PARKS AND GARDENS

TopTen

1. Petřín Hill

Google Map

The views from here are so beautiful that susceptible romantics have been known to spontaneously kiss passers-by, including the monks from Strahov monastery. In spring the views are at their best, as the orchards are in bloomt.

2. Vyšehrad

Google Map

Far enough from the centre to be largely tourist-free, Vyšehrad is the perfect place to be alone with your thoughts. Sights include the Neo-Gothic Sts Peter and Paul Church, the graves of Dvořák and Smetana and reconstructed fortifications. However, visitors should be aware that there’s very little shelter from inclement weather.

3. Wallenstein Garden

Google Map

Albrecht von Wallenstein razed two dozen houses to make way for his expansive “backyard”, which features a man-made lake. Among the garden’s stranger elements is the grotto on the south wall, with stalactites imitating a limestone cave. The cries you hear all around you are the resident peacocks.

TopTen

Wallenstein Garden’s Sala Terrena

4. Kampa Island

Google Map

Malá Strana residents love to sunbathe, sip wine and play frisbee on the island green of the Little Quarter in summer. However, they also like to smoke marijuana, beat drums well into the night and use the grass for a public dog toilet, so watch your step.

TopTen

Kampa Island separated from Malá Strana by the Čertovka (Devil’s Canal)

5. Vojanovy sady

Google Map

Prague’s oldest garden was founded in the 13th century. The fairy-tale park (see Vojanovy sady) is home to peacocks, fruit trees and a heart-melting array of flowers.

TopTen

The pretty Vojanovy sady park

6. Stromovka

Google Map

King Přemysl Ottokar II established the royal hunting park here in 1266. A public garden since 1804, Stromovka is one of the city’s largest parks. It has four ponds that are ideal for ice-skating in winter and duck-feeding in summer, and meandering paths that offer easy strolling.

7. Franciscan Garden

Google Map

Stop here after pounding the pavements of Wenceslas Square and join the pensioners and office workers at lunch, quietly filling the benches behind the Church of Our Lady of the Snows (see Franciscan Garden).

8. South Gardens of Prague Castle

Google Map

The spectacular views of Malá Strana from this series of gardens descending from Prague Castle can’t fail to inspire. This really is the best way to conclude a day of sightseeing in Hradčany.

9. Střelecký ostrov

Google Map

Lose yourself watching the Vltava rush past this island, which gained its name from the archery competitions that were held here from the 15th century. Early risers can watch the sunrise strike the castle. In the summer there’s a popular outdoor cinema and live-music stage here.

10. Prague Castle Royal Garden

Google Map

These formal gardens were laid out on the orders of the Habsburg king Ferdinand I in 1534 (see Prague Castle). After mulling over the Belvedere summer palace and the Communist-revised frescoes in the Ball Game Hall, slip down to the Stag Moat.

TopTen

Prague Castle Royal Garden

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