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Prague Trip Itineraries

Prague Underground

Destination(s): Prague

This guide’s title refers to an underground culture that developed in Prague in the late sixties and seventies during Czechoslovak normalization. Non-conformity and anti-consumerism characterized the movement, so, as expected, it made communist leaders nervous and was therefore labeled “dangerous.” The underground’s subversive ideas of freedom from cultural and political controls most commonly came forward in the arts. Perhaps the most important players in this dangerous game were The Plastic People of the Universe. These avant-garde musicians, heavily influenced by the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa, didn’t allow themselves to be intimidated by the Communist regime, even when they, along with many of their fans were put on trial for “organized disturbance of the peace” and had to face jail-time. Although the band isn’t exactly as it was then, you can still catch the occasional “Plastics” performance in the Czech Republic. If you can swing it, don’t miss the chance to see this game-changing band live. In addition to music, literature secretly published and distributed despite government bans, called “samizdat,” was a hugely effective way to get the message of the Prague underground out in the open. This guide honors the defiant Prague underground in two ways. By day, it’ll take you to sites of some important examples of cultural subversion connected with the movement’s beliefs. By night, it’ll lead you into some of the most unruly bars and clubs Prague has to offer. The places you’ll visit on this trip all reveal some facet of the philosophies put forth by the Prague underground. They aren’t about judgments or greed, but about breaking down barriers. These are places where you can try new things without feeling out of place and have experiences unlike any you can get away with in the States. read more about Prague Underground

Clown and Bard Hostel

Clown and Bard Hostel

  • Borivojova 102
  • Prague 3, Zizkov
  • tel:+420 222 716 453
  • Visit website
  • Prague, 130 00

This super cheap hostel is packed with character. Situated in the lively Zizkov district, this hostel offers lockers to keep your souvenirs safe while you traverse the hills and valleys of its young, vibrant surroundings and clean sheets to fall into when you finally stumble back. Plus, all of Prague's must-see sites are quickly and easily accessible from the hostel. The atmosphere is friendly and the low price includes free breakfast and a drink at check in. There's a downstairs bar open daily from 4pm to midnights that offers a bite to eat and, you guessed it, cheap beer. Here, guest DJs spin regularly and every Sunday is double-feature movie night (in English). It's easy to have a good time at this laid-back and welcoming hostel. read more about Clown and Bard Hostel

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square

  • Václavské námestí 68
  • tel:+420 (0)2 2171 4444 (Tourist Information Centre)
  • Prague, 11000

Historically, Wenceslas Square (Vaclavske Namesti) has had many faces. Originally the central horse market in Prague, it later became a hub for political demonstrations (exemplified by the monument to local students who committed suicide in the square in protest of the Soviet invasion of Prague) and local celebrations (such as of major sporting victories). More like a long boulevard than an actual square, the Wenceslas Square of today is lined with restaurants, hotels, bars, clubs, and shops. At the top of the square, you'll find the square's namesake and Czech hero, St. Wenceslas, seated valiantly atop his horse. Behind him lies the National Museum and, just next to that, the Prague State Opera. read more about Wenceslas Square

John Lennon Peace Wall

John Lennon Peace Wall

  • Velkopřevorské náměstí
  • Prague, 118 00

Lennon, a symbol of pacifism worldwide, was a hero to the dissident subculture bubbling underneath the Soviet-controlled surface. The Lennon Wall began simply as a mock grave created clandestinely by a group of young Czechs but evolved into a monument to free speech and peaceful rebellion against neo-Stalinist despotism. As hard as the powers-that-were tried to silence the subversive voices singing banned music and crying out for change, this wall became an outlet for frustrated young people to proclaim their desires for peace and freedom. Over time, the wall's original words have become concealed by hippie clichs and tourist tags, added by people who experienced nothing of what brought about the wall, but the historical significance of the John Lennon Peace Wall can't be whitewashed away. read more about John Lennon Peace Wall

TV Tower

TV Tower

  • Mahlerovy Sady 1
  • tel:+420 242 418 778
  • Visit website
  • Prague, 130 00
Jan Palach Memorial

Jan Palach Memorial

  • Václavské námestí 68
  • tel:+420 2171 4444
  • Prague, 11000

At the top of Wenceslas Square lies a bronze cross memorializing Jan Palach, a Czech student who, in 1969, lighted himself on fire to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia that had occurred the year before. Several students were part of a suicide pact with Palach but as he awaited his own death in excruciating pain, he pleaded publicly for them to avoid the same fate. About a month later, however, a student named Jan Zajic added strength to Palach's protest when he, too, set himself alight in the square. The monument memorializes more than just these two students, though. It has come to represent all of those who fell in the fight against the unwanted occupation. read more about Jan Palach Memorial

Kampa Island

Kampa Island

  • Next to Charles Bridge
  • tel:+420 2 2171 4444
  • Prague, 110 00
New Jewish Cemetery

New Jewish Cemetery

  • Izraelská 1
  • tel:420272241893
  • Prague, 130 00

Established in1891, the New Jewish Cemetery (Nov zidovsk hrbitov) is the home to over 100,000 graves, most notably that of Franz Kafka. Aside from this quintessential Prague figure, there's a central lot reserved for valued representatives of Prague's Jewish community and another where significant rabbis lie. Additionally, there are almost one hundred tombstones selected for preservation because of their artistic value. Mostly neo-Renaissance, it's worth taking time for these impressive works of art. The New Jewish Cemetery also houses a memorial to Czechoslovak Jews who were murdered in concentration camps or resistance fights. The Star of David shines brightly at the center of a chaotic and painful world, representing hope in the midst of suffering, the need for which anyone can relate to. read more about New Jewish Cemetery

Styx

Styx

Cross Club

Cross Club

Palác Akropolis

Palác Akropolis

  • Kubelíkova 1548/27
  • tel:420 2 9633 0911
  • Visit website
  • Prague, 130 00
XT3

XT3

Le Clan

Le Clan

Blind Eye

Blind Eye

Having had some problems with the law, Blind Eye is now legit. Or so they say. What is for sure, though, is how happy its young ex-pat patrons are to see it again. Open from early to late, this Zizkov staple embraces freedom, which the international crowd very much appreciates. On any given night you'll find something different: 80's tunes, Karaoke, Pink Floyd… this slightly grungy spot has a kickass vibe. read more about Blind Eye