A Smashing Evening
Exploring Prague's Bar Scene

Moravian girls in prague"We're not Czech we're Moravian!" says Kristina.

"What's the difference?" I ask.

Kristina explains how Moravian girls are different from Czech girls; she feels that they are nicer and more polite. Half Czech and half Slovak, blond, with an angelic face and a petite figure, Kristina was born in Bratislava. Technically she is Slovak, but she grew up in Uherské Hradište, Moravia. She is studying business at the University of Economics.

We're in my flat, listening to music and having drinks with Dita, a dark-haired and voluptuous beauty from Uherský Brod, Moravia. Dita is studying Marketing and Management at the University with Kristina. Their two hometowns are 20km apart, but 300km from Prague. I've just told my two friends that I want them to show me where Czech girls go to party in Prague.

10:15pm - Potrefená Husa. This is one of Kristina and Dita's favorite hangouts. Many a party night has begun here and they like its cheerful atmosphere and young clientele. We talk about Prague nightlife, people and places over a few Staropramen beers. It seems that if I want to know what it's like to party in Prague, I've made a good choice. Kristina started going to discos when she was 15 and Dita when she was 16. When I point out that in the USA you have to be 21 to go into a bar or disco, they both laugh. Just for a moment, I contemplate what kind of effects this vast age difference might have on the culture of the night.

11:45pm - KU bar. In contrast to most of the cocktail bars that surround Old Town Square, this upscale bar has a younger clientele and there are few foreigners in attendance. KU is one of Dita's favorite places to start the evening. The music is good, it's close to the center, and it's close to Na príkope, "So you can go there in the evening after shopping". Dita tells me she prefers weeknights at KU because Friday and Saturday are often too crowded. This is a place to see and be seen. The babe factor is pegged at 11. On nights like this KU doesn't bother with a door policy, they simply lock it. Visitors who are recognizable to the manager know to wait outside until he spots them through the window, at which time the door magically opens. Others soon give up and leave, thinking it a private party. A novel form of face control.

12:30am - We are at Ruby'z, a small dance club. The featured DJ tonight is from Ibiza. The music is great, but attendance is light. The club that formerly occupied this location, Naïf, was a temple of house music and hosted several popular theme nights, but Ruby'z has yet to find its stride. It seems to have the raw ingredients and the atmosphere is promising, but something is missing. The clientele is made up of a few local scenesters mixed with some tourists that wandered in.

A dancer clad in yellow tank top, shorts, hiking boots and a sort of four-paneled skirt is dancing on a podium. The music gets a notch louder and Kristina moves out to join him. Everybody is watching. The difference between her quiet, easygoing personality and her wildly provocative dance style brings to mind Cameron Diaz in Charlie's Angels. But unlike quirky Cameron, Kristina pushes it to the edge without going over…the effect is mesmerizing. The dance floor quickly fills up and for a brief moment it seems that this party is going to transform into something memorable. But it is not to be.

1:15am - We leave Ruby'z on foot. "Friday night in Prague is not so exciting", explains Kristina, "Saturday is better unless there is a party going on at Roxy".

"Smažkas!" says Dita. She says that smazkas are clubbers who take pervetine, "Sometimes cocaine, but mostly pervetine". "We don't like them!"

1:30am - Deminka is what is known in the Czech Republic as a music club. While dance clubs have a dance deminka clubbersfloor that is bigger than the bar, music clubs have a bar that takes up more space than the dance floor. By Western standards, a music club qualifies as a bar.

Deminka is pretty much everyman's bar. The music is accessible, the dress code is casual, prices are cheap and everybody from beautiful young shop assistants to Joe Six-Pints feels right at home here. That means that the crowd ranges from students to Italian tourists and stag party stragglers, passing by professional hockey and football players and sex workers on their nights off. All in all it makes for a wicked stew.

Kristina and Dita have been drinking Vodka-Red Bull. Their energy drink induced energy burst finally gets the best of them and they head out to the dance floor. Not long afterwards, they reappear. Kristina is wearing a furious expression as she emerges from the crowd, "Let's get out of here! That boy just grabbed me!"

2:45am - Solidní Nejistota. This is one of the few bars in Prague that needs no introduction. A music club with a huge bar, you can count on finding company here every night of the week until the wee hours of the morning. The girls like to finish up their nights here because you can be sure that there will always be people and it is close to an all-night tram stop that goes straight to their dormitory.

Dita's phone begins to light up with increasing regularity. Her boyfriend is wondering where she is. Her mood becomes somber and she falls quiet. Seeing an opening, a young French man attaches himself to Dita. "We call guys like that shampoo", says Kristina, "it gets in your eyes and you can't get it out". After a few more drinks our heroines begin to tire of the constant attention that is Solidní Nejistota's trademark and we decide to call it a night.

4:30am - Inexplicably as ever, where this place is concerned, we find ourselves in Le Clan. This is a private after-hours club, but if you can find it and you look presentable you can probably get in. Both Kristina and Dita have been to Le Clan once or twice before, but they have differing feelings about it. Kristina likes it because "here, nobody cares who I am", but Dita hates it … "only smakas come here!" In fact a diverse selection of characters are present tonight, in varying states of awareness. Scattered bits of conversation can be heard in English proving that Le Clan is a favorite of the international crowd. Comfortable sofas and chairs are scattered throughout this vaulted subterranean space and even at this early hour they are all taken. The vibe is cool and laid back. We are neither attacked by shampoo nor solicited by smažkas. In fact, for the first time tonight since Ruby'z, we are free to talk and enjoy ourselves without distraction. Smažkas or not, maybe Le Clan's got something right.

More Information:
Deminka, Škrétova 1, Prague 1, tel: 224 224 915
Potrefená Husa, Resslova 1, Prague 2, tel: 224 918 691
Ruby'z, Zelezná 24, Prague 1, tel : 221 610 234
Solidní Nejistota, Pštrossova 21, Prague 1, tel: 224 933 086

For more nightclubs see Prague Nightlife listings