Prague’s Neighbourhoods: Vinohrady
Some brief history
Seen as one of Prague’s more upmarket neighbourhoods, Vinohrady is located to the South East of Prague’s centre. Its name (originally Královské Vinohrady), literally translates as Royal Vineyards. During the 14th century, Czech King Charles IV had the vineyards planted on the hillside. The area remained rich with wine production for four centuries until being declared an independent city in the 19th century. In 1922 Vinohrady was incorporated into the greater Prague region.
The what and where
The main squares in the neighbourhood are: Náměstí Míru, located to the West, and Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, which borders Žižkov further North East. The former is centred around the neo-Gothic Church of St. Ludmila, built towards the end of the 19th century. Náměstí Míru (Peace Square) is made up of an area of benches and greenery set in front of the church, bordered by an eclectic mix of cafes and restaurants.
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, has a more relaxed vibe and hugely popular with locals and foreigners alike. A large church sits in the centre, built by the Slovenian architect Plečnik in the twenties.
As well as the numerous cafes, bars and restaurants, Vinohrady is also home to a number of green spaces. Parks in the neighbourhood include: Havlíčkovy sady, Riegrovy sady and Folimanka. Check out our article on: Prague’s Green Spaces for more info on some of Prague’s best parks.
But that’s enough of the history and geography of the area. Let’s take a stroll through the neighbourhood.
A day in Vinohrady
Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad
Jump on Metro Line A or Tram 11 and make your way to the heart of Vinohrady, Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, or Jiřák as it’s known by the locals. As you emerge from underground, or hop off the tram, you’ll likely see the farmers market, running along the far side of the square. Bustling with locals and foreigners, the stalls offer a mix of groceries and tasty treats sold by local farmers and artisans. On Saturdays, the sound of live music can be heard, be it an acoustic band or brass instruments. Take some time to enjoy the sounds, smells and tastes.
You either have the option of breakfast and a coffee on the go from one of the market sellers, or a choice of several eateries spread in and around the square. If you decide to choose the latter, grab a coffee to go from mammacoffee, and a pastry from Le Caveau’s bakery, and enjoy them on one of the several benches scattered around the square.
Photo: Petr Brož
Once you’ve stocked up on tasty treats and coffee, head towards the north west corner of the square, along Slavíkova. Past the wine shop, a crowd of wine lovers will likely already be gathered outside, sipping the latest Moravian vintage. Taking a left on Krkonošská will take you to the edge of Reigrovy Sady (Reiger’s Park). Enjoy a stroll along the maze of winding paths that weave around the grassy spaces. A beautiful view of Prague awaits you on the far side of the park, Prague Castle in the distance. Runners, dog walkers and romantic couples will likely pass by. After you’ve taken in the panoramic views, head towards Vinohradská, one of Vinohrady’s main arterial streets and make your way to Vinohradský Pavilon.
What was once a covered market hall of local sellers, and for a long time, tired and under occupied, has now become a design hub. Furniture & product design shops cover the three floors of the building, with eye catching displays and unique designs. If, by now, you’re in need of another caffeine fix, there’s an upmarket cafe situated in the middle, run by La Boheme Cafe roasting company. A wide selection of coffee, tea and light bites are all up for grabs.
From here, make your way down Slezská, the street that runs behind Pavilon, and follow it down to Náměstí Míru, Vinohrady’s other main square.
Vinohrady’s alternate main square, Náměstí Míru (Peace Square) is centred around the neo-Gothic Church of St. Ludmila, built towards the end of the 19th century – an imposing brick structure with twin spires. Set out in front of the church you’ll find seating and small pockets of greenery and flowers. Whilst there isn’t a farmers’ market like that of Jiřák, you will find seasonal markets here at Easter and over the Christmas holiday, popular with tourists sampling seasonal treats. Venturing from the square, along one of the many adjacent side streets, you will find multiple cafes, bars and eateries catering to most tastes and budgets.
Heading toward the bottom corner of Náměstí Míru, follow Americká street, if you’re in need of a drink or snack drop into Ant Hill Cafe. Run by a group of students, the Vietnamese style cafe has a nice community vibe with light lunches, coffee and cakes all with a Vietnamese edge. On reaching the end of Americká, follow Koperníkova for 100 metres or so, where you’ll find the entrance to Havlíčkovy sady (also known as Grébovka). The park is styled on the Italian Renaissance and features a manmade grotto with fountains and waterfalls, a vineyard, pavilion and extensive green spaces. In the summer you might see a wedding celebration or festival taking place.
Cheers to Vinohrady
To finish off a hard day of exploration, why not head to one of the area’s many bars? On your walk back from Havlíčkovy sady to Jiřák you’ll find Bullerbyn, a fairly new drinking hole with a nice vibe, good drinks and fun design. You’ll find it on the corner of Chodská and Morvaská. Or, heading back to Jiřák and around the corner will lead you to Boho, a cafe/bar with great attention to design, friendly staff and a great drinks menu. Cheers! Or, as the Czechs would stay, na zdraví!
Keep your eyes peeled for more articles on Prague’s Neighbourhoods coming soon.
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