In Prague's main railway station, Praha hlavní nádraží, the options for quality dining and refreshment are just about zero. As for style, don't look for it in the main passenger terminal. It is represents the height, or perhaps the depth, of 70s communist design.If you are waiting for a train and want to escape all that ugliness, there is one small, fading respite. Find the hard-to-find stairs and go up to Fantova kavárna -- Fanta's Cafe.
“The traveller's-eye view of men and women is not satisfying. A man might spend his life in trains and restaurants and know nothing of humanity at the end. To know, one must be an actor as well as a spectator.”
- Aldous Huxley
It is a small place, with tables around a hole looking down into the lower passage to the train platforms. You can get coffee, cake, or a beer here, although I never have.The attraction is that it sits in the preserved Art Nouveau entrance hall of the station. I use the term preserved loosely. Very loosely. This gorgeous, artistic building is falling apart. But it still has a great amount of beauty. A big renovation of the station is in the works.The cafe gets its name from the architect of the train station, Josef Fanta. It was finished in 1909. Now, its doors face a big highway that was built right in front of the station in the 1970s.Perhaps there's one other thing you should know about the place. It is a well-known rent boy cruising spot -- there have been a number of newspaper articles, television reports, and even a documentary about what goes on inside the train station.
I didn't see anything like that when I was there. Then again, I was looking up a lot. It's all very nice to look at, but at Fantova kavárna, I'd ignore Huxley's advice. Fantova kavárna
Praha hlavní nádraží