Stag-Do City Guide: Prague

Your inside guide to the ultimate stag weekend in the Czech capital

A heady mix of medieval architecture, old world charm, modern bars and clubs and outdoor adventure. The Czech Republic capital of Prague is a stag weekend favourite, with plenty of activities to choose from such as target shooting and quad biking, plus an eclectic mix of pubs and the biggest nightclub in Europe makes astag weekend in Praguea no-brainer. Perhaps most important of all, Prague has a reputation for cheap (and pretty decent) beer. What’s not to like? As a starting tip don’t forget most hotels offer discounts for payments in cash ranging from 5-40% depending on the hotel and time of the year.

It’s not considered the stag capital of Eastern Europe for nothing, Prague’s an adventure playground that mixes old world charm with all the luxuries of a vibrant 21st century city.

Prague at a glance:

  • Over six million tourists visit each year, including 300,000 Brits, making it the fourth most visited city in Europe
  • Prague has the largest castle in the world, sprawled across 18 acres
  • The city is hugely popular with stag parties due to cheap flights, good quality and relatively cheap beer, plus numerous activities – not to mention the women
  • Spectacular architecture and breathtaking sights make for photo opportunities aplenty
  • There is loads to do on astag party in Prague, with tons of hot nightspots and some renowned strip clubs, assuming the big choice of art galleries has not sparked up some interest!

First Impressions:

In 2014 Prague was the fourth most visited city in Europe (below London, Paris and Rome), and it's easy to see why. Considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world – and we're not just talking about the local hotties – the Czech capital has been relatively untouched by the ravages of the 20th century, leaving the spectacular architecture intact, from Baroque churches to Art Nouveau arcades and, of course, that iconic castle. There are hundreds of pubs and bars (the Czechs like beer...a lot), and numerous restaurants serving everything from local delicacies to international cuisine meaning you'll be well catered for.

Local Knowledge:

Prague 1

Staré Mesto (Old Town) – the heart of PragueMassively popular with visitors and a likely stop for any decent stag trip is Stare Mesto. The Old Town Square is the geographical centre of the city. If you're in the city to sightsee, this is where you start. Attractions include the intricate medieval Astronomical Clock and Old Town Hall. As well as some amazing architecture and popular tourist attractions there are also boutiques, high street stores, restaurants and nightlife to suit all tastes – expect to pay a little more for a beer in the square. There are also street performers and quieter cafes and bars, if you're looking to just chill.

Parížská Street – for style lovers to splash some cashJust a short walk from Old Town Square is Parížská Street, which is home to the most exclusive and expensive shops in Prague. It’s the ideal place to splash some cash or catch a river cruise from the dock to see the sights of Prague from a different angle. For cheaper shopping try the Palladium shopping centre with over 170 shops or one of the frequent open air markets for locally made clothes, art and souvenirs.

Wenceslas Square – where culture vultures gatherAlso just a few minutes walk from Old Town Square is Wenceslas Square, in the heart of New Town (Nové Mesto). Essentially a wide boulevard, it's home to the National Museum and Prague State opera.

Mala Strana (Lesser Town) - nothing less than impressiveJust a short walk over the medieval Charles Bridge is Prague’s most exclusive neighbourhood. Although not as popular with tourists as Staré Mesto, Mala Strana has some of the finest restaurants and cafes, and plenty to keep you occupied, including traditional Czech pubs, small exclusive shops and stunning views over the river. The 14th century Charles Bridge is a must-see. During the day there are stands selling everything from jewellery to art, plus street artists and jazz in the afternoon. For a less crowded experience it’s worth going in the early evening to experience the bridge and the 360 degree view of Prague lit up.

Vinohrady – for the cheaper seatsNot as well trodden as the main areas of Prague 1, Vinohrady is still an exclusive place with plenty to do and see. It’s an ideal place to get away from tourist crowds and has plenty of cafes, restaurants and shopping centres. It's a cheaper area too, with excellent flea, second hand and thrift stores for those wanting to pick up an unusual bargain. Vinohrady has some of the largest and most popular nightclubs and bars in Prague, so is an excellent place for a night out.

Prague’s best bars:

Cloud 9 Sky Bar and Lounge (Pobrežní 1)Situated at the top of Hilton Prague, Cloud 9 commands breathtaking views of the city below with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor roof patio. A luxurious bar with suitably swanky drinks and food menu. Their most popular cocktail is The Charisma – peppered vodka stirred with sweet melon liqueur and a splash of cranberry juice, served in a martini glass with basil leaves. Nice.

