Cafe Louvre and Reduta

Three and a bit days in Prague and I achieved nothing but pretty much bumbed around. No more art galleries and museums. I figured, after Spain and Italy (and doubtless more so here in Paris, where I’ve just arrived), I’ve pretty much seen all the art I’d ever want to see at least for the next several months. So what is one to do but go cheapo and tour the city on foot. Thankfully, Prague is small enough for that activity and you’ll cover most of the major attractions in about 2-3 days.

And with those extra crowns saved up, you’ll also be better off doing what some locals do: have brekky in the Cafe Louvre in the morning, then live jazz in none other than the city’s oldest jazz club, Reduta, in the evening.

Established in 1902, Cafe Louvre (Národní 22) relives that early twentieth century charm and is the must-do Prague cafe experience. It is also cheap. My scrambled eggs (in butter) and espresso as well as some bread cost about 110 CZK or roughly €5. Now this being Europe, very unlike the still backward Australia, WIFI is available for those who really must get online – like businessmen who opt for that slightly more civilised meeting or travellers like me who just can’t avoid Facebook!

In the same building as the cafe is, of course, Reduta – Prague’s oldest jazz club (founded in 1958). This joint has hosted just about everybody who’s anybody in jazz. Hec, back in 1994, they even hosted Mr President himself – Bill Clinton! So two nights ago I haul myself to Reduta to watch the Milan Svoboda Quartet cut it loose. And man, this guy Milan can sure tickle the ivory.

Prague seems to have a particular love for jazz, with bands playing in restaurants every night, but for that unique experience, harking back to the days of the great legends, there is no better joint than Reduta. Highly recommended.

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