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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Prague’s Best Picnic Spots

Published on May 09th, 2013 in Entertainment

  • Romantic Picnic - vintage photo (source: http://16sparrows.typepad.com)

  • Picnic and a Nap (still from film: Powers of Ten, source: accumbensjuice.wordpress.com)

  • Picnic Party - vintage photo (source: http://the-bricoleur.blogspot.cz)

  • Picnic Lane - c. 1932 (source: www.vixen-vintage.com)

 

With its multitude of lush parks and shady spots—many of which afford sweeping vistas of the Czech capital and ample opportunity for people watching—Prague is picnic paradise. This list of my own favorite places to unpack a basket is followed by suggestions for what to put in it.

 

Slavic Island (Slovanský ostrov)

Also called “Žofín” for the neo-renaissance Žofín Palace located here, picturesque Slavic Island is picnic perfect. Adding to its appeal are paddle-boat rentals, the city’s only “functionalist” playground, and The Czech Lion (Český Lvíček), a scaled-down replica of an 1841 train that offers rides for children ages 3–10 (10 CZK).

 

Slovanský ostrov, Prague 1, Nové Město
metro Národní třída
tram 6, 9, 17,18, 21, 22 to Národní divadlo

 

 

Children’s Island (Dětský ostrov)

A wonderful little riverside oasis where kids can romp while their parents unwind to views of the National Theater, Žofín Palace, and the canals of Prague. The large play structures in the enclosed playground may be too sophisticated for the very young; sandboxes will keep the smaller set entertained.

 

Vltava River, Prague 1, Malá Strana; Entrance on Janáčkovo nábřeží
tram 4, 7, 10, 14, 16 to Zborovská; 6, 9, 12, 20 to Arbesovo náměstí

 

 

Petřín Hill (Petřínské sady)

Ascend this 430-foot-high slope via funicular or (for the truly athletic) on foot to reach its network of parks and gardens—and oddball attractions, including The Mirror Maze and Mini-Eiffel Tower Viewing Gallery, both of which were built for the Prague Jubilee in 1891. Peaceful and wonderfully tourist-free.

 

Petřínské sady, Prague 1, Malá Strana
tram 12, 20, 22 to Újezd, then take the funicular railway

 

 

Stromovka Park

Prague’s largest park, once a royal game preserve, is lively with rollerbladers, dog walkers, and plentiful meadows for picnicking. For those who prefer to dine sans ants, I suggest the outdoor seating at the park’s Restaurace Vozovna (which offers a picnic-basket menu should you reconsider).

 

Stromovka, Prague 7, Bubeneč

www.stromovka.cz
metro Hradčanská
tram 12, 17, 24 to Výstaviště; 1, 5, 12, 25, 26, to Letenské náměstí

 

 

Riegrovy sady

A sweeping view of Prague is your reward for climbing the hill to “Riegráče” (though the only view from its famed beer garden is of the big-screen projector devoted to televised sporting events). Spread your blanket and make a day of it like the locals do; families with small children will enjoy the impressive playground.

 

Riegrovy sady, Prague 2, Vinohrady
metro Muzeum, Jiřího z Poděbrad
tram 11 to Vinohradská tržnice
(The beer garden is found in the park’s northeast corner; enter the playground at Chopinova St.)

 

 

Divoká Šárka

This unbridled landscape of walking paths, rocks outcroppings, and streams—which feed a huge swimming pool that’s open during the summer months—makes for a gorgeous picnic location. The grass near the pool area is prime picnic real estate, or hike to one of the scenic overlooks and forage your own spot.

 

Divoká Šárka 6, Praha 6, Dejvice
tram 20, 26 to Divoká Šárka

 

 

Průhonice Park

A central pond, surrounded by rare plant and tree species, with a neo-renaissance chateau for its backdrop, makes Průhonice Park picnic heaven—and a completely worthy day trip. So enchanting, in fact, is this UNESCO World Heritage site that it’s a frequent shooting location for Czech Television’s live-action fairy tales.

 

Průhonice Park, Zámek 1, Průhonice
www.parkpruhonice.cz
metro Opatov, then bus 363 or 358 (the ride takes about 15 minutes) by car D1 motorway (exit 6)
Note: There is a 50 CZK entry fee.


 


**Shopping for your picnic**
 

La Bottega Di Finestra

Platnéřská 11, Prague 1, Staré Město
www.labottega.cz
tel 222 233 094
hours Mon–Fri: 08:00–22:00; Sat: 08:30–22:00; Sun: 08:30–20:30
metro Staroměstská
tram 17, 18 to Staroměstská

 

A gourmet Italian deli offering cured meats, an extensive cheese selection, fresh fruit, fantastic salads (octopus is my favorite), bottles of wine and delicious profiteroles.

 

 

Michelské Pekárny

Karmelitská 20, Prague 1, Malá Strana
www.pekarny-michle.cz
tel 257 535 152
hours Mon–Fri: 06:30–19:00; Sat & Sun: 08:00–19:00
metro Malostranská
tram 12, 20, 22 to Hellichova

 

Conveniently located down the road from Petřín Hill, this bakery sells creative sandwiches, a nice beverage selection, classic Czech baked goods and unique cookies smothered with nuts, seeds and raisins, an all-time favorite of mine.

 

 

Prague’s Farmer’s Markets

For dates, hours, and directions visit the English-friendly website

www.farmarsketrziste.cz/en
Note: Popular locations include the markets at Jiřího z Poděbrad square (Jiřák) and Rašínovo embankment (Náplavka).

 

Pick up a variety of fresh produce, decadent baked goods, and local cheeses at the city’s increasingly popular outdoor farm markets, plus prepared foods: fresh pasta, grilled meats and fish, and Czech delicacies.

 

 

 

 

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