Prague, Czech Republic – Prague knows no shortage of greenery, but it can sometimes be difficult to make up your mind on where to go when you’re looking for a change of scenery and a place to relax far away from the crowds. So here’s a selection of the best parks in Prague you should definitely visit during your stay in the Czech capital.
1. Riegrovy Sady
Riegrovy Sady might be one of the most popular hang-out spots in the city centre. Named after Czech politician Frantisek Ladislav Rieger, one of the key figures of the Czech national awakening in the 19th century, the park is located in the trendy Vinohrady district. There, you’ll find a highly sought-after beer garden, which often screens sport events, and Mlikarna, another popular bar to have a drink in the afternoon or the evening. Riegrovy Sady is also famous for offering one of the most stunning views of Prague. Despite the crowd that gathers there every evening at sunset, it’s one of the must-see panoramic views the Czech capital has to offer.
Along with Riegrovy sady, Letna is among the most popular parks for anyone searching for some greenery and breath of fresh air in the centre. No wonder: not only does it offer incredible views of the city (half of the pictures of Prague that you see on the internet were probably taken there), but it’s also one of the most charming parks of the Czech capital, including colourful flowerbeds and lovely tree-lined avenues making it an ideal place for a stroll, or a drink at the local beer garden.
Letna is also famous for hosting the gigantic Metronome overlooking the Vltava and the entire city, a somewhat odd architectural landmark that replaced a monumental statue of Stalin in the 1990’s. The space located right below the Metronome also includes a few bars, live music as well as outdoors movie screenings in summer. If you’re in Letna, don’t forget to have a look at the intriguing Expo 58 building, designed for the Czech pavilion of the Brussels World Fair.
Stromovka is one of our personal favorites. Located between Prague’s 6th and 7th districts, this former royal hunting ground spans over nearly 100 ha and is arguably one of the greatest oasis of peace and relaxation in the city. Due to its location, slightly off from the centre, very few tourists and expats wonder there.
The central part of the park has recently been renovated and new ponds, playgrounds and piers were added, highlighting its unique look and distinctive charm. You’ll find there joggers, families, people walking their dogs, youngsters and students playing the guitar or having a picnic, etc. You could easily spend a whole afternoon at Stromovka and never get bored: you can visit the Planetarium, have lunch at the Vozovna restaurant or a beer at Containall, and even play volleyball on the dedicated court. Its location is also ideal for further excursions: if you head north and cross the river on a small boat, you’ll be able to visit the Troja castle or spend a few hours in the renowned Prague Zoo just a few minutes away.
4. Divoka Sarka
Divoka Sarka is no mere park, but a gigantic nature reserve of over 250 ha located on the north-western outskirts of Prague, not far from the international airport. But don’t be intimidated by its size: even for those of you who simply want to stroll for one or two hours, it’s the ideal spot for a Sunday walk. On the other hand, those who want more can do some hiking, cycling, or even put to use all the tennis, football or volleyball courts scattered around the area. There’s even an outdoors public swimming pool located at the heart of the valley.
Divoka Sarka can be directly accessed by tram or metro, so don’t postpone your visit too long: this is really worth your time. Magnificent scenery and breathtaking landscapes await you in the heart of the Divoka Sarka valley, named after a Slavic myth and highly popular folklore story of the Czech lands.
Located at the heart of the Mala Strana district, Petrin hill might be the most easily accessible park for tourists. Although you can get to the top of the hill with a funicular, we strongly advise to go by foot and get lost in the small tree-lined alleys and stumble on some secret pathways offering you some of the best views of Prague. Don’t forget to look out for the statue of Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Macha, author of the famous poem May. It’s no coincidence that lovers come to Petrin on the 1st of May to kiss under the cherry trees: it is undoubtingly one of the most romantic spots in the city, with an incredible diverse flora, from beech trees to oaks and horse chestnuts.
On top of the hill stands the iconic Petrin observation tower, built in 1891 and famous for its strong resemblance with the Paris Eiffel tower. It served as a television tower until the early 1990’s, when it was replaced by the equally-iconic Zizkov tower. Fun fact: considering its location on top of the hill and Prague’s altitude level, its peak is situated at exactly the same height as the one in Paris. You can also visit the Hunger wall, commissioned by Charles IV to give jobs to the city’s destitute and unemployed in the 14th century. Today, the Petrin hill is divided into separate gardens, including the Seminar Garden and the Rose Orchard. Our personal favorite, however, is the Kinsky Garden, located on the other side of the ramparts.
Although visible from all over Prague, few people take the time to venture to the top of the Vitkov Hill, where you’ll find a unique panoramic view of Prague. The park is dominated by a monumental statue of Jan Zizka, the legendary Hussite warlord, built by Bohumil Kafka and allegedly the third biggest equestrian statue in the world. If you happen to make it to the top, you should take the time to visit the National Memorial, originally built in the 1930’s to pay homage to Czechoslovak legionaries, and now hosting an exhibition on some of the major events of Czech modern history.
7. Havlickovy Sady – Grebovka
More commonly known as Grebovka, Havlickovy sady has a very distinct, slightly precious feel about it. Located in-between the Vinohrady and Vrsovice districts, and right behind the popular Krymska street, it includes some beautiful vineyards, small fountains and water cascades, delicate pavilions… and a must-see grotto. It’s another one of the most popular parks in the city centre, which is why you’ll find there a mix of Czechs and expats, plentiful in that trendy district. Many events are organized in the park throughout the year, including a number of wine tasting events and food festivals.
Located between the Vitkov Hill and the Olsany cemeteries in the Zizkov district, Parukarka is a laid-back, off-the-beaten track park definitely worth a visit and offering a beautiful view of Prague from an angle that many people usually miss out on. If you happen to wonder around there, you should also know that a cold-war era nuclear bunker, with a capacity of up to 5.000 people, is located below your feet. Parukarka is truly one of the most peaceful spots to have a rest – and a cold beer at the local bar – at the end of a busy day.
9. Obora Hvezda
Obora Hvezda (Star enclave) might arguably be one of the most overlooked parks in Prague, despite being easily accessible by tram. It takes its name for the 16th-century, star-shaped summer palace located in the middle of this former royal getaway. The building is now part of the memorial of national literature (housed in the Strahov monastery) and hosts several exhibitions throughout the year, including one dedicated to the 1620 Battle of the White Mountain, incidentally located right next to the park. Take our word for it: you’ll never stumble on any crowd here, and will be able to enjoy a peaceful walk and recharge your batteries in one of the most relaxing parks of Prague.
Located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Vltava river, Vysehrad is closely associated with many Czech legends and folklore stories. It is also believed to have been to oldest seat of Czech kings and princes from the 11th century, before it was moved to its current location, in Hradcany, while Vysehrad slowly faded into ruin and oblivion throughout the centuries. Today, it is one of the most popular areas for tourists and locals alike to take a stroll, offering stunning views of Prague and the Vltava’s meandering.
Vysehrad is also famous for the impressive Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul and, of course, the breathtaking cemetery, final resting place of many famous Czech figures, from Dvorak to Capek, Mucha and Smetana.