Explore Prague’s Karlín District
Welcome to one of Prague’s most alternative and hippest neighbourhoods: Karlín.
In 2002, potentially the worst floods to ever hit Prague did significant damage to the area, leading to a need for mass reconstruction and renovation.
Since then, the former worker’s district has been rebuilt, and is now not only fully integrated into the city, but also seen as one of Prague’s most up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Here you’ll find tips for all kinds of cool experiences around our Pentahotel in Karlín. From bars and cafés to alternative cultural centres, parks, and sights.
1. The perfect spot for people watching.
The Kasárna Karlín is the unofficial heart of the community.
Today, these former military barracks from the 1840s have been repurposed as a cultural and social hub, offering various open-air events and a range of diverse and unique spaces. An old car wash that is now a bar and a former army swimming pool turned cosy coffee shop are just two examples of the inventiveness and creativity running through the place. A cinema, sauna, multiple bars and a large courtyard where you can play badminton and beach volleyball amongst other things, demonstrate that Kasárna is as vibrant and lively as the neighbourhood itself. Well worth a visit.
2. Where to go to get away from the crowds.
One of Prague’s most impressive baroque buildings, the Invalidovna, happens to be nestled in Sudkovy Sady – a peaceful and relaxing park and garden. This is the perfect spot for a gentle stroll, a picnic, or reading your book on one of its many benches. It is family-friendly too, with a children’s play area. Alternatively, if you feel like stretching your legs a little more, we recommend crossing the Vltava River by ferry and taking a walk along the riverbank.
3. For the music lovers.
The Forum Karlín is a popular venue with a maximum capacity of 3,000 visitors. Here you can experience a variety of musical acts ranging from big international bands to Czech pop stars. Particularly convenient is that you can walk home to your Pentahotel in Karlín on foot in less than 10 minutes after the concert, instead of having the hassle of dealing with parking or having to take public transport.
4. Where to go after dark.
As is the case across Prague in general, there is no shortage of opportunities for high-quality and affordable beer drinking in Karlín. However, there’s a good reason the district is becoming one of the most popular spots for going out. With a large selection of bars, pubs and restaurants to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find somewhere with the ambience and atmosphere you are looking for. Personally, we recommend checking out Dva kohouti for its wide assortment of different beers and the fact that the brewery and taproom are rolled into one.
5. Tips for a rainy day.
Alternatively, if drinking isn’t your thing or you just aren’t in the mood for a beer, Karlín boasts a range of cafés, from quaint and cosy to modern and trendy, this is also the perfect way to spend a few hours on a rainy day or if the weather isn’t so good. We like the espresso bar Café Frida, which serves not only coffee and pastries but drinks and dinner as well. Also highly recommended is the Můj šálek kávy in the heart of the neighbourhood.
6. Where to take your grandma?
The Church of St Cyril and St Methodius sits in Karlínské Square, often considered the centre of Karlín. This late Romanesque church with its towering spires is a notable landmark and one of the largest religious buildings in the Czech Republic. Not only that, but the interior is also worth a look with its spectacular décor thanks to the contribution of numerous Czech artists.
7. Best local tip?
Ultimately, this versatile neighbourhood has plenty to explore, from galleries to bars and live music venues. Sitting right on the border between Karlín and the neighbourhood to the south – Žižkov, the charming and intimate Žižkovšiška is a combination of all of those. Hosting regular open mic nights and open jazz jam sessions, you can also find art exhibitions featuring the work of local and regional artists.