Emergency measures in the wake of Covid-19:
The Czech Republic is adopting massive restrictions beginning October 27. Measures include limits on free movement and the closure of many stores, shopping malls and hotels. Restaurants may open until 8pm and offer only take-out services.
One of Europe's top tourist destinations, this beautiful city is a must for gay adventurers.
The capital of the Czech Republic (Česko or Czechia), Prague (Praha) is an architectural gem. With a millennium of history carved in stone, the "City of 100 Spires" is a fairytale-like wonderland on the Vltava River. Originally five separate towns, Prague’s historic center has eye-popping sights around every corner. The grimy faded-glory aspects of post-Communist Prague have now all but disappeared. Restored treasures recall the glorious First Republic pre-war years, when the city enjoyed the highest living standards of Europe. The generation that came of age since 1989, artists, designers and entrepreneurs, have created one of the most modern but liveable cities now found anywhere.
Prague also has by far the largest, most stylish, and most international nightlife for gay people in Eastern Europe, with dozens of gay bars, nightclubs, cafes, sex clubs and saunas, plus some of the world's finest local brews. And make no mistake about it, Czechs of every disposition do like to party. Often as strikingly handsome as the guys in Bel Ami videos, they're an outgoing, uninhibited, and refreshingly forthright people.
Venturing just a bit off the beaten path can lead to some surprisingly exotic encounters. Outside the tourist areas, you'll find fewer places where people speak anything other than Czech. But find a common tongue, or improvise a new one over a few beers, and you'll have some truly engaging experiences.
Sexual conformity is far less common in Prague than elsewhere in the Czech Republic. Straight and gay worlds are more integrated here than in other European cities, so relationships and identity are less likely to be labeled one way or another. While there have been same-sex registered partnerships since 2006, the street celebrations are a more recent affair, with the city's gay pride festivities, including a parade and festival that now take place in mid-August. Rainbow flags are more rarely displayed at other times, but public spaces remain places where people aren’t afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger. With a modicum of courtesy you're unlikely to offend anyone by taking an interest in another person, sexually or otherwise.
Prague's Václav Havel Airport (Ruzyně), the country's main international gateway, is about 10 miles northwest of the city center. Taxis into town can be pricey, around $35, but shuttle buses and municipal buses povide cheaper options. Bus AE (Airport Express) leaves the airport every 30 minutes, taking 33 minutes to get to the center, with stops at Náměstí Republiky, Masarykovo nádraží, and the train station, Hlavní nádraží. Purchase tickets from the driver for 60 Kč. He may accept, without additonal charge, a valid train ticket for continuing trips departing the destination station. Returning buses depart Hlavní nádraží express for airport Terminal 1 (non-Schengen destinations), Terminal 2 (Schengen countries), and T-3 (private and charter flights).
Single trip 90 minute tickets will get to your destination for just 32 Kč ($1.50). A day pass, bought for 110 Kč at the terminal, is good for transit into town and, after validation on the bus, on any city bus, tram or metro train. Look for bus number 119 alongside the terminal, departing every 5-20 minutes, for a 17-minute trip to the Nádraží Veleslavín Metro station, then hop one of the frequent trains into the center on line A. There is also slightly less frequent number 191 bus service to Zličín Metro station, on line B, for the same ticket price.
The Praha Hlavní nádraží Main Railway and Metro Station, near Wenceslas Square, has direct service or connections to most major European and large Czech cities. The trip from Berlin takes just under 5 hours. The nearby Masarykovo nádraží railway station, at the náměstí Republiky Metro stop, handles suburban and regional trains. See the Czech Railways or Czech Transport websites for information and online ticket purchases.
Student Agency has modern and inexpensive bus/coach services to/from cities within the Czech Republic, and surrounding countries, often at less than half the price of a train ticket. Personal on-demand movies (in Czech or English), TV, internet access, power plug-ins and free coffee are standard. Passangers under 26 or over 60 get an additional 10% discount. Arrivals and departures are at Florenc Bus Station, next to the Metro station.
The Prague Metro system of 65 km, with three lines and 61 stations, is said, per capita, to be the most-used in the world. Above ground, the tram lines run frequently most everywhere between the Metro stations. Many of the businesses catering to gay travelers are near four Metro stations, all on the green/A line: Mustek, Muzeum, Namesti Miru, and Jiriho z Podebrad. The A line recently extended westerly with the Petřiny and Nemocnice Motol stations.
