Holešovice considered one of 10 coolest neighborhoods in Europe
The Prague 7 district Holešovice ranked among top 10 Europe’s coolest neighborhoods in the latest ratings published by the Guardian. According to the newspaper, Holešovice used to be a bleak district with little to offer locals, let alone visitors, but has impressively resurged over the past ten years. Today, Holešovice is home to a vibrant infrastructure of art galleries, trendy shops and culinary highlights.
Holešovice is located north of central Prague on the Vltava’s left bank. The neighborhood is surrounded by two of Prague’s most popular parks: the largest city’s green space Stromovka, which has recently undergone some extensive restorations, and hilltop Letná, famous for its beer garden and some of the most breathtaking views of the city. But the district itself offers tons to do and see. Over the last decade, many creative and commercial entrepreneurs took advantage of low rents and empty spaces and re-created them into galleries, shops, cafes, clubs and bars.
“Although not as postcard-pretty as Stare Mesto (the old town) or Mala Strana over the river, Holešovice’s blend of industrial buildings, 19th- and early 20th-century tenements (with some lovely art nouveau blocks) and occasional communist behemoths makes for interesting meanders, and there are cultural treats aplenty too,” writes Paul Sullivan for the Guardian.
“Holešovice is home to big hitters such as the sprawling, plane-train-and-automobile-filled National Technical Museum (Kostelní 42), and the Veletrzni Palace (Dukelských hrdinů 47), part of the city’s National Gallery, but there’s plenty of contemporary art on offer too. The Dox Centre for Contemporary Art (Poupětova 1) helped put the district on the map when it opened in 2008, and runs consistently great exhibitions inside a former factory complex. At the revitalised Prague Market (on Bubenské embankment), a former slaughterhouse now houses international theatre and circus space Jatka 78 and the Trafo Gallery,” Sullivan continues.
Other hotspots recommended by the Guardian include the Chemistry Gallery, cultural centre La Fabrika for theatre and concerts, and the highly popular Bio Oko independent cinema which hosts events and festivals. “The small but vibrant Veverkova street has become a mini-hub for shoppers, thanks to several retail hotspots in close proximity. Right by Bistro 8 is Garage Store (no 6), for sneakers and vinyl, and fashion store Jakoby (no 8), for unisex coats, dresses and jumpers, plus vintage outlet Recycle With Love. Right across the road (no 7) is the shop of designer Helena Darbujanova, who sells her own chairs, tables and lamps alongside work of other Czech designers, and Page Five (no 5) which stocks an international array of books, magazines, and posters, and also hosts launches and events.”
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The range of dining and drinking options in Holešovice is growing all the time. The Guardian recommends having a breakfast or brunch in Cafe Letka, Vnitroblock, Erhart patisserie, the stylish Bistro Jankovcova and Bistro 8. For dinner and a late night out, Paul Sullivan writes that you should “check out swanky SaSaZu in Prague Market, which matches Asian fusion cuisine to regular DJ sets, or Bar Cobra (M Horáková 8), whose menu spans mezze plates, wild boar with noodles, and a great selection of wines and cocktails. If you still have energy to hit the dancefloor, grungy Cross Club (Plynární 23) has live shows, DJ nights and themed parties pretty much every night, while the slicker Mecca (U Průhonu 3) is the spot for house music all night long.”
Looking for some more cool neighborhoods around Europe? Here is the full list of top 10 by the Guardian:
1. Järntorget/Långgatorna, Gothenburg
2. University Quarter, Brussels
3. El Cabanyal, Valencia
4. Bonfim, Porto
5. Neukölln, Berlin
6. Powiśle, Warsaw
7. Holešovice, Prague
8. Ostiense, Rome
9. Dorćol, Belgrade
10. Quartier de la Réunion, Paris