24 Hours in Prague: Live like a local in the hip 'hood of Holešovice
Thomas Breathnach lives like a local in Holešovice, one of Prague's hippest 'hoods...
There's a lot more to Prague than Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock. Here's how to venture beyond the historic centre...
9am: Feel at home in Holešovice
A penthouse master suite, six-piece dining set and wrap-round balconies may cost top koruna elsewhere, but in Prague's hipster stronghold of Holešovice, you can live like a tsar for less. The city's former industrial grindstone is today a real slice of Bohemia, burgeoning with the arts, pop-up cafés and pug accessory stores. And it's all within a 10-minute tram trundle to the Old Town. A quick tip - when picking an Airbnb listing, try to stay three nights where possible. It widens the net of available properties and dilutes the cleaning and admin fees.
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How: Airbnb.ie, €100 per night, listing #4873819.
12pm: Enjoy a boho brunch
Airbnb's dine-in/dine-out appeal means neighbourhoods like Holešovice double the fun for foodies. For DIY breakfast staples, hit Prague Farmers' market, where Hall 22 is a trove for fresh eggs, greens and local cheeses. Eating out? Holešovice heaves with eclectic, affordable eateries like the fabulously quirky Booze & Food - a beatnik burger bar set in an American school bus (pictured main).
How: boozeandfood.cz; €9, Bubenské nábř. 306/13; prazska-trznice.cz
2pm: Bag a bargain
Scouting for souvenirs? The streets of Holešovice are open-air aisles of quirky shopping ops, from Slavic bric-a-brac to contemporary homewares. Start at the massive Pražská Tržnice flea market, before branching out to bespoke boutiques like Luciela Taschen where you can pick up vegan tote bags or Page Five bookshop for packing-friendly prints from local artists and photographers.
How: prazska-trznice.cz, lucielataschen.com, pagefive.com
4pm: Feel Prague's artistic pulse
Where there's a warehouse, there's an artist. Named after Holešovice's postcode, Art District 7 is Prague's emerging creative hub, dazzling with finds like Dox, a gallery of contemporary art, and Jatka 78, a former slaughterhouse turned gallery, bar and dance theatre. Fashion more your design field? Head to the quirky Mint Market for locally tailored trends.
How: dox.cz (€7); jatka78.cz; mintmarket.cz
7pm: Go underground with the locals
As Prague's cobbled Old Town heaves with tourists, Holešovice kicks back with old-man locales and beatnik bars. The ultimate slave to Slavic cool is hole-in-the-wall concept space Vnitroblock. Here, you can claim an oversized armchair and pair some craft pils with zen lounge beats. With kids and dogs welcome in Vnitroblock, too, this may well be a Czech urban utopia.
How: Tusarova 791/31; vnitroblock.cz
9pm: Enjoy pilsner in the park
Fancy a spot of beer gardening? Every year, as the spring thaws and the chestnut trees bud, Prague's Letna Park, on the fringe of Holešovice, blossoms into one of Europe's biggest beer gardens. Pick up a brew from the resident kiosks, pull up pew and with stunning old town views, and enjoy the perfect Prague sundowner.
How: Letenské sady, 170 00.
Love indie film? Cinema buffs should check out Bio Oko - a vibey, arthouse cinema on Františka Křižka Street. Czech offerings are typically presented with English subtitles (biooko.net; €5).
Three to try
Crypto coffee fix
Ever bartered for your flat-white using crypto-currency? In Holešovice you can! Paralelní Polis is a cultural think-tank for Prague's hipster and hacker set, and features the only café in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. The espresso's pretty great too... paralelnipolis.cz
A taste of Vietnam
Don't overlook Prague's ethnic food scene - it's cheap, vibrant and where you'll find the locals. The city hosts one of Europe's largest Vietnamese diasporas, so head to Trang An restaurant in Holešovice's flea market for some of the best pho... prazska-trznice.cz/trang-an
Party all night long
All about that bass? Join the lines at Cross Club, Holešovice's iconic, industrially-themed nightclub where techno, house and drum & bass thump through dawn. If you're seeking a little more chill, its happening café opens until 2am... crossclub.cz
Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) & Ryanair (ryanair.com) fly from Dublin to Prague daily. Thomas stayed as a guest of Airbnb (airbnb.ie).
For more, see prague.eu