Single-trip or one to five-day pass tickets can be purchased at Metro stations, machines at some larger tram shops, or at nearby tabacco and convenience stores. A half-hour ticket costs 24 Kč (validate in the yellow box at station entrance or on the tram); 32 Kč gives you 90 minutes; and 110 Kč day passes are good for the 24 hours after being stamped. Validate just once, but keep the ticket ready for an inspector, should one ask for it. Separate 16 Kč tickets must be bought for luggage items larger than airline carry-on size (over 25x45x70 cm). A monthly pass is 670 Kč, on sale at the Florenc Metro Station, which can be shared - one at a time - with others. A dog no longer needs a ticket, and bikes are free of charge in the Metro, and within designated times on some trams. See the DPP fare information page for full details.
Many tram lines have night service after midnight, and departure times are listed at the stops. Keep an eye on the tram number displayed up front as detours for track work or special events are announced only in Czech on the PA system. Check passing stations against your map, or risk going out of your way. See the DPP website for full route and fare information in Czech, English and German. The Public Transport Museum is open on weekends April through November, at the old tram depot building in Střešovice, Prague 6.
With cobblestone streets, tram cars and their tracks, and agressive drivers, downtown Prague streets on a bike might be a bit daunting for some people. For recreation however, there are some nice trails around town, especially along the Vltava river and out in the countryside. See an expats.cz article on Czech Republic biking. Green Lemon is a rental shop and tour provider near Charles Square (Karlovo nám) with bikes, Gocycles, Segways and E-scooters for rent, along with walking or Segway tours of the city. City Bike Prague, in Old Town, is another bike and Segway rentals option; open daily April through October.
Street addresses have two street numbers. Upper red numbers are "descriptive numbers," unique within each municipal area, a distinctly Czech practice. Lower numbers in blue are "orientational numbers" specific to each street or square in the style familiar to most visitors, with houses along each street numbered in sequence, even on one side, odd on the other.
Currency and Money
The local currency is the koruna, or crown, usually represented by the symbol Kč. Plans to adopt the euro have been pushed back until 2020 at the earliest (if at all). Until then many shops and restaurants happily accept euros, and bills/receipts often include totals in euros. Check the rate first, as some places can knock up to 20% off the value of your euro cash. ATMs are very common, so you can easily get local cash, but with bad exchange rates and hefty ATM fees you're often better off at the exchange shops. Ask your home bank if they have a local partner bank, to save on ATM withdrawals. Major credit cards are accepted most everywhere.
When changing money at the many exchange shops around town consult the signs displaying rates for each currency, usually in their front window. Compare rates and commissions at several before making a transaction. Shops just outside the busiest tourist areas usually offer the best deals, and changing larger amounts at a time will often give better overall rates.
One shop with reliably good exchange rates is Sménárna Jasmin Plus, Politických vězňů 8, opposite Olivova, near the main post office on Jindnsska. There are three others nearby on Politických vězňů, and on Opletalova, just two blocks off Václavské náměstí, (Wenseslas Square) and the Hlavni Nadrazi train station. Take enough crowns if venturing outside the central tourist district, since even busy commercial centers like that at Anděl Metro station, have no exchange shops --but there are ATMs.
Media, information, resources
Fresh Magazine is a gay lifestyle magazine for Prague and surrounding areas, with events listings and guide, in Czech and Spanish - and English in the works. LUI "fashion magazine for modern men" based in Prague, is in Czech.
Kink, in English, a Czech-based online magazine, picks through the best of the European alternative art, music and cultural scene - both East and West.
The Gay Pride/ Gay Map website also has well updated business listings, in English, with a printed gay map at clubs and restaurants around the city, and a pdf download too.
The Expats.cz English-language website has job classifieds, housing, real estate, restaurant listings and reviews, entertainment (including English-language movie listings), articles and tips on getting about, and a directory database of just about anything else you might need.
