As a guest of our yesterday’s food tour said, May is a great time to visit Prague: the trees are blossoming, the weather is great and everything is green. But it’s not just the nature that wakes up after a half-year hiatus. The social life seems to start blossoming in May, too, and with a few interesting events taking place mid to late May, you can tap into that scene, too. We bring you a short last-minute overview of the events coming up the next week, the associated venues, and - of course - the eateries nearby. Because let’s be honest: it’s all nice and all to look at buildings, design or listening to music, but when you’re hungry, you’re hungry, okay?
The Prague Spring, one of the biggest classical music festivals anywhere, is celebrating its 70th edition this year. If you’re visiting Prague now, this is your opportunity to go behind the tired performances of classical music in picturesque venues around the touristy centre of Prague offered everywhere online and on the streets. Honestly, how many times can you play the Four Seasons several times a day and still enjoy it? So, with the tickets booked and in your pocket, where to eat before and after the performance?
If you are attending a concert in the Rudolfinum, your safest bet will be La Finestra restaurant or bistro from Riccardo Luque’s Finestra/Aromi/Bottega empire. You will look super sharp all suited up in the restaurant where elegant, affluent locals and foreign visitors come to enjoy good Italian cooking with emphasis on meat. The bistro next door offers a slightly simpler but still tasty fare. But they’re open until 10:30 pm, so it’s a great place for a post-concert meal. For a cup of good coffee nearby, make sure you visit Tricafe (pictured below), the best place to enjoy coffee near the Charles Bridge without the madness that surrounds it.
We’d think nothing beats a cup of coffee before a concert in the Municipal House at EMA Espresso Bar, our favorite cafe in the entire Prague. Although a hipster-ish espresso bar, you will blend in with a suit thanks to the vicinity of the seat of the biggest law firm in Prague. And if there’s one think lawyers need, it’s coffee. But if you do want to stand out of the crowd and show off your robe to the crowds, a chlebicek at Sisters or meatloaf at Nase maso will do. Both of these things are messy, so watch out! And continue with wines at the “big” Vinograf after the concert for a classy finish. Finally, if you’ve booked a concert at the Church of St Simon and St Jude, a dinner at Field and post-concert drinks at Public Interest next door are a very, very good idea, too.
Prague Design Week
The second edition of the Prague Design Week takes place in the Kafka House next to the Old Town Square. We always recommend you forget about the cheap tchotchkes sold in the streets around the Charles Bridge, and the week-long exhibition of young Czech designers is the perfect opportunity to buy something local and unique. Just hurry: the exhibition ends on May 17!
If you get hungry after the hours of browsing and shopping, the central location of Las Adelitas, one of the few good Mexican places in Prague, will definitely be up to the bill. Just don’t go before the actual visit of the Design Week because those mango margaritas make it very difficult to leave the place. Venturing a bit further, the area around the Bethlehem Square offers a lot in terms of both food, coffee (like Original Coffee pictured above) and drinks… and more local design worth a look if you haven’t had enough already.
If you like to sneak behind closed doors like we do, Open House Praha is a great opportunity to do just that: the annual event, which is due this weekend (May 16 and 17), opens the doors to some very interesting buildings that would otherwise remain closed to the general public. With over 30 venues opened all around Prague, the event can make for a very busy weekend but we do have some favorites that we definitely don’t want to miss on.
But we do have some favorites. We definitely want to see the Kramarova vila, which is the official residence of the Czech Prime Minister. Also, the Dancing House is a cool place to visit. We guess both of these places will offer a view of Prague that is unavailable otherwise. The Trade Unions Building in the Zizkov district is something we have walked around most of our lives but never been inside. And it is very near The Tavern burgers, the Botas 66 shop and the Jirak farmers’ markets (if you visit on Saturday). And continuing further away, the Zizkov Freight Railway Station is a hauntingly desolate place that is now the target of revitalization efforts by the young artsy community.
We’ve realized that many of the open houses actually mirror a walk we have created a while back for hot summer days: you can start at the St Agnes Convent (and have something to eat at Lokal, Sisters or Nase maso if you’re there on Saturday), and continue with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture (stopping at Maso a kobliha for a snack), make small detours to the Stvanice Island power plant or the Florentinum office building, and continue to the Karlin district with a visit the modern Danube House and Main Point Karlin. Finally, finish with the baroque Invalidovna and coffee at Muj salek kavy or wines at Veltlin. A busy day for sure, but you’ll see a lot.
This event is smaller, and only takes place on Friday, 15 May, but it’s close to our hearts. The courtyard of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Charles University on the river banks near the National Theatre will see the arrival of a “House Boat”, a one-day event that really tries to put us all in a state collective self-denial that the summer has arrived. We’re talking beach lounge chairs and DJs and summer fun. No need to give any food tips here because everything is included already: fresh juices will be served, the Scoop it online gelateria will sell ice-creams which we haven’t had yet but are eager to try them, and, above all, burgers will be served by We are Burgers, the coolest burgers in town, whose Kuba and Jonas brought us some fantastic tips for food and drinks as part of our “Where do Prague foodies eat?” article. If you want to see how Czech university students and their friends hang out after their school week is over, make sure you are there.
Finally, another edition of Restaurant Day, where amateur chefs open their pop-up street-food restaurants for just one day, is taking place on Saturday, May 16. No need to give you food tips around the venues here, really. Where to go then? The Krymska street on the edge of the Vinohrady and Vrsovice districts has always been deeply involved in anything that creates and promotes a community on the street, and the Restaurant Day seems to be no exception. Several pop-ups will open there. Continue from there to the Grebovka vineyard for a stroll with a view. The Veverkova street in the Letna district will also see several pop-ups, mostly related to the fun shops that have opened there recently. The Manesova street near the Riegrovy sady beer garden will see many openings, too. Finally, for something a bit more fancy, visit the Laboratorio cooking school for Italian treats made in house and for Vietnamese rolls by Kamura, one of the hottest chefs in Prague at the moment. For the full map of popups, click here.