Like any major city Prague has plenty of mainstream cinemas, mainly in the main shopping complexes scattered around the outskirts of Prague and some even closer to the centre such as at Andel Shopping Centre (Prague Smichov District 5).
But in this blog post, I wanted to let you know about my favourite independent cinemas that I always go to when I’m in Prague. These are much smaller than the big cinema multiplexes you are probably used to, but they have their charm, and history on top of the normal things you’d expect from a cinema, like a good sound and comfy seats.
Most also have cosy coffee bars, which you can visit even if you are not seeing a film.
If this is not enough, you’ll be also pleasantly surprised that the ticket cost is much less than in commercial cinemas.
What kind of films you can see in the Prague’s cinemas?
Most of the cinemas on my list are also art cinemas showing a mixture of independent films, documentaries and award-winning art films. Saing that, you’ll also see the latest blockbuster films, although not as heavily featured as in the mainstream cinemas.
Can I see an English film in Prague cinemas?
International films are usually left in the original language and supplied with Czech subtitles, which is great if you want to see the latest Holywood movie.
Czech films on the other hand often have English subtitles (Svetozor and Mat cinemas often have these films), but you do need to double check that with the ticket office staff or check the online programs.
In the cinema program look for films with subtitles (titulky) labeled as ENG (English). If the film is labelled as ‘dab’ is means that it’s dubbed into Czech language (and probably without any subtitles).
Often you’ll see new mainstream films shown both with Czech dubbing on different times the same film will be in the original language (say English) with Czech subtitles.
Buying cinema tickets
Buying tickets is easy. You can buy your tickets directly at the cinema before the show (usually about 60 minutes before the first screening of the day) and pay with a card or cash.
Alternatively, you can buy ticket online through the cinema website, but often they ask you to print the ticket, so that it can be scanned at the door.
Confirmation e-mail (with the relevant bar code) should be fine too, but do make sure you can access your e-mails through your mobile data provider or download the ticket to your phone (wifi might not always be available).
Tickets are around 100-180 CZK depending on the cinema and the film you want to see.
Cinemas in a walking distance of Old Town Square (tourist centre of Prague)
- Cinema City – Na Prikope Street
- Svetozor – Svetozor Passage – Venceslas Square
- Lucerna – Lucerna Passage – Venceslas Square
- Evald – Narodni Street
- Ponrepo – Bartolomejska Street
Cinemas tiny bit further walking distance from the Old Town Square
- Kino 35 – Stepanska Street
- Edison – Jerusalemska Street (next to the Jindriska Tower and the colourful Jewish Synagogue)
Mainstream cinemas in shopping complexes
These cinemas always have several screens and you can catch the latest Hollywood and mainstream films there (both in the original language – English and dubbed into Czech language). They also screen new Czech films as they are released, but only in Czech language.
Ticket prices can be 50-100 CZK more than independent cinemas.
This is still one of my most favourite art cinemas in Prague. There are at least three screenings every day across the cinemas three different screens.
Everyone who comes to watch the films, seems to be taking their film watching seriously, so you will very rarely get people munching through noisy snacks, drinks or talking through the film.
There is a small bar, which also has soft and hot drinks and it’s open most of the afternoon well before the shows. I find that there are slightly less Czech films with English subtitles than 20 years ago, but there are definitely more art film and even blockbuster type of films shown there.
If you fancy an icecream, coffee or even open sandwiches you can also pop in to Ovocny Svetozor (open every day until 20 hod – 8 pm), which is in the same passage and has one of the best ice-creams in Prague. Fresh cakes and open sandwiches are 20% off 30 minutes before the closing time, so if you are around at the time, it’s definitely worth poping in!
Location – Svetozor passage – middle of Venceslass Square – Walk from underground Mustek (line B or A) or Muzeum (line A or C) or trams (Vaclavske Namesti stop) 3, 9, 14, 24 stopping right outside the passage.
Lucerna cinema is one of the oldest cinemas in the Czech Republic. It has two screens – the main one looks like a 19 century theatre with golden decor and the small one (only few rows) is cosy with upholstered seats with famous actors and actress. The small screen was originally for family and guests use at the time when Vaclav Havel’s predecessors built this cinema (and the whole shopping passage).
There is a large coffee bar attached (and interlinked) to the cinema, just walk up the stairs where you see the upside down horse by David Cerny.
Location – Lucerna passage – middle of Venceslass Square – Walk from underground Mustek (line B or A) or Muzeum (line A or C) or trams (Vaclavske Namesti stop) 3, 9, 14, 24 stopping right outside the passage.
This is a pretty cool place with a great bar (you can order and take drinks and snacks in and there are little tables between each seat). It has just one small screen, but with a great mixture of art and mainstream films shown there.
Location – Jerusalemska Street – Walk from underground Mustek (line B or A) or Muzeum (line A or C) or trams (Jindriska stop) 3, 9, 14, 24 stopping right outside the little square where the cinema is.
It’s also only about 5-7 minutes walk from Hlavni Nadrazi and the main train connections within Czech republic and other countries. There is also direct bus to Vaclav Havel Airport that takes only 30 minutes, which is worth knowing if you need to check out from your hotel at midday and your flight is not until later that day.
Kino Mat was originally founded in 1995, at the time when most of the old, traditional cinemas in Prague were closing down. Over the years it had many upgrades and the sound and picture quality has always been their priority.
It’s also a cosy club cinema with only 46 seats running up to 3 shows a day. It’s still a family owned cinema, run with the support from the descendants of the original owners of the house in Karlovo Namesti. There is also a cafe bar and a restaurant serving mainly lunch menu (at very decent prices).