The Prague City Tourist Office, has a helpful general website for travellers, and three city offices with maps etc, at: Václavské náměstí (Wenceslas Sq), Můstku/ Rytířská 12 (near Můstek Metro station), and Staroměstské náměstí 1 (Clock Tower, Old Town Sq). They also have booths at airport Terminals 1 and 2. Prague.eu is the official website for Prague.
The Folklore Association of the Czech Republic has info on 44 festivals and rural celebrations all around the country - with interesting links to a lot of websites, many in English. For the official general public tourism site, see Prague Welcome with online info, and directions to tourist assistance sites at the airport, the main train station and Old Town Hall.
The Prague Daily Monitor is the gay-friendly English-language website for daily news and events listings. Prague.tv has restaurant tips and lists cinema venues and schedules - movies usually screen in their original language here, with Czech subtitles. The Prague Post weekly English-language newspaper and website recently ceased publication after nearly 25 years.
Local Starbucks and McDonalds, along with Czech cafes and bistros such as the Art Deco gem, the Café Slavia, plus the American-style brunch and Vegetarian lunch spot, Radost FX, Restaurant/Cafe also offers free Wi-Fi. The local Cross Cafe chain of eight Prague locations, and Starbucks with 22, all offer WiFi for guests. Look for the familiar symbol on many more doors around town.
Travelling without laptop, tablet or smart phone? Get online and make cheap international phone calls at: Call Point Vodičkova 20, between Václavské náměstí and Karlovo náměstí; Internet & Call Shop V Cipu 5, between Václavské náměstí and náměstí Republiky; and and Prague Call Shop, Celetná 25, downstairs at Bolzano Passage, near náměstí Republiky.
The main Post Office, a block from Václavské náměstí (where the trams cross the square), is open 22 hours every day, from 2am until midnight at the intersection of Jindřišská and Politických vězňů. Postage stamps can also be bought at some bookstores and card shops - just ask as you pay.
For a city map with locations and website links to businesses listed below and more, see our Prague gay map & listings pages. See Events for a gay-centric look at whats happening around town, and Gallery for some photos.
Bars, Cafes, Restaurants
Many bars are open until 4 or 5am. If handed a drink ticket be sure not to lose it, or there's a stiff penalty charge.
The Bohemia Bagel Cafe (Lázeňská 19, Malá strana + Dukelských hrdinů 48, Holešovice), serves bagel sandwiches, all-day American breakfast, burgers, grills, and weekend brunch.
The Bourgeois Pig (Koubkova 2), gay-friendly/ alternative coffee bar, toasts, sandwiches, beer/wine, lemonade, cocktails, spirits; eclectic furniture, vinyl records.
Cafe Cafe (Rytířská 10), sidewalk tables along Old City pedestrian street attracts gay couples for tasty afternoon pastries and coffee, by walls with celebrity photos.
Cafe Faux Pas (Vinohradska 31) open weekdays from 8am for hearty breakfasts, and until 10pm with Czech fare. Near the dance clubs, with bar, WiFi.
Cafe Flirt (Martinská 419/5), two-level gay/mixed breakfast and lunch cafe, music bar, and dance club until 2am.
Celebrity Cafe (Vinohradska 40), panini and burgers to full-meal menu restaurant and bar, breakfast 8-11am weekdays, 10am-4pm on weekends; one of few afternoon gay meeting places on this side of town, next to On dance club.
Dandy (Anny Letenské 18), sidewalk tables, signature cocktails, gay/mixed crowd, food, coffees, dancing.
Empire Bar (Třebízského 1391/8), new gay/mixed cocktail and coffee bar - formerly Chemistry.
Follow Me Cafe/Bar (Dlouhá 20), open Friday/Saturday 8am-2am (weekdays until 10pm), pleasant mixed crowd cafe; breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, popular nightclub warm-up spot.
JampaDampa (V Tunich 10) bar and dance club, most popular with younger women..
Klub 21 (Rimska 21) stylish cafe cellar bar on gated alley. Laid back, cool place to meet new Czech friends over inexpensive beers, open early from 4pm, also has art exhibitions.
Lehka Hlava (Borsov 2), or "Clear Head," innovative veggie/vegan restaurant in Old City, menu online.
Malér Bar (Krymská 26), gay/ straight-friendly bar; beer, wine and cider at good prices.
