Prague’s most iconic images — the Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle — don’t show much in the way of green space. If you enjoy gardens and prefer strolling through a beautiful park to walking through museums, Prague has plenty of options. The city is home to several gardens, parks and farmer’s markets steps away from food, shops and historic landmarks. If you love the outdoors and only have 36 hours in Prague, spend it in these gardener-friendly locations.
Located in what used to function as a meat market, multiple buildings and outdoor vendors make up Holešovice Market. Start your morning here by buying a cup of Double Shot coffee in Alza Café within the market. Martin Kuciel, a food blogger and co-founder of an online gastronomical guide in Prague, says Double Shot is the best coffee in the city. In Hall 22 at the back of the market, buy produce, fresh flowers and seeds from farmers and sellers. Look for the word “pěstitlel” on the signs, which means the produce comes directly from a farmer. To the right of Hall 22, eat breakfast at the bakery, which sells great bread, says Michala Gregorova, co-founder of the Prague gastronomical guide. Small baguettes cost 4 CZK, or about $0.20.
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Directions: Red line to Vltavská Metro Station, Trams 1, 3, 5 and 25 to stop Pražská tržnice
Botanical Garden Prague
The Botanical Garden presents a nice view of the city and more than 15,000 species of flowers, trees and plants. More than 350,000 people visit the garden’s tropical greenhouse, St. Claire’s Vineyards and Japanese meditation garden each year. Built in 1969, the botanical garden is one of the youngest in the world. With a mobile device and the garden’s free Wi-Fi, scan QR codes next to the plants to find more information in English since most of the descriptions are in Czech. Purchase tickets for the open-air gardens, the greenhouses or both. Adult tickets cost 150 CZK, or $7, and student tickets cost 75 CZK, or $4.
Hours: May – September, Tuesday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Directions: Take city bus 112 from Nádraží Holešovice until the “ZOO” or “Botanická zahrada Troja” and follow signs to the Botanical Garden
After returning to the city center, spend time in New Town in Praha 1 for shopping and people watching. Take a break in the hidden Franciscan Garden between Jungmannovo Square and Wenceslas Square. Next to the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, the garden has several benches, rose bushes, trellises and a playground with a sandbox for children. Red, pink, yellow and white roses fill the garden. A quiet oasis in a bustling area, the garden is located next to a gelato shop and several restaurants. Take a snack with you into the garden.
Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Directions: Green or yellow metro line to Můstek, exit right onto Vodička Street. Walk a couple of meters and enter through the Svētozor passage.
Built in 1891 and modeled after the Eiffel Tower, the Petřín Observation Tower has 300 steps and stands 200 feet high on a 1,000-foot hill. Inside the base of the tower in a permanent exhibition, learn about the tower’s construction and see photos throughout the decades. Petřín Hill also features a hall of mirrors, church and rose garden. Take a walking path to climb the hill or the funicular, which is free with a public transportation pass. Go to the top of the observation tower for 120 CZK, or $6. Visit before sunset to see the rose garden, walking paths and tower and end the night with gelato at Angelato Café across the street from the base of Petřín Hill.
Open: Daily November through February 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., March through October 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., April though September 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Directions: Green line to Malostranská Metro Station, Trams 6, 9, 12, 20 or 22 to Újzed stop, Take funicular up to the top of the hill
Náplavka Farmer’s Market
On a Saturday, head to Náplavka Farmer’s Market to experience a busy and central market. Next to the river, this market features vendors, produce and flowers. It attracts more tourists than Holešovice Market, so go earlier in the morning to avoid crowds, says Martin Kuciel, a Prague food blogger. Centrally located, the market is near tourist attractions in Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge.
Open: Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Directions: Yellow line to Karlovo náměstí Metro Station, Trams 3, 4, 7, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21 to Palackého náměstí stop, Náplavka (river bank) under Rašínovo nábřeží (near Palackého square)
Gardens below Prague Castle
When you visit Prague Castle, stop by the five interconnected palace gardens – the Ledeburg Garden, the Lesser Pálffy Garden, the Greater Pálffy Garden, the Kolowrat Garden and the Lesser Fürstenberg Garden. The gardens include flowers, staircases and fountains. The vantage point from the terraces in these gardens give “one of the best views of Prague,” according to a garden brochure. Entrance to the gardens cost 80 CZK for adults ($4), and 55 CZK ($3) for children, students, and seniors 65 or older.
Open: Daily May – September 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., April and October 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Directions: Green line to Malostranská Metro Station, Walk on Valdštejnská street and enter between palaces #154 and #158
Now take the metro to the Jirák Market, a farmer’s market that offers produce, flowers and food. This market often hosts events such as wine tastings and herb festivals, so check the website for special events before your visit. Look for in-season fruits and vegetables, including radishes, spring onions, rhubarb and young garlic.
Open: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Directions: Green line to Jiřího z Poděbrad Metro Station or Tram 11 to Jiřího z Poděbrad stop
If you garden and grow your own fruits and vegetables, you may appreciate organic restaurants where they serve locally-sourced and in-season vegetables. Bio Zahrada – a restaurant near Jirák Market – features gluten-free, vegetarian and allergy-sensitive options. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a small shop with organic groceries, meats, vegetables and cleaning products. The menu changes regularly, so check the website for daily offerings. They sell soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches and veggie burgers under 169 CZK, or $8. Bio Zahrada also offers desserts, wines, beer, coffees (Double Shot) and teas.
Open: Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 8:30 – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Directions: Green line to Námesti Miru Metro Station. Turn left out of the metro station and then left onto Blegická Street and the restaurant is on the right.