Nice areas to walk in
In addition to the city centre, Mala Strana and the castle area there's two more areas that are very nice - Vinoradhy and Karlin.
Vinoradhy was the posh area directly after the revolution as many foreigners moved in here, close to the city center and a lot of green.
Three areas, in particular, are worth a visit:
- The square Jiriho z Podebrad and the surrounding streets are the most popular areas in Vinoradhy. Lots of cafees, bars, restaurants and a lively market on Saturdays. https://goo.gl/maps/m941rK8ELCgVuoh88
- On a sunny day go to Reigrovy Sady to rest in the grass, have a picnic, watch people or enjoy a beer in the beer garden. https://goo.gl/maps/XYGuY2eJja9KuN3U9
- For an evening out away from tourists, and hang with the local crowd, go to Bruselska and surrounding streets. https://goo.gl/maps/i4dT3ksimbngx71VA
And if you're in Prague in the spring I recommend walking down Luzicka street, https://goo.gl/maps/pSDkyt5RzBM7dLrd7
The whole Karlin area was under water in 2002 flooding, which meant that the area also completely changed its vibe in the reconstruction and went from a dodgy gypsy area to a hipster area. Lots of nice small boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, but it's a bit spread out over Karlin, so don't be surprised if you suddenly feel completely off. Walk from Karlinske Namesti (Karlin square) to Lyckovo Namesti (if I ever were to move in Prague, I'd move to this beautiful square).
There's a Lokal (https://www.ambi.cz/en/)on the corner of Karlinske Namesti and next to it a very popular pub, with a big garden, called Dva Kohouti, usually full of a mix of the Karlin hipsters and the business people from the big office complexes across the street towards the river. https://www.dvakohouti.cz/
For shopping cool and mostly eco-friendly clothes and lots of cute stuff women don't really need, check out Nila, my goto place for presents to my wife: https://www.nila.cz/o-nas/kontakt-a-prodejny/galerie-karlin/
I also like both Proti Produ and Etapa, great cafes and lunch restaurants close to Nila and Lyckovo Namesti.
Lokal and Ambiente Group
Lokal offers a Czech food experience (Lokal is famous for serving a perfectly tapped Pilsner Urquell so even the locals go to there to enjoy their beer). And the food is traditional Czech food like the grandmas make it, no artificial flavors and other weird stuff. They have a couple of places around Prague so you’ll never be far from perfectly tapped Pilsner Urquell.
The Lokal on Dlouha street is my favorite.
If you want to eat up in the castle area Ambiente’s Kuchyn restaurant is great and offers a beautiful view of Prague from their terrace: https://kuchyn.ambi.cz/en
Lokal is owned by Ambiente Group, they have a couple of different concepts like traditional Czech (Lokal), Brazilian meat buffet, Italian and more. It may not sound so exciting to go to a chain but their quality is high, and they have reasonable prices and consistently good service.
Kolkovna used to be my favorite Czech restaurant. Great location, in the Jewish quarters, and they have all the Czech traditional dishes like roasted duck with dumplings and red cabbage, roasted pork knee, potato and cauliflower pancakes. Due to the location it's quite touristy and the service is a bit grumpy in my experience but if you want Czech food in the old town it's one of the best options.
On old town square so touristy but the locals like to go there as well. A slightly more upscale version of Kolkovna, mostly traditional Czech food with a modern twist. The difference with Kolkovna is that I've always had great service at Mincovna.
You should go to U Fleku. It’s a tourist trap, but the beer is great, and it’s cool to have been to a brewery and pub that opened around the same time Columbus landed in America.
They brew their dark lager on the premises and only serve it there. You sit on long tables with other guests, and the waiters keep the beer coming, so when you’ve had enough, leave your glass half full or be very firm when the waiter comes around.
He’ll also offer you schnapps/shots (persistently), and I like the classic Becherovka with a taste of Christmas. Same as the beer, he will do his best to keep putting schnapps before you.
I'd avoid eating at U Fleku. I’d say it’s more of a pit stop during the day or before the restaurant.
History of U Fleku: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Flek%C5%AF
Savoy and Eska
For great brunch/lunch, I recommend Café Savoy in Smichov or Eska in Karlin. Café Savoy is an upscale café, with a wonderful interior, with great smaller dishes, and an outstanding selection of desserts.
Eska has a bakery on the entrance level, and it’s probably the best bread you’ve ever had (2nd best if you've tried the bread from bakery Praktika in Prague). I would describe the food at Eska as Czechia meets Scandinavia.
Both Savoy and Eska are owned by Ambi Group, so quality and service are high.
A lunch at Café Imperial is a great experience. In addition to great food, their dill soup (kulajda) is fantastic, their interior is amazing. It can be difficult to get a table, so make a reservation a few days before. Cafe Imperial is owned by the Czech Gordon Ramsey, Zdenek Pohlreich.
Next Door by Imperial
For a more exclusive culinary experience, try the Czech Gordon Ramsey Zdenek Pohlreich's new place across the street from Imperial called Next Door by Imperial.
For dinner by the river overlooking the castle Marina is nice. Italian with the whole range from pizza to truffle pasta. Definitely make an advance reservation:
Spectacular views and excellent food and service. Come a bit early, and have your appetizer drink enjoying the view from their garden.
Vegetarian / Vegan
There are plenty of great vegetarian / vegan restaurants in Prague. My favorite is Maitrea just behind the church on Old Town Square. https://www.restaurace-maitrea.cz/
For a vegan lunch I go to one of Dhaba Beas many restaurants. Self-service and very simple but good food. https://dhababeas.cz/en/
Loving Hut is similar to Dhaba Beas, with plenty of places around Prague. https://www.lovinghut.cz/en/
Going for a drink
The terrace of hotel U Prince has the most spectacular view of Old Town Square. Tourists and owners know it. Hence the prices reflect its popularity. Possibly the most Instagrammed views from Prague (https://www.instagram.com/terasauprince/)
My favorite drink bar is Cobra, no/few tourists, cool vibe, and they'll make you any drink you want. https://goo.gl/maps/UxwiRaKV1zny8DQF6
From spring to early autumn Stalin is a great place for drinks and pre-party. Check their site: https://www.stalinletna.cz/
And if you want to dance after the drinks Lucerna has a 80/90/00 party every Friday. Packed and lots of fun. Starts getting crowded at midnight and open until 05 or 06 in the morning. https://goo.gl/maps/9K5NNQd66AgXZtZV6
Viewpoints and Castle walk
Beautiful walk from Letna Park, to the castle, through Petrin Park, down to Smichov and the dancing house, and ending up at U Fleku.