Fashion Club (Námestí Republiky 8)Situated on the site of an old communist department store, Fashion Club has been quick to establish itself as a hot destination for the city's well-dressed. Great atmosphere, fantastic dancefloor, top DJs. It also hosts one of the best Italian restaurants in Prague.

Black Angel's Bar (Old Town Square)Located on the second lower level of the Hotel U Prince in Old Town Square, Black Angel’s Bar has picked up numerous international awards including being voted one of six World’s Best European Bars in 2013. With a 1930s design and original Gothic and Romanesque masonry, it's atmospheric, brimming with old world luxury. If you’re heading there, do be aware that it's not cheap, and photography and filming are not allowed. In 2014 this was named one of the top 4 hotel bars in the world.

Hemingway Bar (Praha Karolíny Svetlé 26)Small, friendly (and very brown coloured) bar inspired by famed boozer (and writer) Ernest Hemingway, this is THE place in Prague to drink absinthe, with a range of the stuff on offer. The Hemingway Bar devotes considerable attention to his drinks of choice: absinthe, rum and champagne.

Letna Beer Garden (Letenské Sady)Situated in Letna Park, it might have a pretty limited number of bevvies, but leafy Letna Beer Garden is a perfect place for a summer afternoon drink, with a lovely view of the river and city. If you're starting early – and it's warm – start here.

Pivovarský Klub (Prague 8)Although slightly further out from the normal tourist areas, Pivovarský Klub is well worth the trek. With six beers on tap and over 240 bottled beers to choose from, traditional Czech food is also on the menu.

U Medvídku (Na Perstyne 7)It's a Prague institution that's been around for 550 years, and serves both great beer and great food. They also brew their own beers, including BlackGott and X-Beer 33 (12.6 per cent, beer lovers, and billed as the 'the strongest beer in the Czech Republic'). They also make beer ice cream and beer chocolate. And if the beer gets the best of you, there's a hotel upstairs. And even if you don’t like beer, you still have to see this place.

Pivnice U Rudolfina (Krížovnická 10)A proper traditional Czech pub with lots of different beers and ales available. Traditional Czech meals are also on offer. A great place to start the night.

Prague’s unique nightclubs:

Studio 54 (Hybernská 38)No relation to the famed 1970s New York venue where disco was king, but nonetheless, a magnet for clubbers to like the party to never stop. Prague's best known after-party venue, Studio 54 doesn't open until 4am/5am, and keeps the beats going until well into the middle of the afternoon.

Roxy (Dlouha 33)A former dancehall, Roxy has been at the centre of Prague’s club scene since the early 1990s. The music policy is varied, though leans away from the mainstream, with high profile international and Czech DJs and bands. There are four bars and considering you’re in Prague, the drinks are reasonably priced.

Lucerna Music Bar (Vodickova 36)Popular music venue near Wenceslas Square featuring the best Czech and alternative acts, plus UK and US names such as Papa Roach and George Ezra. On Friday and Saturday nights, they also host famed 80s/90s pop discos playing retro hits by the likes of A-ha and Wham.

Karlovy Lázne (Smetanovo nábreží 198/1)Biggest music club in middle Europe located on the river bank was first open as a club in 1999. The club has got the name after the spa that the building hosted in the past. The 5 stages each on different floor are playing various kinds of music, so everyone gets satisfied by his favourite music style.

Food: Eat like a local

Czech food is quite simple and mainly consists of pork or beef with dumplings/potatoes or rice. Rajská is a speciality of meat with whipped cream and sauce (not to everyone’s taste but worth a try at least once). A classic is Smažený Sýr which is fried cheese garnished with potatoes. Palacinky (Czech pancakes) are filled with various fillings such as ice cream or jam and coated with whipped cream and almonds. Ovocné Knedlíky (fruit dumplings) and Kolac (Czech pie) are also filled with different curd, fruits and jams.

The riverside Náplavka Farmers' Market (Podskali) is on every Saturday from 8am-2pm and has an amazing range of local produce such as Czech cakes, sweets, cider, coffee and more. Jirák Farmers' Market (Wed-Sat, in Prague 3) is another popular market, also good for food and crafts.

If you need a solid hit of caffeine in the morning, try the award-winning Café Lounge (Plaská 615/8, in Mala Strana), which serves a range of interesting coffees, plus a great breakfasts, from croissants and eggs to fruit, Czech dishes and the good ol’ reliable hangover cure and essential start to the day, the full English. Open from 7.30am on work days and from 9 am over weekends.

