Prague has many natural, historical gardens that attract a large number of locals and tourists alike. Part of Prague’s rich culture and history, these gardens are reminiscent of the country’s European heritage. Visiting the gardens is a perfect excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of the crowded city streets – especially in the summer months when the city is flooded with tourists. If you are seeking some quiet, these spacious gardens will be the perfect location for you. These places are also an excellent source of intrigue and pleasure for any history aficionados. Prague’s gardens and parks are definitely one of the city’s most treasured attractions, and there are about two hundred gardens to choose from. Steeped in history, most of them have been restored and preserved even though they actually date back to the Middle Ages. Wallenstein Garden is most probably the first garden in Prague and belongs to the Wallenstein Palace. Most, if not all, of the historical gardens were built through royal connections and generally served these royals. These parks and gardens form an integral feature of the overall image of the capital city. Used in advertisements and tourists brochures, they are an inescapable feature of the cityscape of Prague. For example, the final years of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century represent a particularly prosperous time in the history of garden development in Prague. It comprised the restoration and upkeep of older gardens and the development of newer ones such as the Riegrovy Sady, which is situated just a few miles away from Vinohrady. Regardless of the size and historical aspects, all the gardens in Prague are calm areas with plenty of charm while also providing anyone with the opportunity to revel peacefully in historical magnificence.
Prague Castle gardens
Prague Castle, Prague 1 – Malá Strana; www.hrad.cz
The Royal Garden is historically the most notable of all the castle gardens. Although inspired by Italian designs, the current layout of the gardens follows an English-style adaptation during the mid-19th century. One of its greatest treasures is the Singing fountain, which rightfully has its place among the most beautiful Renaissance water fountains north of the Alps. Overlooked, and unjustly so, is the Deer moat (Jelení příkop) – a quiet natural ravine, where the game used to be kept. The Southern gardens (Rajská, Na Valech and Hartigovská) stretching out beneath the southern frontage of Prague Castle, offer charming views of the Old Town, Lesser Town and the nearby Petřín Hill.
The Palace Gardens under Prague Castle
Valdštejnská 12 – 14, Praha 1 – Malá Strana; www.palacove-zahrady.cz
On the southern slopes, below Prague Castle, is a complex of interconnected historical gardens (Ledeburská, Malá and Velká Pálffyovská, Kolovratská and Malá Fürstenberská gardens). All the palace terrace gardens are rich with architectural decoration, decorative staircases, balustrades, panoramic terraces, gloriette and pavilions, all intertwined with vegetation to form scenic compositions. This is an ideal place to make romantic proposals or to recharge your batteries after a busy day.
Letenská St., Prague 1 – Malá Strana; www.senat.cz
An early baroque garden, laid out in strict geometric fashion, came into being in parallel with the construction of the Wallenstein Palace in the years 1623-1629. Imposing is the colossal construction on three axes – the so-called sala terrena and an artificial stalactite wall – cavern (grotto). As you walk through the gardens, you will be accompanied by free-ranging peacocks, while in the aviary, you can observe some wise old owls.
The Vrtba Garden
Karmelitská 25, Prague 1 – Malá Strana; www.vrtbovska.cz
In the Italian style, a palatial town garden is a jewel among the Italian baroque gardens of the whole of Central Europe. In terms of size, it belongs with the smaller gardens, yet, in terms of design, the architectural originality in such an irregular area on a slope, and in terms of the artistic and historical value of its decoration, it is of world importance. We recommend in particular an evening tour of the illuminated garden (booking needed) when you will enjoy this quiet and intimate place in all its glory.
Jungmannovo náměstí, Prague 1 – Nové Město; www.praha1.cz
This peerless natural oasis in the heart of the city has plenty of benches, over-arched by metal rose arbours, which in the summer burgeon with roses. The greater part of the garden is for relaxing, with plentiful seating provided. Clipped hedges bound its individual sections of greenery. Many fruit trees and rose bushes are planted here.
Vojanovy sady garden
U Lužického semináře 17, Prague 1 – Malá Strana; www.vojanovysady.cz
Vojanovy sady is considered to be the oldest part-preserved garden in Prague. Its atmosphere of contemplation has by all accounts lasted since the middle ages, when it was founded as a monastic garden. Here you can find peace from the bustle of the big city, where you may repose on a bench by the pool, shaded by mature trees.
Grébovka (Havlíčkovy sady) park
Prague 2 – Vinohrady; www.praha2.cz
A park, inspired by the Italian Renaissance, with a fountain and water cascades, a pond, pavilions, sculptures and a charming grotto, offering unique vistas of Prague with places to sit in a charming wine cellar or garden café. If you want to stretch a little, try the local playground with muscle exercise equipment.
Prague 2 – Vyšehrad
A magical place, the stuff of myths and legends, offering not only romantic hideaways and beautiful views of the Vltava River and Prague Castle, but also a children’s playground and several cafés. The power of legendary times seems to rise to the surface even today, and perhaps this is why Vyšehrad is so popular with the more spiritually-minded visitors.