The Free Republic of Žižkov
Prague, The Golden City. It’s famous the world over for it’s winding cobbled streets, stunning gothic spires, and grand architecture. Whilst all these things make Prague an amazing and beautiful place to live – they’re not why we at Brix Bar & Hostel fell in love with this city. Just a short walk from the rich cultural history of the Old Town is another world, Prague’s bohemian district, Žižkov. That’s where you’ll find us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Littered with bars (it has more bars per square meter and per capita than anywhere else in Europe), restaurants (both traditional Czech and international cuisine), independent art galleries, coffee houses as well as parks, Žižkov is home to a young and diverse population and a huge expat community. No stay in Prague is complete without a visit to Žižkov. So set your sights on our famous and bizarre looking TV-Tower and keep walking!
Sometimes referred to as “The Free Republic of Žižkov” or simply “Red Žižkov”, Prague 3 has long been home to an alternative and at times revolutionary crowd. It’s named after fearless Hussite military leader Jan Zizka. Zizka brought his peasant army against the mighty Holy Roman Empire in 1420 and won. You can see a monument in his memory looking towards the castle from the top of Vitkov Hill, the site of the famous battle (he’s sitting on the third largest equestrian statue in the world).
Žižkov was historically a working-class district, always showing a strong support for left-wing ideology. The 20th Century brought in a wave of artists and writers (Franz Kaftka used to visit his father’s workshop here), attracted by the low living costs and rich history of struggle. During the Second World War, the district saw considerable activity from the Czech resistance movement, such as sheltering the men who assassinated senior Nazi-Party member, Reinhard Heydrich.
Modern day Žižkov is home to a highly diverse and international population. Expats are attracted by the interesting vibe in the area, great nightlife, and prices that haven’t been inflated for tourists (unlike the Old Town, Prague 1). You’ll also find lots of students, brought here by low rent prices, close proximity to the centre and several university buildings.
When not found drinking their sorrows away in one of the many bars, Žižkovians might be found enjoying the views in one of our parks. Whether you want to admire the aforementioned statue on Vitkov Hill, enjoy the amazing view of the city skyline and castle from Regrovy Sady, or watch some sports with a beer in the immensely popular beer garden, there’s a green space for everyone.
So now you know a little about Žižkov, it’s time for a few pointers to make sure you make the most of you time in the best district in Europe. If you don’t see anything that hits your buttons here, just ask any of the staff at Brix Hostel and we’ll be more than willing to show you our favourite spots.
Once you’ve got breakfast done and dusted at the hostel, why not head out to enjoy a caffeine injection from MamaCoffee at Jiřího z Poděbrad. High quality coffee, light snacks and “HateFree Culture” are on offer there. If it’s Thursday, you MUST head outside to the famers market on the square and pick up a burger from the Kaiser Burger stall.
Now you’ve filled your stomach, perhaps you’d like to head across the square to Beer Geek and try out some of their huge collection of quality craft beers. When you’ve had your tipple, look up for the TV Tower and head in that direction. For only a few Euros you can head up to the observation deck to enjoy the best view Prague has to offer (it’s particularly good at sunset and sunrise). If it’s a beautiful day, head to Regrovy Sady park and take in the stunning views of the Prague skyline and castle. Still got some time on your hands? The derelict industrial railway station, Nákladové nádraží Žižkov, is a cool place to see some local art or just take some great photos.
When you’re ready for a hearty meal, head out for some of the best Czech food you’ll find at some of the best prices in the city – U Mariánského obrazu (Kubelíkova 1089/22). If you end up wanting to eat late, try out U Sadu. It serves Czech food and beer until 2am on weekdays and 4am on weekends. If you’re ready to continue with the night, Bukowski’s Bar (Bořivojova 689/86) is popular with tourists and locals alike, offering some tempting deals and classic cocktails. It can get pretty smokey in there (you’ll find most places in Prague allow smoking) so if you’d rather breath some fresher air, Malkovic Bar has a no-smoking policy and is just up the street (Bořivojova 100). Fancy a boogie? Then the legendary Palac Akropolis is where to head. It is Žižkov to the core – don’t expect anything fancy. Cheap beer, heavy beats, and sweat are guaranteed! Still not finished? Le Clan or Studio 54 open at 5am for those who just. can’t. stop!
And that’s your first day in Žižkov done! Surely you’re now ready to lay your head down in one of our custom-built bunk-beds. Maybe a little nightcap in Brix Bar? ;)
To us at Brix, Žižkov is the most exciting, intriguing, and vibrant neighborhood in Europe, if not the world. It’s our Monmatre, our Bronx, our Shoreditch. From dawn ‘til dusk ‘til dawn again your every need is catered for here. So when you visit the Czech Republic, don’t make the mistake of spending all your time in Golden Prague. Žižkov is the real Prague, where you will come across genuine residents, Czechs and expats, in their sorrow and joy, where you can eat and drink as much as you like for a real price and see the magic of Prague's forgotten corners.