Anděl is a very busy metro station and tram junction in the Smíchov district in Prague’s greater city centre. Opposite the metro exit there is one of Prague’s biggest shopping centres (Nový Smíchov). There are also numerous office buildings, as well as restaurants and bars. On the other side of the metro station there is Na Knížecí bus station.
Location and Directions
Anděl station is on metro line B (yellow) on the way from the centre to Zličín. It is 3 stops from Můstek (Wenceslas Square) or 5 stops from Florenc (central bus station). Anděl is the first station in this direction which is on the other side of the river. Neighbouring stations are Karlovo náměstí (to centre) and Smíchovské nádraží (to Zličín).
The station has two exits, one on each end of the platform. On the surface they are quite far from one another, therefore it’s good to know which direction you should go and pay attention to the signs when you exit the train. The exit which goes in the city centre direction takes you to the big tram junction and to Nový Smíchov shopping centre. The other takes you to Na Knížecí bus station (buses to Český Krumlov depart from here, among others).
The map below shows the location of the first exit, which is at the junction of four busy streets with trams – Štefánikova, Lidická, Nádražní and Plzeňská.
Tram Services at Anděl
The best connection from Anděl to many places in the historical centre is actually not the metro, but the trams. They are faster especially when going to Lesser Quarter, Prague Castle or Charles Bridge. Conversely, for Wenceslas Square or Old Town the metro is better. To get from Anděl to Malostranské náměstí (Lesser Quarter Square – the access point for Prague Castle and Charles Bridge), take tram number 12, 15 or 20. It takes 7 minutes.
A Bit of History: Soviets Turned Angels
Anděl, which means angel in Czech, is the historical name of the area. However, the metro station itself has only been called that since 1990. Between its opening in 1985 and 1990 its name was Moskevská (Moscow station), in order to celebrate the partnership between then communist Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. After the revolution it was renamed to Anděl for political reasons, but you can still see part of the original Moscow decoration (and the inscription “Moskva-Praha”) on the walls of the station’s entrance (the one to Na Knížecí).
Soviet technology was widely used when Prague metro was built in the 1970’s and 1980’s. At the same time when “Moscow station” in Prague was constructed in 1985, Czech engineers helped to construct “Prague station” (Prazhskaya) in Moscow. While Moscow station in Prague was intended to look like a typical Russian metro station, Prague station in Moscow was designed in the Prague style (it looks much like some metro stations built in Prague in the same period). Unlike the Czechs, the Russians have not tried to erase the history and still call that station Prazhskaya (it is on Moscow metro line 9).
In the city of Prague there are numerous places where a careful observer can see and feel the history of Prague and how much some things have changed since then (and by history we don’t always mean Middle Ages). Some places in the metro network are among the best preserved relics of the communist era, although most have been redesigned since then, particularly after the big flood in 2002.
Shops, Restaurants and Nightlife
On the surface around Anděl station things are very modern and lively. The place is a popular restaurant and bar district for locals, partly thanks to its location on the way from the city centre to densely populated residential areas further on metro line B. It is one of those places in the centre where you will actually see locals outnumbering tourists.
Most of the action happens in the four main streets which cross at Anděl station (Nádražní, Plzeňská, Štefánikova, Lidická) and the closer you are to the metro, the wider the range of options. That said, there are some gems to be found in the smaller side streets. There is also Futurum Music Bar, one of Prague’s biggest clubs, in Zborovská street about halfway between Anděl and the Dancing House.
Hotels near Anděl Station
Besides many restaurants, bars and shops, the area around Anděl station has plenty of accommodation options. The concentration of hotels is not as high as in Old Town or Lesser Quarter, but it is one of those second tier hotel districts immediately surrounding the historical centre. Its main upside is convenience and public transport access, although it is actually still close enough to walk to the main tourist district (10 minutes to Lesser Quarter and it’s a pleasant walk).