The birds are chirping, the trees blossoming and people dare to step out of the warmth of their houses again. Prague has awoken from its winter slumber and temperatures are on the rise. Time to get out and enjoy the sun rays warming your skin and explore the city that was hulled in snow and ice for the past few months. Prague in Spring blossom is just absolutely stunning!
To give you some ideas on what to do in Spring time when in Prague, we set out and found the best places to be, things to enjoy and activities to pick up in the warm Spring sun.
Czech Republic is an absolute paradise for hikers. It is not just the areas of Bohemian Switzerland and Bohemian Paradise that are worth checking out; Czechia offers many wonderful places to wander. To enjoy the Spring to its fullest, you don’t necessarily need to undertake a 3 hours long journey to the highly frequented, popular hiking areas. Lots of hiking paths and regions surround the Czech Capital – or are even part of it! One of our favourite hikes is Štěchovice, which is only a 30 minutes bus journey away from Prague. It follows the Vltava river and takes you on a hilly journey through the Czech countryside, far away from all the hustle and bustle.
Zbraslav, which is even closer to Prague – about a 10 minutes bus ride – offers a great hike up to the Celtic Monument and a view over the small village in the South of Prague.
Our favourite Spring Hike is the Eliska path (Naučná stezka Cesta císařovny Elišky) to Karlické údolí. A 30 minutes train ride takes you to Dobřichovice, a bustling, little village with lots of historical houses, a castle and four different hiking paths leading to magnificent views, nature reserves and wildlife.
Hiking is a somewhat national sport of Czech Republic. Czechs – known to be very active people – love setting out for trips to the wilderness and have created – and taken care of – a big and intertwined maze of hiking trails. If you are willing to make the journey, be sure to check out the Bohemian Highlands, too! The hills North of Prague do very much remind of the Highlands of Scotland and hold castles, ponds and wuthering heights for visitors.
If you are ready for a holiday getaway – or at least the feeling of one – you definitely want to check out the Sázava Pacific Trail that starts in Petrov U Prahy – about a 2o minutes train ride from the main train station. This is a gorgeous walkway next to the meandering Vltava, with old fisher boats docked to the bay and magnificent views from the hilltops.
If you are in need of some hiking equipment, be sure to check out Husky and for hiking boots Meindl‘s location on Andel. Still didn’t find the right hike? Check out our Spring Hike article, then!
2. Visit Prague’s Beer Gardens
A stereotype? Maybe. But an undeniable fact is that Czechs love their beer and they love enjoying it with a view. This is exactly why celebrating Spring’s arrival in a beer garden around the city is a must-do. The amount of spots in the city is vast; wherever you find yourself, rest assured that a beer garden is never far off. Some of them are in plain sight, others are hidden and therefore have a very private feeling to them. The obvious ones like Letná – with a stunning view over the city – and Riegrovy Sady are the most frequented ones with a bustling vibe and always something happening.
If you are looking to enjoy your freshly draft beer in peace, you might want to opt our for Zahrádky Žižkov. The vibe is always relaxed and they serve beer that is draft right from the keg from the Staropramen Brewery located in Smichov.
Our special tip? The pub “Na Kvetinci”, which offers a large garden area, a view of the Nusle valley and shade from the nearby chestnut trees. Perfect to enjoy a cold beer in the sun.
3. Skate & Bike along the Vltava
If you thought hiking is all that Czechs do, you were wrong. Running, biking and skating are popular activities of the locals, too. It seems fitting that there is a large number of trails in the city. The Czech capital inhabits over 200 parks, many of them accessible with bikes & other wheel-driven rides. Especially cool for skating: the Park Lázaro Cárdenase in Dejvice and the trail along the Vltava River in Modřany.
Let’s not forget about the many skateboarders looking for places to practice. the other side of Modřany is the perfect spot for a Saturday skate. The pavement is even and the views spectacular. You can follow the trail almost all the way to Radotin; make sure you look out for bikers, though. Central park is especially suitable for downhill fans and all those that just enjoy a quick cruise after work, Vitkov is the perfect place to go to.
4. Get some Fresh Food from Prague’s Farmers Market
They are back! Most of our beloved Farmers Markets of Prague – just as much as the city itself – had gone into hibernation mode. And who could hold it against them; vegetables simply don’t grow in temperatures below zero (and also, standing out in the cold all day seems less than appealing). Now, however, fresh produce is being sold again all over the city.
