I have a confession to make (sigh). I like drinking on a roof, preferably sipping champagne or an outrageously under-priced cocktail made by a handsome bartender (what? It’s not like I am asking for the world here). Unfortunately, as roof terraces and handsome bartenders go I am afraid both are in pretty short supply here in Prague. So I’ll give you the run down of my faves and perhaps after a few cocktails you might think that special someone, be they peck-flexing bartender or cleavage infused waitress is definitely “looking at you” (they aren’t, I promise).
It’s where the beautiful people go for after work drinks- not beautiful, not in fashion, not a photographer, not, well, cool? Then try your luck emailing the Emblem to see if you can’t get on top of that roof top bar anyway when festive drinks with views of the castle happen on Monday evenings. Not really sure what it would compare to in the “homeland”? Well, think of it as Shoreditch meets Brooklyn meets Silver Lake, but with a lot less skinny jeans on men.
Its the preferred venue for press conferences with a view, but the Zlata Praha restaurant – on top of the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel – also has a pretty killer terrace. Sure they’re known for brunch ( go for the unlimited champagne if you go) as well as hosting old, rich tourists and diplomats. Within the last year or two the Zlata Praha has also started drawing in a more elite 30-something crowd that comes for the views and stays late in the evening before popping off to one of the many fashionable clubs and bars that line the streets of Parizska.
So, by no fault of its own – OK that’s not entirely true – the Botel Matylda doesn’t actually have a “roof” terrace but it has sun decks, and by all accounts that’s good enough for me. Order a champagne, prosecco or any bubbly drink on the menu and watch the waters of the Vltava go by. The botel is always a mix of tourists, older Czechs and younger Czechs stopping off for a drink after walking down Naplavka. It should be noted that sometimes you can reserve a table on the terrace, but only if you are fortunate enough to get someone who is in a good mood, otherwise you are more or less at the mercy of the wait staff.
The cocktails are good – not stellar, if you want those you have to go into the cavernous Black Angel’s Bar located in the lower level of the same hotel – but you are here for some of the best views of Old Town Square. Sure you’ll probably be pap’ed in a number of photos and will more likely than not watch a “photoshoot” (I use the term loosely) of an Eastern European woman taking provocative photos that look more Penthouse than Vogue, but again, it’s the views. Grab a table either at the front or towards the back side and soak up the Prague sun.
Perhaps one of the best “beer gardens” in Prague, T-Anker is located on top of the Kotva depatment store just across from the Palladium mega-mall. It’s a favourite for professionals from the surrounding areas- mostly lawyers, sales and marketing managers who are here drinking Czech favourites and whatever microbrew is fresh on tap. Unlike a lot of other beer gardens in Prague, this is a favourite of the ladies who rest their tired feet and arms – shopping bags can get heavy- for a pint of anything from radler to lager. Should it be hot or even remotely sunny make a reservation. Czechs are much like their sun-deprived English counterparts; the first sign of sun and everyone is at a terraced garden.
It made my most fashionable cocktail bar list a few years ago and ended up back on my list for Metro UK simply because , well, the cocktails are stellar and the views are spectacular. Did I mention that the staff is charming and good-looking as well? During the summer months this roof top terrace hosts not only great cocktails and plenty of flirting, but also a few BBQ where you can mingle with locals and those in the know. Book ahead if you can because if the weather is good, the place will be packed.
Have a tip, did I miss your favourite roof top bar? Send it in and spread the good word- surely we will all thank you!