The Social Impact City Guide to Prague
Our Social Impact City Guides show you what to do, where to eat and drink, where to sleep and where to shop so that not only are you provided with a unique experience, but you are also giving back in some way by supporting a cause.
We were thrilled at the interest shown in our first ever Social Impact City Guide to Barcelona. To know there are so many people who want to make a difference in any way they can when they travel inspired us to continue our research in other cities we visit around the world. After spending some time in Prague a few months ago, our choice for our second city guide was easy.
Prague is a friendly city with plenty of green spaces and a fantastic public transport structure. There is an incredible range of places to eat and drink, and the Czech beer is some of the best in the world! Prague attracted almost 30 million tourists in 2015, and there are many opportunities for tourists to support good causes around the city.
We are excited to present to you our second Social Impact City Guide to Prague:
Go on a walking tour with homeless guides
Pragulic want to change the public perception of homeless people in Prague, as well as give the opportunity for those without a home to integrate into society. They provide unique walking tours with homeless guides, with each tour based around the life story of the guide. This provides a regular source of income for the guides and is a unique way to explore otherwise unvisited parts of the city. Tours cost 250 CZK for an adult (prices vary for concessions and groups of 10 or more). Check them out here.
Paint a brick for mental health
This is something we’ve not seen before in any other city – an ever-changing art display created by Prague’s own residents and tourists. For a donation of 150CZK, you receive paints and a brick that you can paint in whichever style you want, and then add this to the stacks of already painted balanced bricks. Beneficial Brick has been running every year since 2000 and it shows no signs of letting up. All proceeds go to Portus Praha Association, allowing them to construct and manage a care-facility for those suffering with mental disabilities. It’s colourful, fun and gets everyone involved, and it’s all for a great cause. Click here for more details.
Rekola Bike Sharing
Go for pink
If you’ve been to Prague you may have already seen one of these bright pink bikes on the roads. Rekola are a community bike sharing program in Prague (and other cities in the Czech Republic). They take unwanted donated bikes, they are fixed up and then painted in bright pink. The bikes are “unlocked” by using an app that locates the nearest bike to you. You are then given a code to unlock the bike, enjoy your ride and then return anywhere that’s convenient for you. This makes it different to the bike sharing systems in other cities that have specific pick-up and drop-off locations. Locals learn how to repair bikes and paint them pink at community workshops, and Rekola are looking to scale their scheme up into a social enterprise. Check them out here.
Use it or lose it
If you’re not young, keep scrolling…! USE-IT is an organisation found in various cities in the Czech Republic – it is tourist information specifically for young people travelling on a tight budget. Their website states that “Young travellers have different needs, so they need different tourist info” – info on concerts, clubs and sights to see in a short time, although we’re sure the young-at-heart will also be looked after here. Guides and maps are provided by locals – they are non-commercial, free and kept up to date on a regular basis. Are you a young traveller in Prague? Check out their website.
A celebration of going car-free
Auto*mat is a civic association, and their aim is to improve the quality of the environment for the residents of Prague and other cities around the Czech Republic. They encourage the use of bikes, public transport and walking where appropriate, and only the occasional use of cars when necessary. As a traveller to Prague, you can attend their one day Different City Experience, where you can experience parts of the city without cars in the form of street celebrations. Click for their website.
Farm life just outside the centre
Kubatova 32/1, Prague 10
A farm just outside the centre of Prague, Toulcův dvůr hold many activity days that can be attended by the public – such as art competitions and carving courses. There’s plenty of fun to be had here, especially if you are travelling with children. Check out their events page here for an up to date list.
Champions of Prague’s urban community gardens
Kokoza are a social enterprise that, among other things, help people and companies to compost and to grow their own produce in their own gardens. For travellers to Prague looking for a piece of green space in the city, it is great to know that they also help maintain urban community gardens, which you can find and visit thanks to this handy online map.
Eat and Drink
Therapy Restaurant, Café and Shop
Many ways to support art therapy
Školská 1267/30, 110 00 Praha 1 → 4 minute walk from Můstek A metro station
As described on their website, Therapy Restaurant is “an oasis of calm in downtown Prague“. They help current and recovering drug addicts through art therapy, with ceramics they make then sold in the shop. They also employ recovering addicts to help them as part of their rehabilitation. Therapy has a quirky interior, it’s centrally located and is easy to find, making it a great place to grab a drink after spending a day in the city. Facebook
Delicious African food for Humanitas Afrika
Vojtěšská 9, 110 00 Praha 1 → Public transport: 4 minute walk from Myslíkova (14) tram station
With a beautiful interior and unique menu, Kafé Afrika is something a little different in the heart of Prague. They employ immigrants and refugees from Africa who are living in the Czech Republic. These people have faced many problems when finding employment, including a lack of work experience, discrimination by employers and possessing an unrecognised education. This creates a vicious cycle where they can’t find work. Kafé Afrika is a training café, and its employees are participants of a project brought to life by the African-Czech organisation Humanitas Afrika. The aim of the project is to help integrate immigrants and refugees into the local job market. Facebook
Garden Café Taussig
Good cause with a good view
Vlašská 25, 118 00 Praha 1 → Public transport: 10 minute walk from Pohořelec (22, 57) tram station
For outdoor seating and a great view of Prague castle, make sure you check out Garden Café Taussig. They offer employment to those with mental illnesses so that they can develop their work and social skills in a professional setting. The café strongly believes the best way to help is to provide a supportive environment where they can work on their self-reliance, personal responsibility and self-confidence. Garden Café Taussig serves a wide range of coffees, hot drinks, soft drinks and alcohol, as well as a small selection of food and snacks. It is a seasonal café and is only open in the warmer months (generally April to October), so be sure to check out their website before visiting. Website
Pitch black dining
For something completely different, check out Kavárna POTMĚ – a “café in the dark” which tours the Czech Republic (no fixed address). This touring café has been going around the country for 11 years, and offers patrons a unique experience of being in complete darkness. The café employs blind staff, with all proceeds going to charity. Visiting this touring café is said to be a strange feeling, but ultimately it is meant to be a joyful and unique occasion to support a good cause. Facebook
U Černého Vola
Drink up for the local blind school
Loretanske namesti 1
This pub is the one to go to if you want to meet the locals. The beer is cheap, and all the profits from the pub go to the school for the blind next door, so this makes it a fantastic place to experience a proper Prague pub for a good cause. Limited seating, so prepare to get to know the people around you. Open daily until 10pm.