Our favourite market to go to is Heřmaňák. With is fresh and vast assortment, Heřmaňák lures zero wasters, organic shoppers and gourmands alike into its quarters. The farmers market in Holešovice happens every Saturday, 08.00 through 14.00. Besides fresh vegetables and fruit, you can find eggs, pastries, meat & more.
Hala 22 is probably the only farmers market that is open almost all week. In the market building on Pražská tržnice, you can get vegetables, fruit, cheese, meat and even honey, milk and eggs from farmers in the Republic. This is the perfect place to go to, if you want to stock up on fresh produce and can’t wait till the next Saturday market.
The guild of “Farmarske Trhy“ organizes farmers markets a little outside of the neighbourhoods bordering the Old Town. From March on, you can get your fresh produce in Rajská zahrada, Černý Most and Spořilov. Their mission is to bring good food to good people and make sure that nature is not being robbed of its treasures only for profit.
5. Explore the Botanical Garden
Prague’s Botanical Garden is an Eden for Flora lovers and seekers of a nature walk in the city. The large area in New Town offers many species of plants – which some of are over 130 years old! – and takes you on a journey through the world of plants.
Spring might be the best time to visit the free outdoor space of the green spot. Learn about rocks, local plant species and – in the greenhouses – about subtropical and succulent plants such as Oxalis or Cacti.
This is a beautiful walk for a Saturday afternoon and if you haven’t had enough walking after the ivy kissed pathways and little, green nooks, Náplavka is just around the corner to get your kicks out.
Once you are in the area, why not celebrate the warm temperatures with a – possibly premature – handmade ice cream from Puro? They are located right between the river and the Botanical Gardens and perfect for a quick break.
Location: Na Slupi 16, New Town
Opening hours: 10.00 – 18.00 (garden) / 10.00 – 15.30 (greenhouse)
6. Visit the St. Matthews Fair
St. Matthews Fair welcomes Spring in Prague with a big hurrah. Roller coasters, a ferris wheel, haunted houses, bouncy castles and – of course – a chain carousel catapults everybody out of Winter into Spring mood. The old Bohemian Shooting range, where you can win a rose for the special someone by your side and good old bumper cars will take you on a colorful and magical journey.
Where there is fun, there needs to be food and at the St. Matthews Fair you can indulge in sweet and salty delicacies such as gingerbread hearts (which also is the usual souvenir to get from the fair). The spectacle with over 120 attractions is more than 415 years old! It celebrates St. Matthews, the saint of constructions and confectioners and gives you the opportunity to start spring time with a hurrah!
Location: Výstaviště Holešovice, Prague 7
When: 23.02. – 22.04.2019
Opening hours: Mon: Closed, Tue-Fri: 14.00 – 21.00, Sat/Sun: 10.00 – 22.00
7. Whip a Girl on Easter Monday
Wait, what? This is not a cruel idea from us, but the cultural heritage of Czech Republic and Slovakia. When Easter hits, boys bind some willow branches together and set out to whip some girls – all in the name of fertility, luck and rejuvenation! Don’t believe us? Here is the story behind the rather hectic tradition for Czech and Slovak Easter:
Every Easter Monday morning, Czech and Slovak boys set out with their willow tree branches to whip a girl while singing a song. It goes something like this: “Hody, hody, doprovody, dejte vejce malovaný, nedáte-li malovaný, dejte aspoň bílý, slepička vám snese jiný.” What that means? “Feast, Feast give me a painted egg if you don’t give me a painted one give me at least a white one, the hen will give you another.’”
The rather unusual tradition goes back to Pagan times. It originally was supposed to symbolically chase away illness and bad spirits, bringing health and youth for the rest of the year to whoever is whipped by a willow branch. Sometimes, a bucket full of water replaces the willow branches. After the whipping, girls give a painted Easter egg or candy as well as a ribbon for the willow whip to the boy. Whether you want to go in on the tradition or decide to let the legs of your girl remain unwhipped, we leave up to you.
Are you ready for Spring? What is your favourite thing to do in Prague when the frost and snow melts and the flowers blossom? Let us and other urban explorers know in the comments!