What to do in Prague: Picnic at the Petrin hill


In case you're wondering what to do in Prague, Taste of Prague comes to the rescue! We will be posting some cool, secret Prague tips that may not be necessarily food-related but that will definitely guarantee you enjoy some quality time here in Prague. We love our city, and we want you to appreciate just how great it is.

The first "what to do in Prague" tip is actually food-related, and it's a specifically summer tip. What should you do in Prague when the weather is nice and you need a little rest from walking on all these cobblestones? Have a picnic in the hills of the Mala Strana and the Castle district overlooking the Vltava river bend, the Charles Bridge and the Old Town! Have a romantic snack and discover why Prague is called the "city of thousand spires".

"How do I arrange a picnic in Prague? I don't travel with a picnic basket!" I hear you ask. Don't worry - we know what to do. There's a small cafe near the Újezd tram station that rents picnic baskets for a day - you pay a deposit, order anything from their menu, they will put that in the basket, and you take the basket with you. After you're done, you bring the basket back to the cafe (and ideally have a coffee there - that's definitely recommended).

The café is Café Lounge, continuously voted one of the best two cafés in the Czech Republic, and yes, we are regulars there. Actually, Zuzi's Foursquare profile says she's the "mayor" there (which goes to show we are there almost daily). It is a small, "Belle-Epoque" café conveniently located just under the Petrin hill (actually, the Hunger Wall that runs through the Petrin hill also runs through the café's garden. Compared to the nearby famous Savoy café, Café Lounge offers a much more local, intimate experience.

What should you put in the basket?


Zuzi and I have a few favorites in the café's menu: the bagel with Parma ham or smoked salmon is excellent, for instance. For a truly local experience, have the Czech sourdough bread with caraway seeds and with Prague ham and Czech pickles on top - yum! They also have a great selection of Czech wines, but more on wines later... From desserts, we would pick some Czech-style baked goodies with seasonal fruits. We were less impressed with their cookies and cream-based cakes. If you want to buy some water or soda, there's a small grocery shop around the corner on the way to the Újezd area.

Where to go?


Alright, your picnic basket is packed, so where should you go? We have three options (see the map below):

1. Go to the Újezd station of the cable car towards the small Eiffel tower on the top of the Petrin hill and take the cable car to the Nebozizek station. This area of the hill offers some really splendid views of the city. You will need a regular (CZK 24) ticket for the Prague public transport system, which operates the funicular car.

2. Go to the Kampa park on the way to the Charles Bridge and mix with the young crowds playing frisbee or drinking in the area. There are some nice benches off the main sidewalk behind the giant babies by David Cerny. If you want some nice wine with your food, definitely stop first at Vinograf and get a bottle of nice Moravian wine there (they open at 4pm, and at 2pm on Sundays). There are no open container laws in the Czech Republic, and you drinking wine while having a picnic will raise no eyebrows.

3. Go to the terraced gardens below the Prague Castle. This spot is a bit farther from Cafe Lounge, but I personally think that the small terraced gardens under the Castle are the best place to have a picnic in Prague. They offer an intimate place for you and your loved ones to enjoy a great picnic with a breathtaking view of Prague. There is an admission fee (CZK 80 for adults, CZK 50 for students), and opening hours (see here) but it's worth it. You'll have to take the 12, 20 or 22 tram, get off at the Malostranske namesti stop (optionally turn towards the Charles Bridge to get a bottle at Vinograf), and then walk ahead under the Castle (see the map). Pay the admission and walk up. Choose any garden you like. Enjoy. You're welcome...

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