Prague’s Neighbourhoods – Holešovice
Prague’s Holešovice district is located north of the city centre on the western bank of the Vltava.
What was once an industrial quarter of meat packing factories, has become Prague’s creative quarter of specialty coffee bars, independent shops and artists’ studios.
One of the main factors contributing to its transformation, is that of the 100 year flood that hit Prague in 2002. Like Karlín opposite, Holešovice’s primarily low-lying location meant that large parts of the district saw severe flood damage, and was thus a major catalyst for re-developing the area.
Now you know a little about its history, let’s take a visit and get to know some of its highlights.
A day in Holešovice
The best way to get to Holešovice is via tram or metro to Vltavská. Although one of the more tired looking metro stops, Vltavská has an abundance of street art covering much of the entrance, that you can admire on arrival at street level.
The first order of the day? A good breakfast and coffee, of course. With this in mind, on arrival to Vltavská, you can either choose to take a 10 minute stroll, or two stops by tram to Dělnická. You’ll find Vnitroblok on Tusarová just around the corner from the Dělnická tram stop.
Located in the heart of East Holešovice, and housed in one of the neighbourhood’s many converted warehouses, Vnitroblok (literally translated as courtyard) is a trendy place incorporating a cafe, event space and a selection of boutique shops. There’s loads of seating, letting you choose whatever feels comfiest. A good menu with a nice selection of dishes is available – a focus on healthy ingredients for the most part. And when you’ve finished your tasty treats, why not take a browse through the clothes, homewares and shoes, all for sale from different niche brands?
When you’re fuelled up and ready to go, it’s time to head to Veletržní palác (Trade Fair Palace), The National Gallery’s main building, located next to the Veletržní palác tram stop.
The National Gallery – Trade Fair Palace
Serving as the seat of the National Gallery in Prague since 1976, this 1920’s functionalist structure, formerly intended to house trade fairs, is home to permanent and temporary exhibitions of modern art. One such permanent exhibition is: ‘1918–1938: The First Czechoslovak Republic’ – presenting the art of the first republic and introducing prominent galleries and institutions of the time. A great way to educate yourself on the Czechoslovak Republic’s beginnings.
Once you’ve let your creative mind run wild in interpreting the National Galleries exhibits, it’s time to admire some of Holešovice’s greenery. On exiting the main entrance of the gallery, take a left along Dukelských Hrdinů street and you’ll see the entrance to Stromovka at the end of the road. (There’s an Albert supermarket just around the corner on Veletržní to pick up supplies for a picnic)
A picnic in Stromovka
Welcome to Stromovka – Prague’s largest park. 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. At the entrance to the park you can also find the Prague Exhibition Grounds (Výstaviště Praha). Here you’ll find multiple activities and excursions including an aquarium and planetarium. The majority of the grounds were built in 1891 and include the Lapidárium (another of the National Gallery’s buildings), Křižík’s Light Fountain and the Art-Nouveau Industrial Palace.
NB Fun fact – Křižíkova metro station is named after František Křižík – the fountain’s creator)
Once you’ve explored the greenery and picnicked on grassy expanses, it’s time to head for a movie.
Located just around the corner from the Trade Fair Palace on Františka Křížka street (also named after the fountain’s creator), Bio Oko has become a cornerstone of the local community. On entering, you’ll find a lobby bar, with outside seating in the summer. Grab a drink and a snack before heading into watch a movie. Choose to sit in one of the rows of classic cinema seats, or why not lie back in a: deck chair, dentist’s chair, bean bag or arm chair – whatever feels right at the time! Like with its sister cinemas (Aero & Světozor), all types of movie goer are catered for, with BabyBio (parent and baby screenings), BioSenior (reduced price daytime screenings), as well as a mix of english friendly and foreign films, all on the weekly program. Enjoy the film!
A well earned meal
By now you’re probably feeling pretty hungry. Here you have a choice, either to head to:
- Cobra – a cafe by day & bar by night, with a great selection of food and drinks
- Mama Shelter – a hotel with bar and restaurant, with a unique fun design.
And that’s it – Holešovice in a day – Prague’s creative neighbourhood.
Be sure to check out our more of Prague’s neighbourhoods here. And check back for more additions in the near future.
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