Czech films with English subtitles are mainly shown during summer time, but you’ll also find new release films in original sound (English with Czech subtitles).
Location: Karlovo Namesti – Charles Square – Karlovo Namesti Metro – Line B or any tram that stops at Karlovo Namesti or Moran
The famous Prague Dancing House is about 5 minutes walk towards the Vltava River, so you can make a quick detour before the film starts.
Aero has one screen showing art and new release films (both Czech and international) as well as documentaries or films part of various film festivals.
There is a bar available before the shows.
Location: Biscupcova Street 31, Prague 3, Tram stop called Biskupcova and trams 5, 9, 10, 16,19
Evald is right in the centre, next to the large shopping centre called ‘Maj’ (on the same street as the National Theatre).
Location: Narodni Street – Narodni Trida Metro Line B, or any tram stopping at Narodni (9, 3, 22 etc.).
One screen showing the latest movies – both Czech and international (mainly USA and UK – usually left in original sound with English and Czech subtitles added).
There is a coffee bar available, opening usually in the afternoon.
Location: Sokolovska 1, Prague 8 – Karlin, nearest metro station is ‘Florenc’ on the B-line, tram lines 3, 8, 14, 24, 25 stop Florenc
You can also walk there from the centre taking the main street called ‘Na Porici’ from the Namesti Republiky and checking out the art deco restaurant rooms of Cafe Imperial, old fashioned (but now refurbished) Bila Labut (White Swan) department store, the rondo cubism style Legionnaires Bank in Palace Archa and if you have the time even get yourself lost in the st Peter’s quarter (the oldest part of Prague).
Cinema Ponrepo often takes part (and organises) in film festivals, which means that you can see some amazing art films, documentaries and movies, that would normally go un-noticed in a mainstream cinemas.
Location – Bartolomejska 11, Prague 1, nearest underground Narodni Trida – Line B or any tram stoping at Narodni Trida (e.g. 1, 2, 9, 18, 22)
This cinema has 3 screens, with the smallest one only having 16 seats. There is a coffee bar available during the afternoon and evening and when the weather is good, the garden is open too.
The film selection is pretty wide and you can find anything from the latest blockbuster movies to art films and documentaries. The cinema also runs various talks with film makers and artists.
Tickets are from 70 CZK (for special senior showings in the afternoon) to 140 CZK.
You can combine your visit to the Kino Pilotu cinema with a walk in a nearby Grebovka park (literally 5 minutes away), where you can admire the views and local vine.
Location: Donska 19, Prague 1 – Vrsovice, Tram stop ‘Krymska’, tram numbers 4, 22
If you are a French speaker you should definitely check out this club cinema run by the French Cultural Institute in Prague. Some films do have English or Czech subtitles if you want to improve your French language. The cinema’s program offers contemporary French films, documentaries and also older art films.
Location – Stepanska Street, close to Wenceslas Square
Originally founded in the 1940s, this cinema is one of the biggest on my list of independent cinemas in Prague. It has a capacity of over 280 seats with a balcony seating too. Over the years the cinema was updated many times taking it’s original capacity of over 700 down to 280 seats. It’s the only cinema in Prague where you can watch film from a beach chair, car or various chairs that are arranged in the front of the cinema.
You can find a coffee bar there and the tickets are again reasonably priced between 100-150 CZK.
Location: Frantiska Krizika Street 15, Prague 7, nearest tram stop is called Kamenicka and trams number 1,8,12,15, 17.
This cinema complex is hiding in a small (but upmarket) shopping passage accessible from ‘Na Prikope’ Street, very close to the Estate’s Theatre and The Powder Tower.
Although it’s a commercial cinema, it’s located right in the centre and it’s a perfect location for an afternoon or evening show if the weather turns bad and starts to rain!
Andel & Novy Smichov Cinemas
There are two huge cinema complexes walking distance from the Andel Metro station. Once is outside in a office complex (accessible through a little square with restaurants and shops) and the other one is on the top floor of the main shopping centre called ‘Novy Smichov’.
There are also regular farmer’s markets here (right next to the Andel Underground Station), so it’s worth a trip out from the centre. You can also start your day at Prague Castle and then walk through the gardens all the way to the Smichov shopping centre (through the back) for an afternoon film show.
I also use the Andel Cinema when I’m picking somebody up from the Prague airport at night, because the last show finishes about 11 pm (and the last arrival from London is around the midnight) and the bus stop is just outside the cinema. It takes about 50 minutes, but the bus is direct and often takes much quicker than the bus timetable as there is no traffic on this route.
Location: Andel Metro Station (line B) or trams 9,16, 10,12 and any that stops at Andel.
Another large cinema complex in a huge shopping centre, but the reason why it’s worth mentioning this one because you can get bus no. 100 to the Vaclav Havel Airport (takes about 15 minutes), from outside the Zlicin Metro Station.
The cinema itself is about 5 minutes walk through underpass from the metro (underground).
There are also local buses to Beroun, Kladno and other places useful for day trips from Prague. If you are coming back from a day trip (or have a long wait either for your hotel or your flight) you can go and see a film.
Location: Zlicin Metro Station (line B) – about 40 minutes from the centre (Mustek)
Cinema at Palac Flora
This cinema complex in another large shopping centre at Flora metro (line A) and it’s only about 10 minutes from the centre towards Vinohrady.
Location – Flora Metro (line A) and lot of trams, such as 9, 10, 16 etc.