Free Prague Wi-Fi Hotspots
A growing number of the city's cafés and bars allow patrons to get online wirelessly and (almost) without charge
Nikola Tesla invented a radio-controlled boat in 1898, the first innovation of its kind.
Since then, there's been nonstop progress in the field of wireless technology. If only David Bowie could see himself playing Nikola Tesla turning over in his grave in the film The Prestige right now...
Wireless internet, aka Wi-Fi, aka WLAN, is provided by a device that takes internet bandwidth and converts it into radio waves. Then it sends or routes it remotely to any receiver (wireless modem, card, or antenna) that's able to accept the signal. It's like a regular cable modem, except this one has an antenna.
Venues Offering Free Wi-Fi
• Café De Brug
• Café Louvre
• Café Metropole
• Káva Káva Káva - Lidická
• Káva Káva Káva - Národní
• K.U. Bar & Lounge
• La Casa Blů
• Restaurace Jáma – The Hollow
• Roxy – Café NoD
Wi-Fi is commonplace in the city of Prague now. Many places offer this service as a free benefit for customers. The district mayor is planning to cover all of Prague 5 (God knows why) with a Wi-Fi bubble, giving access to all the little grandmothers and their plastic bags. However, just because it's free for you, it doesn't mean it's free for them.
When you go to a restaurant, café, cinema, dog race, or cock-fight, using the facilities and services makes you a patron. As a patron of, for example, a café that offers free Wi-Fi internet, a guest has certain responsibilities. As a customer, it's expected that you purchase something while using the internet service, which costs that establishment thousands of crowns every month.
Without your patronage the "Wi-Fi Zdarma" ("Wi-Fi Free") sign would be seen only rarely. Please don't Bogart the internet without buying something and giving a decent tip.
The venues listed below advertise free Wi-Fi, but that doesn't exactly mean free. Look down yonder for the good stuff...
Café De Brug
Masná 5, Prague 1
De Brug can be a place where you suddenly find yourself, whether you meant to go there or not. It's a long Dutch cylinder of a bar, full of nostalgia and orange flags. It's pricey for beer, although there is a "Teacher and Student" special, but the Wi-Fi service is good and reliable. Decent power points and a quiet atmosphere make this a good bet in the center.
Národní 22, Prague 1
While classy, and a host to celebrities old and new, this isn't a place a backpacker with an iMac and boots would feel very comfortable. Café Louvre is famous in Prague, and pricey. I haven't used their free Wi-Fi service, and since the servers wear vests and bowties, it's kind of a moot point. While the menu is diverse and not completely outrageous, there are plenty of 300+ CZK dinner items. In summary: nice, but not your typical internet café.
Anny Letenské 18, Prague 2
Café Metropole has one of the best atmospheres in Prague. Generously furnished, good prices, an up-to-date (if overpriced) English-language book selection, and a disinterested staff make up this café. The only downside is its slightly bizarre location -- north a ways from Náměstí Míru and down Anny Letenské. The Wi-Fi was just fine when I was there, but it was only me and some guy with an abacus, so he didn't steal any of my bandwidth. In general, a great café.
Petrská 23, Prague 1
I used to live down the street from Dépot, and found it slightly more comfortable than Roxy nearby. Their Wi-Fi is as sporadically functional as their food is consistently disappointing, but when it works, it's fine. The menu is a confused jumble of bland, Mexican-like cuisine, plus Czech favorites, but the decor is modern and colorful.
Šmeralova 1, Prague 7
According to Prague legend, Fraktal was a dirty, grungy, smoke-filled hole as recently as one year ago. These days, especially since they enlarged their beer taps to include Pilsner Urquell and Gambrinus, it's become an expat favorite. Their diverse and tasty menu is always a pleasure, even if their Wi-Fi suffers because of poor conditions -- i.e., being located in a brick cellar with thick stone walls. If it's possible to get a signal, you won't have it for long, but I go there anyway to enjoy my favorite goat cheese-and-pistachio burger.
Vodičkova 38, Prague 1
Fuzion has one of the most convenient locations in the center, by the Václavské Náměstí tram stop. They offer free Wi-Fi with any purchase, but never advertise the fact. A small place, with a relaxed upstairs, they wouldn't benefit from a throng of people being in their all the time. The internet service is good and fast, and they make a very good latte to go, cheaper than any place nearby. Expect lots of people with maps of Prague, foreigners, and English teachers.
Káva Káva Káva
Národní 37, Prague 1 - Venue Details
Lidická 42, Prague 5 - Venue Details
Káva Káva Káva's two locations are popular with foreign students and tourists, even if the high prices, for relatively standard items, put off many long-term expats. Both locations are funky and well located, though, and Wi-Fi is free with your first purchase.
La Casa Blů
Kozí 15, Prague 1
My favorite thing about La Casa is being humored when I order something in Spanish. The Mexican/Chilean/Spanish food here is as authentic as it gets in central Europe. Crowds were stunned when this cool place started offering free Wi-Fi service. The connection is reliable, albeit kind of slow, but it's only solidified their position as the most well-known, and perhaps the only Latin food pub in Josefov, Prague's historical Jewish Quarter.
Restaurace Jáma – The Hollow
V Jámě 7, Prague 1
At the home of one of Prague's three best burgers, it's a treat to be able to get fair-to-good Wi-Fi service. Just down the street from Wenceslas Square, Jáma has lots of room and lots of fascinating people. Decent prices, excellent beef, and the occasional entertainment provided by one drunk guy accusing another drunk guy of not repaying a huge loan. Go early, as it gets busy fast.
K.U. Bar & Lounge
Rytířská 13, Prague 1
Popular with tourists, this trendy downtown venue offers free wi-fi whether you're chilling out over a coffee or partying into the early hours. --Prague TV Staff
February 23rd, 2007
"1. Is the wi-fi really reliable? My experience is that Wi-Fi is at best a 50-50 proposition. It often falls out, doesn't work, isn't switched on, or the server asks for a weird password or ID that none of the staff seems to understand. Laptop luggers beware!
"2. Is the staff completely and utterly clueless about anything technical? 99.9 percent of the time the answer will be yes. That means if anything goes wrong, you're out of luck.
"3. Does 'free Wi-Fi' really mean free? Or does it mean, as with Káva Káva Káva, for example, free for 15 minutes and then it's charged as if you are using their computers and equipment (not yours). In fact, KKK off of Národní should be deleted from this list -- clunky Wi-Fi password and ID prompting, 'free' Wi-Fi that you must actually pay for, sporadic service, and clueless staff. (I won't even mention the food or the prices but you get the idea ...)"
February 24th, 2007
"However, I found a place closer to my hostel on the other side of Wenceslas Square. Emporio on Jindrisska (sorry no accents) is right next to Hostel AZ. Decent, free wifi - I havent had it drop out yet, but the cafe is a little expensive. Still very convenient though. I dont see a lot of power points around, but I'm hooked up to the extension cord that powers the fan. Very comfortable."
June 12th, 2008
September 15th, 2008
"Plus, all those free Wi-Fi hotspots in Palladium shopping center are worth of mentioning (however, the quality of food there maybe isn't)."
September 15th, 2008
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