Situated right by the river, Kampa Park (Na Kampe 8b) has a great atmosphere and fantastic views of the Charles Bridge and Certovka stream. With stylish dining rooms and more intimate terraces, it's a popular celeb' hangout. The food is 'international', mixing Czech with European. They do a great pepper steak with potato cake (makes a change from mash), and anything on the dessert menu is to die for (especially the chocolate fondant). The five-course degustation menu, with different wines served between each course, is a must for foodies, while the wine menu, with 150 choices, will satisfy any wine buff. They also offer group menus for 10 people.

The Prague Medieval Tavern offers a step back to the Dark Ages, complete with serving wenches, jugglers and musicians, the perfect venue for your stag.

Czech beer:

Famed for its beer, one of the favourite Czech tipples is Gambrinus with both Original and the pale Premium widely available. Pilsner Urquell, the first pilsner in the world, is another local favourite, as is Kozel's Medium, which was been voted the best Czech beer. No stag trip would be the same without some home-town favourite, Staropramen, which is brewed in the Smíchov district and has a light, fruity flavour.

Best view of the city?

One of the best views is from the top of Old Town Hall Tower which offers a 360-degree view of Prague. Alternatively, nip down to Vltava Waterfront as the sun sets. With the castle and river in the background, it’s very picturesque.

Getting about:

The majority of any stag weekend will likely involve a lot of walking, and fortunately much of Prague's historic districts are within pedestrian zones including famous Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Old Town Square, Wenceslas square and can be explored ONLY by walking.

For longer distances you can use the options of trams, buses and the metro. Tickets must be purchased in advance and validated by the traveller before getting on a metro, or as they enter the bus or tram.

You can buy public transport tickets at the airport when you first arrive, large hotels, metro stations, newspaper stands and convenience stores.

If you travel without a ticket, or do not validate it, you could get in trouble– pleading tourist ignorance will not be accepted as an excuse, especially as all the signs are in English too.

The metro is divided into three main lines A (green), B (yellow) and C (red). Subway trains run every few minutes during peak times from 5am to midnight. Night buses run from midnight to 4.30am.

Traffic congestion means that taxis can be expensive. While there are honest drivers, Prague has been blighted by less reputable companies who overcharge and prey on tourists, so pre-booking registered cabs (such as AAA or Tick Tack) is recommended. You can ask for estimated costs in advance, or if hailing in the street, check that they're a registered taxi.

Basic phrases:

  • Hello – Ahoj!
  • Goodbye – Na shledanou
  • Yes – ano
  • No – Ne
  • Sorry – prominte
  • Excuse me – S dovolenim.
  • Help! – Pomoc!
  • Do you speak English? – Mluvite anglicky?
  • I don’t speak Czech – Nemluvim Cesky
  • A beer, please – Jedno pivo, prosím
  • How much is it? – *Kolik to stoji?

When in Prague:

When drinking with Czechs, it´s considered polite to keep eye contact during toasts.

Over Christmas you should know that dinner is traditionally served after sunset and consists not of turkey, but carp.

A UK licence is valid if you’re planning on driving in the Czech Republic, but you’ll need a special sticker to drive on motorways (available from Post Offices, petrol stations, bureau de change and border crossings).

You can be fined for crossing the road (or tram tracks) if you’re within 50 metres of an official crossing point (such as traffic lights or zebra-style crossing). You may be fined if you attempt to cross a road or tram tracks within 50 metres of a walking across a pedestrian crossing when the green pedestrian crossing light is not lit.

When to visit:

The climate in Prague can be considered moderate.

  • December – February are winter months
  • January max - 7°C
  • April to June – chilly with temperatures of 15°C - 18°C
  • July to September – summer time is 20°C – 30°C
  • October to December – wettest months

The city attracts visitors all year round, with the festive period particularly popular for the magical Christmas markets and stunning wintry backdrop. It’s a hive of activity in the summer too, with activities in abundance to enjoy around the city, plus an endless supply of outdoor drinking spots and people-watching cafes.

Staying safe:

Be careful on public transport and do not keep your phone and wallet in your back pocket. Pick pockets are rife at major rail stations, Wenceslas square are the areas with a lot of tourists. Don't let your stag end in tears. To call the emergency services, dial 112.

Did you know?

The Czechs like a drink. Or two. Or three. In fact, they are the number one beer drinking nation, consuming the most beer per capita than anywhere else in the world, making astag weekend in Praguethe perfect destination. Cheers!