Vinohrady - La Dolce Vita of Prague’s Upper Crust
This imposing residential area has everything: elegant architecture, great restaurants and cafés, places of cultural interest, and greenery – all just a few minutes from the historical centre. Ornate Art Nouveau façades and streets lined with mature trees slightly evoke Paris – and we daresay the quality of cafés is equal – making Vinohrady a highly sought-after location. We’ll give you an overview of the area around Náměstí Míru (Peace Square), the virtual centrepiece of this quarter.
Vinohrady’s contemporary appearance emerged at the turn of the 20th century, when primarily upper middle class, including renowned artists such as the Čapek brothers and sculptor Ladislav Šaloun, creator of the Jan Hus statue at the Old Town Square, moved into newly built villas and apartment buildings. As the name suggests, the history of Vinohrady goes back much further. When Charles IV had ordered grapevines to be planted here in the 14th century, the area began to be called “Vineyard Mountains” and later Royal Vineyards (Královské Vinohrady). It was an independent city until it was finally annexed into the city of Prague in 1922.
The focal point of Náměstí Míru is the Church of St Ludmila, built at the end of the 19th century in the Neo-Gothic style. It houses vitrages, paintings, and sculptures. The church is open half an hour before a mass, daily except Sunday at 4 p.m., and on Sundays at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. In December, Christmas markets with fairytale charm are held literally at the foot of the church. Other buildings that catch your eye at the square are the Art Nouveau Vinohrady Theatre and the Vinohrady National House, a venue for balls and other social events.
Vinohrady is known for its relaxed residential character. In addition to the locals whose families have lived here for several generations, young hipsters and a diverse mix of foreigners from around the world have moved into the area. It seems not a day goes by when a new café, bistro, or restaurant is opened. Náměstí Míru itself is enlivened by an outdoor piano and the nearby Poesiomat, a “jukebox for poetry” with recordings of Czech and American poetry, which looks like a megaphone in the shape of an inverted letter “J” – a device as well as a sculpture.
Where to go in Vinohrady? Start at Náměstí Míru and just set out – head for a café, a restaurant, or maybe even the Žižkov Television Tower. If it’s sunny, don’t miss one of Vinohrady’s parks – Riegrovy sady (Rieger Gardens) with its unusual view at the city centre, or Grébovka with its pavilion and vineyards. If you long for charming streets just walk through – Americká, Londýnská, Lužická, Lublaňská, and Mánesová – and don’t forget to look up – some of the most interesting details on the building façades are on the upper floors. Next time you won’t want to stay anywhere else!
COFFEE AND A LITTLE SOMETHING
Coffee Room (Korunní 74)
A small, cosy espresso bar that blends a relaxed atmosphere with the aroma of high quality co¥ ee.
La Bohème Café (Sázavská 32)
Quiet atmosphere, attentive service, and excellent coffee. Arguably one of the nicest cafés in Prague.
Monolok cafe (Moravská 18)
During the day, ideal for coffee, in the evening for a glass of wine, and over the weekend for brunch.
Momoichi Coffetearia (Římská 35)
The only café in Prague where you can taste coffee from Japanese roasters extracted in a special devicefcalled the Alphadominche. Their menu features
superb savoury okonomiyaki crepes.
IF Café (Tylovo náměstí 2)
For those who love French sweets. Their Croque Madame is excellent too.
Zmrzlinář (Slezská 15)
If you long for ice cream even in the winter, head here. Their ice cream is renowned.
Pavilon (Vinohradská 50)
Vinohrady’s historical market building is today a temple of art and interior design.
Little Rock Star (Francouzská 11)
Untraditional children’s clothing; your child will be happy, but everyone will see how cool YOU are.
Lazy Eye (Ibsenova 3)
Original pin-up fashion by Czech designer Hana Noble. Dresses that accentuate your femininity
LUNCH OR DINNER (OR EVEN A BEER)
Dish (Římská 29)
Heaven for burgerphiles; they even make the best veggie burger in the city.
Las Adelitas (Americká 8)
Authentic Mexican restaurant – their tacos al pastor and margaritas are unbeatable.
Sokolovna (Slezská 22)
Czech classics at reasonable prices and well-chilled beer – what more could you want?
U Bulínů (Budečská 2)
Czech cuisine and more, good service, and Pilsner beer.
Bruxx (náměstí Míru 9)
Simple – beer and mussels, but also oysters, shrimp, snails, and ¡ sh. For when you’re longing for the sea.
HOW TO GET THERE
Metro C – I. P. Pavlova
Metro A – Náměstí Míru or Jiřího z Poděbrad
Trams 4, 10, 16, 22 – I. P. Pavlova or Náměstí Míru stops (night tram 51)