Nova Scena is home to Laterna Magika, a cutting-edge multimedia show in which visual effect, mime and projected images merge. Laterna Magika is a crowd-puller. Its first performance was in 1958 at the Brussels World Fair and the show has been a resounding success ever since. In Legends of Magic Prague the audience is introduced to famous Prague legends such as Dr Faustus, Rabbi Löw, Golem, or the Old Town's Astronomical Clock. The stories are visual with hardly any spoken words and are ideal for an international audience.
Marianne's expert tip: Treat yourself to a performance in Nova Scena of Laterna Magika, a colourful show, a mix of multimedia, music, dance film and mime in which both actors and technicians play a leading roles. The Nova Scena building is worth a closer look. Designed by Communisy era architect Karel Prager, it caused quite a stir. The façade looks like a frozen waterfall. It is in sharp contrast with the National Theater next door.
Not an opera lover? Never been to the opera? All the more reason why you should go to a performance in one of Prague's three opera houses. Visit the opera and you enter a different world. If you are not interested in the music, go anyway if only to see the opulent interior. Mozart's Don Giovanni is always on the repertoire of the Estates Theater, Stavovske Divadlo in Czech. This was the theater where in 1887 Mozart conducted the world premiere of this famous opera in which womanizer Don Giovanni does not take women's feelings seriously and ends up in hell.
Marianne's expert tip: Three reasons to go to an opera performance in Stavovske Divadlo, the Estates Theater, when you are in Prague. 1. You must have seen an opera at least once in your lifetime. 2. The interior of the opera house is wonderful 3. Tickets are most reasonably priced.
Roxy is one of Prague's oldest clubs and housed in a crumbling Art Nouveau movie theater. The perfect place to enjoy for Techno and live concerts. It attracts a young crowd that contains as many tourists as locals. The dance floor is large but quickly fills up. The music spans most genres. The nightclub kicks off at about midnight. Go to the NoD, on the first floor earlier in the evening for experimental drama, dance, cinema and live music events.
Marianne's expert tip: Have a peep at the program of events first and then decide when to go.
Karlovy Lazne is a five floor disco club next to Charles Bridge. In the fifteenth century the building was a bathhouse. Original mosaic tiles still adorn the walls. There are now dancing floors instead of bathing pools. It is a truly international disco, Russians, Americans, Asian people, Europeans and even the ocassional Czech are frequent visitors. The DJ's are great but go for the dancing and not so much for top quality music. Head for zero level for hip-hop. First and second floor is mainly disco. Third level is nostalgic 1970s to 1990s. Finally, the fourth level offers techno, house and trance. Recline on floor cushions and relax. If the heat gets too hot, chill out in the IcePub.
Marianne's expert tip: If you get too hot, don a padded jacket and cill out in the Ice Pub.
It is almost impossible to miss The Meet Factory. Two fire-engine red fiberglass cars hang on the outside wall beckoning you towards this abandoned factory. The Meet Factory is art gallery, theater, and film club plus a live music venue and the brain child of controversial artist David Cerny who is responsible for giant babies crawling across the telecommunication tower and two pissing men in front of the Kafka Museum. Artists from around the world are invited to live and create works of art in this cavernous factory in Prague's Smichov district. One of the art works in the exhibition hall is an inscription on the wall: 'Dear person who don't know me it's OK you don't know me. Best' This looks very simple and anyone could have written this, you may think, but not everybody was inspired and had enough creativity to do so.
Marianne's expert tip: Walk in any time, meet young artists and see exhibitions of their often experimental works of art.
Chapeau Rouge is a popular party pub located very close to Old Town Square in Prague's historic center. Red is the main colour scheme and gives the place a pleasant old-time atmosphere. Listen to alternative independent bands from all around the world. And if you play in a band, ask them to set up a gig for you. You may end up in the Fenester Window Gallery which displays up-and-coming artists. The crowd is a mix of Czech and international visitors of all ages. The beer is cheap. The Live Underground venue is small but the sound is great
Marianne's expert tip: Dance to hip hop and drink absinth mixed with Red Bull
Jazz club Reduta has been going strong since Communist days and is still very popular. When in 1994, Vaclav Havel, the then present of the Czech Republic, presented Bill Clinton with a new saxophone, Clinton entertained the public. Reduta is famous for Dixieland, blues, modern jazz and everything in between. Posters of jazz heroes adorn the walls. No waiter service, simply get your reasonably priced drinks from the bar. Live jazz every night and some evenings a handful of the best musicians in town sit in with the band. Reduta is one of the best place to soak up Dixieland atmosphere.
Marianne's expert tip: Book a few hours ahead at the box office if you want to avoid the crowd
Radox FX is a popular hang-out, combing café, pub, restaurant and club FX. Radost is Czech for pleasure that's exactly what Radost does, it pleases with music and food. Not only does the oriental-themed bar, the shiny mirrors, crystal chandeliers and comfy chairs create pleasure for the eyes also the food menu is sheer pleasure for the taste buds. The menu includes delectable dishes from Greece to Thailand and from Mexico to India. Radost FX is famous for House and R&B/soul. Its hip eccentric décor pulls a crowd especially on Thursday for its Hip Hop night. Every night has a different them ensuring that there is something for everybody.
Marianne's expert tip: Check out the vegetarian and vegan meal options, from stuffed grape leaves to couscous and lentil burgers to spinach salads and ratatouille.
Duplex occupies the top floor of a building on Wenceslas Square. The restaurant is in a giant glass conservatory with floor to ceiling windows. The international menu features many Mediterranean favorites. Duplex is spread over two air-conditioned floors, prides itself in five bars and a summer terraces with breathtaking views over Prague's rooftops. From ten o'clock in the evening, Duplex transforms itself into one of Prague's most exclusive clubs. Some of the best DJ's in town play house music. Guests relax in comfy sofas or dance to the music. Drinks are not the cheapest in town but very reasonable taking into consideration Duplex's prime location.
Marianne's expert tip: Look up from high when you stand on Wenceslas Square. You will see a giant glass box. Stroll on to the terrace for the best bird's eye view. Book a VIP table and a white limo will fetch you from your hotel.
Bar and Books is a cosy and romantic retreat and the ideal spot for socializing. It was the first cigar bar in the Czech Republic. Red walls, vaulted ceilings, leather furniture and a library full of books create a colonial atmosphere. Monday night is Ladies' Cigar Night, with complementary cigars for the ladies. Tuesday is whiskey night, when all whiskeys go at special prices. The cocktail bar concocts the most surprising cocktails like Dark and Stormy but also old favorites such as gin and tonic. Indulge in cigars from Trinidad, Cuba or the Dominican Republic. Have Russian vodka with your club sandwich while you watch a silent James Bond movie with a personal sound track. Bars and books is located right in the centre of Prague, just a few steps away from Old Town Square.
Marianne's expert tip: Tuesday is whiskey night, when all whiskeys go at special prices.