Prague’s Green Spaces – City Parks
In 2018 Prague was ranked one of the greenest cities in the world by TravelBird, the Dutch holiday agency. The travel site compiled a list of destinations deemed to be “…making large efforts to be sustainable by preserving ecological areas, as well as those increasing their man-made green locations.”
Whilst Prague ranked 6th in terms of green space per inhabitant, it topped the list in terms of total percentage of green areas, with over 50% of the city made up of green spaces.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the different green spaces Prague has to offer.
Stromovka is Prague’s largest park. Located in Prague 7, this centrally located green space was established in the 13th century as a royal game reserve, and covers an area of nearly 250 acres.
Here you will find newly resurfaced paths weaving between trees and ponds, and over footbridges. If fitness and sport is your thing, then, as well as smooth surfaces popular with inline skaters, cyclists and runners, you’ll find also find outdoor gym facilities to keep you in shape. There are also several playgrounds for the little ones, typical of Prague’s brilliant children’s spaces. To the east of the park you can also find numerous actives and excursions including an aquarium, Prague Exhibition Halls and a planetarium. So if sport, an evening stroll (or pretty much anything you can do in a park) is your thing, then head to Stromovka!
Getting there: Metro – Line A – Hradčanská / Line C – Vltavská, Tram – 12, 17 Výstaviště Holešovice
Best for: Sports, Strolls, Activities, Picnics
Facilities: Sports Facilities, Eateries, Playgrounds.. too many to list here.
Another of Prague 7’s green spaces, this popular park sits atop the hillside in the south of the district. Overlooking the Vltava (Prague’s arterial river) and the city centre, Letenská pláň (Letná Park) holds a host of things to see and do. Once home to an enormous ostentatious statue constructed during communism, a metronome now sits at the park’s summit; a symbol of democracy, and ‘keeper of time’. Scaling the steps up to the Metronome will let you enjoy panoramic views over Prague. You’ll also hear the sound of skateboarders in the background, perfecting their skills. Walking along one of the park’s winding pathways will bring you to the beer garden, letting you enjoy a hard-earned cold beverage with locals and foreigners alike. And if you’re hungry after your efforts, the neighbouring streets to the west of the park are home to some great cafes, bars and eateries.
Getting there: Metro – Line A – Hradčanská / Staroměstská, Tram – several incl. 12, 15, 17
Best for: Views, Beer, Skateboarding, Running up steps
Facilities: Beer Garden, Sports Facilities (incl. tennis courts), Kid’s Playground
Popular with local runners, dog walkers and expats, Reigrovy sady (Rieger’s Park) can be found in Prague’s affluent Vinohrady district. Another green space benefiting from impressive views, in this instance, of Prague Castle, the park is perfect for summer picnics or an evening stroll. Being a short walk from Jiřího z Poděbrad, why not stop off at one of the local bakeries, or delicatessens in the square and stock up on tasty treats to enjoy on one of the park’s many grassy areas.
Getting there: Metro – Line A – Jiřího z Poděbrad, Tram – 11, 13 – Jiřího z Poděbrad
Best for: Views, Picnics, Running, Evening strolls
Facilities: Outdoor Gym, Kid’s playground, Pub, Sports Centre
Forming a border between Prague’s Žižkov and Karlín neighbourhoods, Vítkov Hill sits as a raised spine of greenery, visible from all over Prague. This Park’s unique shape and placement means you get almost a 360o view of the capital, with views incorporating the city centre, Prague Castle and TV Tower. Atop the park you will find the National Memorial, a building honouring the Czechoslovak legionaries of WWI, as well as the third largest equestrian statue in the world, . The memorial houses exhibitions as well as a cafe and rooftop view point.
If you venture up in the morning, you’ll likely see dog walkers and runners stopping to admire the views. In the evening, couples strolling along the intertwining pathways that run around the hill almost like contour lines on a map. One of the little ones learning to ride a bike? The quiet road running along the park carries no traffic and is perfect for their first pedal strokes.
Getting there: Metro – Line B Florence / Křižíkova, Tram – 5, 9, 15, 26 – Husinecká
Best for: Views, Running, Walking
Facilities: Museum, Cafe, Sports complex
Situated west of the river in Prague 6, not far from Prague Castle, Petřín Park holds a whole host of things to do and see. Starting at the foot of the park in Prague’s Lesser Town, you have the choice of making the hike up to the park’s 327m summit, or traveling in a more relaxed fashion, aboard the city’s only funicular railway. Once you’ve reached the top you’ll discover many of the park’s numerous facilities. Highlights include: a mirror maze, Petřín Tower (higher in altitude than the Eiffel Tower, its inspiration), an impressive church, a planetarium, an observatory and a whole host of other buildings and monuments.
Getting there: Tram – several incl. 5, 7, 11, 22 – Újezd
Best for: Views, Attractions, Walking
Facilities: Kid’s playground, Eateries, Mirror maze, Planetarium, Maze and more
Set on a hillside in the south western tip of Vinohrady, underneath Nuselský most (Nusle Bridge), this park is a small but hidden gem. A series of paths wind up through the hillside greenery. A section of Prague’s ancient city wall runs along the top, whilst a small stream gently trickles along the bottom. A great place to take kids, as well as for the sportier types, facilities include a children’s playground, basketball courts and series of paths for cyclists and runners. There’s also an underground bunker to explore also. Be sure to checkout the artist installation underneath the bridge. Although subtle, the installation, a street light with its lamp twisted upwards, was created by Krištof Kintera. A memento mori to the many who took their lives jumping from the bridge above during the capital’s darker years. A more light hearted artwork can be found at the very top of the park. One of the bunker’s pillboxes has been transformed into a giant R2D2. It’s look a little weathered these days, but still impressive none the the less.
Getting there: Metro – Line C – I.P. Pavlova / Vyšehrad, Tram – several incl. 6,7,11,14- Ostrčilovo náměstí / Pod Karlovem
Best for: Kids, Sport, Walks
Facilities: Kid’s playground, Sports facilities
This is only a slice of Prague’s parks and their facilities. For more wanders through wildlife in Prague, be sure to checkout some of its other parks including: Havlíčkovy sady, Parukářka, Vyšehradské sady, Rajská Zahrada and many more.
Be sure to look out for the next article in the series, Prague’s Green Spaces – Part 2 (Forests and woodland).
Author: Míša Benešovská
I’m a freelance journalist and copywriter, mainly covering IT industry. I’ve been fascinated by it for nearly a quarter of a century (or since I dismantled my first computer). I worked for Seznam.cz, Unicorn Systems or Mafra publisher. In my spare time, I love game consoles and keep perfecting a recipe for the best pumpkin risotto in the world.
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