Karlín Prague’s Hot Gem
21 March, 2016
Karlín is Prague’s emerging quarter. However, it had a rather lacklustre past, as it was one of the city’s industrial districts in the 19th century. A network of grid-pattern streets were built during that period, as well as a central square and a picturesque church. Countless factories of all types were erected alongside late-classical-style buildings with typical bay windows. One of the standout landmarks from those times is the Negrelli Viaduct, a bridge linking two important railway stations on either side of a river. The 1960s saw the construction of one of the first areas of reinforced concrete-slab buildings, as well as a hotel of dubious taste – the Olympik – just when Prague was a hot candidate to host the Olympic Games. The city’s first metro line, built in 1974, had its terminus in Karlín, in the station called Florenc.
The Karlín district features some stunning contemporary buildings. A clear example of this is the Corso complex, made up of Corso I, Corso II and Corso III, a renovation and reconstruction project designed by Ricardo Bofill. Another noteworthy project in the district is River City Prague, made up of the buildings Danube House, Nile House, Amazon Court and River Diamond. We were impressed by the Keystone office building for its references to Cubism, a style that made its mark in the Czech Republic a century ago. However, the dominant landmark in Karlín’s skyline is the Main Point Karlín office building which in 2012 was designated the most sustainable office building in the world. This unusual construction also boasts a terrace-garden open all year around which affords striking views of Prague’s historic city.
Cafés, Bistros & Restaurants in Karlín
Karlín sustained serious damage on account of flooding in 2002. Reclamation work took a year to complete before the area returned to normal. The flood repairs were used as a pretext to restore some of the district’s standout buildings and to embark on an intensive housing building scheme, which in turn spawned a host of new bars and restaurants that are now must-visit venues on a sightseeing tour of Prague. Be sure to visit Lyckovo Namesti Square and its surrounding area.
The area has been largely taken over by new businesses related to the hospitality sector in recent years. To guide you through the intricate web of venues, we have short-listed the following:
The forte of this establishment is undoubtedly its coffee, which is very well made. The interior is cosy. You can take a breather and catch up on your networking here. If you’re feeling peckish, we can recommend the yoghurt with fruit and muesli.
Said to be the most authentic café in Prague. They also offer coffee tasting sessions. Watch out, though, as the small premises fill up quick. The expresso and cappuccino are awesome.
It features striking interior design and is well worth visiting to have a coffee, tea or breakfast. But, if you want lunch or dinner, you’d be better off looking at other options. Bookings admitted. The premises are spacious and thus suitable for groups. The café has a terrace, too.
Simply the best wine bar in the Czech Republic. They offer biodynamic wines sourced locally, as well as from Slovakia, Austria and many other countries (particularly Central European). The spot has become a trendy after-work bar in Prague. Lunch and dinner are also served.
A good place to discover meat-based Czech cuisine. The beef hamburger and roast chicken are really delicious. But, there are other tasty dishes, too, notably the French onion soup and potatoes au gratin.
The interesting thing about this pub is the beer tap at each table. It is part of a chain of establishments in the city, but the typical Czech food is also very good here.
As in the rest of the country, great care is lavished on beer here. You can also enjoy freshly prepared homemade cuisine. They offer traditional Czech dishes based on locally sourced fresh ingredients.
This bistro is noted for its excellent service. Their menu is exquisite and varied. We tried the hummus and carrot cake, which were delicious. This venue is ideal for a fast snack or sandwich. Comfortable interior.
The perfect spot for coming to grips with local cuisine. The chicken soup and goulash are excellent, as is the traditional interior design. Bear in mind that smoking is still allowed on the ground floor, which struck us as being rather odd. Reasonably priced.
Provides live music every night. This is the ideal spot for having a drink after dinner or to press on with the quest of tasting the various beers in the region.
In short, Karlín is an exceptional quarter of Prague. Its reconstruction achieved a balanced mix of office buildings and residential ones. Many people of diverse tastes and with a variety of professions live and move around this quarter. Don’t wait to discover it. Check out our flights here.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
21 March, 2016