With fewer tourists and the snow decorating all the picturesque buildings, there’s surely no better time of year to visit Prague than in winter. But even the most resilient travellers will need a few breaks to warm up, relax and defrost frozen fingers and toes. Here’s our pick of the best places to escape the freezing temperatures.
The recently redesigned Mohaji Café has a super-cosy fireplace, and locals come here for the laid-back ambiance, freshly roasted coffee and carefully selected wine. Not too many people know about this cafe yet, so you can enjoy relaxing on the fluffy cushions, listening to mellow music and admiring the funky elderflower-print wallpaper without the crowds. Come when it’s dark for the most intimate feel, with the fireplace roaring and perfectly dimmed lighting.
Oliver’s Coffee Cup
Gaze down upon the hustle and bustle of one of Prague’s main hotspots through the enormous windows of this snug cafe overlooking Wenceslas Square. Hidden in an otherwise unappealing shopping centre, Oliver’s Coffee Cup feels like a friend’s living room, with tasteful furniture, ample armchairs, modern decor and plenty of books, meaning you can unwind in comfort while you enjoy a high-quality coffee.
Bistro Lovely Day
Even a modern bistro can have a cosy feel, and Lovely Day proves it. Located in Holešovice, a trendy district of Prague, this small space has been expertly decorated with stylish furniture made of white painted pallets and covered in an abundance scatter cushions. Be sure to sit as far from the sliding doors as possible so that the cold wind can’t get you. For maximum warmth, the ideal spot is a seat along the wall beside the pots of hot soup.
The ultimate chill-out spot for creatives, this shabby-chic venue is located in a former factory and stands out from other options in Prague. A team of young entrepreneurs became famous by breathing fresh air into long-forgotten spaces and this is one of their true masterpieces. Conveniently equipped with heat lamps for extra warmth, Vnitroblock revolves around Signature Store & Cafe, which combines a showroom for local and European designers with a hip cafe offering freshly roasted coffee and homemade cakes. To top it all off, you’ll find a gallery space, a yoga studio and a whole range of events from workshops to poetry reading.
Coffee Corner Bakery
It’s hard to pick just one cosy cafe representative of Prague’s Vinohrady, a district in the wider city center beloved both by locals and expats. But Coffee Corner Bakery will do, mainly thanks to its living-room-like atmosphere enhanced by a fireplace and a few armchairs. Superb coffee and cakes plus a good vibe make it an ideal place to hang out on a wintry day. Wi-fi can become spotty once the place gets filled.
Steamy windows are usually a sign of something warm inside, and that’s certainly the case here. On a quiet street just off the Old Town Square, Choco Café has become a meeting spot for local chocolate addicts and travellers alike. Go for their rich, thick hot chocolate, carefully crafted in their gourmet chocolaterie using the best cocoa beans from all over the world. If the original Choco Café in Liliova Street happens to be full, just head over to their other branch on nearby Betlémské Square.
Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova
This bistro will warm your heart as well as your stomach: the lovely Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova is a project that employs homeless women to cook amazing vegan food. The space is tiny and popular, so even arriving right at noon doesn’t guarantee a seat for lunch, but if you’re willing to wait you’re in for a treat. Not only is it inexpensive (soup and a main costs less than 100Kč and their delicious, fruit-infused tap water is free), you’ll be helping the homeless just by eating.
Javánka & Co.
Javánka & Co has such a homely feel that you’ll forget that you’re dining out. The spacious bistro offers Asian fusion–style dishes from a minimalist menu with a strong focus on Indonesian cuisine. Come here for an intimate atmosphere and delicious food that’s made with love.
Mánesova Bar and Books
Part of the iconic New York chain of cigar bars which originated over 25 years ago, the Mánesova offshoot of Bar and Books provides a casual environment where you can lounge in a comfy leather chair while you sip on a delicious cocktail or whiskey. Top-quality cigars are also on offer and live music and burlesque shows appear on the programme regularly.
Prosecco aficionados rave about Prosekárna. The main room has the air of an elegant mountain cabin, with its warm fireplace and comfy chairs. Sometimes it’s just obvious when an establishment is not started for money but for fun, and that’s the story behind Prosekárna. The owners are always around and eager to chat with guests about their favourite topic: prosecco. If you’re a prosecco newbie, rest assured the staff will introduce you to a variety of options. Be sure to book a table before your visit by calling or emailing – all contact details are on the website.