Thursday

Travel Czech Republic. A Prague Coffee Crawl plus Architecture, Politics and Art. Part 2

If part one of A Coffee Crawl plus Architecture, Politics and Art made you want to drink coffee and visit Prague, you surely love the second part just as much. You can walk everywhere in one day. I focused on the quality of the coffee and I also saw a lot of Prague’s stunning architecture, urban green spaces and was also stimulated to think about history and politics. 


Follow this route and you will see and taste it yourself. Prague is so pretty it almost hurts.

During the Cold War Czechoslovakia belonged to the Eastern Bloc. The times when Czechoslovaks faced persecution, for trying to emigrate across the Iron Curtain are long over. This is the beauty of Europe, you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. Travelling is an easy process. I intensely hope that others value this freedom as much as I do. 


6.6 kilometre Coffee Crawl through Malá Strana, Holešovice & Karlín

Charles Bridge

The historic centre of Prague is UNESCO World Heritage listed. Start your walk on the one and only Charles Bridge, you know the early bird catches the worm, go early, chances are the streets of the old town are still deserted and there are only a few hundred instead of thousands on the bridge. Special experience really.

From here, distance to first stop: Walk 270 metres to Cafe Kaficko.

Cafe Kaficko

Step away from the billions of visitors on Charles Bridge. This café is literally only a few steps from it. What a super friendly place. This is obviously a café operated by a person who has their own style, and understands how to make everybody feel welcome. There are no shiny subway tiles, there are no Xavier Pauchard Tolix chairs, there isn't even one single bit of concrete floor, nor are there any exposed brick walls. This is a place where you see clumsy teenagers, solo tourists, young mothers and cheerful pensioners happily sipping hot drinks.

The Espresso is yum and I thoroughly enjoy the normality of this place until the lady at the counter tells me they are going to close towards the end of March. They have been here for 12 years, and now there is a new owner … she doesn’t go any further. I hope they find a new rooms, that suit their style, and where they can spread the love.

Cafe Kaficko, Míšeňská 67/10, Malá Strana. 

From here, distance to second stop: Walk 22 metres to Cafe Misenska.

Kafe Misenska

Walk through the gateway to get to this place. It is newly refurbished, the floor looks like it was just laid, everything is fresh and new and welcoming, and there is outdoor seating decorated with table lamps, framed black and white prints and armchairs. Inside the cafe, the small counter, more framed photos, wooden chairs and just a bit of blue colour create a fun and friendly atmosphere. The Espresso has been served with a smile.

Kafe Misenska. Míšeňská 71/3, Malá Strana. Open 2pm to 12am.

From here, distance to third stop: Walk 110 metres to Bakeshop Little Bakery.

Bakeshop Little Bakery

Modern, fresh looking café that gets their beans from La Boheme coffee roasters (remember I had these in part one). This is a real pleasant place, you will leave feeling uplifted. Nearby you find two men urinating on Prague, yes really, it is a piece of art by artist David Cerny (Cihelna 2). Go to Part One of the coffee walk to read about another piece of his work.

Bakeshop, U Lužického semináře 99/22, Malá Strana. Please visit the website for opening hours.

From here, distance to fourth stop: Walk 3.1 kilometres to Cafe Letka. 

FLTR: Cafe Kaficki, Entrance Kaficki, Kafe Misenska, David Cerny Art, Bakeshop Little Bakery

After three coffees so far, we go for an ever so slightly longer walk. Prague is famous for its historical Old Town and Malá Strana. But now we go and ‘chzech’ out Holešovice. From Malá Strana make your way towards and through Letná Park. The view from the hill in the park over Prague is magnificent and the people on Charles Bridge look like an army of ants. The suburb used to be an old farming village (that was like centuries ago) and in more recent history it was an industrial hub with abattoirs, gas works, electric companies, we can well imagine the noise and dirt.

The gentrification in this part of town is in full swing. There are a lot of cafes and little independent stores. Traces of a life under communist rule are still apparent but I can imagine that soon there won’t be any difference to any western city anymore.




Cafe Letka

This corner café is part of the theatre Pidivadlo. Plastered walls, wooden second hand school furniture (seemingly hot right now, all over the world) and the old fashioned dark grey lacquered counter give the cafe a homey atmosphere. I didn’t see a play at the theatre, but watched this scene which was equally stimulating: I sat next to a 'pretty' young family with a baby in a very expensive stroller. The two, dressed in something striped and dark blue pants, looked sniffy at the two young children who were there together with their heavily tattooed mother with ringed fingers dressed in a tight sleeveless shirt, they had to share a table with.

Flat White plus chia pudding was yummy, the service was as super welcoming as it was swift.

Cafe Letka. Letohradská 557/44, Holešovice - Letna. Please visit the website for opening hours.
 
From here, distance to fifth stop: Walk 500 metres to Bistro 8.

Bistro 8

It is all here: white-ish interior, subway tiles under a wooden workbench, locally sourced ingredients, friendly staff and specialty coffee (beans are from Bonanza Coffee Roasters, Berlin). Maybe you are so lucky and can try their Kombucha flavoured with lime, ginger and hibiscus. Heaven.

Bistro Café. Veverkova 1410/8, Holešovice - Letna. Please visit the website for opening hours.





From here, distance to sixth stop: Walk 1.9 kilometres to Kavárna Kočičí.

From Holešovice I walked over the River Vltava to Karlín, Prague's oldest neighbourhood. Settlement in this area is fairly new. At least one reason that building of a residential area began only in 1817 was the danger of flooding.

The floods of 2002 put Karlín three metres (and more) under water, and that damaged the neighbourhood hugely. If I wouln't have known better, I would have thought this part of town always looked this quaint. Today there are parks and gardens and residential streets lined with 19th century properties, many small stores and cafes. There are many recently renovated Art Nouveau facades. 




Kavárna Kočičí

You should really meet Barbuška, Cinnamon, Matysek, Maggie, Tulip or one of the other cats who live at this place. I drank a thick and delicious hot dark chocolate and cuddled the cats (of course).

Kavarna Kocici, Křižíkova 22, Karlín. Please visit the website for opening hours.

From here, distance to seventh stop: Walk 650 metres to Muj Salek Kavy. On the way have a look at the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Můj šálek kávy

While I walked around Karlín, I went into this café, better say I 'squeezed' into it, and couldn’t sit down, it was too busy. This café is owned by local coffee roaster Doubleshot. I had a glimpse around the cafe and sensed there was a pretty lovely atmosphere. Just in case you wonder there is exposed brick work, yes. This place would have absolutely been my cup of tea. You probably didn’t notice, but I just did something very smart just now. The Czech name of the café translates to "my cup of tea" in English. I was dying to sit down at one of the tables, and I still hope I can do this the next time I visit. This time I drank my flat white on the street.

Můj šálek kávy, Křižíkova 386/105, Karlín. Please visit the website for opening hours.

From here, distance to eighth stop: Walk 110 metres to Globus.

Globus

Escellent place to end the walk with a drink. I drank a massive jug of homemade lemonade here.

Globus restaurace, Křížíkova 68, Karlín. Please visit the website for opening hours.






Verdict Prague Coffee Scene

My verdict is that the Prague coffee scene is amazing. If you are into coffee (if it is your cup of tea) you really have to visit. After two days of visiting cafes I can’t say which place has the best coffee since I didn’t drink one that was bad. It so often depends on the skill of the barista who prepares the coffee. If I would have to name a favourite I would probably say it is La Boheme Café (see in part one), the taste of the flat white made me seriously happy.

What do you think? Do you like to walk around a town to discover new places? Can’t wait to hear from you.

From Berlin with love

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.