once in World War II – an accident due to a navigation error by 40 American bombers targeting Dresden. As such, much of its historic center survives. Photo by Maremagnum / Getty Images

Maremagnum

Maremagnum

Agency
Getty Images

A tram passes though a building near the Charles Bridge. Prague was only bombed once in World War II – an accident due to a navigation error by 40 American bombers targeting Dresden. As such, much of its historic center survives.

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