Cool cafe for fair trade goodness
Mulitple locations (Vodičkova 6, Praha 1 most central)
We couldn’t get enough of this place when we visited Prague – the coffee is fair trade, the cakes and sandwiches are delicious, the staff are friendly, and the cafes themselves are equal parts trendy and cosy! You can drink coffees here safe in the knowledge that the coffee bean growers were paid a fair price. They have multiple locations in Prague – the one we frequented was the Vodičkova 6, Praha 1 cafe. Open daily. Website
Vegetarian food sanctuary to support mental illness
Sokolovská 327/29, 186 00 Praha 8 → Public transport: 2 minute walk from Florenc (8, 21) tram station
Mlsná Kavka is a training restaurant, founded as a joint project of Green Doors and Filip Kavka Smiggels. The restaurant supports and trains people with mental illness, helping them improve their social and vocational skills. By working here, they can regain self confidence so that they can one day return to the open labour market. Mlsná Kavka gives them the opportunity to interact with customers on a daily basis. It is a non-smoking vegetarian restaurant. They only use seasonal ingredients, and cook wonderful brunches on Sundays. Facebook
It’s easy to sleep green
Odborů 278/4, 120 00 Praha 2-Nové Město → Public transport: Národní třída metro, or Myslíkova tram stop
Mosaic House is a green hotel and hostel that features some pretty sophisticated green technology – grey water recycling unit with heat recuperation, 100% green electricity and biogas, in-room temperature control based on room-occupancy, electric shutters, low-flow toilets, rain-dance showers, solar warming of cold water… just to name a few! They also have female only dorms, and have a bike and Segway rental scheme. They are centrally located, and very highly rated. If you’re staying elsewhere, you can still pop in for a drink at the music bar and lounge. Website
Sir Toby’s Hostel
Budget-friendly eco option
Dělnická 1155/24, 170 00 Praha 7-Holešovice → Public transport: Dělnická tram stop
A great choice for the eco-conscious budget travellers, this hostel contains many “green features” – one of our favourites is that the heating only comes on when there are people in the room. They also have a bar in the cellar with live music which you can visit even if you are not staying in the hostel. Website
Fair Trade and Bio
Spread the fair trade word
Sokolovská 29, Prague 8 → Nearest Metro: Florenc-B or Florenc-C
This little shop exclusively sells fair trade products, and also actively try and spread the fair trade word among the Czech public. You can find many typical fair trade products here such as coffee, tea and chocolate, but also some great souvenir items like fair trade craftwork. Facebook
Prague Thrift Store
Stylish second hand
Šumavská 29, Praha 2 and Dukelských Hrdinů 21, Praha 7
Most of the second-hand stores around Prague (and there are many!) are run for-profit, however some of them give a portion of their profits to charitable social causes. One such place is the Prague Thrift Store. They have two locations, both selling high quality and affordable clothing: Vinohrady-Prague 2 and Holesovice-Prague 7 (closed on Sundays). They also accept donations, so make sure to consider giving any unwanted clothes away here. Website
Domov Sue Ryder Praha
Shop to care for the elderly
Various locations around Prague
These shops were set up to generate an additional source of income to support the Domov Sue Ryder charity, which exists to provide care to elderly frail people and support for their families. You can buy or donate many things here, as their product range is wide, selling things from clothing and books to furniture and craft. They have various shops around the city, so be sure to check out their locations here. They also have a wonderful restaurant located in the south (Michelská 1/7, 140 00 Praha) which overlooks a courtyard, with all profits again going to support the Domov Sue Ryder charity. Website
Improving the quality of care for the terminally ill
Bubenská 3, Prague 7
A non-profit organisation that was set up in 2001 which works to improve the quality of care for the dying and terminally ill, as well as their families, in the Czech Republic. To support their work you can visit one of their two shops in Prague, where they sell items such as clothing, stationary and second hand goods. You can also chat to the volunteers about the great work they charity do. Website
Let us know: Do you know of any other organisations that deserve a mention in this guide to Prague? Leave a comment below, contact us, tweet us or leave a message on our Facebook page and we will include them in our next update!