Time Out ranks Prague’s Vinohrady among world’s coolest neighborhoods

The district was praised for its cosmopolitan vibe, international mix of people, and range of culinary options.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 07.10.2021 12:33 (updated on 07.10.2021)

There has long been heated debate over what part of Prague is the coolest. UK-based culture website Time Out has come down on the side of Vinohrady, ranking it as the 32nd coolest neighborhood in the world.

Time Out has changed its priorities in the ranking to reflect the “new normal.” Community spirit, resilience, and sustainability are now just as important as food, drink, nightlife, and culture.

Time out praised Vinohrady for its cosmopolitan vibe. “Prague’s inner suburbs have really come into their own recently – and especially Vinohrady. This gridiron of grand nineteenth-century tenements, interspersed with lush green spaces, is just minutes from Wenceslas Square but feels a world away,” Time Out states.

Tenement usually has a negative connotation, especially for Americans, for whom the term refers to overcrowded slum dwellings. Here it is apparently used simply as a synonym for apartment buildings, as the ones referred to are rather ornate.

Church of the Most Sacred Heart at náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)
Church of the Most Sacred Heart at náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad. (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

Time out adds that the neighborhood has become home to international young professionals, Erasmus students, and digital nomads. The site also praises the shops and cafés around the “buzzing community hub of Jiřího z Poděbrad” and that square’s farmers market. “Close by, restaurants of all descriptions serve imaginative, well-priced menus, both local and international,” Time Out states.

Points of interest mentioned include the Žižkov Television Tower and Riegrovy Sady, where people can watch the sun setting over Prague Castle.

Vinohrady spreads through five city districts, with a large part in Prague 2, plus significant sections in Prague 3 and Prague 10. There are also small outcroppings into Prague 1 and Prague 4.

Sunset over Prague/ photo by Raymond Johnston
Sunset from Riegrovy Sady (Photo: Raymond Johnston)

Vinohrady’s history dates back to the 14th century, when it was covered in vineyards. Some older signs on buildings still say “Královské Vinohrady,” meaning royal vineyards. The “royal” designation was officially dropped in 1968. Aside from the already mentioned square at náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, another main hub is náměstí Míru, with the neo-Gothic style Church of St. Ludmila and surrounding restaurants with international cuisine. A small vineyard with a pavilion can still be found in Grébovka, a park at the southeast edge of Vinohrady in Prague 10.

What do you think is Prague’s coolest neighborhood?

Vinohrady 41 %
Old Town (Staré Město) 2 %
New Town (Nové Město) 3 %
Malá Strana 3 %
Žižkov 7 %
Holešovice 16 %
Karlín 7 %
Vršovice 6 %
Smíchov 3 %
Dejvice 6 %
Other 6 %
288 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open

Some local residents think highly of the neighborhood. “Vinohrady is one of Prague's nicest neighborhoods, not only is it packed full of beautiful architecture but thanks to it being slightly off of the main touristic routes it's often a lot calmer than in the city center,” Benny Water, both lives and works in Vinohrady, told Expats.cz. He is co-owner of Oko! Bistro, located adjacent to Riegrovy Sady.

“Vinohrady has beautiful large parks which in summers offer plenty of beer gardens and events, and in the snowy season give ample opportunity for winter fun. Vinohrady also has an abundance of small businesses offering unique coffee shops and small stores with the best of what Prague and the world have to offer, this is also why we decided to set up our coffee shop here. It comes to no surprise why it is such a prized place to call home for both locals and expats alike,” he added.

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Grotto near the vineyard in Grébovka. (iStock, Polina Shubkina)
Grotto near the vineyard in Grébovka. (iStock, Polina Shubkina)

Actress Eliza Roth, who studied in Los Angeles and London, also said she can’t recommend Vinohrady enough. “I was born, grew up, and live here. I’m a vineyards’ girl basically. Leisure time options are parks, sport, vineyards, restaurants, cafes, and cool events throughout the year. Public transport works perfectly and you’re in the city center in an instant. Everything is English-friendly basically and within walking distance. I have lived abroad also, but Vinohrady has its charm in the great mixture of things to offer!” she said.

According to Time Out’s current list, the coolest neighborhood in the world is Nørrebro, Copenhagen. It was praised for its historic landmarks, ultramodern architecture, and culinary scene. Andersonville, Chicago, came in second, with its nightlife and waterside parks named as pluses. Jongno 3-ga, Seoul, was third. It was cited for its eccentricity and unpretentiousness, as well as eateries with North Korean food.

In 2020, Time Out ranked Prague’s Holešovice as the world’s 20th coolest neighborhood, out of 40. A year earlier, the site made the controversial choice of New Town (Nové Město), listing it as 49th out of 50 ranked neighborhoods. In 2018, the honor went to Karlín, which was ranked 38th out of 50.

Recently, Time Out ranked Prague as the seventh-best city in the world, and the most beautiful. The city was praised in particular for its green spaces and public transportation.

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