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Take in the beauty and splendor of Prague from these incredible outlooks
Inarguably one of the most picturesque city destinations out there, Prague has plenty of well-known spots to catch a view of its famous bridges, castle, and Old Town.
Since moving to the city as Canadian ex-pats one year ago, we saw all of the typical attractions before striking out to find lesser-known, but equally spectacular, locations.
If you’re looking to enjoy a view of Prague with fewer crowds, skip the usual suspects and check out these three locals’ spots.
Sitting high above the Vltava River and city centre, Letná Park is only a 15 to 20 minute walk from Old Town Square. Combining sweeping views with easy access, the entire southern edge of the park faces the city, offering countless spots to enjoy the view.
The Prague Metronome, which filled the gap left by a Stalin statue destroyed in the 1960s, offers the best opportunity to gaze down on Prague’s iconic bridges, aligned in the distance and framed by trees.
To the east of the Metronome is Letná Beer Garden, which is one of the city’s best places for a beer and snack on a nice day. From the Beer Garden, you can sit and look out over Prague’s old town and Jewish Quarter, including the black spires of the immediately recognizable Church of Our Lady before Týn in Old Town Square.
Continuing east from the Beer Garden is a semi-circle lookout facing west toward Prague Castle and the Church of St. Nicholas, the prominent green dome in Malá Strana.
You can walk to Letná Park from Old Town Square, heading northwest along Pařížská Street (look for the tourism office and Cartier store in Old Town Square), crossing Čechův Most Bridge, and up a slightly steep set of stairs. You can also take Tram Number 1, 8, 15, 25, or 26 to Sparta, entering the park from the North edge.
A large park in the heart of Prague’s Vinohrady neighbourhood, Riegrovy Sady offers a lovely view of Prague Castle at any time of day, but is particularly nice at sunset. Sitting to the east of Old and New Town, Riegrovy Sady is in a prime location, with the best view being from a west-facing ridge where the park slopes away, fading into the National Museum, Old Town, Malá Strana, and St. Vitus Cathedral within Prague Castle. On nice days, locals come to this spot with drinks, food, and friends, to soak it all in before heading to the excellent beer garden within the park.
Riegrovy Sady is within walking distance from Muzeum, Náměstí Míru and Jiřího z Poděbrad metro stops. To find the lookout, look for the sports field in the centre of the park, and then follow the locals to the west edge of the track.
Kotva Department Store Terrace
One of Prague’s best-kept secrets is the view from the terrace of one of its ugliest buildings, the Kotva Department store. Head to the 5th floor terrace on a nice day or evening to sample one of the restaurant’s nearly 70 beers, and enjoy the up-close views of Prague’s Old Town, which sprawls below you in a disorganized tangle of narrow streets, red roofs and pastel-coloured buildings. Look beyond the Old Town, and you’ll notice the lush greenery of Petřín Hill to the left of Prague Castle, another great spot for views!
The Kotva Department Store is opposite the Palladium Mall in Námesti Republiky (Metro Line B, yellow) When facing the Kotva building (Palladium is at your back) walk along the outside left edge of the building until you get to an outdoor elevator, heading up to the 5th floor. The restaurant is called T-Anker (Kotva – 5th Floor, Náměstí Republiky 656/8).
Petřín Hill and the Large Strahov Garden
It’s no secret the view from Prague Castle is one of the best in the city, but what most visitors to Prague don’t know is there’s an even better view only a few minutes walk from the castle, from which you can see almost all of central Prague and the notable landmarks in the city’s skyline: the green dome of the Church of St. Nicholas, Žižkov TV Tower, the National Theatre, Náměstí Míru, Vyšehrad, and the Petřín TV Tower, as well as Prague Castle from above. Catch the view in the right light, and you’ll quickly see why Prague is often referred to as the golden city.
Walking: From the Starbucks at Hradčanské Náměstí (the square with the Starbucks in front of the castle), and while looking at the city (back to castle), walk up the hill on your right, following signs toward Strahov Monastery (Strahovský Klášter) until you reach Restaurant Bellavista. The ridge and fruit orchards running below the restaurant offer great views, and if you keep walking, veering to your left and staying level with the ridge rather than going up Petřín Hill, there are fantastic views of the castle and Church of St. Nicholas. Keep walking, and you’ll find yourself in Petřínské Sady, a lovely park in Malá Strana, with several tram stops. Public Transit: If you don’t feel like walking, you can take tram 22 to Pohořelec, and then walk the short distance to the Strahov Monastery.