Dating Spots

The best places to bring your date: Prague´s ideal romance building spots

Lee Croftin

Written by Lee Croftin Published on 17.09.2009 18:07:15 (updated on 17.09.2009) Reading time: 5 minutes

There are many ways a date can turn into a train wreck of social humiliation. Rashes, anoraks, drunken weeping and bad hair are the Four Horsemen of the Erotic Apocalypse. We can´t do much to help you with problems as grave as these; but the fifth horseman is a bad location, and help is on hand. Whether you are navigating the PR nightmare of a first date, or trying to break out of a rut of the same old places, read on.

Kino Atlas
Sokolovská 1
Prague 8

An intimate and chic little cinema with a good bar. A three minute walk from Florenc metro, the cinema show foreign films as well as blockbusters and has themed seasons; for example, in September Almodovar´s films. Built only a few years ago, it has a sleek, slightly Art Deco style and two screens. Kino Lucerna, with its faded splendour, and Kino Světozor, both in Prague 1, are two more reasons not to set foot in a multiplex.

Prague Zoo
U Trojského zámku

Prague 7
Tel: 296 112 230

Nothing takes the pressure off a first date more than a cage of shrieking monkeys. Once you have seen your fill of penguins, lions and lemurs, the botanical garden and butterfly house is a five minute walk away. Pay a visit to the zoo´s most famous resident Moja, the first Czech-born lowland gorilla. With typical Czech taste for the bizarre; Moja was baptized in 2006 and her godmother is Vaclav Havel´s wife Dagmar. Zoo tickets cost 150 CZK or 100 CZK for students. Catch the metro to Holešovice and then bus 112 to the zoo gates.

Man-Na
U Milosrdnych 10
Prague 1
Tel: 222 320 101

The best Korean food in Prague in an atmosphere that falls somewhere between understated and shabby. If you want to keep the atmosphere causal while displaying your good taste; this is the place. The food is excellent and served with traditional Korean ceremony, which turns each meal into a pageant. Prices are at the higher end of mid-range. Daytimes are quiet and if you have an early lunch you will probably have the place to yourself. Perfect for those dates that take place in the mine-strewn No Man´s Land between friendship and romance.

Boat-trip on the Vltava
As Ratty says to Mole in The Wind in the Willows, ‘there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.´ Rowing boats, pedalos and dinghies shaped like swans are available from Slovanský ostrov, also known as Žofin, a small island located near Národní divadlo. Prices are around 100 CZK per person per hour, and you will need to take ID. River cruises last between one and five hours. Most cruise-boats have a bar and some serve dinner or play live music.  There are night cruises, coffee-and-cake cruises and a Jazz Boat (www.jazzboat.cz). Tickets can be bought at numerous points along the river or online (try www.cedok.com or www.cruise-prague.cz/eng), and cost anywhere between 300 and 900 Kč.

Palffy Palac
Valdštejnská 158/14,
Prague 1

Avoid Friday and Saturday nights when the restaurant is full of striped suits and their cashmere wives, and come in the daytime when the restaurant is empty. The real attraction of Palffy Palac is not the food, which is solid and predictable, but the terrace, which overlooks the Palffy and Polish Embassy gardens, and the castle. Just above the treetops and surrounded by calling birds, it has a strangely tropical atmosphere on a hot day; with a gin-and-tonic at hand you will feel like a character in a Somerset Maugham novel. Prices are steep, but Prague´s relaxed dining culture means that dropping in for coffee and cake or even just a few drinks, goes unremarked. However, if it is no-expense-spared fine dining you are looking for then, as anyone will tell you, the place to go is Allegro.

Ice Hockey
For sports fans and those who enjoy violence, an ice hockey match makes for an exciting evening. Hockey is arguably considered the Czech Republic´s most popular sport, and the national team consistently ranks in the world´s top 5. HC Slavia Praha play at the O2 Arena in Prague 9 and HC Sparta Praha in the Tesla Arena in Prague 7. The Tesla Arena, which was built in 1962, is beginning to show its age; Slavia Praha´s 02 Arena, which was built for the 2004 World Ice Hockey Championship and has a seating capacity of 18,000, has a much newer and nicer vibe. Tickets cost between 100 and 200 CZK.

HC Slavia Praha
O2 Arena
Ocelářská 2,
Prague 9

HC Sparta Praha
Tesla Arena
Za elektárnou 419,
Prague 7

Divoká Šárka
For a leisurely date on a hot afternoon, a long walk through Divoká Šárka´s lunar landscape followed by a swim in the reservoir is as good as it gets without leaving the city. Food is available but unexciting so you may want to pack a picnic. If you want to swim at the weekend avoid the 3 pm rush hour. To get there, take the metro to Dejvicka and from there catch tram 20 or 26, or the airport bus (number 119) to the Divoká Šárka stop. If you have a whole day to spare, Slapy nad Vltavou (www.slapy.cz), a reservoir surrounded by densely wooded mountains, is 50 minutes from Prague by bus. The landscape is stunning, and there are restaurants and shower facilities. In the centre of town Petřín, with its cherry blossoms and fine dining, or Letna, blessed with panoramic views and a beer-garden, are the places to go on a warm day.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Parking space for rent, 10m<sup>2</sup>

Parking space for rent, 10m2

Říční, Praha 1 - Malá Strana

Office for sale, 155m<sup>2</sup>

Office for sale, 155m2

Křenova, Praha 6 - Veleslavín

Apartment for sale, 4+1 - 3 bedrooms, 117m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 4+1 - 3 bedrooms, 117m2

Táborská, Kutná Hora - Vrchlice

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 32m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 32m2

Záhřebská, Praha 2 - Vinohrady

Places never to take a date:
Fosil Mexican Bar: A nice bar ruined by crusty old barflies who try to filch your date.
Coffee Heaven: Looks like Starbucks, smells like Starbucks, tastes a little worse than Starbucks.
Tornádo Sports Bar: Or in fact any sports bar. However, Tornádo´s habit of switching the TV over to the porn channel on quiet days earns it a special mention.
Café Slavia: Unaccountably popular tourist trap with stale air and high prices; Café Louvreis a better option and only five minutes´ walk away.

Had a great date night somewhere? Ruined a potential second date with a poor choice of locales? Share your dating suggestions below!

With special thanks to users of the Expats Entertainment Forum for their helpful suggestions.

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