Prague’s Green Spaces – Part 2 (Forests & Woodland)
Whilst many of the green spaces found in Prague’s city centre, come in the form of parks and gardens, as you travel further out, the greenery starts to take more natural characteristics
Prague benefits from a green belt of forests and woodland, the majority of which are easily accessed by public transport, by foot or by bike, leaving you no excuse to go and explore these leafy enclaves.
So, let’s dive into the greenery and discover some more of the Czech capital’s green spaces.
Located near to the river, south of the city centre, this pocket of woodland covers an area of 125 hectares. Popular with cyclists, there are endless numbers of trails criss-crossing through the area, keeping most cycling abilities entertained. The woodland is accessible from the bike path that runs along the Vltava, should you wish to explore the trails. There’s even a private airport (with grass runway), which has an impressive children’s playground.
- Getting there: Train – Praha-Zbraslav, Tram – 3, 17, 21 – Sídliště Modřany
- Best for: Cycling, hiking,
- Facilities: Walking & cycling trails,
Údolí Kunratického potoka
Easily accessed from Metro Line C, this area of woodland east of the city centre is popular with runners, cyclists and dog walkers. The small forest has a network of walking and cycling trails as well as wider fire roads, meaning there’s something for everyone. There are several viewpoints giving impressive views over parts of Prague, as well as the remains of an old fortified castle dating back to the 15th Century. You can also find children’s playgrounds to keep the little ones entertained, as well as a couple of restaurants on the edge of the forest. Chodov shopping centre is also nearby should you wish to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.
- Getting there: Metro – Line C – Roztyly/Chodov, Train – Praha-Krč
- Best for: Cycling, walking, kids
- Facilities: Restaurants, playgrounds,
Přírodní park Hostivař
Home to Prague’s largest lake, Přírodní park Hostivař is a great destination for a family outing. Drained, cleaned and revitalised in 2012, the lake is a popular swimming destination in the summer. The lake has all the amenities you would expect by the seaside, including a sandy beach. And if you want to really cool down, there’s a nudist beach located just around the corner from the main beach area. As well as the lakeside activities, the nature reserve is home to walking and mountain biking trails.
- Getting there: Metro – Line C – Haje, Tram – 22, 26 – Hostivařská
- Best for: Swimming, walking, mountain biking
- Facilities: Swimming lake, drinks & food kiosk, toilets and changing
Home to another of Prague’s public swimming lakes, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, the Divoká Šárka nature reserve is comprised of a rugged landscape of rocky outcrops, forests, streams and hills, located in Prague 6. The outdoor swimming pool (Koupaliště in Czech) and children’s paddling pool are supplied by clean fresh water from the Šárka spring, and are accompanied by volley ball courts, grassy expanses and ping pong tables. A great place to go for a day of fun filled activities with family or friends. The Džbán Swimming Lake also lies within the Divoká Šárka nature reserve. With large expanses of grassy areas and clean water, keen swimmers, and keen sunbathers, are catered for. One highlight is the ability to have a go at wake-boarding via the cable tow – lessons and equipment hire are all available onsite.
- Getting there: Metro – Line A – Nádraží Veleslavín, Tram – 20, 26 – Nádraží Veleslavín
- Best for: Swimming, walking, wake boarding
- Facilities: Swimming pool, swimming lake, toilets & changing, food & drink kiosks, wake boarding
Located north of the city centre on the eastern bank of the Vltava, the Draháň-Troja nature park has a large variety of sights and activities to see and do. The Prague Zoo and Prague Botanical Gardens are both located in Troja in the southern portion of the nature park. The zoo is rated as one of the top 10 in the world, with conditions attributed to the successful breeding of a number of endangered species. Just next door, occupying an area of land covering 30 hectares, is Prague’s Botanical gardens. Home to a a wide variety of plant species, indoor and outdoor gardens, and exhibition spaces the botanical gardens celebrated their 50th anniversary early this year.. And if that’s not enough, there’s also the Troja Chateau to visit. A Baroque villa dating back to the 17th century, now under the management of Prague City Gallery.
Getting there: Bus – 112, 236 – Zoologická zahrada / Botanická zahrada Troja
Best for: Zoo, botanical gardens, architecture, river walks
Facilities: Zoo, botanical gardens, children’s playgrounds, restaurants
Keen to explore even more of Prague’s nature? Here’s some more nature reserves and parks to check out:
- Radotínsko-Chuchelský háj
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to check out the prequel to this article; Prague’s Green Spaces – City Parks.
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