Piano Bar (Milesevska 10), mostly older Czech crowd, relaxed where everyone is made to feel welcome.
Qcafé (Opatovická 166/12), small hip queer cafe, young crowd, two floors - one for smokers, cocktails, wines, Italian coffee, traditional Kofola, and raspberry lemonade; snacks, soups, munchies and homemade desserts. Also with info center and queer reading library.
Radost FX (Belehradska 120) vegetarian restaurant, wide variety of vegan options, heaping-plate American-style weekend brunch. Relaxed Bohemian atmosphere, comfortable mis-matched furniture, English spoken, free WiFi access. Thursday through Saturday basement dance club.
Ryby & Chips (Myslíkova 18, Karlovo náměstí), British-style fish and chips (yes, malt vinegar!); burgers, hot dogs, chicken and nuggets, baked/jacket potatoes, fish cakes, mushy peas, onion rings, meat pies and pasties, pickled eggs, and more.
Saints (Polska 32) cozy bar to start the night near the dance clubs. Comfy couches, friendly Engllish-speaking staff and clientel, free WiFi. Expats, tourists, and some Czechs who come to practice their English.
Srdce a Kamen (K Cihelně 47, Všenory) or Heart and Stone, cabaret club with star Vaclav Glazer, who keeps the old songs alive.
Strelec (Anglická 616/2) from 5pm, gay Czech beer pub, Czech food, popular with a fun crowd of middle-age guys, including bears and their friends.
The Street Restaurant & Cocktail Bar (Konviktska 11), popular gay/mixed cafe-bar-restaurant in Old Prague, burgers & hot dogs, veggie options, open 11am to midnight. The former Cafe Erra location.
Up & Down Bar & Club (Seifertova 32/3), upstairs daytime bar/cafe; downstairs nightclub dancing, pole dancers. Formerly the Temple Bar location.
CLOSED: Café Muzeum (Mezibranska 19), small/ casual cafe/ bar, inexpensive beer; Fan Fan Club (Dittrichova 5), warm-up cocktails/ karaoke; Kafirna U Ceskeho Pana (Kozi 13), Czech men's bar; Little Temple Bar (Seifertova 26), afternoons/evening flirty freelancers, relax room; Little Joe’s Cafe Bar (Konevova 82), brief incarnation of Little Temple; Queens Music Club (Žitná 41), gay/straight mix; U Rudolfa (Mezibranska 3), local men's beer pub.
Friends (Bartolomejska 11), in narrow Old Town street, must-visit cocktail bar favorite of tourists and young locals. Periodic parties fill their dance floor, karaoke nights, DJs. Open from 7pm to 6am nightly.
TerMax (Vinohradska 40), Friday/Saturday gay dance club, 10pm-6am, young 18+ dance crowd. Basement of old Valentino and ON clubs, now associated with TerMix Club.
TerMix (Trebizskeho 4), popular gay dance club, lounge, small disco, darkroom off the men's room. Younger guys are sometimes casually 'commerical.' Wednesday to Sunday until 5am. Big night Wednesdays for Czech dance music.
Radost FX (Belehradska 120) mostly-straight basement dance club. After ten years running, the Lollipop gay disco nights no longer take place except during Pride Week, but international guest DJs appear for gay-friendly weekend dance parties.
Big dance clubs, usually straight, but with gay-friendly events from time to time include: SaSaZu (Bubenske nabrezi 360), and Studio 54 (Hybernska 38). See the websites for Ankali, Decandance promotions, Kinky Disco, OMG and Pioneer/ Dick dance party nights.
CLOSED: AXM Club (Vinohradska 40), cafe, 18+ gay dance club, theme nights.
Saunas, Strip Bars & Sex Clubs
Sex work is legal for those over 18 in the Czech Republic, but since both of Prague's naked stripper nightclubs, where for many years you could meet young entrepreneurs, closed in 2017, the hook-up scene has moved to the apps. Prague also has saunas, and sex clubs, and the gay dance clubs usually have dark rooms or a cruise labyrinth.
Alcatraz S&M Club (Borivojova 58) has a gay pub above their leather/uniform/rubber sex club, open daily. Dark rooms, video cabins, fetish areas, sling, cage, and showers. Thursday naked parties to 5am.
