Holesovice Bubenec Dejvice

Working-class Holesovice has always had its share of old men's pubs, but only relatively recently has the neighbourhood exploded with nicer drinking options, including loads of new cafés. Most of the better places are clustered around Letenské náméstí in Bubenec. Look particularly down the street Smeralová. If you can't find something that suits your fancy, walk to the corner at Keramícká and then on to Cechova. There are at least a dozen bars and watering holes around here, all offering pretty much the same mix of cheapish beer and tables filled with students and local residents knocking one back.

fraktal Map pp132-3 Bar

% 777 794 094; Smeralová 1, Bubenec; S 11am-midnight; j1, 8, 15, 25, 26

This subterranean space under a corner house near Letenské náméstí is easily the friendliest bar this side of the Vltava. This is especially true for English speakers, as Fraktal serves as a kind of unofficial expat watering hole. It serves the Pilsner Urquell family of beers, including popular 10° Gambrinus. There's also good Mexican-style nosh for spacing beers. The only drawback is the early closing time. Last orders are at 11.30pm, and every year they seem to bring it forward another 30 minutes.

la bodega flamenca

Map pp132-3 Bar

% 233 374 075; Smeralová 5, Bubenec; S 4pm-1am Sun-Thu, to 3am Fri & Sat; j 1, 8, 15, 25, 26

La Bodega is an atmospheric, red-brick cellar, painted and plastered to look like an adobe shack. With the Latin music turned down low, the buzz of conversation and the flickering candlelight, the crowd seems a bit more reflective (well, at least compared to the crew at Fraktal next door). Most people come for the sangria or the beer, but there's also a nice selection of tapas on hand, including tortilla español, chorizo al vino tinto (chorizo sausage stewed in red wine) and gambas pil-pil (prawns in garlic and chilli). There's also live music and dance some nights.

le tram Map pp132-3 Bar

% 233 370 359; Smeralová 12, Bubenec; h 8pm-6am; j1, 8, 15, 25, 26

Another decent choice on the same street as La Bodega and Fraktal (and open much later). Le Tram looks like it's been furnished from a Prague public transport closing-down sale. Filled with plastic seats, benches and other accoutrements salvaged from decommissioned trams, as well as other 1970s objets trouvés, this pleasantly scruffy French-owned bar pulls in an international crowd with cheap beer, lively conversation and cool tunes.

stromoffka Map pp132-3 Bar

% 737 141 997; Kamenická 54, Holesovice; h 5pm-2am Mon-Sat; j1, 8, 15, 25, 26

This popular student bar, with occasional DJs and dancing downstairs, draws a local, early 20-ish crowd, but is large enough to be welcoming to newcomers. It tends to get packed out late on Fridays and Saturdays, when the lower-level bar is three-deep in drink orders and sweaty bodies are pounding out the beat behind.

letensky zámecek

Map pp132-3 Beer Garden

% 233 378 208; Letensky sady 341, Bubenec; h 11am-11pm (summer only); j 1, 8, 15, 25, 26

No accounting of watering holes in the Holesovice area would be complete without a nod towards the city's best beer garden, situated at the eastern end of Letná park. If it's beer you're after, you have two choices: one, known euphemistically as 'business class', is to pull up a chair at the grill-garden restaurant towards the left, where you can get a half-litre Pilsner Urquell for around 30Kc a glass, plus pretty good pizzas and burritos. The other option - 'coach' - is to line up at the beer window and get a 28Kc half-litre in a plastic cup and sit at the picnic tables along the ridge. Though it's open only in nice weather, it's the best game in town on a warm summer evening.

alchymista Map pp132-3 Café

% 233 370 359; Jana Zajívce 7, Bubenec; h 8pm-6am; j1, 8, 15, 25, 26

This old-fashioned coffee house with an adjacent art gallery is an oasis in the culturally barren neighbourhood behind Sparta stadium. Freshly ground coffees, a serious selection of teas (no Lipton in a bag here),

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