Prague revives a neglected area with a pop-up market made from shipping containers

Prague has recently made a massive leap up the coolness scale. In June this year, about 27 refitted shipping containers have been put together to revive a forgotten wasteland in the city centre with food and cheer.

Manifesto in central Prague. Photo by: Veronika Primm

Manifesto container village is located on Na Florenci Street, between the Masaryk train station and the Florenc bus station. There’s no street number, but look out for the big billboards – the space is just underneath them.

Food is the dominant feature in the market and there’s no shortage of craft burgers, coffee or ice cream at Manifesto. You’ll find some local flavours, even though international ones prevail. You can shop for some local groceries, design pieces by local artists, as well as book stalls. Evenings will entertain you with movie projections, music and performances. Don’t forget your credit card, though, since the whole space is completely cashless.

Ice cream stall at Manifesto. Photo by: Veronika Primm

And who’s behind this whole project? Meet Martin Barry, the founder of reSITE, a non-profit organisation invested in improving urban planning. Barry, who is an American, is a long-term Prague resident who took it as his mission to breathe life into a forgotten corner of Prague, paradoxically located in the city centre.

The market in its current form won’t last forever because the space it currently occupies is going to turn into a construction site in two years time. A new business quarter will change the area forever, but for the better – the design comes from the recently deceased world-class architect Zaha Hadid.

Some of the food stalls at Prague’s Manifesto. Photo by: Veronika Primm

However, if the container concept proves successful, and there are already signals it’s going to, the organisers plan to reopen Manifesto in a different part of Prague. The market is open from 8am to 10pm Monday through Friday, and from 11am to 10pm on the weekend, including public holidays.

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