The quarter of Prague named Zizkov has always had a tumultuous and distinct history. Back before the revolution Zizkov was synonymous with being the grittier cousin of it’s bourgeoisie neighbor, Vinohrady, which has long been known to be the more posh and refined of the two. When I first arrived in Prague over a decade ago the borders between the two were obvious, but as the years passed, vinohrady slowly crept into what were previously some pretty run down neighborhoods. Nonetheless the spirit of Zizkov survived and many of the buildings in upper Zizkov (above Seiffertova street) got reconstructed and had their gorgeous Art Nouveau facades get a fresh coat of paint. The upper section of the quarter now boasts some of the priciest real estate in all of Prague. With fantastic views of the Prague Castle as well as being home to the most lively nightlife in all of Prague. If you are looking for the trendiest section of the city, then Zizkov is it. The street Borivojova actually has more bars per capita than anywhere else in all of Europe. There have been numerous competitions to try and get one drink at every bar down the street, but it’s absolutely impossible. But that’s not to say that Zizkov is nothing but bars and non-stops, it actually boasts having some of the most diverse eating establishments in all of Prague. From Mexican restaurants, dueling burger joints, a huge beer garden connected to one of the nicest parks in the city to a smattering of Chinese restaurants and all night pizza places. If you are young and looking for a good time during your stay in Prague then skip the center, and Prague 1, and hop on the tram (take the 9 or 26) for 5 minutes you’ll be in the heart of Zizkov.
The quarters most iconic landmark is the Zizkov Television Tower which hovers over the entire city, and dominates the skyline. Our little shop lies snuggly in her shadow just a 2 minute walk away. The tower was recently remodeled and is a perfect place to take that special someone for some ice cream during the day. Where you can admire one of the most beautiful views of the city. But the TV Tower isn’t known just for it’s space age appearance, it’s mainly known for all the little babies crawling up the side of it. Yeah, that’s right, the outside of the tower is covered with babies crawling up it like ants. Czech artist David Cerny installed the babies years ago and rumor has it that they were so loved by the local community that they actually decided to keep them up.
Lower Zizkov is up and coming and houses some of the most reasonably priced hostels near the center of the city. With the Blind Eye Hostel being the best bet. Just a few minutes walk from the tram stop Lipanska (also the same stop for Bliss Farm Gallery. 9, 5, or 26 tram) Zizkov really is a stones throw from both the center of the city, as well as one of the most luxurious quarters (Vinohrady).
The quarter gets its name from Jan Zizka, the legendary general of the Hussite army who sits atop his perch in Vitkov. The sculpture is actually the largest equestrian statue in all of Europe, and the building behind him was previously a mausoleum which recently was renovated and turned into a cultural center. At the base of Konenova street you’ll find a large decrepit building has been repainted with a towering portrait of former Prague native, Franz Kafka.
All of these factors make Zizkov one of the most vibrant and intriguing quarters of the city. It’s a section of the city which never sleeps, but is also home to some of the most expensive as well as working class areas of the city. I’m happy to have the opportunity to start my own little Art and Design shop in what I consider to be the true heart of Prague, and certainly the most charismatic!