07/05/2012 07:15 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Spooky Tour Of Prague (VIDEO)

Prague is known as one of the world's spookiest places, a city of haunted tales and piercing architecture, but the city is actually stranger than its strange reputation. In this town of dark shadows and mid-day drunks, I explore the unexpected and fabulous.

Neo-Victorian fashion

Dracula Clothing's original designs include top hats with goggles, octopus corsets and insect pocket-watches. Showroom visits are by appointment; clothes are also available online.

The Green Fairy

Prague is world-famous for absinthe, the licorice-y spirit associated with Belle Epoque artists. Most countries ban bottles with more than 35mg/L of thujones (the chemical compound that supposedly causes hallucinations). However, the Czech Republic sells brands that go up to 100 mg/L.

At Absinthe Time (Kremencova, 511000 Prague, +011 420 222 516 300), I tried the strongest drink on the menu, "King of Spirits." No fairies appeared, though I could have sworn the insects in the "beetle absinthe" were still moving.

Absintherie (Jilska Str, Franz Kafka Square, Prague, +011 420 224 241 610) serves absinthe ice cream. Upstairs, there's dreamy art and museum displays.

In this travel video, I explore Prague's eccentric subcultures -- steampunk bars, absinthe ice cream and body modifications -- with Go With Oh and blogger Rock n Roll Bride.

Steampunk bar

The decor at Cross Club (Plynární 1096/23, Prague 7, 17000, +011 420 736 535 053) is a tip of the hat to Blade Runner, with walls of clockwork and moving metal parts. One of the bars is lit by neon motherboards.

Goth clubs

Despite the centuries-old Gothic architecture, modern Goth culture caught on relatively recently in Prague. A new event at MayDay Club (Sokolovská 972/195, Prague 9, 19000, +011 420 604 277 449) brings together metal bands and accessories vendors, in a dungeon-like space painted with skulls. The Hell Party at Styx Club (Sokolovská 144/349, Prague 8, 18600, +011 604 267 995) features electro-industrial dance music, and body modifications involving needle and thread.

For more of my alternative Europe travels, visit La Carmina blog.

What's the spookiest place you've ever visited? Have you explored Prague's underground scene?

Where to stay

I recommend short-term apartment rentals, which let you experience the city as if you lived there. My spacious Oh Prague apartment was a 10 minute walk to Charles Bridge, which leads to Old Town.

Special thanks to Go With Oh, Kat Williams of Rock n Roll Bride, Truls and Ida of Dracula Clothing.