Exploring SAPA: Prague’s Vibrant Vietnamese District
Have you heard about the Vietnamese district in Prague called SAPA or Prague’s “Little Hanoi”?
It is a genuinely different world with authentic Vietnamese food, Buddhist temple, and street vendors. Let’s explore more what this place can offer to one-day visitors.
What is SAPA in Prague
You might already notice that we don’t have any cultural districts in Prague, referring to inhabitants from different countries. The only exception is the Vietnamese district on the outskirts of Prague.
Vietnamese are the third-largest minority of foreigners in Prague, just after Ukrainians and Slovakians. Vietnamese came to former communist Czechoslovakia for work and studies. With the fall of communism in 1989, the majority of them decided to stay and made the Czech Republic their permanent home.
SAPA became a cultural and trading district of the Vietnamese community in Prague around 2000 when the former poultry farm closed and the whole compound became available.
It is not particularly nice, but it is an interesting place to visit. SAPA is called by media as “city inside the city,” where you can find many authentic Vietnamese restaurants, food stands, specialized grocery stores, but also schools, places for various social events and weddings, and of course, the Buddhist temple.
Explore Little Vietnam
SAPA is an excellent place for food lovers. It does not matter if you would prefer to eat authentic Vietnamese food in a restaurant, order something quickly in a street stand, or shop a grocery for your culinary experiments back home.
What you should not miss is the traditional Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk at the bottom. Do you know that Vietnam is the second-largest producer of coffee just after Brazil?
Vietnamese coffee beans are mostly Robusta beans with cocoa or chocolate flavors, so definitely worthwhile to try. You can buy it easily from street vendors for about 30 CZK (about 1 EUR). You can have it with a wide choice of traditional Vietnamese snacks that you won’t find anywhere else in Prague.
If you would prefer to shop for unusual Asian ingredients for your cooking at home, SAPA is the right place where to find it. You can find here various rice noodles, cilantro, fish sauce, sweet potatoes, dried mushrooms, durian, and many others.
The majority of products are transported right from Asia since the SAPA market serves as the main transit area for the whole of Eastern Europe. Besides the Vietnamese specialties, you can find here also the Korean market with traditional kimchi, Korean pears, sesame oil, gochujang, or various Korean snacks.
Besides the food, SAPA is also a central place for shopping for products made in Asia. You can find here various clothing, accessories such as sunglasses, kitchenware, but also Vietnamese books, hair salons, and manicures. Just don’t forget to bargain while shopping here!
How to get to SAPA
You can find SAPA on the outskirts of Prague. From the city center, you can take a metro red line to metro stop Kačerov, and then bus 113 to Sídliště Písnice. The entrance to SAPA is just in front of the bus stop.
It takes about 30 minutes to get there. Another option is from Smíchovské nádraží (yellow metro line) and take bus 197 directly to Sídliště Písnice. Once you enter the SAPA, you will be in a different world…
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