8 Best Picnic Spots in Prague


 

Picnic – by Lucie Capkova – Unsplash

The weather is warming up, the sun is setting later, and you’ve brought your shorts out of retirement – it’s summer!

With all the restaurants and bars in Prague, you want to somehow maintain the semblance of a healthy lifestyle, so you decide to hit one of the many grocery stores or farmer’s markets selling local produce, and head to a park to enjoy an outdoor picnic. We’ve rounded up the best picnic spots in Prague for you take a basket of locally-sourced food, relax on the lush green grass, and enjoy the views of the architecturally-stunning city.

A picnic. Okay. But why?

Photo by Brittany Gaiser on Unsplash

A few clarifications and reasons to enjoy your food al-fresco before telling you our favorite spots around Prague.

First up, this is the best way to see the views of the city. Instead of paying to sit inside a restaurant with a windowed-view of the stunning architecture, you can sit at a birds-eye view angle and take in the sights of the red roofs and stunning churches.

Second, what is more romantic than taking your date to a beautiful garden and presenting a tasty lunch? You’re sure to score a second date. Third, if you’re a budget traveler then this is the way to go. Even though Prague is known for being very cheap, and we can attest to that, grabbing some lunch to-go and sitting out in one of the city’s many green spaces keeps your spending low and your spirits high.

Lastly, it is perfectly legal to drink alcohol outdoors here. That’s right Americans, I know you’re jealous. Grab a can of Pilsner, a bottle of Bohemian wine, or even a flask of whiskey and lean against a tree, relaxing to the sounds of the birds and bustle of the city below.

1. Petrin Hill

Prague 2016 View from Petrinksa Tower – A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) [FAL]

First up on our list, we choose Petrin Hill. This vantage point boasts one of the best views of the city, with the three bridges in full view over the Vltava River.

Not for the faint of heart, this 430-foot-high hill takes a bit of a hike to get to, but the views and tranquil surroundings are worth the trek. You can then head to the Rose Garden for some fragrant smells and beautiful flowers after your picnic.

If you want to go even higher, you can climb to the top of Petrin Tower (for a small fee) and grab a birds-eye view of the entire city. Once you descend, you can grab a post-picnic beer at the base of the tower to cool off.

This hill is also accessible via funicular, so for those who are just too tired to climb, you can still enjoy a peaceful picnic on the hillside.

2. Kampa Park

Second, Kampa Park is a popular park that is usually busy with hipsters and the younger generation just hanging out after school, between classes, or after work.

Located in the center of the city just a few minutes from Charles Bridge, you can be sure that this green space will constantly be busy in the summer – but that just adds to the high-energy and great buzz.

Bring a few cans here and watch the sunset along the Vltava and see the tourists wandering along the bridge, stopping at the local vendors and street performers along the way. You can also bring some outdoor activities along with you, like a Frisbee, a soccer ball, or some board games. You won’t have to worry about disturbing the surrounding people, since everyone will be enjoying their own sports or musical instruments they brought along with them.

The unique thing about this park is the location – it is actually an island nestled between the Vltava river and a strip of land, known as Devil’s Inlet. The views, the greenery, and the ideal location have made this island the second most beautiful city island in the world.

2. Slovanksy Ostrov

Next up on our list of best picnic spots, we bring to you Slovansky Ostrov. Nicknamed ‘Zofin’ for the palace that is here, this island features paddle-boat rentals for warm summer days, a functionalist playground, and ample open space for a picnic.

The palace features live music and balls, so you can have a picnic before attending a concert at this traditional venue. If you’d rather stay outside, rent one of the rowboats, paddle-boats, or take your children on the small train that runs around the area.

3. Stromovka

Stromovak Park in Ceske Budejovice – By josefwonder [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

For a truly natural park, head to Stromovka and take your picnic under the shade of one of the many towering trees. Don’t worry about being too close to your picnic neighbor, as this 95-hectare park is the largest green space in Prague.

You’ll find locals and tourists here alike, drinking some cold beer under a tree, walking their dogs, or reading by the pond. You can also head to the former ruler’s summer palace to update your history knowledge, or visit the planetarium at the edge of the grounds.

