By: Katie Kinard
Prague’s scenic gardens lead inquisitive travelers along a trail of history, culture and the various captivating features of this flourishing Czech city. Whether resting under the cherry blossom trees in the Royal Garden or snapping photos of the living wall at Wallenstein Palace, Prague’s gardens offer an experience for travelers of all backgrounds and ages. Garden hopping can lead you to many of the important sights in Prague, and lead even the most active traveler down a path of exploration as well as exquisite dining. Visiting these gardens will give every visitor a glimpse into traditional Czech culture, where meals and family time often are spent outside; the locals here have a strong appreciation for the splendor of the outdoors.
Noon – 4:30 PM: Botanical Gardens
Trojská 800/196, 171 00 Praha-Troja
Prague’s Botanical gardens are a short pace from the Prague Zoo. If you do decide to visit the zoo while in this area, the zoo grounds also feature picturesque foliage and display several rain forest simulations. After spending a few hours with the live animals, hop over to the botanical gardens to enjoy vineyards, a Japanese garden, a tropical forest and a variety of rare tree species. The grounds are located on the right bank of the Vltava River—neighboring the Troja Castle as well as the zoo. The most well-known portion of the gardens is the massive Fata Morgana greenhouse (czechtourism). Some unique species that call the tropical greenhouse home are Australian bush, unique flora of Madagascar, xerophilous vegetation from South Mexico, rare succulents and hundreds more plant species (botanicka). The gardens are an ideal spot to sit and enjoy an afternoon picnic. Finish your time there with a visit to the Troja Palace, an impressive estate and a classic example of Baroque style. Spend several hours here, or even a whole day, as there are several attractions to see in this area within the zoo, palace and gardens combined.
4:30 pm – 6 pm or Dinner: Ledebour Garden
Malá Strana, 118 00 Prague 1
Buy a sweet afternoon gelato treat at Amorino just down the street from Ledebour, located near Malostranska metro stop, and then catch the sunset and stunning views off of the giant terraces of the garden grounds. Staircases and secret pathways lead visitors up the mountain with a spectacular view at the top. Afterwards, the reception area of the garden features a drink tent with beer on tap, as well as cocktails, and then you can make your way to dinner. Restaurant Teresa u Zlate Studne is located right next door to the gardens and offers an equally breathtaking view of the skyline while you enjoy top class food and service. It’s rated as one of the top restaurants in Prague. In addition to the beautiful scenery of Ledebour, various small museums are located nearby as well for additional entertainment.
11 am – 2 PM: Wallenstein Garden
Letenská, Malá Strana, 110 00 Praha 1
After enjoying an early brunch, make your way to the charming Wallenstein Garden located in new town. The Wallenstein Palace Garden peacocks roam freely through the foliage and music performances are often hosted in the afternoons. Built in 1623-1630, the Wallenstein Palace Gardens were the first palace gardens in Prague. The most extravagant sight to see is the living wall, made of lime stucco stalactites. A caved off section features a wired aviary with exotic live birds such as owls. The gardens have an extensive history and a guided tour is highly recommended. In addition, these gardens neighbor the Malostanska metro stop for easy access. After enjoying the sights and snapping a few photos, enjoy traditional European style lunch at Palffy Palac—lavish outdoor seating and quality cuisine make this establishment a must.
2 pm – 5:30 PM: The Royal Garden
Pražský hrad, 119 08 Praha 1
Burn off your morning breakfast by trekking to the Prague Castle Royal Garden. Vendors sell refreshments and souvenirs where people from all over gather to view the vast castle. After the steep hike up to the castle grounds, sit and enjoy the sights of the beautiful royal flora. Species to note are orange trees, fig trees, lemon trees, and tulips. These gardens often host live music concerts and visitors from all over the world collect to catch a glimpse of the stunning foliage. Endless options exist for further exploration on the castle grounds; churches, shops, building and several other sights spread for miles around the popular attraction (hrad).
5:30 PM – Dinner: Zofin Garden
Slovanský ostrov 226/8, 110 00 Praha-Nové Město
Prague’s Slovansky Island always features various attractions and sights in addition to the scenic Vltava River. It is described as “a green oasis of comfort and excellent gastronomy in the heart of Prague” (prague.eu). The Zofin Palace is a must for any visitor, its beauty and unique location is a sight you won’t want to miss. The garden restaurant there serves season-driven Czech cuisine as you dine under the trees in open air. Spend a few hours and enjoy a fine meal here or venture the island for a whole day. The greenery and activities are a source of endless .
Prague’s gardens offer an educational, as well as nonconventional, tour of the exhilarating city. A staple of Czech culture, visiting these gardens is the true way to live like the locals as you enjoy your visit. Often overlooked, these spots will give you an insider experience of Prague as you picnic in the Royal Garden and grab a drink at Ledebour. Live the Prague lifestyle and garden hop across one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.