The Dancing House is a modern building from the end of 20 century which symbolises a dancing couple – Fred Astair & Ginger Rogers.
The building was won many prestigious architectural awards as well as have been a centre of controversy for being built in to a row of beautiful historic 19 century houses. To this day, there are people who admire the building and people who don’t like the modern design standing against the traditional buildings.
If you are in Prague, why not include the Dancing House in your itinerary and you can make up your own mind!
- A modern building amongst the 19 century houses on the river bank
- Take a fun picture ‘kicking or pushing’ the building with your foot in the as you stand far away on the other side of the street
- Tick it off your list, but don’t worry about going in if you don’t have the time or don’t want to (you are not going to miss much…)
This modern building was originally designed in 1992 and completed by 1996. It’s the work of a Czech-Croatian architect Vlado Milunic and Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry who designed the building and Czech-British architect Eva Jiricna has designed the interior of the building.
The Dancing House building was originally named (officially or not…) Fred & Ginger, but later the name become the Dancing House, which is the one used now.
The inspiration for the name was the shape of the building, where the tall building with sort of head represents Fred Astaire and the part of the building next with wider lower part (skirt sort of tucked in the waist) represents Ginger Rogers – the dancer.
What to see & to in the Dancing House
The Dancing House Art Gallery
The art gallery hosts regular exhibitions, which are usually very thought-provoking, slightly shocking or on a topic that’s often taboo. A bit different from the regular type of gallery, so if you see something you like, it’s worth a visit.
The same company that runs this art gallery has recently opened a Retro Museum in Kotva Department Store, where it’s taken over a whole floor!
The restaurant is a fancy affair and the food on the menu does look very tempting. The prices are unfortunately out of my budget (1500 KCZ for a tasting set menu – every day from 5 pm or lunch menu from 150 KCZ for starters and 300 KCZ for mains), so I’ve never had the pleasure to try the food there.
It’s recommended to book in advance and to arrive appropriately dressed in smart or smart casual style.
Bar is slightly more casual, so you can easily walk up from the streets.
The drinks are quite pricey, expect to pay 95 KCZ for beer or speciality coffee and about 80 KCZ for soft drinks and regular coffee. Cocktails, wine and other alcohol start from 160 KCZ.
The building also has it’s own hotel rooms decorated in a modern style with views and prices to match. If you are booking your stay there, do check where your window is going to be (e.g. what views you’ll have) and bear in mind that you’ll be essentially staying above a very busy four way road and crossing.
The bar viewing balcony
Once you buy a drink or have a ticket for the art gallery exhibition, you can come up to the top of the building to admire the views from the top.
The views are great, but I should mention that you’ll mainly see the Vltava River, the Petrin Hill and Kinsky park, Hunger Wall, different bridges over the river and Prague Castle in very far distance.
The centre and Charles Bridge is too far to see, so if you are after a view of the centre you’d be better off climbing up to the Old Town Square Hall Tower or the Gun Powder Tower closer to the historic centre.
Tancici Dum – The Dancing House, Rasinovo Nabrezi 80, 120 00, Praha 2
How to get there
The closest Metro station is Karlovo Namesti on line B.
There are trams 17, 3 that stop few metres away from the building. The Dancing House is closest to the ‘Jiraskovo Namesti’ stop, but you can also come back from ‘Palackeho Namesti’ stop.
Trams 22, 9 also stop at ‘Narodni Divadlo’ and you can take a slightly longer walk (about 7-8 minutes) along the river bank to see the building.
You can also cross the Jirasek Bridge from the Smichov Prague Area and take a slightly different photos as you are approaching the Dancing House.
There is no entrace fee as such, but you either need to have a ticket to the art gallery exhibition, booking for the restaurant or buy a drink at the Glass Bar (in the glass top head like structure) to access the viewing balcony.
The drinks are quite pricey, expect to pay 95 KCZ for beer or speciality coffee and about 80 KCZ for soft drinks and regular coffee. Coctails, wine and other alcohol starts from 160 KCZ.
Restaurant and the Glass Bar is open daily until 10 pm. The viewing balcony is usually available to access during the same times, although if they have a private party booking, it might not be accessible at all.
How long do you need for your visit
This very much depends if you want to just admire the building from outside, take a few photos or if you want to visit the bar or gallery and have a look from the top of the building.
10 minutes – to walk by and take few photos – best time for photos is probably late afternoon or evening if it’s very sunny (as the sun will be shining on the building).
1-2 hours – to visit the gallery or bar and check out the views from the top of the building
There are no facilities unless you visit (and pay for a drink or ticket) the gallery, restaurant or the bar.
What else you can see nearby
If you don’t want to visit the inside of the Dancing House or you are not that fond of modern architecture, there is still plenty to see and do around the Dancing House.
Walk by the river on the Naplavka
If you cross the street you’ll be able to see stairs leading down to the wide walkway by the river.
It’s a pleasant stroll with small coffee places, boats turned into a restaurants, art galleries and on Saturdays you’ll find the famous Naplavka Farmer’s Market there (you’d need to walk all the way towards the Vysehrad Railways bridge – about 10 minutes).
Have a drink in independent restaurants or coffee places along the river bank street
Visit the Slovansky Island opposite the National Theatre
This is a great little hideway from the hustle and bustle of busy Prague.
You’ll find a lovely shaded benches to sit on, take a small paddle boat for a ride or have a bite to eat at the few refreshment places.
There is also a children playground and of course the famous Manes art gallery and restaurant.
STAY IN TOUCH
Hope this blog post inspires you and as ever I’d love to what you think! Let me know in the comments below or catch up with me over on Instagram.