There’s also many joggers and bikers that frequent the paths – we recommend going for a run here, then visiting one of the shops nearby, and returning for a relaxing picnic in the sun by one of the four ponds.

4. Riegrovy Sady

Riegrovy Sady – BY Dezidor [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Another breathtaking park is Riegrovy Sady in Prague 2. Situated where a former vineyard used to be, the view is absolutely stunning of the massive Prague Castle complex. Locals and tourists both flock here to see the best sunsets in all the city – with the best angle through the blossoming trees, with the castle in the background, setting over the shining Vltava.

A good place for runners, the hill to get to the top is pretty steep – so you can get a good workout, or at least burn off a few calories carrying your picnic basket to the top. After watching the sunset, you can easily head to Vinohrady, a trendy neighborhood boasting numerous bars and restaurants to keep the beverages flowing.

5. Vitkov Hill

Romantic Picnic – by Jelleke Vanooteghem – Unsplash

A slightly off-the-beaten-path location that you won’t find in most tourist spots, Vitkov Hill is a great picnic spot. This is the spot to go for a quiet and relaxing picnic. If you want tranquility and quiet, head here. The hill and slope give you privacy from the few others that will be hanging out on the green.

Located east of the center of the city, you’ll be able to see the city from a different perspective. Head to the top of the hill by the National Memorial, and check out one of the best and unique views of the city, looking out over the Zizkov district to the red-roofs and skyline of Prague.

6. Havlickovy Sady

Prague Havlickovy Sady Park – By Steve Kay –

We’ll head back to one of the city’s more popular spots at Havlickovy Sady, Prague’s second-largest park. The 19th-century villa is the main attraction here, so you will find some solitude if you head to the outer edges of the park away from the building. With foliage and hundreds of trees lining the rim of the park, you can easily sneak away to enjoy a picnic under the shade of one of the towering trees.

7. Letna Beer Garden and Park

Vltava from Letna Park – By ekeidar [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

A not-so-secret picnic spot, you can bring your food to the very popular Letna Beer Garden. If you decide to skip sitting in the grass on Letna Park, you can instead head to the beer garden and sit at one of the long communal tables, getting to know your neighbor quite well.

You will get amazing views of the Old Town, the river, and the bridges. Although the beer garden sells some food, if you buy a few pints here the staff won’t mind, or notice, if you bring some of your own food to soak up the alcohol.

8. Divoka Sarka

Sharka hiking terrain, image sourced from Alazing Czechia

For a city-break, and for really feeling like you’re in the Czech mountains, bring your picnic lunch to Divoka Sarka, a nature reserve on the outskirts of the capital. The combination of cliffs, flowing rivers, multiple trails, and foliage all around create a peaceful but exciting landscape.

There’s also a pool for those who want to take a dip in some calm waters. Wander along the paths underneath the rock outcroppings while listening to the sounds of the streams, all feeding to the massive swimming pool. Hike up to one of the overlooks and you’ll have no problem finding some space to yourself. Despite taking some effort to get here, the views, nature, and beauty are worth the journey.

Okay, we’re sold. Picnic in Prague is the way to go.

la-ciutadella-picnic

Prague is home to over 200 parks and green spaces scattered around the city, providing endless opportunities for places to escape the bustling city. Head to a local market or street vendor, pick up some lunch and some booze, and start the journey to one of the beautiful parks.

Whether you want to relax by a pond, take a mini-hike to the top of a hill, or meet some new people at a beer garden, there are so many options to choose from for your budget lunch.

As a solo traveler, I have found that taking food-to-go is the best way to keep my costs low and to meet people. If you visit this country during warm weather, you can easily have a picnic every day for lunch or dinner – or both. Since it stays light so late during the day, you can easily hit all of these spots we’ve listed in our favorites.

Take a traditional Czech meal from one of the food carts to the top of Riegrovy Sady and watch the sunset – then saunter back down the hill to go out for the night and have a few beers for under $1. The ample green spaces in the country’s capital let you create new experiences, and fend off hunger, on a budget. We dig it.