Prague’s Best Parks
The Green City of Prague
While Prague may be best known to the outside world for its cheap but quality beer, stunning mix of gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture and classical composer Antonín Dvořák the city is also home to countless parks and gardens that offer a peaceful interlude from the hustle and bustle of Prague’s busy city streets.
We have whittled down Prague’s numerous public parks and gardens into a comprehensive list of the best places to unwind, see famous landmarks and feast your eyes on breath-taking views of the city this summer.
Located on the west bank of the Vltava River is Letenské Sady which offers beautiful views of Staré Město (Old Town) and the city beyond. The park is home to Letná Beer Garden with its shaded picnic tables perfect for enjoying a cold beer and light snack on a summer’s day, and for those feeling a bit more peckish in the eastern end of the park you will find Letenský Zámeĉek, a charming chateau that houses a number of restaurants that offer everything from casual patio dining to romantic meals. The Prague Metronome, a huge kinetic sculpture by Czech artist Vratislav Karel Novak erected in 1991 on the former site of a looming monument to Stalin destroyed in 1962, can also be viewed in the park.
Across the river in the northern part of the Vinohrady neighbourhood is Riegrovy Sady. Constructed between 1904 and 1908, the park was named for the esteemed Czech politician František Ladislav Rieger, a statue of whom can be found within the park chiselled by the influential Prague-born sculptor Josef Václav Myslbek in 1913. Riegrovy Sady boasts a beer garden with a big projector screen for watching sports that is one of the city’s most popular outdoor drinking haunts. Many grassy knolls perfect for sunbathing abound throughout the park complemented by shady wooded areas when the weather gets too hot, plus a café and restaurant for much-needed refreshments. From its highest points, Riegrovy Sady is perfectly situated to view the beautiful Prague Castle in the distance.
Petřínské Sady, formerly the site of one of King Charles’ vineyards, is wedged between the Malá Strana and Strahov quarters and offers fun for everyone whether you’re a railway enthusiast, hiker, fan of horticulture or just want to indulge your inner child. From the Ujezd tram station take the funicular railway to the park’s summit at the top of Petřín Hill, or if you’re the healthy type you can hike up the hill’s steep wooded path which takes you past a statue of the Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha. Once at the top, you will find the 63.5 metre tall Petřín Tower which provides stunning panoramic views Prague from its upper observation deck, a charming rose garden and Bludiště – a disorientating but beautiful mirror maze.
Situated on the border of Vinohrady, Havlíčkovy Sady is the second largest park in Prague and home to Sklep Grébovka, a wine cellar that since 2009 has been operated by local winemakers Iveta Bulánková and Pavel Bulánek who produce wine from grapes grown in the park’s very own 1.6 hectare vineyard. The park is also home to Pavilon Grébovka, a beautiful wooden structure built in the 1870s by prominent Czech architect Josef Schulz that originally acted as a garden playroom and now houses a café. Many meandering paths cut through and across Havlíčkovy Sady making it perfect for a summer stroll.
Founded in the 13th century and formerly serving as a game preserve, Stromovka is locally regarded as Prague’s equivalent to New York City’s Central Park and has a total area of 95 hectares making it the biggest park in the city. Its sprawling grassy expanse features four picturesque ponds – delightful spots on which to spread out a blanket and relax with a picnic. From within the park boundaries, the majestic Místodržitelský letohrádek (Governor’s Summer Palace) building can be viewed, parts of which date back as far as the 15th century. For lovers of star-gazing and all things astronomical, the park is also home to Prague’s Planetarium which hosts educational shows about the solar system and space exploration.
From Prague’s biggest park to one of its smaller spots Františkánská Zahrada is located in the bustling heart of Prague’s Nové Město (New Town) just off Wenceslas Square, making it the perfect respite after a day of sightseeing and shopping. The petite park, a peaceful oasis in the city centre, is defined by manicured hedges, pretty rose covered arches and a charming fountain. Award-winning Czech sculptor Josef Klimeš sculpture series of three dancing fairies known as ‘Poletuchy’ can also be viewed at the park. Take a seat on one of Františkánská Zahrada’s many benches with a refreshing drink or ice cream from a neighbouring café while watching the world go by.
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