As the spring continues to be chilly and drizzly, it can be easy to fall into the trap of, “I’ll explore when the weather is nicer,” but you shouldn’t have to wait. There are plenty of indoor places that can give you a taste of Czech culture. One of the coolest and most local-feeling features of the city is just steps from the UPCES building: the passages of Nove Mesto.

First built in the 20th century, the system of passages around Vaclavske Namesti is very similar to the skyways seen in cities with colder climates. Once you enter through many of the exterior doors, you’ll be transported to a whole new world deep in the heart of the city. And, as an added bonus, you’re out of the cold, wind, rain or even heat!

Our favorites are the Lucerna Passage and the Svetozor Passage, both of which are located on Vaclavske Namesti. These passages are full of shops, cafes, doctor’s offices and even movie theaters. Here’s a list of a few (but not all!) of the things you can do in the passages.

  1. Enjoy a slice of cake at the iconic Czech confectionary, Ovocny Svetozor in the Svetozor passage.
  2. Look through the books in the bookshop in Lucerna Passage
  3. See a movie at the Kino Lucerna, the oldest cinema in Prague! They show Czech and foreign films, often with English subtitles. This could be a great way to practice your Czech! Don’t like what’s showing? Cross the street and check out what’s on at Kino Svetozor.
  4. Snap a selfie with the famous David Cerny sculpture of the horse outside of the cinema. Exit onto Vaclavske Namesti to take a look at the sculpture of King Wenceslas that inspired Cerny’s iconic work.
  5. Still hungry? There are quite a few restaurants to choose from in the passages, from Italian to Indian to burgers.
  6. Pick out flowers or a cute little plant for your flat at the florist located in the Svetozor passage!
  7. Are you a photography fan? There’s a store in the Lucerna Passage the sells vintage cameras, which could be a great souvenir or gift.
  8. The cheese shop in the Lucerna passage is a great place to pick up some specialty items for the week.

Knowing the passages is a great way to feel like a local, escape crowds, avoid the rain, and impress your friends and family when they visit. Did you take cool pictures in the passages or discover something new? We’d love to hear about it! Happy exploring!