Arcadehry (which translates as Arcade Games) just outside Prague, is a place I've been meaning to visit for many years. As an early birthday treat this year (2017), my wife and I decided to head out on a journey to this legendary sanctuary of wooden cabinets, joysticks, controllers, buttons, shimmering screens, neon lights and incessant beeps…
We both grew up in the 80s in the United Kingdom and arcades, computer/console games and handhelds were a staple of our young lives. Especially during family holidays, I would always be pestering my parents to let me go to the nearest arcade and play. I spent countless hours (and £s) playing these games, learning about them, reading about them – I even bought books with tips on how to get high scores. I was that dedicated!
On an early holiday with my school in North Wales I found "Pengo", became addicted and played it to death – it became my favourite arcade game and still is to this day. I later found that same game along with "Donkey Kong Jr." at a small holiday camp – I played them both to death. Much later, I came across a game called "Nemesis" in a café on Cardiff Queen Street railway station – in my teenage years while I wasn't buying records I played it to death and even managed to complete the entire game.
Unfortunately, Arcadehry did not have Pengo or Nemesis (it did have Donkey Kong Jr.) but boy oh boy the games it did have were amazing. They have over 160 games. The arcade is now located in a purpose built wooden structure with two floors and areas for different types of games.
They have all sorts of games from classic to rare, from early to later, multi-player large cabinet style. Their web site states they currently have 166 games and is easy to believe when you walk through the entrance! The classic corner became my favourite area but there are so many games to play that I will have to return, many times, to keep playing and, of course, to keep trying to get that one more high(er) score…
Once you've paid your entrance fee the whole place is free play – no need for coins, 10ps or American quarters. There is no time limit – get there for opening and you can play 'til they kick you out at closing time. Most days that's nine solid hours!
My wife is a great driver and she lapped up the driving games, even the early ones like Pole Position and Out Run, while I, who doesn't drive and hates cars, was much happier with the likes of Space Invaders, Asteroids, Galaxians, Dig Dug, Defender, Scramble, Moon Cresta, Zaxxon and Centipede.
It was a fabulous day and we will definitely be returning. Along with the entrance fee you can buy limited edition merchandise, including T-Shirts, all the funds of which go to help keep this fantastic place running. You can also donate to the cause.
Our only criticism would be that, other than a few pinball machines, it's all about the electronic games and the arcades we remember from our youth had additional games like air hockey and fußball – these would be a welcome addition to Arcadehry to make the experience complete.
Off season they tend to only open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 19:00 but in the summer, they are sometimes open more often/longer. They also usually open on some Czech public/bank holidays. Their web site has all the up and coming open dates. For adults, it costs 200Kč (Czech Crowns – approximately €8, £7, US$9.50), less for children under 15. All games are free play once you have paid your entrance fee. The whole place is no smoking but they do have a drinks cooler that you can buy drinks from including beer. You get your hand/arm stamped so that you can come and go as you please for breaks, cigarettes, food, etc. You can also book the whole arcade for private events.
Location = the location of the arcade is not in Prague - it is just outside Prague in a town called Červený Újezd. The full address is U Větráku 280, Červený Újezd, 273 51, Unhošť, Czech Republic.
Getting there = It is relatively easy to get to by public transport and if you time it right with the bus connection it will only take 60-90 minutes. Be warned though, the bus service is not very often i.e. every 2 hours on a Saturday! If you do not have a transport pass for Prague you will need a 32Kč (90 minute) ticket to get to Zličín at the end of the yellow metro line B. As soon as you walk out of the metro there is a bus station – just to the left of the bus station is a map of all the bus platforms and services. You need bus service 307 to Unhošť,nám. – this usually goes from platform 2. The stop you want to get off at is "Červený Újezd" (not " Červený Újezd,rozc" or "Červený Újezd,U Náprstků"). For this you will need 24Kč (3 outlying zones) tickets (each ticket is one way) which are available from ticket machines or the little ticket office at Zličín (turn right when you come up out of the metro and look for the signs) - you can stamp these standard tickets on entering the bus. You can buy tickets on the bus but you'll probably need to know some Czech language and have some change available so it's easier to get the tickets beforehand. Once you get off the bus follow the direction of the bus down the road and immediately turn right at the crossroads. From there, follow the road round until you reach the gravel turnoff on the left. After 100m, you will see the castle’s parking lot and you will also see Arcadehry directly in front of you.
Bus service = the 307 bus service is regular but not very often. Check the times both for going there and coming back before you go. Make sure you get to Zličín in plenty of time (yellow metro B journey from the centre takes 20-30 minutes to the end of the line) as you may want to grab a snack/drink, use the toilets, buy bus tickets, get in the queue so that you get a seat. The bus journey takes around 30 minutes – it's a normal bus, not a coach and does not have toilets on board.
Drinks and Food = You can take your own food and drink as they have picnic type tables in the venue. They do not sell food on the premises but they do have a drinks cooler that you can buy drinks from including beer. There's a pub restaurant a short walk away in the castle nearby. Buying drinks from them (or going to their partner castle restaurant) helps them out. If you don't want to tear yourself away from the games and lose precious time playing them, we recommend to take some snack food but buy the drinks directly from them – it all helps keep them going. They have toilets inside the arcade building.
Payment = Arcadehry only take cash. They do not take credit card payments.
Weather = Arcadehry is indoors. You will be exposed to the elements at several moments in the journey if you travel by public transport or if you want to smoke outside, so if it's cold and/or wet we recommend wearing appropriate clothing.
Cloakroom = Arcadehry do not have a specific, secure cloakroom but they do have a public area with many hooks to hang your coats and accessories.