Notable cafés in Prague
Prague is famous not only for its beautiful architecture, but also for its artists and intellectuals - who looked for inspiration in cups of coffee among stimulating company. If you are in serach of a truly "Prague" experience, don't miss out on one of its historical and dignified cafés.
Café Slavia, located on the banks of the Vltava just across from the National Theatre, is one of the oldest and most popular Prague cafés. Opened in 1863, it soon became the meeting place for members of the city's intellectual elite - German- and Czech-speaking alike: writers such as Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Jaroslav Seifert, or composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák were frequent guests.
From the café's Art Déco interior, visitors receive a sweeping panoramic view of Prague Castle and Petřín hill. At Slavia, you can also order meals, cakes, hot chocolate or maybe a grog (warm rum with water) when the weather is cold.
The Café Louvre dates from the period just before the founding of the first Czechoslovak Republic and remains a popular restaurant-café to this day. The pleasant Art Nouveau environment has attracted many renowned individuals over the years, including local writer Franz Kafka and visiting professor Albert Einstein. Like any good cafe, the Louvre offers free newspapers, and visitors can also borrow board games or play billiards.
The Café Imperial boasts a unique interior inspired by Oriental motifs. Recently renovated, the Imperial is also a hotel. It was immortalized in Zdeněk Jirotka's comic novel Saturnin. The book describes two kinds of people. If confronted with a full bowl of doughnuts in a distinguished cafe such as the Imperial, there are those who would just blankly stare at the doughnuts and those who would toy with the thought of throwing them at all the guests. And there was a third group, of which the title character - a butler with an usual sense of humor - is a part: the kind of people who would actually take the doughnuts and throw them. For many years, the cafe even had a bowl of stale doughnuts available for this purpose, for the price of CZK 1,942 (the year the book was published). That little touch of the past sadly disappeared after the cafe's renovation several years ago.
The Café Savoy is located on the left bank of the Vltava, not far from Kampa, on the ground floor of an Art Nouveau building. With its seven-meter ceiling and immense chandeliers, the café's interior is a true neo-Renaissane gem.