Zizkov Prague

Zizkov has always been the Bohemian part of Prague. It boasts the largest concentration of bars in Europe or even the world. During communism, there was a bar in even building. Today there are roughly 300 bars in Zizkov. On one street alone Borivajova, I once counted 38 different establishments selling alcohol. 85% of all tourists to Prague will never venture into Zizkov even though there are some quality hotels, pensions and hostels there.

Zizkov was historically a working-class district and was sometimes referred to as “Red Zizkov”, because so many of its inhabitants supported left-wing parties. Before World War II, it had a reputation as a rough area. This reputation spread across the whole former Czechoslovakia and it was still possible to trace it amongst the people many decades later. The Žižkovians were very proud of their bad reputation and up to this day they tend to refer to their neighbourhood as the “The free republic of Žižkov”. This sentiment was very often a source of inspiration for novelists or filmmakers. This was captured in a humorous novel by Vlastimil Rada and Jaroslav Žák, Z tajností žižkovského podsvetí (“Secrets of the Žižkov Underground”), and in a 1985 film by Ivo Novák, Fešák Hubert.

Like many districts of the city, Žižkov today is socioeconomically diverse. It is undergoing a renewal, with many older buildings being reconstructed and restored. New fashionable cafes and restaurants are appearing and property prices are increasing rapidly.

Here are my picks of 5 authentic bars/Restaurants in Zizkov.

  1. U Vystrelenyho Oka (The Shot Out Eye) in lower Zizkov, is a legendary bar in Zizkov made famous because it hosted many of the Charter 77 meetings during Communism. They also do a small menu. Try the Gulas at only 60 Kc (€2.20 or $3).
  2. U Sadu is another legendary bar which is in business for over 80 years and serves food until 4 am every night.
  3. Nad Viktorkou is a local Czech bar run by the owner of the building. This bar has a great atmosphere open til 2 am every night.
  4. Herba Bar attracts a very Bohemian crowd open until 4 am every night.
  5. Pizza Roma is a 24/7 Pizzeria which is always busy and perfect with that late-night pizza.

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