Club G (Stepnicna 9-11), men's member's club outside city center; room rentals, bar, sauna, whirlpool, garden. Massage services and various options with easy-to-meet locals. Smoking permitted. Formerly the Villa Mansland gay resort hotel.
Club Garage (224 Balbinova), new 8pm-6am men's cruise fetish/sex basement club, Tom of Finland style wall murals, bar drinks and coffees.
Drake's (Zborovska 50) across the river, large cellar bar and sex club, video booths, play rooms, stripper and live-sex shows, porn videos. Cover charges (free 18-25) good for 24 hours. They never close.
Escape Club (V Jame 8) - CLOSED Dec 2017 - non-stop fully naked male strippers. Dancers will snuggle (drinks on you) on comfy couches, as you watch the show, or make private arrangemets.
Factory Club (Vinohradská 63), industrial-style club on three floors, bar, dungeon, darkroom, private cabins with videos, showers, cage, slings and glory holes, sex shop and WiFi; deep house minimal ambient music.
Heaven (Gorazdova 11), the country's widest selection of DVDs for sale and rent, sex shop, darkrooms, naked parties, cinema, video cabins; 10 inexpensive on-site studio apartments, bar.
Sauna Babylonia (Martinska 6), open daily 2pm to 3am, 5am on Friday/Saturday. Prague's newly renovated and largest gay sauna with steam, whirlpool, gay cinema, cubicles, fitness room, bar and massage options. Now with WiFi.
Sauna BonBon (Černomořská 6), small men's sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, private cabins, naked nights, youth discounts.
Sauna David (Sokolovska 44), somewhat older crowd, sauna, steam, whirlpool, internet, WiFi, movies, cafe, workout area, hot food cafe, private rooms, solarium, and SM-fist room.
Sauna Labyrint (Pernerova 4), large new men's club on 3 floors, sauna, steamroom, mazes, dark rooms, TV rooms, labyrinth of steam, dark room, glory holes, private rooms, video loung, bar, Wednesday naked parties. Former Tom's Bar location.
Temple Club (Seifertova 32/3) - CLOSED Nov 2017 - basement bar, naked dancer shows from 11pm, overnight/ short term hotel rooms. Also CLOSED: the Little Temple bar next door, along with Little Joe's Cafe/Bar (Konevova 82) - each with flirty freelancers.
CLOSED: Sauna Marco (Lublanska 17), mainly Czech patrons, wide age range, steam and dry saunas, whirlpool, bar.
Accommodations and tours
Guesthouses listed have gay British, American, or German management. All speak English, and have staff who speak most major European languages. All can be counted on to help you find your way around the city, or the region. See these and over 30 more hotels and guesthouses in our map pages.
Absolute Prague (various locations; 420-777-944-781), variety of modern, centrally-located, full-services year-round apartments; cable TV, WiFi, full kitchens, laundry facilities; English expat Andy gets you booked, settled in, oriented with Prague information and referrals.
Club-G (Stepnicna 9-11; 00420 774 239 807) gay men's members' club outside center with renovated rooms, bar, summer terrace, sauna, whirlpool, garden, massage and easy-to-meet locals often hanging about. Formerly Villa Mansland.
Gay Center Hotel HEAVEN (Gorazdova 11; 420-602-455-127), ten studio apartments above sex club, kitchens, terrace, TV and WiFi, gay maps; real-time/ online information and bookings.
Prague Saints (Polska 32) private apartments in and around the gay districts of Vinohrady and Zizkov, plus airport transfers and private gay tours around Prague and other destinations, day or night.
Ron's Rainbow Guest House (Bulharska 4; 420-271-725-664), six-room guest house near the center, comfortable, clean, moderately priced rooms. Long-time American expat provides welcoming introduction to all of his guests.
TM-Travelhotel (Stepnicna 9-11; 00420 774 239 807), beyond the center renovated rooms, bar, summer terrace, sauna, whirlpool, garden. Was a gay men's members' club with massage and easy-to-meet locals hanging about, previously known as Villa Mansland and Club-G.
On a tight budget, or travelling in groups? HostelBookers lists of dozens of hostels with beds as low as €8 per night in 4 to 10-man dorms, private single rooms from around €20 (higher on weekends), and private doubles for a bit more.