Prague’s Neighbourhoods: Karlín
Some brief history
Previously a run down ex-industrial quarter, since the 100 year flood in 2002 Karlín has steadily grown into a trendy business district littered with good eateries, cafes and bars. And due to its recent popularity as a business quarter, Karlín is the perfect place to explore on the weekend, without busy streets to negotiate.
The what and where
Karlín is located in Prague 8, in a small area of ex-industrial land lying next to the Vltava river, east of the city centre. A mix of residential and modern office buildings make up the quarter, with pockets of greenery amongst them. The Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius sits in the middle of Karlínské náměstí, Karlín’s main square and park, with a second large green area being Kaizlovy sady, near to the Invalidovna metro station.
So, now that you know where it is, lets check out what the neighbourhood has to offer.
A day in Karlín
Depending on where you’re based, the easiest way to get to Karlín is via Metro B to Křižíkova. However, if you fancy a stroll and you’re heading down from Vinohrady / Žižkov direction, Žižkov tunnel, which runs under Vítkov Hill, will take you right into Karlín.
Coffee at Můj šálek kávy
The first stop, breakfast at one of Prague’s best, and original, speciality coffee houses: Můj šálek kávy. Opened in 2011and now owned by Double Shot coffee roasters, this top notch coffee shop offers espresso based, and various filtered coffee, drinks, with an ever changing selection of beans. The breakfast and lunch menus change every few weeks and include a mix of different dishes, with ingredients sourced locally wherever possible. We recommend a V60 drip coffee with the Spring English Breakfast. If you’ve got room for a desert, you’ll find a display cabinet near the bar with a selection of tasty cakes – anything chocolatey is always a winner. Be sure to get there soon after opening, as the cafe can get pretty busy with brunch goers, especially on the weekend.
For more cafes to explore, check out our articles on Prague’s Cafes.
Once you’ve fuelled yourself up for the day, its time to take a stroll through the streets of Karlín and head towards the river side.
Take a spin along the bike path
Whilst not solely in Karlín, of course, the bike path runs along the riverside, and Karlín is a great place to access it. Completely free of cars, its a great place to explore and see the riverside by bike, foot, longboard, inline skates… you get the idea. With the recent increase of bike share schemes in Prague, it should be easy to find a bike, or an electric scooter, in Karlín. Once you’ve found a mode of transport, head towards U Mlýnského kanálu street that runs adjacent to the river, near to Křižíkova metro stop. From here you can access the bike path and head North towards Troja. (This is also a great way to go and explore the Prague Zoo and Botanical Gardens). After taking time to explore the river side, head back to Karlín and stop off at Přístav (Port) 18600.
Located next to the riverside, Přístav 18600, consists of an area of outdoor seating with a bar and beach volley ball court. Previously an area of derelict land, with support from the Prague 8 administration and local businesses, the area has slowly been transformed into a great community space. As well as a wide variety of drinks, the bar also offers the possibly to rent a bbq grill and charcoal, plus a table and seating for 250CZK. So, if you fancy hosting a bbq for friends or family, then be sure to check out their website or ask the bar staff for further info. There’s also a program of regular events to attend. If you’re lucky, when you stop by, you might get to see a alive band or theatrical performance. Once you’ve soaked up enough sun and finished sipping a cold beverage, it’s time to take another small excursion, this time on a boat.
A ferry to Štvanice
Although Štvanice is technically not part of Karlín, it’s so close by, it would be a shame not to pay a quick visit. The island consists of green areas, a skatepark, tennis courts and other sports facilities to make the most of, all accessible by a small ferry. If you’re not already in the know, as well as trams, metros, buses and funiculars, the Prague Public Transport network also includes multiple small ferries which transport passengers across the Vltava at a number of different locations. The pick-up point in Karlín lies just behind Port 18600. Metro tickets as well as the Lítačka transport card are valid for journeys by ferry.
On your return to Karlín, head back past the Křižíkova metro station, and make your way along Křižíkova street in the direction of Florenc. When you reach the railway bridge, Czech Republic’s longest viaduct, take a left on Prvního pluku and find Kasárna Karlín. Established in 2017 in a derelict former army barracks, Kasárna Karlín has a whole hosts of things to keep you entertained all evening long. With plenty of space to play with in the huge courtyard, you have the option of beach volley ball, an outdoor movie showing, bar, cafe, musical performance and an art gallery (check their website for the current program).
And thats a wrap! A window into one of Prague’s more business oriented neighbourhoods.
Want more to explore? Here’s a few more great places in Karlín: Dva kohouti – microbrewery popular for post-work drinks, Forum Karlín – one of Prague’s main concert venues, Vegan Life – popular lunch spot for anything non-meat oriented.
Be sure to check out our other articles in the Prague’s Neighbourhoods series too.
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